Monday, May 23, 2011

Farewell, Dear Fish!

Yesterday, my loyal, unnamed goldfish, which was more white than gold and cost me all of 12 cents at Petco, moved on to a new stage of life.  After three and a half years in my care, it (I always considered my goldfish to be gender-neutral) had grown too large for my conscience to keep it in its gallon bowl, and thus I unceremoniously dumped it into a fish pond in the backyard of one of my mother's friends.  (It's cool; she knew in advance.)

My fish has the potential to thrive there for many, many years...and the important thing is that if it doesn't, I will never know about it so whatever. 

Though I had little to no emotional attachment to it (it's a damn fish), it did keep me company through all those gazillon hours I spent editing I'm Stalking Jake!  Because of this, it seemed only fair to pay a photo tribute to it:

But unfortunately, that's not my fish.  I got tired of looking through my hard drive to find pictures of it, so I just pulled the above photo off some random site on the internet. 

Something much easier for me to locate was my original blog entry documenting its purchase in January of 2008.  So today, we flash back:

Erin and I bought new running shoes over the weekend, so hopefully I will be able to continue (i.e., re-start) my training regimen without excruciating knee/foot pain after mile 5.  Did you know that 90% of women wear shoes that are a size too small?!  It's true; I read it in a running book.  Did you know that since high school, I've worn a size 8 when apparently (as I learned on Friday), my foot is a size 7?  How did I not notice, sometime in the past decade, that I was wearing shoes too big for my feet?! 

During that same outing with Erin, I bought two twelve-cent goldfish, officially kicking off my toe-in-the-water approach to pet ownership.  I almost suffocated them both by putting them in a bowl too small, so right now they are living in a mixing bowl (used by normal people for cooking; used by me to soak my feet after running in shoes a size too large).  I hope to transfer one back into the bowl today and the other into a small plastic container thingy that once housed my pet crayfish (I'm just waiting for the water in each to reach room temperature).  In all honesty, I was halfway hoping one of the fish would die so as to take away the problem of dealing with separate living arrangements for each of them.  I didn't even want two fish, but the guy who scooped them out of the tank for me said it would be a good idea to get two because of the likelihood of one dying.  Which has not happened.  Which is how I ended up with two goldfish living in a mixing bowl.

And then there was another paragraph about the cat I was going to get, because this was during the era in my life when I thought I could be responsible for a mammal.  (HA!)  Perhaps we'll flash back to the cat story sometime in the future...

(Note:  The second fish died the next day.  Apparently the dude at the pet store knew what he was talking about after all.)

(Second note:  I fully plan on buying a replacement goldfish later this week!)


  1. Aw thats sad :( when u get the new one, do me a favor and give it a name. Hegwig or Ron or something! Lol pets need names!

  2. HA! Hedwig would be an awesome name for a fish!! :) I'm awful about naming things. When I was little, I had a cat that I never named! With fish it's even harder because there's no real emotional connection...but I'll see what I can do this time around! ;)

  3. My fish just died today. I did develop attachment to it and so did my kids. I bought it 3.5 years ago as a feeder with 9 other fish for the pond to keep the mosquitos away. I even left them in the little pond over the winter. It was an experiment. Someone told me they would hibernate. I could hear the water circulate under the snow and ice. During spring cleaning I found 3 and they had grown a few inches and filled out to a nice size. During the cleaning 2 of them got sucked into the pump but this one got lucky. I took him in the house and set up the tank where it lived for the next 2.5 years. I never put him back into the pond. My boys gave it gender and one called him Goldie the other called him Leftie. We fed him and he kept us company in the office. He always came to the side where I was when it was time to feed. We feel sad, although I am not crying like when I lost my dog last September but my kids got teary eyed. We will decide how to dispose of it and I will take down the tank when the kids are asleep. I won't have another fish for a while. My one senior dog that is left is enough work.
    I always had a name for single pet fish. I had Charlie and Lacey, they were male bettas. Who cares if one had a girly name? LOL When I had the tank full of fish they didn't have names. I guess a single fish is more like a pet, not a decoration like a tank full of fish. But it is still a lot of work to keep the water clean.

  4. That was beautiful, and I sincerely thank you for sharing it.

    I did wind up getting another goldfish (another feeder!) and this one has a slightly different personality than the last. I never thought of fish having personalities until I spent several years sitting with different fish within eyesight of my computer.

    I have a betta, too, but I've always liked goldfish better. They seem heartier...or happier...or something...

    I'm sorry to hear about your fish, but I'm glad he (she?) lived such a full and adventurous life (because truly, for a fish, that was an adventure!). I agree with you that there is something different about a single fish. I had an aquarium when I was younger and never remember looking at the fish as much as I do my two in bowls...

    And YES. Changing the water is a pain! But so far, it's been worth it for me. I really thank you for your comment and if you ever get another fish, I hope you'll stop by and let me know. :)

  5. I feel little better after reading this.

    My goldfish died yesterday. I had him for 6 years! And he was the most beautiful big fish. He endured so much in his life; 4 moves of houses, torture from boys during my college years (they used to swirl his water or even grab him and hold him out of the water. awful boys), overfeeding from a housemate while I was on holiday (I came home and the water was a thick brown muck, but he was still alive!). He too, like your fish, used to keep me company. I have no family in the city I live, so he was my family for 6 years. I will miss him dearly.

    I'm cleaning out the tank as I write. It's such a sad process. But burying him was the hardest part. He is now resting in a garden at my favourite yoga studio. I thought it would be the best place, as there is so much love and good energy there, and that is what he deserves.

    Goodbye Fishie.