Thursday, August 6, 2009

Requiem for a Goldfish

Mella seems to have vanished.

Tabitha's goldfish was actually doing pretty well for a while, at least as far as we could tell. You never really know with goldfish. When they're happy, the swim and goggle at you. And when something is wrong, well, they swim and goggle at you. It's a simple life, and I'm sure if they could vote they'd be conservatives.

She was still circling around in the big vase that Kim stuffed her into when we got home from the fireworks on the Fourth of July, though we'd moved her up into the girls' room. We bought a tribal-sized tube of Goldfish Chow - the smallest on offer at our local supermarket, which apparently caters to people obsessed with and surrounded by hordes of shiny yellow miniature carp - and the girls had established a comfortable routine in which Mella did not miss out on too many meals. She even got fresh water now and then, thanks to Kim.

The deal Kim made with the girls was that if Mella lasted one month, we'd get her a real tank of her own.

Thus it is with some irony that Mella turned up missing on August 3rd. I feel like Catbert the Evil Human Resources Director, firing people just before their pensions get vested. I don't plan that far ahead, though, so I'm fairly sure I had nothing to do with it. One night she was doing fine, swimming away and goggling like a champ. The next morning - nothing. Our own Judge Crater, leaving behind an empty vase and a basket of unanswered questions.

It must be said that Mella is missing and only presumed dead. There has been no recovery of any body. Not that I expect to feel a soft but insistent tapping on my big toe some morning, accompanied by a pantomimed demand for something to swim in. We're fairly sure that she didn't walk away, though what did happen to her is something of a mystery.

Maybe she had gambling debts. You know how those work out.

Right now the leading theory is that she got a bit too close to the surface while under close observation by one or the other cat, since both of the cats had taken to staring at the vase and Mithra had even managed to jump up on top of the dresser a couple of times. If this is true, you have to hand it to the cat - she managed to fish out the meal without shattering the vase on the floor, four feet below. Cats can be clever about food, at least.

So it's been a tough week, what with Ed and all.

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