Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pappy's Predecessor

Knucklehead, 2002At Christmas 2001 my cousin gave us a flower arrangement as a present. With a fish in it. A live fish. We ate dinner out that evening, and I remember I had to bring the vase into the coat room because I thought he'd freeze in the car.

So began the story of Knucklehead the Betta, our first pet as a married couple. He went on to survive for more than four years in nothing more than a vase of water, which is a testament to the power of neglect. In truth my wife cared for him like our firstborn, but I'd occasionally forget to feed him if she went away for the weekend. The striking thing about a fish is that it has many of the drawbacks of a "real" pet ("what are we going to do with him when we're away?"), and almost none of the perks ("Knucklehead, come here, come here. Oh, you're a fish.") But he had a beauty and a quiet dignity that often made me wonder if he was still alive. As each Christmas passed, I routinely threatened to give him back to my cousin.

In January of last year, while my wife was in New York, Knucklehead started swimming upside-down. She was quite attached to him and I hoped he would survive until her return. He didn't make it and I gave him the flush. A little more than a month later we adopted Pappy to fill the void, and the rest is history.


Gus said...

Pappy has a big bowl to fill. But I'm sure he'll give it a true terrier try.

Pappy's Fella said...

He has more than filled that bowl. To overflowing. Many times over.