July 10, 2009
Some of you may remember the (now) funny story of how Spencer and I became “parents” again after swearing off pets after the death of our beloved feline–Bo-Bo–in 2004.
A local public-relations agency delivered a live betta fish to our doorstep just about eight months ago. Unannounced and in an aquarium the size of a baseball, the poor neon-blue and maroon-striped fish seemed on his last legs. I triaged him and nursed him back to health, and he lived to see another day.
After a quick trip to PETCO for all the appropriate fish supplies, we named the creature “Phish.” I reasoned that if he died, I would be much less invested than if his name were Calvin or Jody or Dick.
I always thought that goldfish and their ilk were dumb animals. To my surprise and delight, Phish provided countless hours of pleasure. He seemed to sense when I’d arrive each morning to pheed him, rising to the top of his little tank to greet me and greedily snapping away at his blood worms or special betta phish phood.
Alas, about two weeks ago, his good-natured antics stopped and he spent most of his time on the bottom of his tank, not in his phavorite plastic tree. One morning, I called Spencer over to say goodbye to Phish, for I knew this would be his day of reckoning.
And sure enough, as Spencer and I watched, he started swimming frenetically around his pond. He surged to the top for a gulp of air, darted to the bottom, then back up again.
Worried that he might need phresh water, I drew some filtered water from the tap, put in some bowl conditioner, and transpherred the now almost lifeless animal to phresh water.
I went to phold some clothes, and when I came back our Phish was gone. Not knowing what else to do with his little body, I got a black cardboard box (that had once held jewelry). It was lined with cotton, which seemed phitting. So I carefully laid Phish between the plush layers and deposited him in a safe place in the phreezer.
That weekend we gave Phish a proper send-off at Golden Gardens. It seemed he came from the sea, so should go back to the sea.
P.S. If you are a member of PETA, please don’t write me a letter. Absolutely no phish were killed in the writing of this blog entry, and Phish was already gone when we put him into the phreezer and, ultimately, the waters of Puget Sound.