“He’s lost all interest in sex,” my mother confided. Thank God she was talking about my terrapin, and I certainly assumed she was talking about his attitude towards my other terrapin.
She was describing the symptoms of his recent malaise to my cousin, who normally doctors humans, but who’d somehow been pressed into service so we could avoid paying yet another hefty vet bill to a vet who merely gave him multi-vitamin shots and a hygiene spray clearly labelled with “Do not use on iguanas and amphibians”. (I know terrapins are reptiles, but it was hardly encouraging.)
My sister walked in and declaimed “CAN YOU SAVE HIM???!!” My brother described the trends he’d been noticing in his (the terrapin’s) stool. My father sat on the couch and shook his head slowly.