Our pets know me too well. It seems that they sensed Nathan’s absence and thought they’d have more chance surviving in the big wide world all on their own. If I had a video camera and some dramatic music there’s a good chance that the following recount would make the cut for Animal Rescue.
My students are the proud owners of two cute little clownfish named Coral & Reef, thanks to a visit from Mr Moorhead last term. They’ve been on an extend holiday at our house so that I could look after them over the holidays and on weekends until I could find an automatic fish feeder. Three days ago I bought the said feeder from a local pet store and set it up according to the directions. All going well so far. Over the subsequent few days I checked the tank carefully for excess food, of which there was none. Starting to think I’d solved the problem and could return the fish (and silence the nagging) I relaxed a little. Until yesterday. The feeder dumped an extremely large dose of food into the tank overnight which was now lying all over the sand, on the plants and had caused the water to turn a colour somewhat akin to apple juice. The poor little fish were not doing so well under these conditions. I started to panic. I’m sure most people would have, knowing that 27 little people were depending on you to keep their pets alive. Nobody likes a fish killer. My kids have already accused me of being a potential baby nemo killer by buying the wrong sized filter and that didn’t go down so well. I sprung into action, scooping out the fish and excess food, changing and filtering new water, and I began trying to ascertain the problem with the feeder. This process involved scraping out mushy fish food with my fingers and siphoning stinky water, neither of which took my fancy.
During this time, I thought I’d also feed our pet turtles, Frankie and Rosie. Frankie is by far the larger of the two, both in personality and size, and has had to separated from Rosie when he tried to kill her with a ninja death roll. We put the turtles in ice-cream containers for feeding so they don’t mess up the tank. In keeping with his Raphael persona, Frankie decided that he didn’t want to confined to the constraints of the feeding bucket and that leaping out of it, hitting the metal grate and landing the on the top of the buffet was a much better option. Not to be satisfied with the mediocre, Frankie started heading towards the edge of the buffet and a 75cm drop, which is a long way for a little turtle. He did this quite quickly as, contrary to popular perception, turtles are not slow. Thankfully I got there in time to stop him and return him to his tank. He gave me a good hard bite to show he was grateful for my efforts.
Now I have some much happier clownfish, a cranky turtle and fish food and stinky fish water all over my floor.