Tortoise sitting

I feel like Doctor Dolittle this week as I’ve somehow accumulated a kitten, two goldfish, four hens and two tortoise to look after.

I have to say I was most excited about hanging with the tortoise, as I’ve been slightly obsessed with them ever since I met these ones in Turkey.


But turns out tortoise in captivity are quite boring creatures.

They’re also fussy eaters and will only down their daily dose of lettuce, cucumber, apple and dandelion leaves (if I can be bothered going to the park to be stared at by locals wondering why the hell is that girl picking weeds?) if they’re washed.

In the five nights I was here this one barely moved.


In fairness it is 60.

And, even the younger one barely ventured from its favourite spot – wedged between the pot plant and the step.


In fact, the only amusing thing that happened was when the kitten sat on the little tortoise, while it was trying to get its ridiculously small mouth around a slice of apple.

But looking after the tortoise did teach me that a turtle and a tortoise are not the same thing. Turns out turtles hang out in the water, tortoise on the land and then there’s a hybrid called a terrapin which does both.

But I remain confused as to what the plural is for tortoise, as the debate seems to be raging online as to whether it’s tortoise, tortoises or my favourite pick – torti (like cacti).

Can anyone actually tell me for certain?

Moving onto the kitten… I’m quite allergic to cats so I’ve been trying to keep my distance, but it hasn’t made it easy as it only has two moods: loving and cuddly or pyscho and scratchy.

It also does this weird thing with jelly meat where it only eats the jelly, no matter how fine you mash the meat.


Then there’s the ladies.


There’s four of them and each day without fail they lay three eggs, so either one doesn’t lay eggs at all or they have a shift work system going on.

And last but actually least, there’s the goldfish. I have nothing interesting to say about them.

As for why I’m kitten, hen, goldfish and tortoise/tortoises/torti-sitting, it’s all thanks to the wonders of housesitting websites on the internet.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I met the owner and she showed me around her amazing three-storey home in central London, which also houses an eclectic collection of antiques and nicknacks.

But it all comes to an end tomorrow when they arrive home from their holiday, leaving me exactly 30 days to find places to stay in London before I take off to Morocco and Spain.

I apologise to my London friends and family in advance…


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