Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Mouths to Feed

2 babies. 2 dogs. 2 cats. And now 2 fish.  Every day I am responsible for making sure all these creatures are fed.  The babies, dogs, and cats are relentless in their yearning for meal time.  The babies cry.  The dogs hound me and nip at my heals. But our fish Ponyo and Poopy wait silently until I happen past their tank and sprinkle a little food in.

Ponyo and Poopy were Lil' Bit's gift for her second birthday.  I begged Chef not to get them.  "I have enough to deal with already. You can only get them if you promise to be the one to clean their tank."  Guess who cleaned the tank last?  Lets just say it was not Chef. 

Lil' Bit named the goldfish...Ponyo after her favorite animation character and Poopy because every time we see the fish it seems to be defecating.

We went out of town for almost two weeks in August and when we returned Poopy was twice the size as Ponyo.  At first I thought perhaps they were over fed, but both fish would have gained weight.  Now we think perhaps that Poopy is in fact a girl and that she is pregnant, which would make Ponyo a boy.  These things are hard to tell with fish.  

I have a terrible history with feeding fish.  About seven years ago my uncle who raises koi asked me to feed his fish while he and my aunt were on vacation.  He has a beautiful little pond at his house full of lily pads and vibrant koi.  Koi, like most larger fish, eat pelleted food.  The instructions were simple.  Take a scoop of food out of the bucket and toss it in the pond once a day.  I diligently fed the fish every morning, so they would have full bellies for the day.  It was a beautiful and peaceful ritual that I enjoyed, no chore about it.

It all went smoothly until 2 days before their return.  I went over in the early morning hours like usual and to my horror all of my uncle's gorgeous koi, that he had bred and raised himself, were floating belly up amongst the lilly pads in the soft morning light.  Total massacre.  It is an image that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  I thought for sure it was me who killed them, given that they were left in my stewardship.  It turned out that something happened with the pump in the pond and they did not have enough oxygen.  So, I was off the hook so to speak...but I still felt terrible.

I am a Pisces so at the risk of sounding terribly New Age, I have a certain affinity towards fish.  Even though I resent having two more mouths to feed at home in a day, I love to watch out fish swirl about their little tank.  I find it relaxing, although I do feel little guilty that they are trapped in there for the rest of their lives with only little stinky red flakes of food to eat.  At least they have each other, Ponyo and Poopy...and perhaps one day they will have a family.  

Goldfish love to eat their babies.  They loooove the taste of their fry...the little cannibals.  I have no idea what I am going to tell Lil' Bit if Poopy has babies and then eats them.  "She wanted to keep her babies in her tummy because they tickle."  That is the best I can come up with.  I hope she buys it.

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