How I learned that Turtle oil is NOT made out of turtles … aka What Love Is

So there we were, in Boobie the car (called Boobie because part of her licence plate spells boob ;-)) , on the way to pick up Guinevere after her x-ray.  Guinevere is a funny old girl – she spent the first few years of her life thinking she was a fox, had several phantom pregnancies before I eventually (against every instinct) had her spayed and then developed a massive depression and weight gain, whilst still ruling the house with an iron paw.

Queen from the day she was born, I first saw her in M’s shop, sitting like a five inch striped feline Cleopatra on the arm of the chair.  Orphaned at a young age, she was too young yet to be rehomed but was in vibrant health – eyes clear, alert for adventure and far too brave for her own good, she sat surveyed her surroundings, not sure yet that they entirely met with her approval.

I got an interested glance, she got my instant adoration and a few days later, she joined the boys at Chez Titflasher.

Now 15, it appeared that years of being a plumpy cat had taken its toll on her back.  She never reached the 9kg danger point and I spent years getting the weight slowly off her, so that her health did not suffer but one day I noticed that her shaky legs after a long sleep had progressed to a distinct wobble when she walked.

I left it a bit as she was in no pain and still scrambled about faster than most of the others but as time went on I thought it best to have her checked over.

A very expensive set of xrays and procedure and a diagnosis of spondylosis deformans (basically, bone spurs growing on her spine) ahead of us, the Stalker had kindly woken up early on his day off to take us there and was even more kindly giving up more r&r time to collect us (me from a course and then Guin from the vets).

I had just been on an excellent course but was filled with dread at what we might be told when we got to the vet.  And as per usual when my brain should be paralysed with fright, it instead goes into overdrive.  In the fight or flight stress response, I never seem to get the flight one and so it was we were gently driving down the mean streets of South London when I mentioned that the windscreen was in need of a clean.

What followed was a classic Titflasher vs Stalker conversation:

Stalker:  “Yes, babe Boobie needs a clean all over.”

Me: “Well, don’t look at me, get the turtle wax out then”.

I excuse what happened next on stress and also the fact that I recently found out that mink oil (which is what all beauty therapists use on nails to dry them quickly, to  shiny finish) was a by-product of the fur industry in China (where they skin animals alive).  My attempts to get this shared via facebook were largely ignored (gee, so you are happy to whinge about meat eaters but turn a blind eye to the fact that you are wearing bits of skinned animals on your fucking nails because, you know, you want a perfect manicure?).  I’m still pissed off, can you tell?

Me: “Babe … turtle wax isn’t made of out turtles, is it?”

Stalker:  small silence

Stalker:  “yes it is”.


Me: No, no … it isn’t.

Stalker: “yeah, it is babe, sorry”

Me: “Fuck. Off.  It’s not.”

Stalker: “It is. They crush up their shells very finely and add it to the paste.”

Me: *thinking (that would scratch paintwork)

Me: “Bollocks.  You’re talking bollocks.”

Stalker: “No, I’m serious.”

Me (internal conflab with self): “He’s having you on, you know he is.  But … mink oil? …”

Me (outwardly): “Fuck off, it isn’t.”

Stalker: “It. Is.”

Me: “Hahaha bloody ha, it’s not.”

Stalker: “Then why did you ask the question?”

Me (internal conflab with self): “Good. Point. Dammit.”

Me (outwardly): “Because mink oil is made out of skinned minks”.

Stalker: “And turtle wax is made out of …”

But he couldn’t quite hold in the little lift the corner of his mouth makes when he is trying to pull a fast one.

And that, I guess, along with getting up in the morning, and eschewing an afternoon watching sport and drinking beer, to take your beloved and one of her kitties to the vet; taking the piss out of her is what love is ….

Just, you know, incidentally, because after that I HAD to google it:


About titflasher

Writer, blogger, animal activist, people activist, dream-catcher maker, mommy to 9 cats and a roving band of foxes ... Blog name comes from my father's suggestion for the title of my autobiography ... after my mother's and my awful habit of flashing whenever the security police took our photo in the dark old days of apartheid South Africa. I love nature, including creepy crawlies and people, find life fascinating and frustrating and have two terrible weaknesses - nictotine and animals in distress ... can't abide the latter situation and can't give up the former. I'm Pagan but not anti-Christian, funny but quite serious, light-hearted but can be annoying. I am warm-hearted until someone p*sses on me too much, then I get soggy and even. Feel free to link me but all the words on these pages is copyrighted, so copy it and take the credit and I will find you and slap you upside the head, hard. The blog is probably best read via category as there is loads on here already, and I just got started :-)
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2 Responses to How I learned that Turtle oil is NOT made out of turtles … aka What Love Is

  1. paulaannwalker says:

    🙂 So good to picture this 🙂 Laughing and loving and living your extraordinary life 🙂

  2. titflasher says:

    😀 ❤ it's not the life I ever imagined but I don't think I'd change much!

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