January 21, 2011

Oh Caterpillar; MY Caterpillar

Let me preface this post by saying "Please do not call PETA. Seriously... Please don't!"

In September Caterpillar, {our Beta}celebrated his one year anniversary with us. Which is, incidentally, the last time I changed the water in his tank. See... I wasn't kidding.  Bad, I know. So here we are four months after his last water change and I find myself pleading with this fish, A fish that was supposed to be Gigi and Lula's pet. A fish that my hubby insists is only fed when he's is in town and remembers to do so. Not true, I remember at least once a day; So that means when hubby is home Caterpillar gets fed three times a day vs. the two times he is supposed to be fed.  So here I am, a week after noticing poor Caterpillar wasn't looking so hot and three days past a clean tank and some fresh water wondering if this is it for my little aquatic pal.

Caterpillar came to be with us last fall after we attempted to get Gigi and Lula their own cat. Hubby's cat Sami {may she rest in peace} had bitten the girls for the last time and I was insistent that we needed a pet that the kids could play with. After a few months of searching we found Pablo. Pablo lasted about 3 days. He was a "Love Biter" and we were not bringing another biting cat into this house!  When it was decided Pablo had to go I had no idea if or when we would find a replacement. So I took the girls to Petco and they picked out two goldfish {Tinkerbell and Nemo}.  We bought a small tank, rocks, a plant and all the other supplies we would need.  It was actually kind of fun. Goldfish can't bite, the girls can watch them and learn how to care for a low-maintenance pet.  12 hours later the girls got their first lesson in the circle of life. BOTH Tink and Nemo were belly up. Oy Vey!

So back to the pet store we go. In college my roommate and I kept two Betas alive in Vodka bottles all year. So if two drunken college students can manage to keep a few betas alive I was sure we could do it too! So Gigi picked out a purple-ish / blue Beta and on the way home, proclaimed "His name is Caterpillar!"  Ah.... okay I have no idea where that name came from and frankly "butterfly" would have made a lot more sense to me, but.... He is her pet and this is the first time, {other than Tinkerbell and Nemo} that she hadn't named something after herself, so... "Great name Gigi! I think it's perfect!"

Two months later my amazing aunt and uncle, who "know" animals about as well as one can {4-5 dogs at all times, a cat and 3 horses} found Handsome Hal for us.  Hal is..... perfect. He is tolerant, sweet,independent  and snuggley all at the same time. Handsome Hal puts up with poking and prodding and being used as a pillow. He is the perfect pet for the girls, but that left Caterpillar. Poor fish.  Except for once every few months as Lula notices this tank on her way to wash her hands the girls hardly notice the fish. It's a catch 22. When they do notice the fish they dump and entire container of fish food in his tan k and on the floor, and when they don't notice him, Hubby and I are left holding the bag. Honestly.... Between the girls, the cat, his liter box, the house the laundry and whatever other responsibilities I choose to ignore the last thing I need is another living creature "needing of me".  But I am so sad that this could be the end for my little buddy Caterpillar.  
Oh Caterpillar; My Caterpillar - If you pull through, I promise to make a concerted effort to take better care of you. Starting with a new light bulb for your tank..... when I get around to it that is.

With fingers crossed,


Shannon said...

At least you aren't torturing the poor fish on purpose. Seriously. Just today I found out that in Anatomy and Physiology, we have to put a poor, defenseless fish into insulin shock. I haven't decided whether to call PETA or bring my glucose tablets with me to class that day. Poor fish. I hope your Beta pulls through.

Wendy said...

Well....may Caterpillar RIP if it comes down to it. Fly caterpillar, fly?

I'd totally be interested to see what happens to Shannon's fish at school. Not that I don't see enough hypoglycemia around here already...sigh...

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