My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mr. Fish

In honor of our beloved Grommie, who passed away recently, I figured I should discuss the other important fish in my life: Mr. Fish.

I had won/fished him out of a fish pond during one of Cavalier's summer Crazy Days when I was a kid. And unlike all other free goldfish that you get as a kid, he refused to die. He lived for 7 or 8 years before I headed off to school at Stanford. My sophomore year at school I decided that I was going to bring him with to school. Since my parents and I annually drove from North Dakota to Stanford, it wasn't that big of a deal, other than the 4-day road trip. We just emptied out half of his tank and let him slosh around in the car all the way out. I believe his favorite stop was a night at one of the stateline casinos in Nevada.

Once at school, Mr. Fish made lots of friends. My draw group (extended group of roommates) all doted on him. In fact, when I would go back to North Dakota, Mr. Fish went home to Fresno/Clovis, CA with my friend, Sue. Her family loves to fish and they treated Mr. Fish as a demi-god. Sue's dad refused to let her fill his tank with their tap water, instead insisting that she use their bottled water. Anyway, I digress. Mr. Fish lived with us through that sophomore year at Storey House, the following summer when we lived in moderate filth at the Sigma Chi frat house (it was the cheapest place to live), and then the following year when we lived in the Arroyo dorm.

Toward the end of his life, Mr. Fish stopped moving very much. He pretty much lurked on the bottom of his tank. He had been white for years, having lost all of his coloring sometime before heading out to California (and no, he didn't tan in the CA sun). Eventually he also developed some sort of cataract thing, where his eyes bulged, and then one day (one at a time) collapsed inward - very weird.

Anyway, Mr. Fish survived through finals week of Spring Quarter, and then he went quietly. Since I was quite attached to him, there was no way I was going to flush him down the toilet, and there was the issue that he was so big, he stood a chance of clogging the toilet. I briefly pondered taxidermy, but when I found out how much that cost, I instead opted for a frozen funeral. All summer he lived in my dorm fridge's mini freezer. In August when I flew home to North Dakota, I bought him a very nice little thermos and ice pack, put his frozen carcass in the thermos, and flew home with him so that he could be buried in the Cummings pet cemetery. Obviously, this was pre-9/11 when security wasn't quite so tight.

So the take-home point from my little ramble today. Of all my pets, my dogs are definitely the ones that I love best, but there is no reason why I cannot also have some attachment to my fish, too. There is no shame in wanting to provide a proper funeral for all of your pets.

2 comments:

Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

I really enjoyed this post. I think it's wonderful that you loved Mr. Fish so much. We have six dogs who are our "kids" and we love them very much. We've had three other "kids" pass and have their ashes and pictures upstairs.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

My husband has 4 pet goldfish that are about ten years old. They are very big too. I am not attached to them, but he is, and would very much understand all the fuss in moving with the fish.