If I may steal a page from the cloying Facebook pregnancy announcements of the world, our family has grown by two fins!
(I guess it doesn’t really work that well for fish.)
Yes, we have officially added another member to the Jive Turkey household: a tiny male Betta fish named Mac’n’Cheese — or “Mac N. Cheese,” as I like to imagine it appears on his business card. He is Sadie’s first official pet (Tootsie doesn’t really count, as she is more of Sadie’s cranky old aunt than a pet), and I kind of really love him a lot, which cements my theory that I’m going to have to supplement my life with pets as Sadie gets older as a way to relieve my urge to mother something. Do you think a puppy will respond to nagging and guilt trips? I suppose I won’t know until I try.
Truth be told, though, I don’t know if I actually have the desire for more pets. Well, I have the desire for more pets because I love animals and AWWW, WIDDLE KITTENS, but I DO NOT have the desire to take care of said pets. Pets—while I love them—require a whole lot of cash and commitment (read: ARE A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS), and I just can’t imagine wanting to put myself through that in the foreseeable future. I’m good with taking care of this here child, thanks.
Problem is, Sadie is very much like I was at her age, in that she would SELL HER SOUL for a kitten, and I just know we’re going to end up with another (friendlier) cat once Tootsie shuffles off this mortal coil. I have no real desire to sign up for another 15 years of litter box duty, but GODDAMMIT, seeing Sadie holding a kitten is just about the cutest thing I can imagine, and I can remember PINING for pets when I was little and being totally fucking overjoyed when my parents finally relented and got me a cat, and…well, I’m not made of stone.
(I also really want a bird. Someone please save me from myself.)
Anyhoo, getting a fish was something we were supposed to do at the end of last summer as a reward for something I can’t quite remember, but then we all sort of forgot about it and moved on. I’m not sure what made me decide to bring up the adoption of a fish into our household once again (perhaps the fact that it’s been cold and grey for 3469346308 days and promises to be cold and grey for 3486734067 more? Perhaps.), but we headed to the pet store Sunday afternoon to procure one fish, some hot pink gravel, and the most hideous fish bowl you’ve ever seen.
Sorry, dude. I know you’re a male, but according to my daughter and everything else around you, this girl is a woman now.
I have to tell you that the addition of Mac’n’Cheese to our home has caused a drastic upswing in cuteness. Not only is the fish himself RIDICULOUSLY cute (I know it sounds weird and I’m probably insane but just trust me), but watching Sadie interact with him is off-the-fucking-charts adorable. She leaps out of bed each morning to feed him, rushes straight to her room after school to see how he’s doing, and spends inordinate amounts of time watching him paddle around his bowl, giving us a play-by-play the entire time. “HE WENT THROUGH THE PLANT AGAIN! NOW HE’S OPENING HIS MOUTH! I THINK HE’S HUNGRY!” (If we manage to keep Sadie from feeding this poor fish to death, it will be a small miracle.)
Mac’s arrival has also reminded me of what a giant softie Brad is. Sometimes I forget that Brad is the same man who once drove through a snowstorm to procure a warm mist humidifier for Tootsie when she was a tiny, ailing kitten, and although I see him melt every day in Sadie’s presence, watching him fret over Mac’n’Cheese’s well-being is crazy endearing. He agonized over choosing just the right food, he insists that we purchase pH strips to test Mac’s water on the reg, and he has Googled every Betta-related topic from feeding to water temperature to the ideal amount of ambient lighting. Guys, Brad wanted to buy Mac a five-dollar “Betta hammock” that was basically a plastic leaf with a suction cup attached to it because “it says it enables him to rest just like he would in his natural habitat!”
The fish is getting Brad mad laid is what I’m saying.
Oh, and the Betta hammock? We’re totally buying it this weekend.
WHAT. MAC NEEDS HIS REST. SHUT UP.