Poseidon passed on yesterday. He was 14 months and 3 days old. That’s just a guess. It was somewhat of an unexpected passing. He had survived six weeks in a bathtub full of tepid fish- poop infested water. I thought he could handle anything. But I was wrong. Because now he is gone.
As I mentioned, it’s been very cold in my apartment lately. And Poseidon is a Beta. A somewhat tropical fish who prefers warmer climates. So he’s been a bit sluggish as of late. Considering I have been walking around in a vest and a beanie inside I can’t really blame him. But every time I walked by he would flare up daring me to challenge him in what was clearly his domain. And every night he would be more than willing to eat. But yesterday morning was different. He wasn’t paying me any attention. I felt his water. It was damn cold. I decided it was time to change it and also move his bowl to the kitchen where it was just a bit warmer.
So I began the process of changing his water. I put Poseidon in the clear measuring cup as I always do. He waited patiently, as he always does. I scrubbed his bowl, rinsed his rocks, cleaned his plastic plant, filled and de-chlorinated the water, being sure to make it a bit warmer. I wanted him to have a comfy return to his bowl. I was careful not to make the water really hot; I know fish can go into shock.
When everything was ready I placed him back into his very full bowl of water. And he freaked out. Maybe the warmer water reinvigorated him. Maybe it was too hot and put him into shock, but Poseidon was tearing around his bowl. And suddenly, he jumped out. Landing with a thud on the counter Poseidon just lay there. There was no flopping about. No fighting for breath. He seemed resigned to his place on the counter.
I quickly scooped him back into the measuring cup and dumped him into his bowl. He sunk to the bottom with a slight flapping of his fins. I tried to rejuvenate him. But it was no use. Poseidon was floating vertically. His head staring down at his bright red rocks. His tail swaying helplessly in the upper echelons of the bowl. I didn’t want to admit the inevitable to myself. I left him like that for the remainder of the day. Hoping. For what… I don’t really know. But Poseidon was dead.
I’m not sure what happened. Maybe he was already dying. Maybe the warm water did send him into shock. Or maybe he broke something when he jumped out of his bowl and landed so violently on the counter. It almost seems that way. I have never seen a fish so resigned to being out of the water. It was as if he had been paralyzed.
Poseidon and I had some good times. Like when I saved him from the aforementioned bathtub after six weeks. Or how every night I would tap his glass and show him the bright yellow fish food container and he would swim eagerly to the top of his bowl awaiting the delicious morsels. He would violently lunge at the food as if he was reliving better days in the wild. But those days are over now. Instead today, my third Thanksgiving in a row away from the US, I am faced with an empty fish bowl where once swam the majestic Beta. Poseidon. God of the sea.
Welcome to Sweden. And farewell to Poseidon.