Goldentail, our fish, succumbed to ick this morning.
It is the first pet the children remember dying. It is the fish we expected to die months and months ago. Nbear "won" him at the rodeo. We brought him (and we'll just go with a him just to be easy) home in a tiny plastic bowl, and I expected him to die. After all, how long had he been sitting outside in this plastic bowl as a potential carnival prize? Seriously, it could not be a long-living fish.
So I borrowed a bowl from a friend to lessen our investment into something that may not be around for very long. He was named Goldentail, from the naming conventions of a beloved series of Cat Warrior books. Goldentail hung out on the coffee table, flitting about with the company of a snail. Still he survived.
Our petsitting needs now involved a friend coming inside the house, just to feed Goldentail, while we were gone. Our other fish, Doraguy (rhymes with Dorothy) thrives on neglect and doesn't need to be fed so often.
During my span of knee injury and subsequent surgery, I spent a lot of time with my leg propped up on the sofa with Goldentail as my "companion." I had been become used to Doraguy. She is a master of hovering, floating, studying the plants and then gracefully and pointedly moving on to the other side of the bowl. Goldentail flitted about from top to bottom, side to side with such speed and regularity it made me dizzy. SPASTIC! And all while gulp gulp gulping around for air, breathing. But still he survived.
It was during my recovery that I realized that we'd had Goldentail for quite a while in that borrowed bowl, perhaps it was time to upgrade to a real tank with more space and an air bubbler thingee. A perfect Christmas gift!
Of course our story takes a turn here, for in our enthusiasm for having a "fish tank" vs. one fish in a bowl, we brought home some guppies to liven things up a bit. I think they brought the ICK with them.
So today Goldentail (and the guppies) were buried outside next to the fish pond and the passion vine. And our children are very saddened by it. It is never easy.