Tortoise Tommy Confusion Delights Caddington’s Ruth

A case of mistaken identity proved to be a tonic for Caddington resident Ruth when she mistook a visiting tortoise for her own pet.

Homemaker Anna wanted to surprise the residents by bringing her tortoise Tommy in for a visit.

When the unusual fellow arrived, Wellbeing & Lifestyle Coach Claire O’Neill offered to take him to meet each resident one-to-one.

But when she arrived at Ruth’s bedroom, hilarity ensued as Tommy’s name led to crossed wires.

Claire said: “When I walked in with Tommy, Ruth’s face lit up, and she was convinced it was her tortoise, Tom.

“As their names are so similar, when she asked me if it was Tom, I said, ‘yes’, thinking she’d heard from one of my colleagues that he was en route to meet her.

“It took us a while to realise that we were talking about two different tortoises! Ruth thought I was holding her lifelong pet Tom, not Anna’s tortoise Tommy.”

Ruth’s confusion was perfectly understandable as her Tom is still very much alive and now residing with her daughter Phillipa.

As Anna’s Tommy made himself comfortable on her bed, Ruth shared her memories of meeting her tortoise for the first time.

Claire said: “Ruth told me about the day she and her siblings were in town and spotted tortoises in the front window of the pet shop.

“Her mum agreed to buy Tommy for her and he cost sixpence. Ruth was very excited to take him home.

“Tom has been with Ruth since childhood, and he’s still a cherished family member.

“It was lovely to see her reaction to Anna’s Tommy and to talk to her about being a tortoise owner.”

Other residents also got a lot out of the visit. For John, meeting Tommy was a unique experience as he’d never seen a tortoise in real life before.

Claire said: “Tommy was very popular, and it was amazing to think we were able to give John his first in-person tortoise experience.

“We wanted to feed him too, but Anna told us he’s a very fussy eater. Apparently, that’s the case with many tortoises, as Ruth told us her Tom was also picky.

“Thankfully, Chef had some gem lettuce for us to offer, so Tommy didn’t go hungry.”