By GAVIN ALEXANDER | Junior Reporter
These days kids are very into the social media platform TikTok. I recently sat down to interview Caitlin Doran and Tiptoe the tortoise.
Since launching their account this past July, Caitlin and Tiptoe have amassed more than 2.3 million followers—and they live right here in Pacific Palisades. Caitlin and Tiptoe’s first video received approximately 11 million views!
In fact, Caitlin and Tiptoe have become so popular that they recently did a collaboration with Charli (94.5 million followers) and Dixie Damelio (41.5 million followers). If you are on TikTok, you definitely know this duo and what a big deal this was for Caitlin and Tiptoe.
I had many questions for Caitlin. After all, it isn’t very often you see a 180-pound tortoise walking around the neighborhood. Caitlin has lived in the Palisades her whole life and is a multi-generation Palisadian. You may see her with Tiptoe walking through the Alphabet Streets.
I learned Santa brought Caitlin Tiptoe as a Christmas gift when she was 7 years old. At the time, Tiptoe was 3 months old and half the size of a flashcard. Tiptoe recently celebrated his 19th birthday! Over the past 19 years his growth has been steady. He now weighs a whopping 180 pounds and it takes two people to carry him.
Tiptoe is a Sulcata Tortoise. This type of tortoise can live 80-100 years! Caitlin told me Tiptoe’s diet consists mainly of hay and it costs about $80 a month to feed him. Needless to say, being Tiptoe’s owner is a long-term commitment.
When Tiptoe was seven, they moved him outside to a protected enclosure. In his enclosure, Tiptoe has unlimited hay to eat and ample space to move around.
I was curious as to how such a big tortoise got a name like Tiptoe. Caitlin told me they chose the name because he likes to walk on his tippy toes. Speaking of walks, every morning around 8am, Tiptoe kicks the door to his house open, bathes and goes on a walk around the block. This walk takes him approximately 45 minutes.
People are amazed by Tiptoe, and it is common for at least 10 different people to stop and chat with them on their walk. Sometimes, Tiptoe is joined by his best friend Gracie who is a young sweet dog. This unlikely duo gets along very well.
The biggest question I had for Caitlin was, “How has Tiptoe changed your life?” She said, “Tiptoe has really helped me appreciate the little things in life and has brought a lot of joy.” I also asked, “Why did you start a TikTok for Tiptoe?” Caitlin replied, “I have seen people create videos showing what they make their kids and thought it would be fun to show what I make Tiptoe.” Caitlin is all about family-friendly content and is very genuine which is why people are attracted to her videos.
The big question kids want to know is “How do I get TikTok famous or is it luck?” She said, “The content that we post is so friendly and it is feel-good content for everyone.”
If you are looking for a daily dose of positivity be sure to check out @caitlinandtiptoe on TikTok and be on the lookout for them around town.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.