We added a new little member to our family two weeks ago – Meet Mr. Bertie (named by the Mr. after his all time favorite character Bertram Wooster from the PGW Series) – our goldfish.
After about three to four visits to three to four pet shops, I gave into the Mr.’s insistence and we bought Bertie home on 3rd February. And I must say, I am really happy that we made that decision.
When we started the topic of having pets at home, the Mr. is one great animal love and I am very inclined to think quite the opposite, I was not so very fine – until I saw the little parakeets in Meijer (the local grocery store – which somehow seems to have everything under the sun inside it – just like most grocery stores in the US do – food, household items, pharmacy, beauty products, clothes, furniture … whew! I am exhausted even naming them). I was lured into the trap that the Mr. so cleverly laid. But after talks to 2-3 pet shop folks, we were discouraged – as keeping birds takes quite a lot of effort and commitment. The temperature of the house has to be constantly maintained at 65F, and with the Michigan winter causing mercury to dance between 0F and 7F for the past 1 week, that posed to be a big issue – especially when both of us were at work. My good intentions dropped an inch lower when the big hunk there, who owns about 17 pets – some of which include a couple of lizards (hello! Did you ever hear of anybody loving those yucky looking creatures that I so dreaded, that I would refused to go to the toilet/bathroom as a kid, fearing the one tiny one sticking on the very corner of the roof.) - showed us the minimum size of the cage that we needed to have to own the minimum number of birds that we could have (which is Two) – it was half the width of my Kitchen slab – my bedroom would shrink to 1/4th of its size if I kept the cage there. And added to that was the pain of finding somebody who would be willing to take this load into their place for 3 weeks when we were gone to India (a trip is in the offing). So the wings of our dreams were clipped.
Then the focus of the Mr.’s keen eyes (which can never find a single item lying just in front of his eyes) landed on the gleaming gold flitting about in its water haven. I tried arguing with him a lot – What is the use of a fish that will remain in one corner of the room and will not even interact with us. We will get bored with it in 3 days – and so on. But his “puppy look” finally sealed the result of the discussion and one very proud and smug Mr. walked back to the apartment holding his precious aureate Bertie on a very cold Saturday.
And I was wrong – we have never been bored with our little fellow. There he sits on the TV Stand, swimming crazily in his bowl. Every Morning we wake up, the 1st thing the Mr. rushes to do is wish Bertie a very good morning before rushing to the toilet. Fish, somebody told me, are not very social animals – meaning they can live alone and really don’t respond much to human company. Either I was misinformed or the said person was wrong. In these two weeks, I can say that our company does matter to Bertie. If neither of us is around, he swims lazily or sits in one corner of the bowl eating and spitting out gravel. But the moment we put on the TV and are in the front room, he swims like crazy and does various antics. When I go and tap the bowl, he comes closer to where I am – opening and shutting his mouth as if talking to me.
It is very soothing to just look at Bertie, at the end of a long and boring/buzy day at work. He fills our house with peace, just with his presence.