Disclaimer: No fish were harmed in the making of this blog post.
We all know what that sounds means either two things: Flushing of the bathroom or a funeral for a pet fish. 98% of the time it’s because of the first reason but that last 2% is the tragic last memory that you’ll ever have of your beloved fish. For my family, we’re probably over the 2% statistic of the fish funeral.
Death #1: Thea
My very first fish was named Thea. She was a beautiful black goldfish (at least, I think she was a gold-fish. I don’t remember because I was four) and how I loved her. I have so many tender moments with her of watching her swim around her tank and my finger following her along the glass. I can recall feeding her, cleaning her tank, and just being mesmerized by her ability to breathe under water (I really wanted that skill as a kid . . . clearly, that never happened).
I’m not sure how long we had here (again, being four years old a few weeks felt like an eternity) but I do remember her dying day very clearly. I had just finished taking a peaceful nap and was looking for my mom. I went down stairs and I saw her putting away the fishy net. I ran up to the tank to say hello to Thea. She wasn’t there. Panicked, I looked at my mom and said, “Where’s Thea?”
“Well, honey . . .” started my mom. It was very clear that no one ever had written a book about telling your four-year-old that their fish was dead. Eventually, my mom broke the news to me and told me that she found Thea floating on top of the water and had flushed her down the toilet. I was traumatized.
Cause of Death: Unknown.
Death #2: The Fifth Grade Fish
In the fifth grade, they did a carnival day where we could “buy” things with our Pony Express money (good ol’ trade and barter). I had saved up enough to buy a fish. She was so pretty. I brought her home in a cup. My mom wasn’t too happy about the new addition to the family. But she was a good sport about it. We put her in a fish bowl with fresh clean water, food, and pretty rocks at the bottom. She died two days later. I cried for the rest of the week.
Cause of Death: Overfed.
Death #3: Harry, Ron and Hermione
Right after the fifth grade fish died (I never had time to name her. 48 hours clearly isn’t enough time to give a fish a proper name), my parents surprised me with three new gold-fish. I named them after my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This time, we had a snail, live plant, very pretty rocks, and a beta fish type of tank. They all swam and enjoyed their adventures in their Gryffindor common room fish tank. A month later, I was getting ready for bed and I saw that the snail (we named him Peeves) was dead. My mom pulled him out and gave him a funeral. Then I realized that Harry was doing the swim-on-the-side thing. He died that night. The next day, Ron and Hermione died too.
Cause of Death: Lord Voldemort.
Death #4: The Blue Beta Fish
A few years later, I got another fish. This time, it was a beta fish. They are supposed to stay alive forever. Well, first of all, that’s the biggest lie ever. Second of all, he lasted about year. That was longer than any of my other fish so I will give them that much. But this blue beta fish . . . well, he did really great. I actually really hate admitting this but I don’t remember his name. But I know that he had one. Anyway . . .
This death was not a natural death!!!
In fact, he died because my mom was cleaning out his tank. She was trying to help me out one day while I was in my room doing homework. All I remember hearing is a loud “AHHH!” I ran out of my bedroom and found my mom looking down into the sink. The next five seconds, I realized that she had dropped my fish down the disposal. She was trying really hard not to laugh (that didn’t work) and I started to bawl. The next sound I heard was the disposal from my room.
Cause of Death: Mom and the food disposal.
Deaths #5 & 6: Meggie and Buddy’s fishes
This one (sadly) is probably my favorite story to tell. It’s really tragic but hilarious at the same time. This happened a few years after the blue beta fish died. Instead of getting me a new fish (by then I had refused to ever own a fish again) my parents bought my sibilings two beta fish. I don’t think they ever named them but they shared one of those tanks that has a divider in the middle so the beta fish don’t kill each other. While these two fish were swimming around, living their peaceful yet boring life, a sneak attack by my cats Scooter and Luna [NOTE: All fish before this death were never bothered by these cats because they weren’t alive. We had another cat named Whiskers but she had died a few years before this happened].
My mom had just gotten home from the grocery store when she found Luna on the counter, licking her paws. The tank water was spilled all over the counter and Buddy’s fish was flopping around on the counter. The other one was mostly safe. It was “sitting” in a small puddle that was left in the tank. Anyway, in my mom’s defense, she thought that Buddy’s fish was dead so she scooped it up and flushed it down the toilet after giving Meggie’s fish more water and scolding the cat. But here’s the thing: Once she flushed the toilet, it spun down the drain and then it swam back up. My mom wasn’t brave enough to stick her hand into the bowl to rescue the fish (ewww) so she flushed it again. We never saw Buddy’s fish ever again.
A few weeks later, the same thing happened. And I mean the EXACT same thing happened except it was with Meggie’s fish. Mom flushed it down the toilet, it swam back up, she got grossed out, and flushed again.
Cause of Death: Luna, mom, and the toilet. But mostly Luna and mom.
Death #7: Sunshine Shurleah
Last but not least, Sunshine Shurleah. Shurleah and her siblings (as seen in the photo above) were all living a happy life. They were brought into the family while I was on my mission. Meggie and Buddy saved this beautiful sunshine yellow fish for me to name. I named her Shurleah in honor of a sweet lady that I taught on my mission. This past week, Meggie and Buddy found her floating at the top. She had been swimming kind of weird for the past couple of weeks so none of us were surprised that she hadn’t made it. Buddy gave her a funeral with a loud FLUSH.
Cause of Death: Natural causes.
So, if you ever need a fish sitter, don’t ever ask us. You’re fish will probably end up dead because our death rate is 63%. What are your fish killing stories, dear readers?