I've had Clifford for about two months now, which is about, oh, two months longer than even I expected to keep him alive.
He's already set our house record for longest-lived pet - that is if you don't count those kittens we returned because they defecated everywhere. I'm sure they're still alive and happily pooping under unsuspecting radiators. Anyway, in these two LOOOONG months, I've learned a couple of things about Clifford, the big, red fish.
1) He is an idiot. You'd think after all these times I've cleaned his bowl, he would realize that since net = clean bowl, he must put up with net in order to have clean bowl. I have logged an unreasonable sum of time trying to fish him out (haHA so punny) of his cup to put him back in the bowl. Really, is it so hard to just swim INTO the net? Or at least play dead? Yes, of course it is, if you are an idiot.
2) He is smart-ish, for an idiot. Clifford knows when it's feeding time. The first few times I fed him, the food sat idle for a while before he realized it was there, but now, he's been conditioned to understand that when my hand goes up and over the bowl, there will be food. There is hope yet to train him to swim through a loop.
3) He is STILL young. I've been planning his funeral now for some time since he's already 2 months overdue for his death date. However, when I woke up this morning to find out that "EH, it's still alive?" I looked up the normal life span of beta fish. One conservative answer? 2-3 years. YEARS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 2-3 years after giving birth, "your toddler will be able to follow two- or three-phrase commands, sort objects by shape and color, imitate the actions of adults and playmates, and express a wide range of emotions."
See, now all my funeral plans have been tossed out the window. This fish SHOULD STILL BE ALIVE when I get back from my mission. But he'll be left to the care of my not-so-pet-friendly family, which means the funeral services will probably take place while I'm ON my mission. Said not-so-pet-friendly family will probably not even hold a funeral service, which is why I'm going to find a responsible adult to adopt him while I'm away.
Any takers? There is time yet to train him to sort small objects by shape and color by two- or three-phrase commands.