If your pet goes missing, what do you do? You search for it. You don’t assume that it somehow got away because you left the door open, because hello? It could actually still be in the house.
That’s not what the Almeida household did when their pet tortoise went missing. Search for the pet, I mean. Instead, they assumed Manuela the tortoise had escaped somehow and went along living their lives, not knowing that their pet was slowly plotting to kill them all in the upstairs storeroom.
I kid. Tortoises don’t kill; only cats do.
So it was surprise to everyone in the family when Manuela almost ended up in the trash as the family was cleaning out their storeroom after 30 long years. Lucky for him and everyone else, a neighbor saw him in the garbage bag before the collectors came to take the trash away.
As for how Manuela survived in the storeroom: no, it did not kill roaches or eat rats. Rather, it chowed down on termites. Funny how it was still doing the family a favor even if they had forgotten or given up the search to find him.
Moral of the story: If you’re a forgetful, irresponsible dude–get a tortoise.