October 4, 2004

Am I a bad Pet Mommy?

I have managed to lose 2 pets in one week. My dear beta fish N. bought a one-way ticket to the big Fish Fry in the Sky last week. I went to his fish tank and tapped twice. Usually, he immediately swims to the top in eager anticipation for his shrimp flakes. But, Sob! He sat at the bottom with his fish eyes wide open – accusingly. As if it was my fault. But of course, it MUST have been my fault. I just haven’t figured out how. What really, really sucks about having a fish die, but not float to the top is HOW DO YOU GET IT OUT?? I never had a fish net, didn’t need it. So, I tried to pour out as much water as possible then dumped the whole mess into a trash bag. THEN, I did an artful, complicated jig to the tune of “I Am So Grossed Out”.

To add to the mass of guilt, my cat H. hasn’t been home for 5 days. Like clockwork, H. always shows up in the morning after a night of cruising the streets (granted, due to the fact he is fixed, his carousing is limited to looking, no touching). Anyway, the next morning he didn’t show up. I do wonder if the neighborhood cat chased him so far away that H. decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and hoofed it back to the old neighborhood. He is a self-reliant cat and only hung out with us because we petted him and provided a cozy bed in the spare bedroom. So, I have done the rounds of the neighborhoods (new and old) taping posters wherever there is a mailbox.

I guess I am surprised at how much I miss H – I mean, I knew I would miss him, but all along I had been telling myself that he would eventually disappear. I thought I had prepared myself emotionally for his eventual disappearance. He was a stray who showed up on our doorstep last year and we took him because he was such a sweet cat. We knew the chances of an older, male, black being adopted were nil. Although he was an incredibly friendly, easy-going cat, he was never a snuggly one and rarely sat on our laps. However, now when I look at his favorite chair and the bed in the spare bedroom, I can’t help but get teary-eyed.

I hate the “not knowing” part of H. being gone. At least I know where the fish is.

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