I think of this next story as being similar to traveling on a plane with an ill-behaved toddler. At the end of the plane ride you are all about the contraception. Well after reading this entry, you might re-think any plans you had to add a few new animals to your menagerie. After all, you muse, guppies really might be the way to go.
I’m guessing that the standard goldfish owner rarely finds her or himself doing something unexpected in terms of pet care. I feel like I have heard stories of fish getting stuck in the little castles that sit on the bottom of their tanks, or fish that insist on jumping out of their bowls to their deaths, but in general, you feed the fish, you clean the tank, you set the little plastic mermaid upright, and all is well. Maybe your fish will come down with a bad case of Ick, but Joe Goldfish tends to live or die and if the former, all is well, and if the latter, woe is you and woe is Joe.
I found myself ruminating on the ease of goldfish and the leisure of guppies, while lying on my stomach at 5:30 a.m. a few weeks ago, about to spelunk under my own bed. The under-the-bed bins – the small apartment dweller’s best friends – had been removed, I had stuck my head in as a test run to make sure I even fit, I had armed myself with paper towels, and I was all ready to make the crawl. Wishing that I had a miner’s hat with a lamp would not make one appear, so ready, set, go, spelunk! I army-crawled under my bed looking for the cat vomit I had heard being deposited there minutes earlier.
Found it, oh joy! Used the paper towels, reverse army-crawled out from under the bed, spelunked back to the cat vomit stalagmites with a sponge and some cleanser, cleaned some more and it was then that I could be heard muttering to the pethair dustbunnies that colonize the area under the bed that these two cats and one dog might indeed be my Last Pets.
“Wimp!” you say. You have to take the good with the bad, the purring with the late night sick. Okay, fine, I don’t do well when my sleep is interrupted. But in my defense, the need to spelunk was the second Unsavory Incident of the night, the first being when I found myself at 3:00 a.m. standing at my front door and pleading with a poor, sick, Dorothy to just use the wee-wee pads already, and no, we could not go outside. Yes, I was un-housetraining my puppy, who was obediently refusing to make a mess on the mat.
I felt horrible about it, but I live in the city, and although my area seems perfectly safe in the day and evening, at 3:00 in the morning it is deserted, and if someone were to de-lurk from the shadows, all I could hope for is that Dorothy would kiss them to death.
But it has now been several weeks since my night of rude awakenings, and I'm happy to announce that my spelunking gear has gone unused. No need for a miner’s cap. No goldfish in my bowl.