We are gathered here today to mourn the sudden, untimely death of Jay’s two dear fish named…
Ok wait hang on a sec, Jay had fish?
All week, whenever I relay to someone the sad passing of the fish, they look at me confused and ask “Jay had fish?”
Let’s back up a bit here. So about 3 years ago, Jay got a little rock pond, stuck it in the corner of the garden, and filled it with Goldfish. 11 Goldfish. No sooner had they been settled into their new home when an unspeakable tragedy occurred. Baba, our Jack Russell decided to go fishing…..
We came home to find 9 little Goldfish all laid out neatly in a row on the grass, dead.
The 2 remaining fish turned white from shock, but thankfully were in a stable condition. Can you call a Goldfish, a Goldfish when they are no longer gold? Lessons promptly learned; Jack Russell dogs are excellent at fishing; the pond needed to be fenced in.
Jay set off on his travels across Africa each week (we are talking Mon- Fri every week), and left me to care for these two little traumatised fish who were “part of the family” I kept being told. This is on top of looking after the kids (including Ngcebo of course), the dog, the house, my job, the estate (I’m the idiot who put their hand up for the Chairman job). Did I mention the kids? These two white-Goldfish were the cherry on top. Now, I was expected to change out of my slippers, find some slops (I don’t walk barefoot anywhere, we can dissect that another time) and go outside and feed the fish in the cold, rainy misty weather conditions. We live in Hillcrest, affectionately known as Mordor, as it was the filming location for Lord of the Rings, true story. The kids would trail after me also wanting to feed the fish, making it a big drama. Although I think back then Ava wasn’t walking yet, or she was crawling. What can I say, second child syndrome, I never kept track of the milestones? And then there was a breeze, and well the lighting was bad at that time of day. Often it would be pitch dark because I only remembered before going to bed so had to traipse out there in the dead of night, and well … really it was just a mission and I couldn’t be arsed. I mean seriously, they were fish!
It went down like this every Sunday night
Jay: “Don’t forget to feed my fish.”
Me: [eye-roll]. I won’t. [I did]
And it went down like this every Friday Night
Jay: “Did you feed my fish?”
Me: [eye-roll]. Yes. [nope]
At one point there was a discussion about giving them up for adoption. i.e. Dropping them back at the pet shop. I was all for it. But my week was busy (see above for reference). I didn’t get around to it because, well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the fish were the last thing on my mind. When Jay got home that Friday night he asked with a hint of sadness and desperation, “You didn’t take my fish back to the pet shop did you?” He looked so relieved and happy to find them cowering in the corner of the pond under the waterfall rock feature. They were jittery little things, understandably so. Doh, I often think back to that time. I had my opportunity. It was right there.
I will give them credit; the fish were hardcore. Not only did they survive the massacre, they learnt to ration out their weekend feeds to last during the week. Either that or, as Jay surmised, they grew legs, climbed out the pond, walked over to the patio, opened the fish food jar, helped themselves and then walked back home to the pond, carefully hiding their appendages from view. They were tough.
Until last week when Jay was cleaning out the pond and removed the waterfall rock feature which provided the skittish little things with shelter and more importantly, shade.
Which they needed.
When the sun finally came out.
It was a scorcher.
And did I mention we were away for the weekend?
Or, it could have been that the food jar was left inside the house and I forgot to leave a key out?
And so, we bid farewell to… I want to say George and… darn, I cannot remember the other one’s name.
You will be missed. [not]