Sunday, January 11, 2009

Having never had one before, I wasn't completely sure I would like a pet fish. I had two kinds of caged animals as a child: rats and walking sticks. The walking sticks lasted less than a week before I realized they were simply too alien and creepy for me. We gave them back to my third grade teacher who supplied them in the first place. The rats lasted several years... But I never trained them to do anything, and, when I thought about them, which wasn't that often, I felt guilty for not giving them any attention beyond basic, necessary maintenance. In the end, I decided that if you're going to go to the trouble of having a pet, it might as well be a cat or dog.

Now I find that I must amend that conclusion: if you're going to go to the trouble of having a fuzzy, house pet (it's important to leave room for things like goats and horses here -- just in case), then it might as well be a cat or dog.

A pet fish is really more akin to a potted plant than to other pets. (Though, my cats eat potted plants. Ironically, they've shown no interest in Emmett.) And, while Emmett is every bit as alien as a walking stick, I find him very peaceful. He lives in an entirely different atmosphere than the rest of us. Maintaining him is like keeping a miniature dignitary from a world of methane-breathers on my desk. The walking sticks were less like dignitaries and more like miniature savage warlords. Very creepy. If I'm going to keep a tiny representative of an alien race on my desk, it may as well come from a world with which I keep peaceful relations.

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