I finally gave in and got a new pet. If you missed them, I wrote some posts in the past about the loss of my two cats, and some simple math will show you that 2 cats minus 1 cat minus another cat leaves me with a whopping no cats at all, which makes me sad. But, since cats are a lot of work, live quite a long time, and are able to generate far more grief when misfortune befalls them, I did not fill the pet-shaped void in my home with another cat, but rather… You remember that post I put up in the recent past about Pet Names, right? Well, a name I forgot to add is one I thought would be great for a pop-eyed goldfish. Peepers.
And so I was thinking one day how adorable it would be to have a pop-eyed goldfish with such a charming name. It was Saturday, May 3, and I went to the pet store and looked at the section of their aquarium that was home to several kinds of goldfish, including two of the pop-eyed variety, black moor and calico. The calico ones turned out to be far cuter, as they were orange, white, and black, kind of like little koi. There were two in particular I liked the most, a white one with orange and black spots and an orange one with black spots, the former being my top pick. But, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy one or not, so I decided to just check out the other animals just for the fun of it as I thought it over, as looking at the animals at pet stores is a bit of a pastime of mine. (You can play with the birds and the cats without the commitment and the expenditures of actually purchasing them.) There was actually an adorable cat, though, named Ziggy that I paid a visit to, who seemed quite friendly and who played with some toys while I watched him, but as much as I liked him, I decided to pass up the delightful kitty, as hard as it was. And I don’t think he was declawed anyway. I don’t do well with being assaulted with razor sharp claws.
I then went home, thinking more about my potential aquatic pet, and after a delicious lunch, I returned once again to the store, but my first focus was on the decorations to put in the bowl, because it suddenly became quite important to me that the fish had a nice place to hide and feel all safe and secure, even though I still hadn’t yet decided for sure that I would even get a fish to begin with. I guess I just get easily distracted. Anyway, not finding anything I liked, I went next to the other pet store, which always has a really neat fish collection. Unlike the other store, they have eels and shrimp and other ocean fish the other place lacks, but strangely enough, I ended up finding out that they had no goldfish at all, which is weird, considering they are really common fish, and they also had even less desirable decorations. Well, this wouldn’t do. It wouldn’t do at all. Now, whatever it is I’m saying it’s not doing, I’m really not sure. But, it wasn’t.
So I went back to the previous store, and I went about choosing all the things I thought I needed for a goldfish. I got the biggest bowl I could find, a net, some neat little river rocks that were quite lovely and wouldn’t be able to go through the strainer when I washed them, along with food (I could just see myself forgetting this), and conditioner that would hopefully get rid of anything undesirable in the water. I even found a decoration that could work, a little bridge that fit quite nicely in the bowl and would have plenty of space beneath for the fish to hide under.
And then I needed to choose my fish, which was more or less the most important task of all. Well, I found my first choice to be missing already (apparently May 3 was popeyed-goldfish-purchasing day, unless the fish was, in fact, fish-napped), but choice two was still present, which was fortunate, as the other fish were less pretty, and their eyes were a bit too bulbous. (Because I am shallow and want a physically attractive pet.) And then I fought with myself for a while, wondering if I really should be committing to a pet and questioning myself as to whether or not I would regret the decision an hour later, but in the end, I bought the fish, which the person claimed was probably female (I have no idea how you can tell, but I was pleased with her guess, nonetheless) and brought my new pet (affectionately dubbed Peepers, of course) home.
Once there, I got her all set up in her new bowl, and I spent a great deal of time just watching her swim in circles around the bowl’s perimeter, as I urged her to just swim under the darn bridge already. For a while, she refused to oblige, only swimming over the bridge on occasion rather than under, but eventually, I cheered and applauded when she finally swam under the bridge. Victory! I ended up getting a great deal of joy from watching her, and she began spending quite a bit of time swimming under the bridge or simply hanging out under it. (I made a great choice, it seems.) And even though she was a simple fish, she was quite entertaining. She had quite a bit of energy, swimming all about her bowl and wiggling her little tail about, and sometimes she would even push the rocks about with her head. (I guess she didn’t like where I placed them.) And now that I was able to get a better view of her, I saw that she had black stripes on her otherwise clear fins that I hadn’t seen before, along with a few extra shiny scales here and there on her sides. All in all, she’s very pretty and quite lively, as well, and most of all, super adorable, at just about two inches long. (Sorry for the low quality of the images. All I had to take pictures with were various devices that weren’t cameras.)
And then her first dinnertime came, though feeding her wasn’t particularly successful at first, as she had trouble finding the food I had given her (in flake form, as it looked easier for her tiny self to consume). Then, that night, she appeared to have gone to bed around 9:20, as I found her to just be sitting there behind the bridge, eyes and gills moving, but otherwise still. A later check confirmed her to still be in the same spot, still snoozing, which was quite adorable, as I never knew whether or not fish had regular bedtimes.
Peepers was up bright and early the next morning, as I found her swimming about at 5:40 in the morning, when I went to check that she was still alive. And as the day went on, I continued to watch her antics. Once, she sped up to the surface of the water, making me rather worried she would jump and escape from her bowl (and wreak moist havoc, as fish are known to do), and she also spent a lot of time going to the top of her bowl, opening and closing her mouth at the surface of the water and making little bloop sounds you could hear from across the room. (And I don’t believe she is in any distress when she does this. I think she just wants a snack, as she’s already mastered the deadly sin of gluttony.) And that evening, I finally got to see her eat (I couldn’t tell if she ate the breakfast I gave her or not). It took her some time to find it, but once she did, she sucked it right in, and then proceeded to move about the surface, looking this way and that and opening and closing her mouth as she searched for more snacks.
And now, Peepers is still doing quite well, and I’m surprised at how much fun a little fish can be. She is so very adorable, the way she swims about so vigorously and makes all her bloop sounds. Sometimes, she even seems to come to me when I get near her bowl, and she appears to turn in my direction regardless of where I stand, which is pretty darn adorable (as long as it’s not a simple coincidence). And it really is nice having a living thing in the house again that I can take care of, and I can only hope that Peepers and I will have a lot more joy ahead of us. (Though, I do hope the prediction of her growing to eight inches is inaccurate, as she’s so darn cute as she is now. Well, I’d better take pictures of her while she’s little. They grow up so fast.)