Sunday, October 14, 2007

R.I.P., Glory

Have y'all missed me?

I've taken a break from posting to 1) get over the terrible chest cold passed on to me by my darling daughter, and 2) enjoy our fall break. Thank goodness for this long weekend; without it, I probably would have missed a couple of days of work to get my voice back and stop hacking.

It has been a sad weekend in Cranky Land. Glory, aka Glory B., aka Ainsley's First Fish, died yesterday. I wasn't terribly surprised; she had been lethargic and seemed to be gasping for air (in as much as a fish gasps for air underwater) for a couple of days. I think she got a pebble or something lodged in her gullet, as she seemed a little puffy around the gills and in her "throat", and it seemed like her air bladder was off. She swam a little lopsided in her last week. Short of performing fish surgery, I felt there wasn't too much I could do. I read that feeding a goldie peas when it's swimming lopsided can help fix the air bladder problem, but that only worked for a day or so. We just had to watch the poor little thing go downhill. And then we came back from a Saturday at the pumpkin patch, and she wasn't swimming at all; she was just laying at the bottom of the tank. Dead. I can't believe I am saying this, but I am in mourning for a fish.

We tried to distract Ainsley while the, um, burial took place, but she walked into the bathroom and saw her daddy holding the fish net after the final flush.

"Why did you put Glory in the potty?" she asked. And before her befuddled father could come up with something profound, she came to her own conclusions. "Is it so she could get to the ocean?"

Thank God for the wisdom in Finding Nemo.

We, of course, had already broken the news to her and she took it better than I thought. She said she was sad, and she definitely was quiet after witnessing the flush, but in minutes she was talking about getting another fish. She already knew she wanted an orange one this time and that she would name it "Ila" (at least I think that's how we spell it; I have no idea where she got this name, but it's pronounced Eye-la.)

I was more broken up over it than Ains. I hold myself responsible. Jason and I had done so much for this fish; we changed water until the ammonia and nitite levels got to zero, we were careful not to over-feed, and in general worried and fussed and put tremendous energy into preserving a $10 fish. Apparently, it wasn't enough. And I realized last night, as I teared up at dinner (while hubby looked at me like I'm the crazy that I am) that I loved Glory. I let myself get attached, like I always do to animals.

I'm going to miss her beauty. She was a black moor goldfish, which (as the name implies) is a black, velvety-looking fish with big googly eyes that stick way out from its head. She had personality for a fish; she came up to look at us through the glass when we entered the room, she adored eating mashed peas, and she blew bubbles at the top of the tank when she got excited. And she was the first pet my daughter actually chose to have, and helped to look after and care for. I associate that fish with my little Ains somehow, since for the past two months they've shared a room and I have said goodnight to both of them each evening. Seeing that fish on the bottom of that tank broke my heart.

We got the replacement fish, Ila, today, and it's just not the same. Ila is your standard old orange goldfish. She's very spirited and was hard to catch at the store (and Ainsley had already picked her out, so the poor salesgirl had to spend a solid minute chasing this one fish around the tank.) She's a lightning-fast swimmer and seems agressive; she keeps knocking against the bottom part of the filter to pick the plant scraps off of it, and when she does, the whole thing shimmies like it's going to break off. When one of us looks into the tank, she hides behind the nearest plant. She doesn't like people very much. Which makes it hard for all of us to like her.

Which is probably a good thing, given our track record so far with the fishes. The less attached we get, the better.

But it's just not as fun.

So, Glory, as you make your journey to the "ocean", may you rest in peace. You were a good fish.

1 comment:

Karen said...

You all are far more honest than we are. I believe my in-laws are on "Dorothy" number 11 by this point. Though I think Gwen is just playing along to make us feel better. She's made several comments about the fish being a different Dorothy. ;)