Fish and Cats

Because I KNOW you want to hear our crazy pet stories! Or maybe I just want to remember them. And have them for the kids to remember so they can make their own kids laugh (or roll their eyes) somewhere down the road.

Either way…

So, here’s the background.

We are long-term fish-sitting for Olivia Choate until she returns to Arkansas in May. She has a 10-gallon tank that used to have multiple fish in it. By the time it came to us last January, it had one.

My Olivia decided that it was a shame to have such a big tank for only one fish, so she determined that the other Olivia’s fish needed friends. So, she bought several fish last spring. They were gorgeous! But, one by one, they died, just like Olivia C’s original fish had. No clear reason why. They just died.

All except that one fish.

I have no idea what its original name was, but after all the other fish died, the girls changed its name to Jim. Actually James. As in, James Moriarty. Yeah.

For a little while, during a stretch last fall when we actually had some cool weather and the bedroom was chilly, Angie decided to add her Betta fish to the big tank. The big tank had a heater. Her little Betta tank did not. So, she was sure Jada the Betta would be more comfortable in the big tank. But, she left the little tank filled and sitting right beside the big tank.

One day, Jada was missing from the big tank. She was discovered swimming around in the little tank!

Angie moved her back and covered the little tank. A day or two later, she actually SAW Jada jump out of the big tank and land on the lid of the little tank! Fortunately, the weather was warming up, so she just slid the Betta back into the small tank and left it there.

Jada has never tried to jump out of the small tank. Never. We’ve had that fish for a year and a half.

It gets better.

Angie’s crazy new cat, Rose, LOVES the fish. She stalks them. When the big tank was full, she actually got up on the dresser and was caught multiple times stretching her paw toward the tank. She never actually got a fish, but she sure did want to!

Now that Moriarty is the only fish in the big tank, she doesn’t even go near it. She still eyes Jada and tries to get to the small tank, but she completely ignores the big tank.

As you can imagine, there are all sorts of theories flowing around our house about Moriarty. First came the name change and the jokes about the homicidal fish. Now there are theories that none of the animals can actually see him, so the other fish didn’t know when he snuck up on them to kill them. Somehow Jada just sensed the danger and ran from it. But that’s why Rose completely ignores Moriarty now and only haunts Jada.

There’s also the theory that Moriarty is an alien with a perception filter that makes him look like a fish to us, but not to other animals.

And the imagination continues to flow.

Who knew being a pet owner – or a pet sitter – could be so mysterious?!


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