Saturday, November 03, 2007

Isabelle's loss

A eulogy I have been dreading to write for years:

Tonight while getting ready for bed, Isabelle opened her fish tank to feed her Betta, Cuter.
He wasn't moving. Now, this has happened before, when he was just very still and perked up when the food came in. Not so tonight.

Cuter, the most beloved fish in the world, was dead.

This was Isabelle's very first pet that was all hers. We got Cuter for her almost four years ago, unveiling him on Christmas morning. It was love at first sight and Isabelle immediately christened him "Cuter", because "He is cuter than any other fish!"
We nursed this fish through two unknown infections (treating him with antibiotics...yep, they make fish antibiotics), and a few bouts of fluke worms...all to keep this precious, truly loved pet alive for our Isabelle.
I have never seen Isabelle in such a state as I did tonight. She threw her arms around my neck and sobbed and screamed..."Cuter is at the end! I want to bury him! I want to get a rock...{sob} and paint his picture...{sob} and draw a hun-hun-hundred hearts on it!"

For those of you who are saying, "Oh, for chrissakes. It's a FISH!"...well, this was more than a fish to Isabelle. She talked to him, she shared secrets with him and whenever she got into trouble and sent to her room, she would vent about it to him. I used to wonder if my girls were too lackadaisical about death (the rats, the parakeet, etc...we don't shield them from any of that) but Isabelle showed me just how deeply she can feel.

*For some reason, we don't have a picture of's a close imitation:
You were the best fish in the world.


Mary said...

Yeah, I thought, "Oh, it's just a Beta - flush him". Then, I remembered Gina's gerbils and the agony she felt with every death, and the proper burials and ceremonies down the back yard.

May Cuter Rest in Peace. Isabelle has a big heart, Susan.

Trixie said...

Ahhh, Isabelle. I am so sorry for your loss. Cuter was the luckiest Betta in the world because he had all your love. Paint that rock for him.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Poor Isabelle. I feel your pain Honey. I had "just a goldfish" one time that lived 6 years. I cried and cried when Fred died. I was an adult at that time too. Age doesn't matter. We all grieve for beloved pets. It is good to grieve. It is great to have all those lovely memories.

NatureWoman said...

Poor Isabelle, I feel for her. Is she going to get another fish soon?

Liza Lee Miller said...

I'm so sad for Isabelle -- and for you. That kind of grief is all the more painful for a mother. The urge to make it all better is so hard when you can't make it better at all. Kisses from her Internet Aunties!

Susan said...

Tell Isabelle that I'm sorry about Cuter. She must have taken very good care of him - I've had 4 betta fish (all named Barney) over the years and the longest that any of them lived was 2 years.

dguzman said...

Give her a hug for me, and tell her that a pet's a pet, no matter what it is. I cried for my fish Albert for weeks.

Zoey said...

Aww Isabelle I remember when I lost my beautiful blue dwarf gourami Bluemoon. There was some venting there. Give her my love.