Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Fish

I have officially become my mother. I don't mean that in a derogatory way at all because I think my mom is amazing, but when it comes to purchasing household pets, I finally see why she never wanted us to have anything more than a parakeet and a fish. You see, I am the owner of two cats - one that's pretty healthy and the other that is pretty sick these days and leaves a surprise for me every morning when I open the door to our laundry room and he's spewed the contents of his tender vittles all over the linoleum floor. I know - not a pretty picture but if you're contemplating getting an animal - just make sure you don't have an affinity for fancy furniture or expensive rugs because once you welcome a furry creature with four legs into your home, then you have officially decided that you don't really care about leather sectional couches or karastan carpets.
Since the time I was a toddler, I always wanted a dog - but my parents stood firm and never acquiesed - and we didn't even have nice furniture - I just think my mom never wanted to deal with the added responsibility. She already had me, my brother and my dad to deal with, who needed to add a shitzu with a pooping problem to the mix? And so, we grew up with goldfish, the occasional tropical fish when they didn't croak the first week or jump out of the tank (a pregnant fish did that to us once) and Tweety, our beloved parakeet who my grandmother pretty much cared for until he bit the dust on my 13th birthday.
Which leads me to the events that transpired last evening with my daughter. We were about to go to dinner when she noticed a tropical fish store that she wanted to visit. A harmless excursion - or so I thought. You see, when we walked inside, we saw a treasure trove of fish, frogs, eels, coral, and expensive fish tanks that made my daughter's eyes light up. You would have thought she had just hit the jackpot or something - because the instant we started walking past the fish tanks, all she could keep saying was, "I want a fish. I want a fish!" And all I kept thinking was "I don't want to have to clean the tank. I don't want to have to clean the tank." Have you ever cleaned a fish tank before? Well it's pretty gross...not as gross as wiping up the latest present my cat Oliver left for me at 7am this morning, but the gross factor is still there.
As my daughter's excitement about the fish continued to mount, I quickly thought of reasons why we couldn't become fish owners. "We're about to go into a restaurant, Rebecca. We can't get a fish tonight."
"But I want one! I'll take care of it!" she begged.
"Oh really. Who takes care of the cats?"
"Ummm. You."
"That's right - I feed them and clean up after them and trust me, that's what'll happen with a fish."
My daughter saw where the conversation was going and decided to make a deal with me.
"If I promise to feed the cats for four months, will you buy me a fish?"
Seems like a fair deal - so we shook on it and she even started thinking of names she'd call her fish.
"I think I'll call that bug eyed one Goldy."
Fast forward to this morning and guess who got to clean up the mess and feed the cats?
Yup, me. Looks like it's going to be a long time before Goldy gets to pack his things and move into our place.


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