When I met Lailielle(Laili for short), she had a fish named Bruce. Actually, when I started to talk to her on the phone before we met, I found out she had a fish named Bruce and a stuffed sock monkey named George, and that George was already jealous of me despite my rather limited status as "guy on the phone, met on Tinder.) I felt this was a good sign.
We met on Valentine's day 2016. It was a day so cold that the inner glass shattered out of one of the double pane windows in my apartment, a spontaneous collapse to anyone but a physicist with a thermometer. Bruce was very special to Laili. He was another living being in an otherwise one person apartment. A silent confidant who would sometimes offer vaudevillian comedy. Bruce died after I had been seeing Laili for about a year. She had given me a fish in the meantime. I named him Cecil. After Bruce passed on I brought her Tim, another Betta, a "King Betta."
Eventually Cecil died seemingly from an infection. Laili then helped me to pick out a new Betta, a Baby Boy named Enrique Ricardo.
Are you confused yet? We each have a fish now. Hers is Tim, a beefy bluegreen and mine is Enrique, smaller with long red fins and tail.
A few weeks ago I fish sat for Tim. Laili went to Vegas for the weekend. When I brought Tim back the following Friday, I was filling his bowl when it broke. so we placed Tim in a cake dish. Tim is an active swimmer who likes to throw himself at the glass and chew on the rocks in the bottom of the bowl. The cake dish had walls that ever-so-slightly sloped out at the top. I was on the phone with Laili the next day when I heard her exclaim in anguish that Tim was on the carpet.
We don't know how long he was there, but when she put him back in the water, he "woke up." She brought him up to my house that night and we flushed all the carpet fibers off of him and put him in an appropriate bowl, one with a bottleneck at the top to keep him from injury during his vigorous exercises. Tim, as a rule, likes to lay on the bottom of the bowl. After spending some time on the carpet, his body is filled with a small quantity of air. I imagine that after some time, should he survive, the trapped air will work its way out of him. For now he is a frustrated animal. He swims to the bottom and is immediately dragged back to the top. I prayed for his suffering to end one way or another. **update - He appears to be stabilizing**
We don't have dogs or cats. I love animals, but, I am allergic. We love these little fish though. Laili is so concerned for Tim, he is the first thing he asks about when she calls me at night. We put him next to Enrique so as they interact, Tim can be distracted from what must be a painful recovery. They both have personalities. They both are worthy of love. One of the first things Laili taught me was how good it is to have a fish in the house to keep company with. The never complain, and they are an endless source of contemplation.