Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saving the Fish from Dying

For 6 months now, I have been taking care of two goldfish which I bought from Walter Mart in Pasong Tamo. The shop has closed now and was replaced by a dance studio. 6 months ago, on a payday, I decided that I wanted to take care of a pet just so we have something alive inside the house (of course, except us.).

That night, I brought home 2 chubby fantail goldfish which I named Yin and Yang. I could tell them apart because Yang's fantail was kind of separated, making it seemingly two tails, while Yin only had one. Both of them had really fat tummies. Shiny scaly fat tummies.

For the longest time, the fish had eased off my everyday stress, seeing them eat and swim and eat and swim and eat and...well, after all they're goldfish, that's what they do. In my previous Multiply account, I even kided that I was starting to teach them some literary criticisms so they could do some other things besides eating and swimming. :)

They weren't demanding and sensitive fish. There was one time when Makati had a terrible city-wide blackout so there was no electricity to sustain the aerator but they had means of surviving by swimming and breathing at the top of the tank. They're clever for goldfish who's not being trained at all.

But one time, arriving from a very long day at work, I did the unthinkable. There were only three sockets on that part of our house where the aerator, exhaust fan and the electric fan was plugged. Since it was about 40 degrees hot, I couldn't give up the electric and exhaust fan so I had to unplug the aerator to charge my other fone which I wasn't really bringing with me. And then I slept. The next thing I knew, my mom was shouting that the other fish has already died. That was Yang.
I said sorry to Yang. Had I not been too selfish, he/she could still have been here.

I had to look for another fish to accompany Yin one weekend. Together with my colleagues from work, we went to Megamall, Trinoma, SM North and Glorietta to find a similar fish but I couldn't find one. I didn't want the goldfish they were selling as they looked like the bangus or dalagang bukid that they were selling in the Public Market. So I had to stick with just one fish in the globe tank.

Two weeks or so after, when Yin was all alone in the globe aquarium, I came home unsually early and saw the blurry aquarium water. I decided to change the water instead. Unusual, because my mom usually does it. She has her way of taking out the filter from the narrow tank opening. So after taking out Yin off the tank, I had to get the filter next and in a split second I just heard glass breaking. I just broke the glass tank. I swear I did not forcefully take out the filter but yeah, who cares, I broke it anyway.

Armed with guilt and a few hundred bucks in my purse, I had to go to Cartimar, the pet haven, to find a replacement tank. At around 6:30 am, not all the stalls were opened so I had to wait till 7am so I could shop. Eventually, instead of just buying a new fishtank, I ended up buying 4 really small goldfish and a big one.

When my mom and I set it up, it was very apparent how Yin stood out from the rest. He/She was a GOLD fish--the rest of the Cartimar hailed fish were not gold--but orange. I didn't come up with names for the 5 new ones because they were all the same. I couldn't tell them apart.

Two days later, Yin was swimming differently. Somersaulting, if there was a better way to describe it. My mom was even amused seeing it because it was something new for her.

The next day, Yin was floating and swimming on its back. It was still breathing, struggling at least. And that was when I tried reviving her. I sccoped her out of the fishtank and placed her in what I called Intensive Care Unit--a makeshift microwaveable container with aerator. There I had to feed her using a toothpick because she could no longer swim properly and get food for herself. I was then ready for her to leave. Seeing her in tattered fins and tail made me, ok this is exaggeration but yeah, cry. For some reasons, the fish I got from Cartimar, although really cheap compared to that from Bio were no less than Piranhas. He/She was brutally assaulted.

Yin lasted for more than 24 hours in that state. And during entire time, I was praying that Yin would stay alive because I knew he/she still wanted to. While Yin was in my makeshift ICU, I played the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, Asin and some Enya tracks. I prayed until I accepted that fact that 6 months was a long time for goldfish to live. And maybe, just maybe, it was her/his Tao to go. The Fish God maybe thinks that same way, too.

I saw Yin's last breath. Time of death: 12:55pm.

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