Hot Lava & Boobooboos

I can’t believe I’ve let almost two entire weeks pass without mentioning… ANNOUNCING… the two newest members of our family!  *gasp*

You broke the “no pets till you’ve reached the point where you can be trusted with your own steak knife” rule?  Not me, my friend.  James.  He’s also the one who leased a new 2001 Jetta without going through the proper decision-making channels, twelve years ago.  Seems I may need to sign him up for a Good Husband Refresher course.

The two little boys at our house are constantly asking what and when we can get something to take care of… I guess in addition to our two pet monkeys.  And lately I’ve found myself reading magazine articles titled things like 4 Low Maintenance Pets.  None of the suggestions have looked even remotely promising, except their tongue-in-cheek references to pet rocks.  Which I used to think was ridiculous, but I now officially rescind any previous negative judgments.  I’ve never been a bigger fan.

So the line had been drawn in the sand.  And then Daddy crossed it.

On October third, James came home two Betta fish richer… and $38.54 poorer.

I’m told it went down like this:

James: “C’mon boys, let’s go to PetSmart and buy a goldfish.”

Boys: “Shouldn’t we check with Mom before we do something crazy like buying an animal that can live up to five years and needs regular care and feeding?” (OK, I added this part.  It’s part of the Day 1 morning workshop in that Good Husband Refresher class I mentioned.)

Clerk: “Sorry, sir.  I can’t sell you a $1 goldfish unless you buy a $250 filtration system equipped aquarium.  Otherwise it’ll just die.”

And so they left with two Betta fish, two kinds of color-enhancing food, some kind of water additive, and a partitioned bowl because boy Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, fight to the death.  Technically ours were labeled “Halfmoon Betta” and “Female.”

Based on the labels, we have a flashy red male Betta, which Jacob laid claim to and calls Hot Lava.  Nate got the demure blue female Betta, because he always gets stuck with second choice.  He originally told me her name was Gawol (Girl).  But, after days of Jakey insisting her name is Blueberry, Nate now calls her Boobooboos (his word for blueberry).  They still live in the partitioned bowl because whether they’re lovers or fighters… either one could be bad news.

Every morning the boys like to run to the kitchen and check on their fish.  They eat their food and then spit it out (the fish).  Sometimes they knock their food from the surface to the bottom.  When you turn the light on, they swim much faster.  These fish that can apparently survive in a puddle seem to be filling the puppy void quite satisfactorily.

However, I kind of panicked on their first night in their new home.  Just one week into our new status as pet owners, we were headed to Brett’s wedding weekend.  I asked James who was going to take care of the fish?  Were we bringing them with us?  Dropping them off at a friend’s?  Suddenly, fish ownership was looking like a poorly thought-out decision… which most pet sellers are banking on.

He looked at me speechless, and then called his mom.

Nonna told us they do better if you rarely feed them.

What kind of pet jackpot have we stumbled upon?  We threw some extra food in there, said our goodbyes, and hoped for the best.

Fortunately, Hot Lava and Boobooboos can be trusted to live, unsupervised, over the course of a three-day weekend.  I’d say they may just be inching out ‘Rock’ as my new favorite pet.



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