“One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” – Master Oogway
Inspired by Kung Fu Panda, I named my turtle after Master Oogway.
Not everybody knows that I have a turtle but when they do, they get surprised. This is probably because not everyone would choose a turtle for a pet. Similarly, when I meet someone who also owns one, I feel sort of connected to them as if we, turtle owners, are the only ones who understand why we have this kind of pet in the first place.
Oogway was given to me by my dad when 2013 began so January was always his birthday for me. He was teeny-tiny back then, looking so cute and much easier to care for. Around a year or so later, he had a crack in his shell, for reasons unknown to me up to this day. I could not find a vet who knew about turtles so I ended up putting Betadine on his wound. Since it was a disinfectant used for humans, I figured it may work. I was worried and I was glad it started closing up, much like blood clotting. His shell will always have that mark but he continues to live healthily, much to my joy.
I’ve always considered him as my first real pet. I used to have two baby turtles when I was a kid but I didn’t know how to care for them then. We also had birds and then lots of fishes throughout the years but I never owned one enough to call it just mine. Now, only Oogway remains in the house. And he has been with me for three and a half years already.
Recently, he has been featured in our internal quarterly magazine, along with other pets, much to my pride. More than that, he came out unique as the others featured their dogs and sometimes, cats, but never a turtle. (I sound like a doting owner.)
Oogway gets featured. Yey!
He doesn’t do tricks like dogs or purrs like cats but he seems to know his name. Whenever I call his name, he seems to stretch his head out a little more, trying to find my voice. He gets scared though when I put my finger or hand closer and he hides his head. Then there are days that he just wants to splash around his (now) tiny aquarium. I know he has to move soon but I’m still thinking of the best place he can make his home. We have a huge aquarium, fit for an arowana but I am not sure if I’ll be able to clean it as I should. It’s really big and heavy while I, if I try, can probably fit in it.
I can also hear his breathing from time to time, when I listen closely – though I’m not sure if that’s really possible. But I think it is his breathing and when I talk to him or sing, he listens.
Not everyone will probably understand why a turtle but I do like turtles, for being cute in their own way, for being simple, for being an animal that I could relate to (#awkwardturtle), and for what they stand for – wisdom and being slow but sure and steady.
And though Oogway won’t be able to read this, I sure am happy to have him (though I remain unsure if he’s actually a she) and I would like for him to live a long and happy turtle life.
“Your mind is like water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” – Master Oogway