When my boss is out of town – which happens a lot – my office mate and I are in charge of the fish. There aren’t a ton of fish. They’re easy to care for. You feed them and watch them swim around and stuff. It’s an easy gig.

Until one goes missing.

Okay, so there used to be two guppies in the tank, but then a couple months ago, while my boss was out of town, I discovered a floating, colourless guppy at the top of the tank. Naturally, I panicked, and – near tears – made my office mate and one of my co-workers scoop it out while I was in another room.

That poor fish.

I don’t know if any of us ever told my boss about that…

Yesterday, my office mate went into my boss’ office to feed the fish. I continued working at my desk until I heard a perplexed, “huh…” coming from the next room.

“What’s wrong?” I shouted.

“One of the fish is missing.” He replied casually.


I jumped up and hurried into my boss’ office. I noticed that the only remaining guppy was gone. I noticed immediately because it was my favourite fish.

See, the others – the minnows – stay in a tiny school near the bottom and do nothing. And the pleco just sticks to the wall or the plant looking like a scary swamp monster. The guppy was (oh god, was) always so enthusiastic, swimming happily near the top, ready to eat. It was colourful. It was a pleasant fish.

And yesterday we discovered it was gone.

tweet1“Where the hell could it have gone?!”

“I dunno,” My office mate shrugged, “Maybe somebody ate it.”

“Who would eat it?! They’ve never eaten it before!”

“Yeah. it’s weird. Maybe it’s hiding.”

“We have to check back in a bit!”

“Sure, whatever.”

tweet 2So I sat and worried about the guppy. And expressed my emotions through Twitter, as you do.

tweet 3My boss really cares about his fish. I debated sending him an email. I decided against it. After all, we weren’t certain yet that it was officially gone.

(But I was feeling pretty certain, because where can a fish hide?)

tweet 4I checked on the fish twice more. No guppy. I exchanged words with the remaining fish. I may or may not have been suspecting the pleco, based solely on its scary appearance.

I tried to get on with my day.

I left work.

I went home.

I changed.

I taught a Zumba® class.

I went home again.

And then, at 10-11pm, I found myself here:

tweet 5And here:

tweet 6The pleco!!!

Apparently, (A) their waste can poison the tank as they increase in size, making other fish sick, and (B) they will think nothing of SUCKING UP a dying fish.

tweet 7Apparently, some species are more carnivorous than others, too. I sifted through story after horror story on fish forums, reading about tanks going from 12 to zero overnight.

tweet 8Then I took a minute, and reflected on how sharply my evening had turned.

tweet 9“Worried” being a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT there.

Have I mentioned that fish scare me?

Like, freak me right out. They’re one of the reasons – aside from not being able to swim – that I won’t go into deep (see: pretty much any) water.

So the bottom line here is that sometimes, I care WAY TOO MUCH about animals. (And care way too much in general.) Not that I would ever stop. But this is why I won’t go near PETA, and avoid animal rights websites and stuff. I know about all of the violence. I do my part. And if I allowed myself, I would clearly obsess and go batshit crazy.

Also, I learned a lot of stuff about fish.


P.S. Fingers still crossed that when I get to work this afternoon, there will be a zombie guppy waiting for me to feed it.*

*Which is actually kind of funny when you think about it, because the first ingredient in fish food is fish protein, so fish would make great zombies. Or, in the words of Christopher Lloyd in Piranha 3D, “CANNIBALISM!!!!!!”