March 23, 2010

Why Tuttie?

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you السلام عليكم

That's why. My beloved TUTTTIEE!!! why!?

Well you see a friend of mine was living with a bunch of dudes and he had a huge red ear slider (like the one above) and they were practically starving the poor thing. Turns out the turtle belonged to another friend of theirs who had just been kicked out of HIS house by his parents for being a lazy person. So my friends had no idea how to take care of such a large turtle so they gave it fish flakes. ARGH!

Anyway after begging the original owner if I could have Tuttie he agreed and he was mine plus the 50 gallon tank he was in. I also had NO idea how to take care of a turtle but I did my research. That turtle and I went through some ROUGH, ROUGH, ROUGH times. I was earning minimum wage $5.50 an hour at the time and I was sick a lot. At one point I had no money but I had a online buyer credit and I purchased stacks of ensure online from ebay. Pathetic I know but they didn't sell anything else or at the very least I had no idea where to even buy it seeing as the credit only applied to ebay. I survived one month on bread and peanut butter (because I read somewhere about the properties of peanuts) and supplementing with ensure. During this time I couldn't afford food for my turtle and for some reason prior to my financial difficulties he had been a picky eater and all of a sudden he would eat whatever I gave him.

He didn't complain. *tears*

I used to let him roam my apartment and whenever I called his name he would come. I mean how AWESOME is that?! I actually didn't teach him that trick nor did the previous owners but somehow he knew his name and he would come when I called him by it. *tears*

Also if he was hungry it didn't matter where he was or where I was he would come and try to climb my leg. Now that I have a son, he kinda does something similar like Tuttie. Which brings TEARS to my eyes. OH MY TUTTIE!

When I had a little money and was able to afford meat I used to boil the meat a little and wait for it to cool and feed it to him. He ate it all. Since I cooked with onions and green peppers I used to cut them up in to little pieces and he would eat those too. On one of our lean days I saw a huge looking flying thing come in (resembled a dragon fly) and Tuttie patiently waited at the bottom of his tank as soon as the insect landed on the water, Tuttie ate it from underneath. IT WAS SOOO COOL. I had a survivor like me and we bonded. When I used to watch tv I used to grab Tuttie and put him on my bare stomach (I had rock solid abs back then) and he would just chill there. Sounds gross but I couldn't afford a heating lamp so I had modified one of my lamps and he enjoyed being on my belly because it was warm. *tears*

Word got out that I was great with turtles and all of a sudden people started dumping their pets on me. First it was a secretary in the bio dept who was moving to FL and needed to get rid of her turtles. She actually told me she was going to put them in a bag!!! What is WRONG with you?! So I took the turtles from her and named them Fruitie (to go with Tuttie) and Melman (from Madagascar the movie played by David Schwimmer) he kinda acted like a hypochondriac/melodramatic so the name fit. Tuttie seemed to love having companions and they used to spar. At first the behaviour looked like it was a mating ritual and I started to have my doubts about the genders but it turned out that they were all male and it was their way of establishing dominance.

Later my best friend's baby sister after seeing me with my turtles decided to get one and hated it. Carmen the turtle then came to live with me and the bachelors. She wasn't a red eared slider but she was GORGEOUS mashaAllah. When I got married the turtles came with me, when we moved 100 miles away they came with me. When we were living in the hotels they were with me. Side note: I used to fill up the bath tubs so they could swim, purchase a whole mess of gadgets for them to play with and even made my husband carry a HUGE rock everywhere we move because my turtles loved to lounge on it. *and yes I would scrub the bathtubs after I was done*

After a while I started to dream about danger and turtles for some reason and I kept finding articles warning about turtles. We were planning on having children and as it turns out pregnant women, women who could become pregnant, the elderly and children shouldn't come in contact with turtles.

I was forced to part with them. *TEARS*

A couple of months later we found out we were expecting. I was happy but dang it I missed my turtles in particular TUTTIE.

