My grandma keeps the remains of her departed beloved pet, Cassie, on her mantel. I admit I find it a little… unusual. But I’ve never been in her shoes, and I’m certain she’s not the only one. Pets are members of our families—sometimes preferred to their human counterparts—and mourned as such.
Animals offer such unique gifts, tireless companionship and unconditional love among them. And yet we sometimes try to limit them to human attributes. We name them, talk to them and have even been known to dress them.
Our pets are fish, so I haven’t had the pleasure of choosing their outfits. But we named them, and I know I, for one, talk to them. My family and I invent thoughts within their little fishy brains, and conversations about their fishy days. We take into consideration what we would want, were the tables turned.
There’s a balance between their dependence on us for food, shelter (and clothing?) and our respect that they were capable of doing just fine in their natural habitat. We don’t just love them, we appreciate them in a way only a pet owner can.
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We have had our aquarium for about two months, and our fish are doing (dare I say it?) swimmingly. Of course we fondly remember the three fish we initially lost during the cycling of our tank. Indy the platy, our lone survivor, is going to be a papa soon. His lady, Rose, is bursting at the gills—which means we’re going to have to learn about platy fry soon. We also plan to add to our four neon tetras, since they like company. You can’t tell me fish are boring!