Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Monday: Survivor

Eye of the Tiger.

Does anyone else remember QUBE? I remember going to a neighbors to watch MTV. This was one of those first videos. I am quiet certain it was popular at sporting events and dance classes too. The song is an anthem of the 80s.

I remember Rocky running to the song in one of those movies.

Now I hear it in bars on the juke box and sometimes I feel a punch of nostalgia in my gut or I get annoyed. Depends on the day. 

I have been thinking about this song every time I look at our goldfish, Frankie. Frankie nearly died this week and now she is back swimming around that bowl like a champ. I guess it was only a near knock out, she pulled it out at the last second.

H was taking E to school and L was running around doing whatever it is she does in the morning and I was upstairs considering what I was going to wear, when I hear L yelling, "Mommy where is the fish?"
I responded that she was in her bowl.

Only she wasn't. She was laying on the counter, next to her bowl near the candle.

Not breathing. H, who had just gotten back,  scooped her up and put her in the bowl, then she did this weird twitching thing, lay on her side and kinda floated near the bottom. I decided it was only going to be a matter of time.

We were sad, H took L to school and I lamented to friends via Facebook and Twitter that the fish was dead. I was sad. I know it is just a fish, but she is no ordinary fish. She is really aware of her surroundings and she is friendly. I eat lunch at the breakfast bar and we bond. You would be surprised how good a listener a fish can be. Also let's face it, I am not allergic to her. This is a key detail. I can love my fish with no nasal or skin reactions.

I never really had pets growing up.

Early in our marriage H toyed with going to flight school in Arizona. We got a bunny. Some bunny to keep me company. She was so cute. We got her from a breeder, before we knew about rabbit rescue. H picked her out. I was all about a Rex with rusty satiny fur, but H fell for the little lop and we took her home.

Bundles was amazing fun. She was cute and cuddly and was a great pet. She had the run of part of our basement. As she got older, we decided to get her a friend. This time through the Ohio House Rabbit Society. Reuben had been a rescue from in Cleveland. Poor guy had been abandoned at a construction site.

It was not love at first site and Bundles and Reuben did not bond right away but just as I thought we were going to have to send Reuben back north, they reached an understanding. Reuben basically decided the food was good here and if the price of good food was letting the smaller female bunny be in charge, well so be it. Beats getting eaten or run over by a backhoe.

 I loved these bunnies. Reuben passed when L was a newborn. I am not sure I was paying as close as attention to him as I should have been, with a new baby and all, and he got a fatal ear infection. Having him put to sleep was so hard. I cried. I loved his gentle personality and his stand offish ways.

Bundles lived until L was almost 2, which made Bundles 10 years old. She slept most of the time towards the end. She did still like her outside time, was totally afraid of the loud squealing human who yelled - "I love you bunny" into her hutch and she passed peacefully in her sleep. L loved that rabbit and H and I dodged the death question by saying Bundles had taken a long trip. This came back to haunt us a few times. Ever so often, L would ask, if Bundles had gone on a trip, why hadn't she written a postcards. Then when my MIL passed away, L called us on our crap, "Hey did Bundles take the same trip Oma is taking. Is that why she hasn't written any post cards."

 I grieved for these bunnies and I told H no more pets. I just cannot emotionally deal with the lose. I try like crazy not to bond with these creatures.

Long story short, we watched a friend's fish and we ended up with 2 fish and a snail, which died. Bless H for dealing with this. Then a neighbor is moving cross country and gives us Frankie, who is an amazingly hearty fish it would seem. 

So hearty that she basically came back to life. I swear that fish was not breathing on the counter. After we put her back in the bowl and she had basically a couple minutes of what looked like seizures, I decided the smart money was on her being dead in a few hours. 

Not so. She is merrily swimming around that bowl, like nothing happened. She was still for a few hours and then back to splashing us and eating like a pig.

On Facebook I posted this and I mean every word:

The fish is now swimming around the bowl, after "playing dead." Is it wrong to be annoyed - be dead or not... I cannot cope with fish who pretend to be dead.
 So while I am glad our fish is a Survivor. Made of some pretty tough stuff, I am also reminded why it is hard for me to be a pet owner. The near death drama on Wednesday was really upsetting.
Just as last month I struggled with Snickers being gone. She disappeared during that monster snow storm and it was almost 5 days before we found her. I was so sure that cat was going to be dead. I could not fathom why she would run away, especially since she picked us. She showed up and wouldn't leave and no one else would take her despite my best efforts. I would have her in the house in a second. I love that cat. She is spunky, has an amazing cat-in-ality and is fun. She also makes me sneeze like no one's business and I get a skin rash in all of 5 seconds after I touch her. She too is a survivor. She was near deaths door when she arrived at our house. She was hungry and full of worms.
I had begun to give up hope until our neighbor posted on the neighbor association's Google Group, that they had her and had provided her some shelter during the wicked cold temperatures.
So in the span of two months our pets, pets I swore we weren't going to have, have managed to cause us much shock and dismay and I suppose, if we look for the silver lining, inspiration. The will to survive is strong, in bother Snickers and Frankie.
I still say, playing dead, as a fish is dangerous business. It almost earned her a one way flush.

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