This falls under the “Terrible Secrets Mothers Keep” heading. I had a ton of things to do before work on a Monday morning, but I waited far too long to clean my son’s Betta fish tank so it had to be done. Let me be honest. I secretly hate Splashy. Well, not hate him, more resent him. It was a gift from my husband for our son. It was a curse for me. Paolo’s too young to clean the tank alone and he needs constant reminding to feed the damn fish. Which means the work falls on my shoulders. We were told it would only live about three months by the salesperson. I’ve been counting (down) on that. However, it turns out, one year later, Splashy is the bionic fish that just won’t die of natural causes.
I had already delayed cleaning his little tank as long as I could so I crammed it in after watering the garden and before my shower. As I was pouring half of the water out of the tank before putting Splashy in a temporary home, I looked away briefly. A nano-second. When I looked back in the tank…Splashy was gone. I tripled checked. Yep, he was still missing. With a clenched stomach I looked in the sink. My stomach unclenched and SANK. Splashy was laying perilously close to the pop-up drain. I couldn’t close it or I’d smoosh his fin. I couldn’t try to pick him up because, well, I’m a wimp. I didn’t want to try getting him with a fish net because he might slide down the drain. I made an executive decision. I would not touch that fish, but I took a deep breath and jumped into action. I grabbed the net and tried to scoop him up without pushing him down the drain. Luckily for both of us, he flopped away from the drain. I quickly closed the drain and put some water in the sink. He was definitely listing to one side and not looking very splashy. Images of a brain-damaged Betta kept flashing through my mind, not to mention the sad little face my son would be wearing when he found out I killed his pal.
I tried my hardest to talk Splashy into jumping in the net, but he was having none of it. In the end, it took two nets and some good wrist action to get him in a net and safely back in the bowl. So now he’s back in a clean fish tank and my heart is beating normally again. He’s not very active. I can’t tell if he’s traumatized, brain-damaged or still recovering from the shock. Time will tell.
All that drama for a fish I wish was dead. I won’t tell if you don’t…