Before my husband and I got engaged, we got a dog. Although it was never spoken, that little Pug was our relationship test. Like many other unmarried couples, that dog was the center of our lives. He was our child before we had a child.
Many years later our beloved Bogey is no longer with us, and the kids have started furiously asking (begging) for a pet. Specifically – a big dog. To be honest, I feel that I know my own limits, and at this time they do not include a dog. I don’t have the hours in my day let alone the desire to add another responsibility to my plate, and although my kids insist that they will help, they are neither old enough nor mature enough for that responsibility.
I understand their yearning for a pet, and after long and careful consideration we went with a fish tank. I know that is not that exciting, but after Kid2 was born I made a steadfast rule that no more living things were to be brought into my home. This included kids, pets, and plants (and long term visitors). Agreeing to the fish was actually difficult for me. I really did not want to be responsible for anything else. It felt like it was going to be just another thing for ME to do.
Our fish tank is set up in the corner of our playroom. My kids love their fish. Their friends, especially younger siblings, really love our fish (or bishy as they are usually called). We shop for them, name them, feed them, and clean the tank together. It has worked out to be great, and something that our family enjoys doing together. Until the inevitable happened. (Editor’s Note: A special WTS Toy Review investigation is being launched to explore the mysterious details surrounding the sudden and unexpected loss of Corycat. Should any new evidence be uncovered in the course of the investigation it will be reported here. Stay tuned for updates.)
This week we lost our beloved Corycat. He was a horribly ugly bottom feeder that my son grew a special attachment to. We have lost plenty of fish before, but for some reason this little sucker was something special. I had a few options:
1. I could run out and for $1.99 I could replace Corycat while Kid2 was school. No one would have been the wiser.
2. We could do a ceremonial flush, say good bye and have cupcakes to cheer us up.
3. We could bury him in a little box and have a proper funeral.
4. I could dispose of said fish and run over to What The Stuff and look for some gently reviewed Squinkies that would cheer up my kid after I broke the news.
I went with option 4. On one hand I didn’t want to lie to my son. But on the other hand I didn’t want to encourage full on dramatics – so I figured a little distracting would do the trick. I put the Squinkies on his seat so that he would see them when I picked him up after school, thus opening up the conversation. After he asked why he was getting a free present, I took a deep long breath and told the truth. While the Squinkies were a nice distraction, I was however, stuck with the dramatics. Periodically through out the afternoon and evening he would come up to me with sweet tears rolling down his cheeks and tell me he missed his beloved Corycat. We sat down and talked about Corycat and everything he brought to our tank and our lives, and then gave each other big hugs.
I was going to tell him that there are plenty of other fish in the sea, but I think I will save that conversation for another time!