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Poor Romeo

by Twitchy on January 29, 2013


Gnomeo, meet Johnny.

Around nine months ago, (knowing full well it would be my responsibility) I let my boy and girl choose a Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) each. I posted about the night we got them here. We’d done really well with them for the five or six months until my husband and I had to go away for a couple of weeks.

I cleaned Romeo and Freddy’s cubicles, put the gravel back in and added a couple of new live plants, before dropping them to the neighbours to care for them. I promised my wary neighbour she’d not have to touch a thing before we got back, despite her fears. When we returned, things were not good. The water plant had for some reason rotted and Freddy didn’t make it. Thankfully Romeo survived and managed to rally after another tank clean, much to my daughter’s relief; he was her fish. The tank stays in her room.

Romeo had character. He loved attention and danced with excitement when he had visitors. I noticed over the coming weeks however, that poor Romeo was shrinking. He seemed to get smaller and smaller despite his good spirits and appetite. On Thursday night, he suddenly looked limp. I warned Miss 6 there’d be sad news the next day and there was. Poor Romeo was gone.

Miss 6 refused to go to bed without a proper funeral. She insisted the whole family be involved and as it was twilight, it was a fitting time to go outside, find a small plot in the flower bed and say goodbye.


Oops- we've lost the deceased. As in: we can't find him.

But not before dropping the departed on the ground coming down the steps…not the best pallbearer was Miss 6. After a bit of scratching around, she picked him up by hand and deposited him back into his plastic cup.

We each said a few words of remembrance, then Miss 6 tipped poor Romeo into the earth under a flower pot (to discourage the cat). We went inside and she wailed.
“I can’t LIVE without ROMEO!!” she cried dramatically. (Not bad for someone who’s never even heard of Shakespeare.)
I gently enquired when she thought it would be okay to talk about perhaps a replacement. Through her tears she loudly wailed, “the day after tomorrow!!” And so it was.

Tears for Romeo. (Just give me two sleeps to get over him.)

Last night, we brought home a new stable mate for Freddy’s replacement, Johnny. So now we have Gnomeo and Johnny, Fighter Fish Round 2. Boy did they notice each other straight away! Johnny had had no match in the poor Romeo. He was a lover, not a Fighter Fish. “Whatchoo lookin at?” They seemed to say. “Come closer Pretty Boy, I’ll have you!” They rumbled and rumbled and flipped and turned away and rushed each other at the dividing glass. There was colour and flashing fins and I tell you those two were so full of bravado I’m sure they completely wore themselves out.

“Why are they doing that?” Miss 6 asked me.
“They are competing for girlfriends,” I told her.
“But there aren’t any…” she accurately pointed out. “Silly boys!”

Miss 6 is happy now. She has Gnomeo to fill Poor Romeo’s void…and best of all, he is pink.

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan February 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

Poor Romeo..but I’d be careful having 2 males together – they will fight to the death sometimes..


Grace January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Oh, Romeo, oh Romeo!!! Where art thine fins ???
I shouldn’t joke. I’m sure it was an emotional time. I’m glad Gnomeo has filled that gap 🙂 xxx


Rita January 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

How cute is that she didn’t want to go to bed without a funeral! I’m glad there’s an happy ending to your story.


kelley @ magnetboldtoo January 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

the day after tomorrow… OMG THE CUTE!

So they fair do fight? Oh Boo would be all over that. Power Ranger fish!


Twitchy January 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Yes- through the glass- and he *would* love them too, because he could just about have any colours he liked. The day we bought Gnomeo I even saw a blue-black one for the first time.

Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I’ve never had a fighting fish but I’ve always admired them. I have had a few goldfish though and for some reason they have always committed suicide by jumping out of their tanks! I don’t know what I do to make them not want to live anymore but it’s happened to me twice and after the second time I gave up on fish. When one of our guniea pigs died last year we buried him in the backyard and said a few words. He was a good little guy and I was sad to see him go.


Me January 30, 2013 at 2:34 am

Thanks for sharing the theatrics of Miss 6 – always good to hear of other children who,like the dramatic !!
K has a fighting fish – but only one s occasionally she holds up a mirror to the side of the bowl to see his reaction !!
Have a great week !
#IBOT visitor


Rhianna January 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Totally the best names ever for which. I do love watching them face off like that. Well done with Miss 6 being able to allow herself that grieving time.


Lyndal January 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

best names for fish ever… love it!!


Kate January 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Aww poor Romeo!
What a fantastic post tho! I had a funeral for my hermit crabs, i’ll never forget it and it helped me move on!


Emily @ Have a laugh on me January 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

That is very sweet, and those are beautiful fish BTW! I’m waiting until at least 2 of my 3 kids are at school before getting a pet of any kind! 🙂


Yvette @ Little Bento Blog January 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Oh! I remember getting so upset over my fish!! My algae eater ate the skin off my googly eyed fish!

Bless them xx


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Oh ouch!

EssentiallyJess January 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Oh poor Romeo!
I had a fighting fish years ago, and then when I went away it died and my roommate tried to replace it so I wouldn’t be upset.
Unfortunately she couldn’t get the same colour so it was kind obvious 🙂
Love the pink one. Never seen a pink one before!


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I would be very suspicious if my fish changed colour while on holiday! But a lovely thought by your roomie.

Kirsty @ My Home Truths January 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I love it – my kids would give a response like that too. And I had to laugh about dropping the fish on the way…that was gold. Glad to hear that the replacements are going strong!


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Nothing like tragicomedy! My life is full of this.

Josefa @always Josefa January 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

This is absolutely gorgeous!
Two sleeps – how perfect!
Is it hard to look after these fighting fish??
My little one keeps asking for a pet – these sound very cool to have indeed xx


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

They are technically a tropical fish, but as long as you don’t let them get cold, and feed them Betta food (not flakes) they are pretty happy. Their tanks are small because so is their natural habitat (rice paddy puddles), so they are easy to clean, and only every 3-4 weeks. We had Romeo nine months so I think we did more than okay.

Tegan January 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

Poor romeo. Glad that your little one was able to get over him quickly though, nothing worse than seeing our kids upset and there is nothing we can do about it. Hope Johny and Gnomeo don’t wear themselves out too much fighting over the non existent gf.


Zanni, Heart Mama January 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

We’ve never had fish, but I think it is the one pet my daughter would actually like. I especially like these beautiful fish!


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Unfortunately fish are harder to keep alive than most other high maintenance animals, because they are frailer and you are in charge of their entire environment- but with determination you can get a feel for it. I recently heard we shouldn’t put them in round bowls as it gives them vertigo and shortens their life expectancy! Good luck 🙂

iSophie January 29, 2013 at 7:16 am

haha, he was well loved and easily replaced. But that is great, would be no fun having seeing them upset and inconsolable.


Twitchy January 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

She is an emotional girl, but luckily fairly resilient.

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