Saturday, September 13, 2008

Farewell to a Friendly Fish

Monday morning started like any other. The dog pooed in the living room. Miles awoke and demanded "cereal and JUICE." I surveyed the pile of papers, work, school notices and other stuff on the counter and made mental notes to deal with said crap after my coffee. I took a sip of my coffee and the next time I got around to it was cold and I dumped it. I convinced my eldest beast that he needed to get his shower done so we weren't rushing at the last minute. I was packing eldest beasts snack when Miles mentioned Plop was sleeping funny. I glanced over to the 10 gallon tank on the counter and saw, in fact, that Plop was indeed sleeping funny. Funny being upside down, slightly folded in half. I sighed and tapped the glass. I took a deep breath and told Miles I thought Plop might be dead. "Yeah, he sure is dead", Miles agreed with all the casualness of someone noticing the time and temperature at the bank. Miles' main interest was in what we would DO with Plop. I was relieved that apparently Miles was a (heartless) 3-year-old who could care less about the family fish. After all, what had Plop done for Miles lately?? I steeled myself for the real drama, though, when I had to break the news to Max. Max chose Plop out of all the gold fish at PetCo. around three years ago, named him with absolute certainty, and overfed him regularly during those first few months. (After that, no one gave a poo about Plop, but me and occasionally Rob, who cleaned the tank, fed him daily and fretted over the cat's glutinous attention to him.) That morning was like stepping into a Meryl Streep film, with dramatics and emotion flowing like a waterfall. Upon breaking the news to my nearly 7-year-old softy, his face crumpled, his throat emitted a high-pitched squeak and then, he threw himself upon the floor and sobbed for a good three minutes. After that, he quelled his tears and began asking a myriad of questions about Plops feelings, his spiritual whereabouts, his extended fish family in heaven. I answered to best of my 6am cognitive ability, and we decided to have an impromptu fish farewell ceremony. We scooped Plop from his watery grave, laid him in and old nail box made of cardboard and picked a tree-sheltered spot down by the shed to lay Plop to rest. With the exception of Rob, who was dapperly dressed for work, we were the sight in our pajamas. Well, technically Max was dressed in what we have affectionately titled his "Hugh Heffner" robe which is his preference to pajamas. Plop was laid to rest, his tank was emptied and stored away (YAY, counter space again!!) and that was that. It wasn't until later in the day I noticed the shovels hauled out of the shed and the pile of dirt. Miles, my outdoor adventurer had decided he wanted to take a look at Plop and check on him. We had a brief, but firm chat about not EVER doing that again.

Plop was a good pet. He was friendly. He never complained. He always greeted me with a smile and a wave of his fin. He never scratched my furniture or my children. He never pooed in my living room. I didn't have to walk him, or even touch him for that matter. He was with us for approximately three years and he was, indeed, a good fish.