Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Fish Tale

When I was 7, I got a fish tank for my birthday. I was SOOOO excited. I knew I was getting it and I just waited and waited. I wanted to go pick out fish so bad. It was a 10 gallon tank that I got. My dad set it up in my room and he had it all hooked up and put water in and started the filter. He told me we had to wait a few days for the water to be right before we could go buy fish. So for several days, I had an empty tank that wasn't all that exciting. Then we went to the fish store. I thought I was going to get the coolest fish ever but then I found out that the coolest fish go in salt water tanks and they are all really expensive so I was getting freshwater fish. Ok, I was a little disappointed but I got over it because I got me some neon tetras, kissing gouramis, angel fish, black mollies, tiger fish and a catfish. I probably had some other kinds at some points but those were pretty much the staples.

The neon tetras were cool because they would just glow and I would get a bunch of them and they would all kinda swim together and be all glowy and cool. When you're 7, it's mesmerizing. The gouramies were ok. Not too interesting but they did kiss and I only ever had 2 at a time. It was cute. The angel fish were mean bastards. They would fight with all the other fish and kill and eat them so I stopped getting them even though they were pretty. The black mollies liked to reproduce. I feel like every time I looked a the damned tank, I had babies. I was a little annoyed because they were the ugliest most boring looking fish in the tank and not the ones I wanted more of but...they kept breeding. Bad thing is the babies would get eaten. Oops. I even bought them a special little cage thing that separated them from the rest of the tank....well...either they got out or the others got in because they still kept disappearing. Then there was the jumping tiger fish (no pic of these guys because I don't think they were actualy called tiger fish, oh well). They used to somehow escape the tank and I'd find them dead and dried up on the floor. Stopped buying those too. Now we come to the catfish. The catfish was special.

So now I'll tell you about my cat fish. I got it when I got the was about 2 inches long. It was not the prettiest but it kept my tank clean. It ate all the algae off of the walls of the tank. I don't recall the fish having a name but it might have. Anyway, after a few years, my parents got divorced and the tank was moved to my mom's house. My mom was not as diligent as cleaning the tank as my dad was but my catfish lived. In fact, the catfish was the only fish. I didn't get any other fish so the catfish was all alone. I fed it and I took care of it. I tried to clean the tank on my own but that wasn't pretty, I needed my mom's help. I was 10 at this point. So, my catfish was 3. This was quiet the hearty fish. It just kept growing and growing. Soon, it would be about 8 inches long. It was unreal. This fish lived until I was 13. Yeah, I had 1 fish for 6 years! And you have NO idea what this poor fish lived through because there were times I would be at my father's and I'd come back and the water was so cloudy, I thought that the fish was surely dead but no, it persevered. One day, I came home from school and I went to feed my fish. Well, the fish looked TOTALLY different. It was the wrong color and the wrong size and well, a completely different fish. Yet, I wasn't told that anything happened to my fish. I asked my mom what happened and she just looked at me with a straight face and said: "Nothing happened, the fish is fine. It's the same fish, it just went through menopause so it changed." Mind you, I was 13 at the time. My mom really thought I would believe her and she INSISTED it was the same fish. She kept selling the menopause story but I wasn't buying. Finally she fessed up. That's the story of my catfish and my mom still laughs about this. Yeah, that's my twisted family.