In my first post I alluded to myself being a “crazy fish lady” instead of a crazy cat lady. Well, here’s why.
As a child I was taught many things. One of the lessons most ingrained deep into my bones was a strict no-cats policy. My dad despises them, my mom dislikes them, and I like a few cats I have met personally but dislike most of them. I always knew having a cat would never be an option at my house.
Dogs, on the other hand, were more acceptable. Both of my parents had dogs growing up and loved them. But they also knew that no matter who claims they will take care of the dog, there’s one person who ends up doing all the work: Mom. That’s why it took me about 12 years to convince her that it was time for a puppy.
He was a Hungarian Vizsla, a beautiful short-haired purebred used for bird hunting. We couldn’t stop playing with him for the first week we had him. Because of his energy we decided to name him “Trigger.” I did my best to take care of him – walking him, feeding him, bathing him, etc. I loved that dog more than I had ever loved any of our Betta or Goldfish. Surprise, surprise.
Then, about 2 years later, when I was about to enter 8th grade, we were all playing outside as a family. My brother went riding his bike with Trigger running along beside him. Then, unexpectedly, he darted into the road and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. He had to be put down and it was one of the saddest moments of my life to that point. I bawled like I hadn’t in years because of the trauma. I wasn’t the only one who cried, either.
Because of how much work he had been and how traumatic his death was for us kids, my mother vowed then and there (or at least we assume so) to never let us have another dog again. Since that time I have been striving, to no avail, to convince her that it’s time for another puppy. Once you’ve had a dog you feel a void in your life without one.
So, since after returning from my missionary service in Chile about 3 months ago, she still wouldn’t be convinced, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. I needed a pet. Someone/thing to just “listen” to me and be my friend because I didn’t have any real friends (at least that’s what you start to feel like when you want a puppy badly enough). But since I knew that getting a canine pet would most likely get me disowned, I decided to go for something smaller – a Betta fish to be exact.
I hopped on over to the Walmart with a friend and my brother (okay so I actually did still have friends, just most of them are my siblings) and bought a lovely-looking male fish, a small tank for him to live in, and some lovely colorful pebbles for the bottom of his habitat. We named him while still in the checkout line – Fabio. Fabio instantly became my new best friend and my adopted child all at the same time.
Now I talk to Fabio every day (though sometimes I forget to feed him, I admit…I fear that I’ll be a terrible mother) and we are like life-long pals. At least, that’s how I see it. I can tell by how crazily he swims around that he feels the same way, of course. The only bad part is that when my sister catches me talking to him. It goes something like this.
Me: See, Fabio? That’s why I always say, I don’t need to worry so much about studying.
Sister: Um, are you talking to your fish again?
I turn around to see my sister’s very skeptical look.
Me: No. Maybe.
Sister: You really need to stop talking to your fish.
Me: Why?! He needs someone to talk to him! He needs love and attention!
Sister: You are CRAZY.
Me: No I’m not. Everyone talks to their pets.
Sister: Seriously, you need help.
Me: Whatever. See, Fabio? You’re the only one around here who appreciates me.
And then my sister leaves because she’s too weirded out to continue the conversation.
Well, so what if I’m crazy? Fabio and I are so happy as best friends. Ha. I know. I’m a little bit crazy-obsessed. BUT some people are like that with real-life actual babies, and they understand just about as much…and Betta food is way cheaper than baby food. (Side note: before anyone gets offended, I talk to babies too. All of them. Even when I don’t know who they are. think this would be a good time to publicly apologize to any parents who have been creeped out by me talking to your baby. I promise I am not a creep, your kids are just really cute. So actually this is THEIR fault for being cute, when you think about it).
Anyway that’s the story of me and Fabio. I highly recommend getting a fish if you’re lonely. Low-maintenance, high loyalty. At least, he hasn’t run away yet.