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Friday, March 03, 2006

A Fish Called Cleo

I have a pet fish named Cleo. Named after Geppetto's pet goldfish from the 1940 Disney classic Pinocchio and not the famous queen of ancient Egypt, Cleo is a female swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) which I bought at the UP Shopping Center pet fish store for 10 pesos as a gift to myself. She actually costs as much as her food since a packet (a sachet, if you will) of her flakes cost 10 bucks as well. In fact, if I had opted for the fish pellets which cost 20 pesos, she'd actually cost half her food.

Anyway, I take care of Cleo more or less religiously. I feed her two tiny flakes a day. I placed her tiny bowl in a saucer with water because I once saw ants crawl into her bowl (which killed them because, duh, the bowl's filled with water). I change her water as often as possible. These exercises have led me to many observations, the first of which is that she has suicidal tendencies.

You know Blubber? Amelie Poulain's pet fish? Yep, Cleo's like that. When we change her water (I usually ask for help), she jumps whenever we try to catch her. Sometimes, she jumps so high, she actually lands on the dry kitchen tiles, literally brushing herself with death. It's peculiar. Perhaps she doesn't fully realize that it's all for her own good. She is probably unaware that changing her water is necessary for her own survival, though traumatic procedures such as being scooped out of her liquid surroundings must be taken.

I have also observed that Cleo is anorexic. Whenever I drop her flakes into the water, she doesn't eat them right away like my previous pet fishes. She doesn't even sniff, poke or taste them. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch. During the first few weeks, I'd leave her like that and come back a few minutes later to see that the flakes have disappeared, leading me to assume that she had already eaten them and that she prefers to eat in private, like a human being. But the alarming thing is that, lately, I would come back and find the flakes soaked and left untouched by Cleo.

The weird thing is, not only is she anorexic but she is also bulimic! I watched her eat once and noticed that she would "sample" the flake, then eat it whole (the flake, half her size, would literally disappear in an instant into her mouth), then spit it back out!

My mother says I've placed Cleo in an oppressive environment, given that her bowl is so small, it carries only a cup of water. She says this may have caused her to go berserk. She also hypothesizes that these psychological illnesses may only mask the rebellion that she has against me, the one who has enslaved her.

Well, she is a tiny fish. With a bowl that small and fish that size, I figured I may have hit upon the perfect apartment-friendly pet.

Maybe Cleo wants the pellets. She may even be Epicurean after all and tolerates only the finest food! That being the pellets for fishes. Maybe I'll buy the pellets...


Mannballs said...

my fish used to do that bulimic thing too. but maybe it's because they grabbed too big of a flake or they were eating then (due to their infamous 3-second memory [if that IS true...]) spat them out as if to say, "egads! what is this delicious tasting thing in my mouth?!"

Ana said...

Hahaha...3-second memory?! LOL!

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