On Saturday Joey came to me and said his fish wasn’t looking so good. I asked, “Is he floating at the top of the tank?”
“No” he replied.
“Then he’s fine.”
Joey was not satisfied with this answer so I went to take a look. Sure enough he did not look so good. I wasn’t sure what to do about that. I didn’t grow up having pets (except the summer we had a hamster) and the only other pets our kids have had is a guinea pig. Guinea (I know what a creative name) was Joey’s guinea pig and lived for almost two years and when it was his time to go we just woke up one morning and he was gone. It was actually really sad considering the scope of things but there was no dying period.
The kids all got their own fish a couple of summers ago. The kids were getting antsy and it was only the end of July so I told them if they could do their checklist (clean room, read, stop running around outside in their socks) all month they could win a fish. With some wiggle room they all earned their fish.
Josh’s fish was the first to go, found him floating at the top of the tank, but the other three have survived going on 18 months (I don’t know what that is in people years.)
So my first thought, when I saw this fish, is that we have to put him out of his misery. He had lost some of his coloring and his fins looked shriveled. I briefly thought maybe there was some kind of medicine at the pet store that would help, or maybe a change in diet? If I did decide to put him out of his misery how would one do that? Just flush him alive and hope for the best? But then he is just suffering in a different, less inviting environment. I think he would much prefer a hospice type arrangement.
My thoughts flashed to the future with Joey laying on the therapist’s couch, “And then she just flushed him…he was still alive and she flushed him…oh Finn!” So I decided the best thing was to wait and see.
The next day Finn was gone. Joey thought maybe he should keep Finn in a little treasure box on his desk but I thought the aroma may make that unpleasant. Then I thought, what if we cremated him? I started to think about how one would go about cremating a fish and what exactly would be left after the process and then I said, “I think we should flush him and create a memorial instead.”
So we had a bowl-side memorial (although Joey wasn’t that interested, “It was a fish, Mom” I did it because that’s what “good” moms do.) Then we put a small wood cross in his fish tank in remembrance of all the good times we had together.
What am I going to do when I cave to the “When can we get a puppy?” plea?