February 9, 2011

We Do Not Eat Family Members

When I got home from work this afternoon, I stopped to feed my fish before heading in to get ready to run out again and see Dan's family. From the bathroom, I heard an ominous noise that set off my intuitive cat radar. Toby's favorite thing to do these days is knock over the large trash can in the kitchen and pull things out of it, scattering trash all over the kitchen. I headed out to see what he had gotten into, and walked straight into the scene of a crime. Toby was sitting on top of the bookshelf that houses my dear fish, the top of the tank had been pushed off, and a certain feline had his nose INSIDE the bowl. Yep, you read that right. Pet Number One was preparing to consume Pet Number Two. I have a fratricidal cat.
The next several seconds were a blur as I rushed at Toby, swiftly replaced the poor fish's only line of defense, and then chased the offending cat around the apartment until he disappeared under the bed. I promptly called Dan threatening to "sell the cat"  (mostly still in the heat of the moment), and do you know how he reacted? HE LAUGHED. He has never really cared for the fish, and he thought it was pretty hysterical that Toby came that close to catching his own dinner. Needless to say, his response was not exactly what I'd hoped.
Lets rewind a little bit, because I've realized that on the offchance that you've read even a little bit of this blog, you had no idea that such a fish existed in this house. Please allow me to introduce you to Icarus, the aptly named beta fish...
Icarus was purchased during my senior year in college and has survived several experiences that no fish should ever have to live through. To begin with, Icarus was not named (but simply called, "fish") for the first several weeks of his life with me. He earned his name the first time I changed the water in his bowl, left my room for class, and came back an hour later to find the bowl empty. After a little bit of searching I discovered him stuck between two folders on my desk, over a foot from his (intended) home. He looked dried out and, as expected, quite dead, but as I prepared to flush the little guy he gave a tiny, halfhearted flop. I flicked him back into the bowl and he hit the water swimming... my roommate and I were nothing short of amazed. He was thereafter named for the character in this Greek myth. Icarus has also battled two separate cases of Swim Bladder Disorder, during which he floated, incredibly swollen, on his side for several days before suddenly curing himself each time. Finally, this hearty fish survived the five hour trip home with me during a huge blizzard last Christmas, braving the cold and perilous road conditions in a plastic mug wedged into my cupholder. I was positive that he was a goner by the time I skidded into my neighborhood, but clearly this guy has a steely grip on life.
The picture above was taken pre-cat adoption, hence the lovely, open-topped bowl. Now, Icarus resides in a large, round bowl with a fitted top, which was (until today) believed to be cat-proof. Really, Toby hasn't shown that much interest in Icarus since he moved in, only sometimes hopping up to look in at him and being reminded sternly that "He is your BROTHER!" Clearly, none of these warnings sunk in, and so now poor Icarus is swimming around in a bowl... with a top.... which is taped down in several places. Toby has been assured that he will be either sold or sauteed if he so much as looks at the fishbowl again. 
And me? Well, I'm just having a tough time staying mad at the most cute and cuddly little furball on the planet....
I mean really? Who could be angry at that face?


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