The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Fishy saga is lesson for all

Some people just are not meant to be pet owners.

Take Greg and Rachel Wallace from Chippewa Falls, for example. As reported in Sunday’s edition of the Leader-Telegram, in an attempt to fluff up laundry that had sat in the dryer over night, Rachel Wallace closed the dryer and started it up.

It wasn’t until 10 minutes later that she heard a strange thumping sound and turned it off to find Twinkles the cat – tumble dried.

I’ve experienced similar situations growing up but not with a cat. I never was allowed to have pets, at least ones that would require a fair amount of attention.

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After years of asking for a cat, I got a tank full of fish for my birthday.

Little did my family know what was in store for those helpless fish.

It became a weekend ritual for my family to travel to the fish store, cooler in hand, and pick out a few fish to replace those that had died a week or two before.

But my favorite fish, the one that refused to die, was a Beta fish named Angelica. It was a beautiful blue and red fish with quite an aggressive attitude.

My family’s first memorable fish experience happened only a few months after I got the 25-gallon tank.

During a quiet night at home, we heard the sound of dripping water.

I glanced over to look at the tank and noticed that water was dribbling down the table where the tank stood.

Not much later, water literally began to gush out of the tank from the bottom edge.

We frantically began to collect the fish with the little green net. The fish then were placed in a gallon bucket, where they would stay for the next few hours.

My mom placed the heater in the bucket so the fish wouldn’t freeze to death, but instead, the exact opposite happened.

After placing a piece of plastic wrap over the bucket so the fish wouldn’t commit suicide after the tremendous trauma they experienced, the unthinkable happened.

A few hours later, we were witnesses to the death of probably 20 fish that had been boiled to death.

But the survival of one fish surprised us all – Angelica still was alive and well.

That next week, the faulty tank was replaced with a new one and filled with new fish.

The loss was devastating but a new tank of fish was all I needed to get back into the swing of things.

After the tank incident, the fish and its home began to flourish into what it used to be and we went a few years without any significant loss in fish.

That is, until my mom began to clean the algae-infested glass and plastic plants.

Bleach was the cause of death this time. It was the last time the tank would need to be cleaned.

Angelica, once again the lone survivor, was given a new home at my high school’s science department.

The little lesson here is that even fish need some positive attention.

And not all people are meant to have them.

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Fishy saga is lesson for all