ANIMAL HOUSE, PART I: Water and Sand



Christmas is coming.  Did you get those gifts for your kids yet?

When we were first married, we had my mixed hound dog, Sherman, but Sherman got old and cranky and eventually had to be put down.  Hubby and I agreed that raising kids was enough – we did not need to add more pets to the household mix.  But as the kids grew older, each and every one of them began  asking for a puppy for birthdays/ Easter/ Christmas or just because.

Puppies are expensive in the long run, and raising kids was enough grief.  We stuck to our guns.

Then some bright mind at the Senior Center came up with the idea of having an Ice Cream Social for their clients and grandkids, at which event the centerpiece of each table was a goldfish bowl with a real, live goldfish.  One lucky kid at each table got to take that goldfish home, and of course, my kid won – yay! The fish did not come home in the bowl – apparently that was not part of the prize – so we had to scramble around to find something appropriate into which to transfer that fish from the plastic bag it came in.  Needless to say, the fish didn’t live very long.

After that, the pleas for a pet grew louder.

We started with sea monkeys.  Believe it or not, we actually got those buggers to grow big enough to be seen with the naked eye (if you weren’t too old, that is –otherwise, the kit did come with a tiny magnifying glass).

After the sea monkeys, hubby approached me with the idea of getting each child another goldfish – in a real tank this time.  So off we went to buy a 3-gallon tank and 3 very tiny fish.  The fish quickly outgrew that small tank – to be safe, we transferred them to a 10-gallon tank, which then also needed a filtration system and plants.  But the fish weren’t quite big enough [yet] to fill that tank so we added a few more.  Which, of course, quickly outgrew that tank, too.  To make a long story shorter, we eventually wound up with a 29-gallon tank –and by that time, the kids had outgrown the fish, so they became my pets.

At one point, Cordelia – bless her little heart – decided she would like an ant farm for some gift-giving occasion.  The kit came with a coupon by which to order the ants, which then arrived by parcel post – with instructions to place them in the fridge prior to transferring them to their new home inasmuch as the cold would make them lethargic and easier to handle.  Simple enough – except that I forgot they were in the fridge, and the fridge was set unusually cold at that time.

Poor Cordelia was seriously traumatized when the ants began dying, one by one, and the other ants would then drag their dead comrades up to the top of the tank, creating a little burial pile of dead ant bodies – until finally there was only one ant left.  I don’t recall if that one managed to drag itself up to join the others in death or died somewhere in the middle of the farm.  But I do know that Cordelia never asked for another pet after that.

Meanwhile, the fish were thriving.  I made the mistake of walking past the “feeder tank” at the pet store and came home with a dozen or so more guppies, because I felt sorry for them.  Those darn things lived for years, entertaining us and our various dogs – until Puppy  Cody arrived, and we were afraid she would run into that large tank, so the fish were re-homed.


Join me again tomorrow for Part II of this story.  The fish are done, but the pets get bigger.


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Image by Jamie

This entry was posted in Holidays, Humor, Pets, That's Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to ANIMAL HOUSE, PART I: Water and Sand

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Ah, family pets… Such good stories. 😉


  2. Those pets keep the stories coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AmyRose🌹 says:

    How entertaining at best. LOL I’m pretty sure I know where this story is going, for the photo says it all. Never did the anthill, thank goodness, but my brothers had so many varieties of pets, inclusive of spiders and snakes … *shudder*. I’m enjoying this story. Hope I can get to the next part. (((HUGS))) Amy ❤


  4. I have two words that sum up our similar progression to our life with dogs: mealy worms. To feed the lizards. That the cats ate. And the mealy worms spilled out of their container all over the fridge. And my mother came over and looked in the fridge … and found mealy worms. I tried to explain, but she didn’t believe me. I think she forever was afraid to eat food from my fridge.


    • Nuts. I forgot about our very first pets – the potato bugs! The science project one year was to keep a diary about care of the family pets, and if the family didn’t have pets, they were told to catch a couple of potato bugs and keep them in a jar. We actually became quite attached to those tiny creatures – believe it or not, they seemed to have some personality. At the end of the project (and before fall came), we released them back where we had found them.


  5. Sis and I had slow worms and lizards as pets. We let the slow worms loose under the door of the outside privvy when Mum was in there. Her screams could be heard in the next road.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: ANIMAL HOUSE, PART II: The Pitter-Patter of Very Tiny Paws | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  7. Pingback: ANIMAL HOUSE, PART III: Doggy Do | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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