Saturday, May 21, 2005

Twinkie 1996-2005

Last night Twinkie was lying on his side in the tank breathing hard. It didn't look good. For some weeks now he had been upside down or right side up but listless, barely eating his fish chow. The side thing was new and we thought this might be the end.

We've thought this before with old Twinkie. One tough goldfish, he's been through a lot catching one disease after another, recovering then getting sick again. We thought he was going to pull through this latest bout, but we were wrong.

Twinkie the Goldfish died this morning. He was accorded a State Funeral in the back yard and buried in a velvet and satin jewelry box suitable for a king.

Twinkie came to our house as a gift from a birthday party in 1996. He was a little snip of a goldfish swimming around in a Ziploc bag of water. We went down to Walmart and bought a proper Goldfish Bowl. A few months later while wading through the debris on the floor of my daughter's room where Twinkie lived I noticed that half of his water had evaporated and what remained was thick and black. We moved Twinkie into the kitchen where he would receive more attention, not to mention light and water, and bought him a new bowl

Twinkie had grown. He was about an inch and a half long. However, a few months later it was obvious that he would soon outgrow bowl number 2, so we bought what was nearly a tank, outfitted it with some rocks, a castle and a sign that read "No Fishing" and that would be home for a few years.

During that time we moved to Houston and Twinkie rode down with me in the back seat of the car next to the cats. That was an interesting journey itself.

Twinkie loved Houston. The weather suited him greatly and over the years he moved to three larger tanks. In his prime he measured over 8 inches long and about an inch wide. He was a big fish.

Twinkie's Most Excellent Adventure happened about 4 years ago. I came into the kitchen in the morning around 6am to get breakfast, looked into the tank and said "Hi, Twinkie." like I do every day.

There was no Twinkie. I looked again. No Twinkie. Huh? This was not possible! The tank was only so big, there was no place to hide, but the tank was definitely empty.

My first thought was "cats!" But, as I rounded the breakfast bar, there on the floor, golden scales contrasting oatmeal Spanish tile, was Twinkie.

He wasn't moving. He looked parched. He had jumped out of his tank, flopped across the counter and fallen to the floor. Who knows when? Hours ago? Probably. I figured he was dead, but when I kneeled down to pick him up I saw his gills were still moving.

Good grief! Twinkie's alive!

I picked him up and plopped him back into his tank. He lay there for a few minutes doing the side stroke with one fin. Then, gradually, he righted himself and started swimming around like he owned the place, which he did.

One tough fish. He survived cats swiping at him, moves to multiple tanks, water changes and now this, a night on the kitchen floor.

We bought a screen lid for his tank that afternoon.

Twinkie was a real fighter. Every time we thought he was down for the count he would pick himself up and carry on. He had a real zest for life that we all admired.

So, here's to you, Twinkie, family member, surviver and inspiration to us all.

Twinkie the Goldfish. 1996-2005.

P.S. Claire provides some much needed accuracy.

3 comments:

Bente said...

Wow Twinkie was one tough fish! That's a long life for a gold fish.

that girl said...

I couldn't have said it better, rest in peace Twinkie!

Gerah said...

I didn't even know him, but I love him.

Twinkie, I hope to meet you some day in that big fish bowl in the sky!