December 18, 2006

Jinxy is was a very stubborn fish

My gay cat post was a big hit, but this adventure in pet land is a little more depressing. Gay cats? Comedy gold. Dying Betta's? Not so much.

Here's the story in a nutshell: I got a new pet Betta on January 13th (a Friday, hence the name "Jinxy"). Jinxy was a very good fish. He was beautiful and blue with long flowing fins. Like most ornamental fish, he didn't really do much, but I really enjoyed how Jinxy swam and how I even trained him to eat fish food pellets from my finger.

I know fish don't live forever, but I was hoping for a good year or two out of him. $4.95 for a desk companion is not that much, but his presence was priceless at times. Alas, last week he started to decline. He has been hanging out on the bottom of his posh tank all lethargic-like and not eating or swimming anymore. I knew he was on his way out. Each day I thought would be his last as his respirations became slower and slower.

This morning, I fully expected him to be teets up and then I'd give him a proper burial beneath the maple tree outside (shut up, Mr. O). When I arrived, sure enough, he was bloated and pale on the bottom, listing severely to the right. I did not see his gills moving anymore. Prepared to transport his little lifeless fishy body outside, I reached in with the fish net and ... lo! Jinxy frantically swam around and around. Gah!

I am torn between euthanasia and letting nature takes its course. I have a lot of issues with seeing a fish die a slow (although likely pretty painless and fearless) death. I am holding out a teensy shred of hope that he's just got the fish flu and he'll recover. It's doubtful but I can't bring myself to put a little pillow over his face and end it now. What to do, what to do?

Well, he lived a good life and I think he was as happy as a Siamese Fighting Fish can be in an aquarium in a cubicle in an office in Orange County. He watched me clean and rearrange my desk many times. He made me calm. He made people smile. When he goes, he will be missed.

Bye, Jinxy. Thanks for being a good fish.

A note of special thanks goes to Mr. Q for providing me invaluable hospice counseling all last week. I have worked my way through appropriate grief and I am at peace with the end of this little fish's life. It really pays to be married to a hospice guy who gives good grief counseling. Go me!

Update: My dear beloved Jinxy died peacefully at about 4:20 p.m. today. He is now buried 'neath the maple tree outside my office. God, I thought that fish was never going to die. The last thing I said to him was: Die already, die!!!!! The compassion is overwhelming. I know.

How long should I mourn before I get a new fish? Is one day long enough?



At 15:17, Anonymous luckybuzz said...

Aw--sorry to hear about Jinxy. Sounds like he had a good life.

And that is quite a moving illustration. Thanks for not including a picture of the little pillow.

At 07:17, Blogger crse said...

ok i think ive recovered from my jealousy of luckybuzz's crush on you that i can post. Im glad Jinxy went peacefully. I had a horrible bad thing go on where one literally jumped out of the tank because of what appeared to be an inter-"fish"-al dispute... Im still sorry about the fish though. Im going on to read the gay cat post....

At 15:37, Blogger my imperfect offering said...

Aw, poor fishy! :(

At 07:11, Blogger Chris said...

We finally stopped keeping bettas because they died. Our last two were cajun fish (we guessed) so we named one Meaux and the other Jeaux. When they died, we lost our Meaux-Jeaux.

At 18:29, Blogger BarbaraM said...

Most people just flush their fish. IT was nice of you to give him a proper burial.

Did you get a new one yet?

At 10:50, Blogger Miss Ann Thrope said...

Merry Christmas!


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