Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lessons From Fish

Thought for the day: Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Some people are pet people; some people aren't. Some people shudder at the thought of sharing their homes with creatures of any kind, but me? I can't imagine NOT sharing our home with a long procession of of furry, scaly, and feathered friends. When I was a kid, we always had at least one dog. We had a cat for a short while, too, but my mother hated cats, and since she was there first, the cat had to go. We had parakeets and canaries and finches, who'd give us bird kisses, eat from our hand, drink from a dripping faucet, and occasionally fly around the house, shedding feathers and dropping poop bombs. Thanks to my brother, we also had black widow spiders, snakes, wild turtles, and various injured wild animals, who'd stay with us until they were well again. So, in my experience, animals were a natural part of life.

On the other hand, my husband wasn't raised with pets. He did have one for a short while, and it was a box turtle, which mostly stayed in a cardboard box in the back yard, until he pulled it out to serve as the tank while he played with his toy soldiers in the grass. So it's understandable that after we were married, our opinions regarding the proper place for pets in our lives were somewhat divergent. He had the foolish idea that a dog's place was in the back yard, with his very own house. My idea was that said dog was a member of the family, and belonged with the family. In our house. On our laps, on our sofa, in our beds.

I won. Over the years, we've had all kinds of pets, and the furry ones were all inside pets, and members of the family. And all of the pets, from the littlest to the biggest, from the scaled to the feathered, taught me lessons. Like the fish. I started out with goldfish in a largish goldfish bowl, then moved to a 5 gallon tank with a variety of fresh water fish, then a 10 gallon tank, and our older son had a salt water tank in his room. What in the world can you learn from having fish in your home? I'm glad you asked.

  1. Pillow-fighting can break fish tanks. At least, they can when father and sons are so busy whopping each other with pillows, they don't happen to notice the big heavy vase sitting next to the tank. And wouldn't you know it? Aquarium glass doesn't seem to stand a chance against a heavy vase.
  2. Ten gallons may not sound like very much, but believe me, when the glass in a ten gallon aquarium breaks, that's a LOT of water flooding the floor. Not to mention glass, fish, and in our case,  flowers.
  3. Fish end up doing the dead man's float when children experiment with the thermostat.
  4. Salt water spray abso-freaking-lutely destroys drywall.
  5. The most expensive salt-water fish are usually the first to die. Or to get eaten by one of the cheapies.
  6. I don't like feeding live minnows to an eel, which, by the way, also has an inordinate tendency to eat the most expensive fish in the tank.
Okay, that's enough pontifications for a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Time to feed the cats. But first, how about you? Are you a pet person? They're the sweetest icing on the cake, aren't they?

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


Weirdest news story of the week: Sheridan Simove, a British writer, finally found marketing success with his latest book. On this week, his book outsold both the Harry Potter books and The DaVinci Code. Impressive, huh? His book, entitled What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex, has a fine cover ... and  200 blank pages. (Now, why didn't I think of that?)


  1. LOL! Wish I'd thought of that book idea, too.

    We currently have a part-time cat. She actually belongs to the neighbors, but she likes us better. ;)

    We haven't yet replaced our two cats who died several years ago, mainly because our daughter and son-in-law often visit with our "grand-kitties." We're trying to avoid all the hissing that would entail if we had our own cats here, feeling all territorial.

  2. We have one of those part-time cats, too. Before we realized he had a home, we started feeding him, so you know how that story goes. Now, he's here first thing every morning, all but knocking on the front door to demand his can of food. Does tricks for it, too. And eats like he's starving to death. (His owners probably wonder why he doesn't seem to have much of an appetite ...)

  3. Yeah, that's how it started with our PT cat, too. I just hope our neighbors don't sue us for alienation of kitty affections. ;)

    BTW, are you on Twitter? It's a good way to "advertise" your blog, and direct a little traffic this way. You're a good writer. More people should be reading you. :)

  4. Hi.

    Although I do "toot" every now and then, I've never tried tweeting. HA!

    Don't have a cell phone or any of those fancy hand-held gadgets, and I honestly don't know if I can even participate in something like twitter with nothing but my PC and laptop. (Others may have their PDAs; my hubby and I have our PADs... and pencils.)

    To be perfectly honest, I worry about how much time would go into maintaining a twitter account, or even a facebook account. Just trying to keep up with this blog and with the blogs I follow takes up so much time, the WIP time has gone into the toilet. And it doesn't make much sense to build a platform if there's never a book for them to dive into, ya know?

    It'd be nice to pick up a few more readers, so I may end up having to "advertise". In time. In the meantime, thanks for making nice about my writing. I read your post yesterday before going to the doctor, and it really made my day. Thanks for that.