You probably remember my threads and other posts about my girlfriend of 1.5 years (and friend for previous 2.5) leaving on 2nd Feb this year. Now it looks like my tortoise is dead, died yesterday. The local vet says he’s dead, but I’ll be taking him to the specialist vets who’ve been treating him the last week.
He got Calcium, vitamins, food through a pipe, painkillers, herbal baths. He seemed to get better, the bood circulation more in order (the shell was reddened, his blood vessels were leaking), he started walking again. It looked like everything was getting better and on Friday evening, my mum said, “what an old face you have, what half-open eyes,” and that was how the tortoise looked. There was no response to touch. The little paws and head were falling to the side. No change till the morning. The vet said he was dead. I remember he moved, he was alive when I was taking him out of the bath and going to church for the evening mass. I limited my prayers to “thy will be done” for whatever reason I don’t know, but came back to pray not for anything in my life, but just the poor sick tortoise (and I had prayed in communion as well, and to saints to pray for him… Mary, St. Francis, Anthony, Judah, others…). I didn’t look closely since the tortoise wouldn’t normally move much these days, more like basking in light and warmth, but he might have died even at that moment.
Now I recall I’ve been praying to God so He would show me the sins in my life that I was ignoring, but God wouldn’t take the tortoise away to show me how selfish I was or how I had neglected proper care. My stepfather claims I’ve murdered the tortoise and the unwanted animal died. He doesn’t know much about tortoises and what the vets and the other family members say doesn’t seem to agree with what he says, but I’m fearing I’m just making up excuses and have killed the tortoise as well as the relationship before. It looks like everything is being taken from me for my sins of lack of care or selfishness or neglect. The last specialist to look at him said it was a bacteria and maybe too low temperatures had harmed his immune system enough to be susceptible (low temps would have been my fault :(), something also like it could have been going on for years because tortoises fight disease for a very long time and maybe he only recently gave in (and I associate giving in or giving up with how I didn’t treat him well enough :(). I keep thinking about anything that could have helped. More frequent visits to the vets. More close and thoughtful check-ups. Additional sources of heat or light.
As for the girlfriend, even she says she didn’t feel unloved or unwanted or anything like that, that I was a wonderful boyfriend, although these days she says she isn’t missing me much and is happier than she was with me, she says it’s not my fault but her decision (and she doesn’t want to come back to the relationship on so many levels). It looks like long distance and religious differences were the reason and she didn’t want to bind herself with promises of having offspring as she wasn’t sure she would ever want children. I still can’t stop thinking that I could have done more. Showed more love, more compassion, more understanding, more patience, more everything, better example of a Christian life, better explanation of the matters of sexual ethics (and a better time to talk about that). I do see how problems in that regard had been going on almost since the beginning of the relationship, but it isn’t helping.
With the tortoise, whatever the family (except stepfather) are saying about him having enough warmth near the heater where he was (stepfather talks about the window nearby, though it wouldn’t be opened at all or not much). The vets said it wasn’t the only case, but tortoises had that illness this time of the year. Mum and others said he didn’t want to eat what we gave him and what he had eaten before or the books deemed proper, and would just be choosy or refuse to eat.
And the girlfriend surely wasn’t spotless in everything in the relationship, which she herself says. She says move on and forget, readily forgives whatever there is to forgive and all. She tried to cheer me up too. But it just didn’t work. I could take the dumping, but now the tortoise’s death after 12 years and growing up with me…