Before you start reading this: know that I am a true and honest petlover. I love the fluffy, the scaley, the scruffy and the slimy all in equal measure (except for wasps and jellyfish cause they freak me the fuck out). I cuddle puppers and have fostered loads of kittens and I volunteered at the animal shelters rescue ambulance so yaknow – I love beasties in general. But I also have a morbid sense of humor AND a long history of pet-insanity that led to this post (as inspired by a ‘goldfish escape’ in yesterdays Tinder Tales and Herbs request!). No harm was intentionally done here, but laughs there were a-plenty at their misfortunes.
Series 1: The slippery slope
Aquariums are DA BOMB. Seriously. I can park myself in front of one and just stare at the fishies for hours on end, especially if there’s some wavy water plants or bubbles in there. We used to have one when I still lived at home. And ours had this tiny cute little smiling eel-like creature in it. It was frigging adorable. Until one day…it wasn’t there anymore. Sad business. I must’ve spent three goes of cleaning the tank and looking for him, and an additional couple of hours staring at it, hoping he’d show.
Now. Fish have a habit of ‘disappearing’ (aka being eaten by bigger fish) but this particular creature would’ve been a tiny bit too big to have been eaten. So it was a mystery to us where the little bastard went. Until, months later, when we were moving the aquarium we found mister eel. The weirdo had (apparently) managed to slither out of the aquarium through the small gap where the air ventilation system dipped into the tank and went and fell down to the floor where he…welllll….shriveled up and petrified. YIKES!
Series 2: Does this castle make my ass look fat?
Our aquarium was always root of many a story with fish doing the weirdest of things. Like mister eel. And then there was the tragic tale of Fishy McFish. Fishy wasn’t the prettiest of fish, but boy, did he grow. A murky greyish yellow and definitely determined to become the biggest of his brothers and sisters the fastest, he was. He swam around the tank like he was the king of it, and in that capacity often perched in the arch of the obligatory little stone castle that we had smack damn in the middle of it.
One day I sat myself in front of the tank, looking at the fishies going about their day to day business. Except for Fishy McFish. He seemed very intent of guarding that little castles arch. A little bit too intent, I concluded after 3 minutes of watching him not move, before realizing he was literally…not…moving. I will spare you the gory details, but Fishy had grown so big that he’d got himself stuck in that arch and perished. We had to unceremoniously hack him out of that castle. YUCK!
Series 3: Big bird not big enough
Awww man. This one time we found a cockatiel sitting in the middle of the street. Obviously we took him home. The fact that the psycho was sitting right there might have warned us of the fact that we were taking in a not-really-normal bird. But hey, I loved birds and he needed help, you know. So we installed him in the house, and (I kid you not) this stray turned into the BEST (yet, weirdest) bird ever.
He was tame as the best of them, loved cuddles, had an obsession with tomato soup (which he’d used to dip his entire head into if he got the chance) and he LOVED our dogs. Used to flitter down and walk around like he was one of them. Wanted to be one of them, as such. A bit too much, as it turned out in the end.
We had a pug (the infamous Sjeng) around that time, and a Parson Jack Russell that both had issues with food. Which meant that around feeding time they’d start a contest of who could inhale their plate the soonest to then start ogling the remains of the other hoping they’d get a chance. Which was fine. Until this STUPID bird decided to land right in the middle of them during feeding time, like the ‘big dog’ that he was.
Not the greatest plan, I might add, and naturally he had one of them snap at him in protection of their bowl. He was untouched, mind you, just got a very close encounter with glistening white teeth. Enough to actually SCARE him to death right on the spot. A heart attack. Plop. He actually made one of those stiff and dramatic drops to the floor like they do in cartoons. Poor bird.
Series 4: I’m a bit tied up right now, baby
Apparently fish and birds had an interesting shelf life at our place. Or we just got the nutcases, also possible. Take for instance our voliere of goldfinches that we used to have outside in the yard. They were delightful little creatures, always busy working on something or others and chirping cheerily while doing so. At one point one little finch was born which…was a little slow (we always suspected). He was a fat chubby little thing, always fluffed up, a lot less flighty than his brothers and sisters and just a bit…funny. We loved him for it.
And then one time Dommie (a derogatory ‘Stupid’ in Dutch) decided he would have to make a nest. He worked on it diligently, plopping little bits of feather and twigs in a corner of the cage. So, we (as the accommodating pet owners) got him some nesting material. Stringy fibers very suitable for nestbuilding, specially sold by the pet store for that purpose. I wonder if they ever got any complaints from other people.
Because when we got down in the morning Dommie had strung himself up. The dumbass had gotten himself stuck in a tangle of the material and somehow managed to wrap it around one of the branches and…actually…hung…himself. We found him slightly swinging in the breeze. Dead as can be while trying to bring about new life. Damn tragic. But a teeny bit hilarious, at the same time. You shoulda seen him. It was funnier than it reads. Really!
I wonder what the common denominator was for all these accidents. Maybe…we were so horrible that all of them opted out in the most extreme of measures. Or maybe they were actually all just a little ‘special’ (like attracts like, after all). But all of them were awesome while they lasted, and unforgettable in their deaths. At least.
Maybe I should rethink getting a pet to help me through corona though…