Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Tribute To Friendship

Many of my furried, finned and feathered friends are old. When the end comes, it's really no surprise, but that doesn't make it any easier. A couple of months ago one of my Cory Catfish passed. I had two small catfish living with my beloved Betta, "Campfire" - a huge brown and orange, heavily finned, beautiful fish. When I put their food in that morning, no one came up to greet me. Well, the Cories aren't super friendly, but Campfire, like most animals on this farm, was a good eater and never turned down a meal. Upon closer inspection, I found him and the remaining Cory sitting with their dead friend.

Now this isn't the first time I'd seen what appeared to be friendship among my fish. I used to leave the fish in the tank when I cleaned it and once unknowingly flipped a rock over and caught one of the catfish underneath. As I was putting away the cleaning supplies, I noticed a commotion in the tank and saw the other catfish trying to push the rock off his friend. I'm not kidding. There was nothing to question. However, in this case, even as I wanted to say these two fish were either trying to protect, comfort or mourning the loss of their friend, I had to consider that it might be just a coincidence.

This morning, Campfire did not come up to eat. He's very old and I knew we were on borrowed time. He was still alive, but failing. I considered a humane euthanasia (yes, this is sometimes the kindest thing and there are ways to do it - no fish should ever suffer), but he seemed "okay". I left to run some errands and when I got home, he was gone. Now, not so amazingly, his friend, the remaining Cory was right by his side. Once is a coincidence. Twice is real. I can only think he was providing some sort of comfort for his friend and while I never really questioned it before, will never, ever believe fish don't have feelings. And while I feel a bit creepy posting this sad picture, I wanted "proof" for anyone who might doubt my story.

1 comment:

~Tonia~ said...

Sorry for your loss and your poor cory cat. I am sure he will miss his friend.

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