29 August 2016
These things are always complicated.
When the son was nine, he went to a birthday party where the parent gave each child a live goldfish as a party favor. Naturally, the son's poor fish died before he even got to the house, and the son was heartbroken. So I told the son we'd replace the goldfish, and when the spouse went to fulfill this commission, the pet store guy talked him into getting a betta instead.
Which is how the adventure in betta ownership began. Despite the cat's best efforts, Spyro lived a long and apparently happy life, racking up over five years in the large aquarium that the cat could not knock over or get into.
And that would have been the end of it except that somewhere along the line, I told the daughter that she could have a betta when she turned nine and she unfortunately remembered this promise.
I have been hearing about it on and off for the last 10 years because I have cheerfully failed to get her a fish.
For whatever reason, she got a bug in her ear last weekend about having a second desk in her room, and I was given the commission of getting this desk (because we allowed the son to have two desks in his room), and then the betta came up--accusatorily--again.
So Monday morning, while I was grocery shopping, I marched into the pet store and bought a betta. I texted her the above photo, and got back
And naturally, it has been true love. She has named him Admiral Ackbar. I have already had to buy him a larger and more elaborate aquarium (no, I did not leave him in the cup for crying out loud but the 1 gallon aquarium was judged too diminutive for a fish of such outsize personality. Also, cat. Same cat, even.) The fish has responded by making a large and happy bubble nest, and I pass the daughter's room to find her cooing at him. He swims around approvingly.
All's well, and the daughter has no more blackmail material.
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Please let me make it abundantly clear that I in no way endorse gifting live animals to small children, and truth be told, I was livid a parent thought it was okay to a) use goldfish as party favors and b) foist a fish on me. We take animal care extremely seriously and never enter into it lightly. Just ask my vet.
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