Woman has lifelong friendship with her 22-year-old childhood pet tortoise — now they are viral stars

Photo credit to respective owner

In a world where pets often leave our lives too soon, Caitlin Doran from Los Angeles, California, breaks the norm with her extraordinary friend, Tiptoe, a 175-pound African tortoise. Their unique friendship, spanning an incredible 22 years, has captured hearts online and turned them into viral sensations.

Back in 2001, seven-year-old Caitlin unwrapped a special Christmas gift – Tiptoe. Little did she know that this African tortoise would become a constant companion, witnessing every milestone in her life, from school graduations to college.

Photo credit to respective owner

Tiptoe, now a hefty 22-year-old, lives a life of luxury in Caitlin’s backyard with his own pool. Caitlin lovingly prepares custom meals of fruits and veggies for him, pampering him like a true king of the tortoise world.

Photo credit to respective owner

Their journey to online stardom began during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 when Caitlin started sharing videos of Tiptoe’s daily life on TikTok. Little did she expect the overwhelming response, with millions of viewers enchanted by Tiptoe’s charm.

@caitlinandtiptoeBorn to be bursting with love 💕♬ Otra Vez – ProdMarvin

With over 4.5 million followers on TikTok, Caitlin and Tiptoe have become a global sensation. Despite his newfound fame, Tiptoe remains the same sassy, untrained lump, living life on his terms and stealing hearts worldwide.

However, Caitlin urges potential tortoise owners to understand the responsibility involved. She reflects on her family’s initial unawareness and the challenges they faced as Tiptoe grew rapidly. Yet, she remains committed to caring for him throughout his potential 80-120 year lifespan.

@caitlinandtiptoeHe booped my nose 🥹♬ can I give you a boop – ✨Walter the Catt✨

As Caitlin continues to create heartwarming videos with Tiptoe, she not only shares their joy but also imparts a valuable lesson. In the fast-paced world of the internet, Tiptoe teaches the importance of slowing down – a reminder that “slow and steady actually works.”

Their story resonates with viewers, offering a positive escape from the negativity online. Caitlin plans to keep making videos indefinitely, expressing gratitude for the love they’ve received and the impact their videos have had on people facing tough times.

@caitlinandtiptoeI can’t believe I have a 22 year old 🐢🥹💕 happy bday big T

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

As Caitlin and Tiptoe embark on more decades together, their enduring friendship becomes a symbol of love and patience. In a world that often moves too quickly, Caitlin and Tiptoe’s journey reminds us of the beauty in a lifelong bond with a special pet. Share this heartwarming tale if you adore animals and the magic they bring into our lives!