Sunday, January 4, 2009

To my dear Ferdie

We had a crazy person live with us for a couple of months. Nice guy but absolute maniac. He got in trouble for driving while disqualified and seeing as he wasn't all that perfect in his youth was looking at a pretty hefty penalty for his sins. While I don't think we ever really believed him, he thought he was destined to go to gaol. I think his prescription meds were making him a little paranoid. I guess it is a bit rude using his real name so I will call him 'Chatter' after the Mr. Man which describes him the best. I don't think that this is an appropriate medium for bitchiness and I want to make it clear that I have no problem with Chatter, we did fall out when he left but there is no animosity. I actually think of his time with us with fond memories. He had a cat whose name was Cat funnily enough and he also had a fish. The cat got paralysis tick from somewhere and got very very sick. The last time I saw him he was completely shaved except for his head and in a very bad way. I am relatively sure that he pulled through but could not say with any certainty. As for the fish, when Chatter left, he left the fish as well.

I had never considered keeping a Siamese Fighting Fish before. I called him Ferdinand and he lived in a vase about 55cm tall and 15cm wide. It seems so cruel. If he hadn't been left with us I would not have gone in search of one, for the same reason I have never been interested in pet birds. I like going to pet shops and seeing the puppies and kitties but I have this urge to open all the bird cages and let them fly away. It seems so wrong to have them locked away like that. Birds need room to fly and fish need room to swim! He was a really cool fish though and I had trained him to jump out of the water for his food. He was looking a little sad I have to say, the older he got, the more he would sit on the bottom of the vase on the pink aquarium rocks. He looked like he was sitting on his bum! He always looked like he was so fatigued he could barely move!

When we moved here to Melbourne I couldn't find anyone who would take him. I was so stressed about him because I was worried about his health but decided that he would have to come with us. I wanted him to have a reasonably stable trip so the vase was out for the mode of transport. He ended up in a Coke cup from Hungry Jacks. Worked out very well actually. He was double cupped for insulation and he fit in the cup holder which meant that he wouldn't slosh about too much. I fed him twice a day in his little cup but he didn't jump for it. I think he was bored and stressed so I don't really blame him. We almost froze him on the last day! We were almost to Melbourne and stopped to sleep at a truck stop. We were all rugged up and so were the Cats (who were also involved in our interstate road trip) but I forgot about Ferdie. Poor Ferdie! Siamese Fighting Fish are tropical fish and they do not respond well to big fluctuations in their water temperature (according to my random web-site research anyway).

When we got to the Backpackers after dropping the cats at their Kitty Hotel, I set up Ferdie's vase and perched a lamp over it to keep the water warm. By the next day it was like Ferdie had recovered his long lost youth! He was jumping out of the water again and he looked so happy. We think the Melbourne water was good for him! Plus I hadn't been feeding enough (not very well educated unfortunately). He moved with us again when we moved into our apartment and he seemed very happy on the windowsill with his heat lamp. I was reading about Fighting Fish and I learnt that they can and should live in bigger aquariums. Well, we needed to get him into a bigger aquarium! Unfortunately that particular adventure may have been a little too much for our little friend. Unfortuantely we had to bid him farewell yesterday. Darian and I saw him off by placing him in the garbage shoot, I just couldn't bear to flush him!. As the door slowly closed, he slid very slowly into the abyss. He will be remembered as the fish who could survive just about anything. Chatter, if you are out there, I am very sorry that you had to find out this way.

This is my tribute to my poor fish. Had I been better educated he would not have suffered so! Ferdie we love and miss you! The windowsill will never be the same again.

xox Jane

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