California Woman’s Tortoise Videos Go Viral, but Is It Just About the Tortoise?

What is it with California? Their Governor just got his impeccably-coiffed butt handed to him by Florida’s favorite son Ron DeSantis, even as said California top man Newsom shouts his great victory over the state government, finally and for once, just doing their damn job.


With all that going on, one of the big stories of the day out of the once-Golden State is about the relationship between a young woman and her tortoise. Yes, really.

Caitlin Doran, a California native, has gone viral on TikTok for sharing the long-lasting friendship she’s had with her 22-year-old pet tortoise, Tiptoe.

When Doran was 7 years old, she asked Santa for an African tortoise — and to her surprise, her Christmas wish was granted, she told Fox News Digital in an interview.

“I don’t know if I just loved the attention [from] having a unique animal,” Doran said. 

“But I knew I wanted something I could just spend a lot of time with, so [a] tortoise was up there.”

It seems the 25-year-old Miss Doran’s accounts of her tortoise, Tiptoe, have gone viral. That in and of itself, is not surprising; in the vast and wonderful weirdness that is the Internet, it’s impossible to tell what the Next Big Thing might be. But, speaking from pure speculation, I suspect there may be more to it than just the tortoise.

Be that as it may, it is interesting to see someone with an animal that many people might take on as a vanity pet or a passing whim, and instead provide the unusual pet with a stable home and excellent care over a matter of decades, which is important for an animal that can live a century. While Miss Doran is certainly making her unusual pet a shell-ebrity, she is nevertheless to be complimented on her beautiful and healthy pet. Tiptoe appears to be, from the several YouTube videos I watched, a healthy and contented animal. Tortoises can be challenging animals to keep, requiring specific diets and habitats to thrive, and Miss Doran’s Tiptoe appears to be the picture of Testudinidae health.


With that said, a note of caution is in order. Pets aren’t just decorative items or a fad. When one takes on a pet, whether it be as conventional as a cat or dog or as unusual as Miss Doran’s Tiptoe, one should be prepared to care for that pet throughout its normal lifespan. 

Even a tortoise is a living, breathing, feeling animal, and when a person accepts the responsibility for the care of that animal, they should stick with it through the animal’s lifetime. If someone isn’t prepared to do that they have no business having a pet. Fortunately, it appears Miss Doran is prepared for the long haul with her long-lived sidekick. Good for her, and if making her pet an Instagram star can help her pay for care and upkeep, then so much the better.

We can all learn a thing or two from animals, even a placid, slow-paced reptile.

Doran said that one of the biggest lessons she’s learned from Tiptoe is “just to slow down,” she said.

“Nothing needs to be as ‘go, go, go’ as you make it … Slow and steady actually works,” she said.

There’s something to that, all right. It’s a lesson that I required about half a century to learn myself. Some people never learn these lessons; sometimes life has just tortoise nothing.


Also, at least this is more interesting than a farting dog on an airplane.



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