Sunday, July 8, 2007
Cupcake; ..Tale of a geriatric fish
Our pet fish, Cupcake, is a two year old, lovely blue Betta. According to his care booklet he can expect to live two-two and a half years, possibly three years with excellent care. I was once asked who I would like to be if I were reincarnated.
The answer is easy, if I have to come back I would like to be our fish, cupcake.
From the start Cupcake wasn't very active. He understood the value of taking it easy. Now that he is in his dotage he rarely moves but recieves the best geriatric care afforded anyone, man or fish. His frequent naps have turned into comas now. Everyone has advice or some comment. "He's probably just hibernating." "Give him a pea because he might have a vitamin deficiency." " Feed him more" "change his water"
Through much trial and error I now have a care plan that lets him make the most of his remaining months.
He stays completely unanimated almost always now. Not a twitch, not a tiny movement from his wee fins. It became difficult for him to rise to the top of his bowl for a breath. Several times we didn't think he would make it. My husband bought him a plastic anemone to sit on so that he would be closer to the top and would not have as far to swim. He began to spit out his food. I then began to put his food in his bowl and let it soften for a while. After it is properly moistened I shake him out of his coma and he eats a few small bites before returning to his comatose state.
It became apparent to me that I would need to feed him this way several times a day in order for him to be properly nourished. At times he seems unable to rise for his breath so my husband lifts him up with his own hand. He needs constant, around the clock care which we provide.
With the way elder care in our country is going I would so much rather be my fish than myself.
Posted by Jean Knee at 6:11 PM