Tuesday, August 24, 2010

R.I.P. Pepé

Pepé the Beta fish.

Pepé died last week.

In most households with children, pets come and pets go. We knew Pepé wouldn't be around forever ... most beta fish live a maximum of three years. Pepé lasted 2 1/2 years. SWAC Daughter gave him a nice burial in the flower garden using a tiny tin Jelly Belly container as his final resting place.

In 2008 I wrote about the new resident at our house:
We are the new owners of a fish ... or, more accurately, SWAC Daughter is the new owner of a fish. She received it as a Valentine's gift from a friend and it now resides in its bowl near the wood stove.

As a tropical fish, it is supposed to have a minimum of 73 degrees to be comfortable. In the winter, it is rarely 73 degrees in our house ... except near the wood stove while it's cranked. When the fire dies down, the chill sets in. This fish will have to adapt until summer.

SWAC Daughter named him "Pepé" after the shrimp in the Muppets. Cute name. Cute fish.

Curiously, I've never owned a fish, never had a desire to own a fish ... I mean, what can you do with a fish? You cannot cuddle it or pet it. It just swims in its bowl.

But a funny thing happened on my way to ignoring this fish. I got attached to it by default. With SWAC Daughter's busy schedule ("Don't depend on me to feed that fish," I had told her), I have found myself drawn to it. When it's time to feed it, I took the food and, not realizing most folks throw the food pellets on top of the water, fed the fish one pellet at a time. He got used to me and I got used to him ... to the point where he now gets all excited and flips around and is animated when it's time to be fed.

I do believe this fish has a personality.

Wait a minute. I am not going to become attached to a fish.

But here I am writing about it and even posting a photo of this beautiful blue sea creature living in my family room....

You know ... a fish isn't such a bad pet after all.
When SWAC Daughter posted on Facebook that Pepé had gone to the great fish bowl in the sky, she had many comments including those who remembered he loved to swim on his side ... the beta fish that thought he was a flounder. To think he lived in the same household with a cat that never knew he existed!

R.I.P. Pepé.

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