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

Animals & Nature Dec 13, 2023

In a world where pets usually don’t stick around long, Caitlin Doran from Los Angeles, California, does things differently with her super cool buddy, Tiptoe, a massive 175-pound African tortoise. These two pals have been hanging out for a whopping 22 years, and everyone’s going wild about their awesome friendship online. They’re like internet famous now!

In 2001, when Caitlin was just seven, she got a really cool Christmas present – Tiptoe, the African tortoise. She had no clue that Tiptoe would stick around and be there for everything, like when she finished school and went to college. Tiptoe’s been with her through all the big moments!

Photo credit to respective owner

Tiptoe, who’s now a big 22-year-old tortoise, chills out in Caitlin’s backyard, living the high life with his very own pool. Caitlin goes all out, making special meals of fruits and veggies just for him, treating him like a real tortoise royalty!

Photo credit to respective owner

Their ride to internet fame kicked off when Caitlin began posting videos of Tiptoe’s day-to-day antics on TikTok during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020. She never thought it would blow up, but millions of people fell in love with Tiptoe’s adorable charm.


AD I need food breaks halfway through my walks too @DoorDash #doordashpartner

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Caitlin and Tiptoe have become super famous with more than 4.5 million fans on TikTok. Even though Tiptoe’s now a big deal, he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still his sassy, carefree self, not bothered about any training, living his life just how he likes it and winning hearts all across the globe.

But Caitlin wants folks considering getting a tortoise to know it’s a big deal. She remembers how her family didn’t realize the responsibility at first and the tough times they had as Tiptoe got bigger real quick. Still, she’s sticking to taking care of him through his potential 80-120 year life span.


Tiptoe’s ready to take on the hurricane 🐢💕

♬ hospital beach – Cottonwood Firing Squad

While Caitlin keeps making those sweet videos with Tiptoe, she’s not just spreading happiness but also passing on an important message. In this crazy fast internet world, Tiptoe shows us the value of taking it slow – a little reminder that sometimes, going at a steady pace actually gets the job done!

Their tale hits home with viewers, providing a sunny getaway from all the online negativity. Caitlin intends to keep rolling out videos for as long as possible, feeling thankful for the love they’ve gotten and how their videos have brightened the days of folks going through rough patches.

As Caitlin and Tiptoe set off on more adventures together, their lasting friendship stands for love and patience. In a world where things rush by, their story shows us how beautiful it is to have a lifelong connection with a special pet. If you’re an animal lover and appreciate the joy they bring, share this heartwarming tale!