At our house, we count down by using "sleeps." As in, "Three more sleeps and SWK will be 6." How in the world did this happen? Mercy. DH and I joke that we've kept them alive for awhile now. But I've kept SWK alive longer than I've ever kept anything alive...well, except DH. I've kept him alive for almost 9 years now. Of course, he also works away from home, so that has probably helped.
Speaking of keeping things alive, did I mention that we received a fish from a "friend?" Yep, a Betta named "Fishy." So, like a dutiful homeschooling mama, I looked up "Betta" on the internet, found out that we should at least have a five-gallon tank for said fish. So, I casually mentioned it to DH that we should probably get a little bit bigger tank than the small plastic box he was in. Next thing you know we have a 29-gallon tank, a big buffet (which I'd been wanting anyway) to put it on and a very happy "Fishy." The only problem is that "Fishy" doesn't like too many other fish, only ones that are boring colored, do not have flashy fins, and especially no other male Bettas. 'Cause "Fishy" is da Man..er, the Fish. Seems to me that he was a little high and mighty for someone whose ancestors have survived in mud puddles in the Far East for generations. But alas, Fishy enjoyed his new digs for about 2 weeks and then we went to the pet store on Bounce's birthday to add more fish. Since we were quite limited to what we could add to Fishy's domain, we settled on five little tetras (a school-type fish, unlike Fishy's Lone Ranger approach). We were encouraged by the fish-guy known to us affectionately as "Jeff" (since that was his name and all) to put Fishy back in his little house and use the 29-gallon tank for friendlier fish. He told us that Fishy was probably stressed by all that space and would re-adapt well to the smaller box.
So, we brought the five "babies" home and put them in the tank after taking our sweet time to adapt the water temps and all. (Very boring for someone like me who likes furry WARM-blooded creatures and not scaly cold-blooded ones, but I digress.) We named the babies Ralph (SWK thought it was after someone on The Simpsons, but I was thinking Happy Days.), Potsy, Chachi, Richie, and Fonzi. All went well.
Until a week later on Sunday afternoon. Apparently the babies were too small for the water filter that we have and the pull of it sucked them in. We watched one as he broke free from it, and then Fishy (not, I stress, NOT a murderer but simply opportunistic) ate him. Gulp, gulp, gulp and number 3 was gone (probably Chachi). Apparently number 1 and 2 had already met their fate with said filter and Fishy. DH and I quickly scooped up Fishy (after cleaning out his smaller box) and relocated him to a detention center. Fishy was in time-out. Okay, now we were down to two small fish and a Betta in a box. We turned off the filter until we could figure out how to keep the babies from taking a deadly spin inside. Only, you can't leave the filter off for very long without running the risk of the water getting all skanky. So, after a few days, we turned the filter on "just for a little while." Except that we forgot to warn the survivors (Ralph and Fonzi) not to swim too close because like, I am with a good murder mystery, they'd get sucked in. I had to make the dreaded phone call to DH one day, "Then there was one." Yep, Fonzi had taken the plunge, uh rather, had been taken in by the plunger. So, we were left with Ralph and a Betta in the box. Fishy was looking a little shell-shocked by the whole ordeal and kept swimming around with a look that kinda said, "Didn't I used to live in a mansion? Now I have to live in this studio apartment? Where are my amenities? Where is my treasure chest? Where are my ficus trees and my bubbles? Where are those tasty little snacks?" Yes, things were not going so well for Fishy (whom my dear sweet, loving DH has hoped will die so we could get some "cooler" fish. Speaking of cold-blooded...). Finally, after much swimming to and fro, Fishy succumbed to sheer lack of space (I told Jeff that he didn't look stressed to me in a 29-gallon tank; he looked like he hit the jackpot!). I quote DH when I told him of Fishy's demise, "YES!" (This from the same man who gave me a sympathy card "on the loss of your pet" on our anniversary. He said he's hoped to make it home to take care of Landon and Layla before I got home, but in hindsight should probably have gotten the "Happy Anniversary" card which would have been so much more appropriate since it was like, our anniversary and all.) I held a private funeral and flushing for him (Fishy, not DH; I let him do his own flushing). Honestly, it was about 4 days before SWK (the self-appointed aquarium keeper) noticed that Fishy was no longer on the counter. Since then, Ralph has been renamed "Mur-freeze" (we love all things Batman) and survives in a 29-gallon tank all by himself.
I think we're getting SWK a guinea pig for his birthday. I'm sure things will go much better with that.
We gave up television three weeks ago, but we haven't missed any of the drama since we have enough of our own!