Betta the Second Time

I forgot to tell you my after-Thanksgiving story. And yeah, I know it's a smidge late for an after-Thanksgiving story (although in my defense, I didn't specify how LONG after Thanksgiving). But I was just reminded of it because I'm sitting here freezing my (fully-clothed) tuckus off like I'm blogging from an igloo in the middle of the Arctic and not from the warmth of my 72-degree kitchen. The last time I felt this cold ... well, let me just tell you the story.

We went out of state for four days over Thanksgiving. When we got back, we walked in the house and it. Was. FRIGID. I was like, "What the eff?" because even though I always lower the thermostat a little when we're gone, I don't turn it off or anything. Yet this time, the heat clearly hadn't been on in, like ... a really long time.

(Also, on an unrelated but still crappy note? There was water all over our kitchen floor because somebody hadn't closed the freezer properly and the ice had melted and leaked out all over the place. Good times!)

So anyway, I was praying the furnace hadn't taken a poop and died while we were gone. I checked the thermostat, and lucky for us, nothing was broken: it was just that someone - who totally wasn't me because I would never do such a ridiculous thing - had turned it to cool instead of heat. So the heater never came on, of course, and it was like 47 degrees up in this freezy piece.

Our poor kitties, Thurman and Ava, had been in here for all this time with no heat. Good thing they have nice warm fur coats, and access to our beds, and each other to snuggle with. But then my thoughts turned to someone who wasn't nearly so lucky: our poor little betta fish, Bluey. He looks kinda like this:

We had another Bluey before this one, but he died. Who knew it wasn't a good idea to keep a fishbowl on top of the microwave? Anyway, I digress. I raced to Bluey's bowl and sure enough, there he was, lying on his side at the bottom of the tank, unmoving, unbreathing. I dipped a finger in, and the water was downright icy. I poked him. I scooted him around the tank a little bit. But no response; he was still. Dead as a door-nail. Poor little Bluey.

So I submerged my hand in his frigid bowl and scooped him out (I'm too hardcore to use a fish net, y'all), prepared to commit his lifeless carcass to that Big Fish Bowl in the Sky. Or, you know, the sewer.

But then ... I thought I saw the tiniest flicker of a gill. So I held my breath and stared at him really hard, like I could will him back to life through the sheer power of my magic eyes. And ...

... nothing happened.

I made my way to the toilet with him.

I poised him over the bowl, ready to drop.

I said a few kind words, like "Sorry I killed you with my thermostatic ineptitude. Amen."

And then?

I saw his fin move. And then his gill. I saw it for sure this time!

And within a few seconds, there he was, flopping all around like ... well, a fish out of water! Our Bluey! Our poor, "dead" Bluey! It was like the warmth of my hand had revived him. (Either that or my total awesomeness; I like to attribute it to that.)

"He's alive!" I shrieked, running back into the kitchen where we keep him. Hurriedly, I used a cup to dip a little bit of the cold water from his bowl and added some warm to even out the temperature, then slid him in, where he swam around like he always does. Then I rushed to remedy the temperature in his regular bowl. Once I had it suitably warmed up, I returned him to his home and fed him a little bit. He ate. All was well. It was weird.

Even so, I wasn't too optimistic. I was sure that he would kick the bucket by the next morning, just due to the sheer stress of his ordeal. But here we are, two and a half weeks later, and he's still around, acting normal. It's like we never almost-froze him to death.

Truly a miracle. I'm thinking of renaming him Jesus.

... Or Zombie.


  1. Jessica Armstrong LasaDecember 8, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Haven't you heard of , oh crap now I can't think of what it's called. It's too ealry and I haven't had coffee. Anyway, he was just a little frozen! Fish do that all the time in the wild, I think. YAY BLUEY! (we had a fish named Bluey once!) cryogenically frozen, or something like that. you know, like on Austin Powers.... ;)

  2. You're really lucky ol' Bluey didn't get to take a ride down the stairway to the great fishbowl in the sky before he revived.

  3. Bluey was just trying to live up to his name on more than one level, is all! :) Glad he managed to survive!!

  4. jeff's parents have a koi pond in the backyard &in the winter they hibernate when the pond freezes over. maybe Betta can do the same

  5. So glad Bluey is okay! He's a tough little betta!

  6. Just found your blog and it's Hilarious! That really is a great story, lots of people are named after Jesus, it's just pronounced Heysoos.


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