mercredi 24 octobre 2012

Goldfish hospitalization, Day 5: Stability and Impatience

Contrition

Contrition, or a larger container. Whichever it is, and I am going for the containment factor, the fish who lept yesterday to a miraculous survival, faced with one dog, one cat and no water upon landing, is still alive. And she let us know again last evening that she has had enough and isn't taking anymore, circling vigorous and insistent circles up against the sides of the galvanized steel bucket we now call her home, water flying in all directions. One particularly forceful round and leap found her head rising over the bucket's lip, a good 20 cm or more above the water level.

Surprise! It's I!

She nearly ended up in my dinner plate.

We were at table, and her bucket was just to the side of my right elbow. I was keeping a close eye on her. She will have to survive until the spring before I can be certain she is a she. I have a doubt.

This morning, I hid under the covers, putting off the moment I'd have to go over to the petite maison and check on the patients in the guest room. I had no reason to believe I would find anymore casualties of whatever caused this population wipe-out, but I couldn't know. Enough is, after all, enough, and I had had enough of finding little bodies floating flank up in the water. When I made it out there for morning rounds, I was gratified to find everyone alive and active, petitioning for a return to the pond.

"C'est la preuve qu'ils sont habitués à un plus grand espace et à ne pas avoir des limites," commented my husband, listening to yesterday's leaper race around the inside of the bucket.

I didn't find that so amazing. When you have swum around in a 180 cm diameter, 70 cm deep pond with 6,000-something liters of water, rocks and plants and hiding-places and shelters, why wouldn't you protest against finding yourself in a soup or salad bowl, even a bucket?

So, today I repeated the daily routine, carrying the bowls, vases and buckets in turn to the kitchen, scooping up the first liter of medicated water from the big plastic bucket in the sink in setting it to my side before carefully emptying most of the used water, pouring in the liter to reassure the poor fish and then filling the container, adding a pinch of gros sel de Guérande, a bit of an oxygenating tablet and a little bit of food before carrying the patient out to the Moroccan table in the garden. It takes an hour and a half for the 28 surviving fish. I'd happily have spent 3 hours had all 60 survived.

The little leaper

They are impatient, however, all of them; two more lept today. I found one little one lying between the containers, several away from its empty one, practically glued to the tiles of the table, and another particularly muscular  one, one of the last I found and retrieved from the fish-pond-in-a-fountain -- oddly, the last ones out were among the least vulnerable. If I think about that, it makes a kind of sense --, was missing from his red plastic basin, and like yesterday's, was lying in the grass covered in grass cuttings and dirt. He also jerked in my hand when I picked him up, mercifully, and appears regretful of his impulsivity.

The large leaper

My doctor husband wants them to spend at least 3 or 4 days with no further demises in their individual containers before I begin to group them in a larger capacity container, while we wait for the plumber to come and repair the outdoor spigot so we can refill the fish-pond-in-a-fountain. I don't know if they can take it.

Time to go check on them again.
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