Even though it was months later I was still distraught about having to give up such an extraordinary turtle. I kept wondering and bothering my husband if he thought Tuttie was alright, where would he be? what would he be doing? does he have a family?

Later I had a dream where I was told that Tuttie was fine and so were the others and I got to see them, they looked very healthy and happy. Alhamdulillah. My husband just laughed at me but he said well there is your answer please stop annoying me.

So I love my Tuttie, I can't believe I still miss him so much. The experience was eye opening for me because even though I was a animal lover for some reason I doubted that reptiles could have compassion or if they could even love. Tuttie proved me wrong.

I feel Tuttie and I went through some of my darkest moments in my life together. Some people think that the darkest moments are when you are experiencing them but I don't think so. Because when you are experiencing the trauma your body goes into survival mode and hopefully you survive. The incident is now time constrained int the past. I think your darkest moments come AFTER you survive and are trying to piece your life together. Because now you replay that moment in a loop. The event may be over but the affects are far reaching. I had just left my mom I was only 2 years away from being Muslim and I was still dealing with violent flashbacks among other issues. Tuttie was not judgmental, he was accepting and despite what people say about reptiles he was very loving and would interact with me a lot.

I miss him.

EDIT: During the time I was surviving on peanut butter sandwiches I needed to withdraw my last couple of dollars from the bank and because it was under $20 I had to go to the teller. There was this super cute teller and I was praying that I DIDN'T get him because I was embarrassed. Turns out I got him. So I am withdrawing the money trying to look all cute and he just hands me the $17 (I can't remember the cents) and says "now don't spend it all now". AHH! humiliating. I tried to remember when it happened so I wouldn't see him again. I was mortified. (this incident happened before I was Muslim)


NtN said...

Awww, Tuttie. Why can't pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant be near turtles?

Kiddy said...

God is speaking to you Tuttie through dreams and when people tell you something more than once the same day or you read about it.He cares about your struggles.And to think He warned you about the danger of turtles before you got pregnant.And stay away from cats that run around outside too, the next time you get pregnant.And if you see one wondering around, next time around don't get near him/her even.And of course alcohol,it can cause fetal alcohol syndrome,thank God my baby was not affected when I got roaring drunk after my child's conception,it can cause great damage.I know it was God that protected my baby or even healed the baby in the womb. Indecently I have never been drunk since from alcohol.No alcoholic conception for me.How about you,a glass every now and then?

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Noor because they are in water tank and remnants of their feces (no matter how good of a filtration system you got) and food remains they are a hot bed for bacteria. Particularly the salmonella poisoning.

@Barbie. I am a Muslim and therefore I do not drink alcohol of any kind,not in desserts and definitely not intentionally. I check all my food labels to make sure it is no in there and I eat out in halal places otherwise I would be asking the restaurant if my dish was made with alcohol.

TheSphere said...

funny : )

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

could you wear gloves when working with turtles? I can only imagine how hard it is to part with a loved one, and by loved one i mean animal, reptile etc. They grow on us and become part of the family. Before I moved to spain, my husband and I had two kittens who I loved dearly. When I returned to the U.S. to finish school my husband remained in spain and was unable to care for them both so decided to give them away. I was devestated! I still think about them from time to time and wonder if their new owners are treating them well. Animals have such unique personaitlies that you cant help but love them. When i got pregnant (5 months ago) we were contemplating getting rid of our new cat who is 9 months old, because of toxioplasmosis. However after some research I found that we can kepp him so long as I dont clean the litter box or if I do, wear gloves. Im not sure about turtles but with cats if you catch toxoplasmosis before conception the mother and baby are safe because she becomes immune to it. I also wanted to mention women can catch toxiplasmosis from gardening or handling raw meat. So I feel that as long as a pregnant woman takes precautions (wear gloves when handling raw meat or gardning or have her spouse take care of it), it shouldnt be a problem to keep a pet.