*** There is no memorial poem because Older Girl took the news on the chin, cried a little, and promptly asked for a new pet (I won't say I told you so). However, The Boy was bereft. His little mouth turned so far down that I think the corners went past his chin, if that is physically possible. He cried. and cried. and then cried a little more, and then just looked so sad for the rest of the afternoon. Still waters run deep anyone?
Meanwhile, I kept checking the toilet for the watery spectre of Finbar to come back and haunt me, is that weird?
The Home Office is reporting in with sad news today - Finbar, our ancient Siamese Fighting Fish, and title-holder of The Only Pet in the House - has gone to the big fresh water aquarium in the sky. I'm not surprised, given that Rob and I have had a death-watch going for a few days now; it was a matter of time, as they say.
I've been gently dropping hints the size of A-bombs to Older Girl that perhaps Finny would not be around much longer. She was all right as long as it was a concept - Life Without Fish - and not a reality - Your Fish is Dead. When I break the news this afternoon, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, most likely followed by a memorial poem and renewed pleas for "that dog we've all been wanting." (The pleas will of course fall on deaf ears, but if there is a memorial poem, I'll be sure to post it.)
Finbar was remarkably long-lived, the Methuselah of betta fish, considering we bought him at the mall almost three years ago. The mall! Who sells glass jars of fish at a rickety kiosk in the mall? More importantly, who buys fish from a kiosk in the mall? I guess that would be me. I fully expected him to pass on about two and a half years ago, but he surprised us all by kicking around his bowl until this morning.
That's not to say that we gave him much help in eluding the icy hand of death. Many's the time I walked by his home and felt him giving me the fish eye, as it were, for letting him languish in a fetid pool of fish waste and uneaten food pellets. I always managed to rescue him in enough time for him to rally; oxygenation does wonders apparently. But this time, there was no amazing comeback, just a quiet slipping away in the night.
And then I came across this post, and I felt the incriminating finger of neglect pointing squarely at my chest. This is what good fish parents do. I was not a good fish parent; I was absentminded at best. Now you see why he was the only pet; I'm too consumed with keeping my actual children alive.
I hope Finny enjoyed his life with us, with the constant gawking of small children and the heavy-handed feeding, because we enjoyed him. And I hope he could see past the dirty, dirty water to know that he was considered a member of the family. Rest in peace, Finbar.