Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fish are Like Flowers

We have fish, somewhat unintentionally - sort of the unplanned pregnancy of pet acquisition.   We have the fish that was a party favor at a birthday party (replacement #3 of that fish, I should say) along with his/her two friends.  

Here's how that worked:  Go to birthday party where they are giving out fish. Child begs you to keep fish. Remember how mad you were that your mom wouldn't let you keep carnival goldfish. Allow fish to be selected from kiddie pool by teenager with net and placed in bag.  Go to store and spend $80 on fish supplies and two nineteen cent "friends" for free fish.  Allow children to name fish: Monkey, Banana, and Friend.
Fish are fun and pretty to look at.  And then they die.  And then children cry and will eventually need therapy from the trauma.  So I get new fish and pretend they are the same fish, except the children recognize minute differences in the fish and I confess under pressure that I got new similar fish.  And then the new fish mysteriously die, too. And children cry.  This time, I explain that fish are like flowers.  They are living creatures and pretty to look at, but they don't always last very long.  This seems to be accepted and the tears dry up.  Monkey, Banana, and Friend Version Three have been around for a year, I think. I am proud.

Last year Daddy's sister gave him a beta (fish) as a joke, because he had a fish as a kid and got very upset when it died.  In an effort to poke the old wound with a stick, she thought it would be funny to give him a fish.   The kids were excited about the pretty blue fish, and asked what to name it.

"The fish is named Mama's. Because that's whose fish it is," he said, and sent the fish home with them to my house.  It was a lovely fish for about ten months, but then it became extremely lethargic.  It's been "Beta Death Watch" for about six weeks now, and I'm not sure if it is ill or just depressed. It floats in one spot, barely moving, and just when I think it's dead, it moves to another place.

It's recent deathbed is the top of the plastic plants, purchased to somehow make it happier. Said plants have somehow become unstuck from the bottom of the tank and are now floating upside down, making a nice little fish-sofa near the surface of the water. In order to see the fish, you have to remove the lid of the tank.  

It turns out, if you are trying to determine if the fish has finally given up the ghost, the most efficient way to do that is to open the lid with a cat peering over your shoulder. Turns out that fish can move at lightning speed. Maybe it just needs an occasional adrenaline rush? 

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