Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pets on the Verge, Part One

I have nothing against pets. I grew up with cats and dogs and loved them. As an adult, before kids, I was working and didn't want to take on the responsibility of a pet. Once I had kids... well, I had kids. Who needs a pet when you have three little boys running around in various stages of potty training (which often evolves into potty mouth - a topic for another day)?

When my kids were very little they saved their birthday money for an aquarium. We went to the pet store and came home with a ten gallon tank and all the requisite paraphenalia, along with ten tropical fish.

Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves in a situation that required us to move to Boston for the summer. I dutifully asked the pet store what to do and triumphantly purchased several vacation feeders and handed them to my neighbor.

My neighbor did as instructed and dropped a feeder into the tank once a week. She told me that it was getting green in there, but I knew she had three kids and I was NOT going to ask her to do anything more than she was already doing.

Upon arrival home, I discovered long, flowing moss and algae. It was really disgusting. I could only locate two fish in the mess. I scooped them out into a plastic container and took the tank outside where I proceded to scrub and scrub and scrub and scrub... you get the idea. When I came inside for some more paper towels, I found the two survivors on the counter next to bowl I had placed them in. With a sigh of disappointment tainted with relief, I flushed them.

That's when the little black one started to swim. Against the current. Suddenly it was all clear. This little bugger had killed and eaten his roommates! That's why I couldn't find any other remains! And on the counter, the other fish was trying to escape a similar fate and the black one followed him over the edge in a homicidal, carnivorous rage! Oh, he was a devil fish, no doubt. So I flushed again.

Maybe it was a little cruel, but I was not taking that evil deviant fish back into my home... besides, he'd been in the toilet... ewwwwwwwwww! So I flushed again, and that damn malignant beast kept swimming against the current! I was getting really creeped out.

It took four or five flushes to send him away. I felt a little guilty at the time, but justified it as the death penalty for a fish who had obviously killed nine others, and most likely cannibalized eight of them. The guilt eased over time, but I continued to have a twinge now and then. Thank God for Finding Nemo. Thanks, Walt Disney, for telling me that "all drains lead to the ocean".

The only problem is that if that fish is in the ocean... Jaws doesn't seem all that scary anymore.



TomCat said...

Fish are for lunch. Serious pet lovers shpold adopt a friendly TomCat. Purrrrr! :-)

RUTH said...

Had to have a wistful smile at this......the same thing happened to me!! Maybe my toilet flushed goldfish has met your little black one nd lived happily ever after....ahhhh

Gledwood said...

I had an aquatic frog. It only cost £2 and was tiny. The tiniest frog by FAR I have ever set my eyes on. He lives at the bottom of the tank, requires no special lillypads, stones, or devices for getting out of the water. In the wild he would surely hide all day at the bottom and his vulnerable time is coming up for air every 1/2 an hour ... his legs just about spanned a UK5p piece which is our smallest coin. They might just span your second smallest fingernail. So these frogs are not good for keeping with cannibalfish. In fact you have to go for the diddy type of tropical fish only if you have these frogs. They are dark green, almost black. & v. entertaining. Like a miniature diver. My stepmum had a different breed in the 1970s which sounded bigger and more assertive it used to bat the fish out of the way getting at the tubifex worms ... but he hopped out of the tank never to be seen again.

I'd love to have tropical fish again. Everyone said my old set-up looked like the photographs in a how-to book. It was really beautiful.

Ooer am I rambling... where did you put the spiritual-vs-religiosity quote/comment? I've looked but cannot locate it ...

Women on the Verge said...

Below the Anna Nicole post....