That's the family pet goldfish Yoda, back when he was a spry young thing. Emi is posing next to him for scale. That picture was taken over a year ago, Emi is much bigger now. Yoda grew some too, but towards the end, he got this big sore on his head that just kept growing. It was disgusting, really. Can you see how big he is? I have never seen a goldfish that got that big. It was hard to take a picture of him because he was always in motion. He started out as a run-of-the-mill fantail that my dad got for his office. When he retired several years ago, he gave the fish to my son. He just kept growing and growing until soon he was the size of a large russet potato. Toward the end, he was about the size of one of those small kid's footballs, with a large (bigger than his body) tail fanning out.
Anyway, he stopped eating and died a long, slow death. It was horrible. The thing is, you can't flush something that big. And I am too much of a wuss to hit him on the head and end it all. Man, pets are tough, let me tell you.
We are down to virtually no pets now, which suits me now that I am a single, working mom. Skoshi, the family dog passed a year ago last September. I gave Lucy the parakeet to my niece, who originally gave her to us. Rosie's birds had babies a couple of years ago. Poor Lucy was such a lively bird, but when I went back to work, she was just so sad and neglected. So she went back to live with them. They have a cockatiel and another parakeet and I hear Lucy is very content there.
The last to go was poor Yoda, the nearly indestructible fish. I saved him from the brink of death several times, once feeding him with a turkey baster for several weeks. His body was contorted into an almost 90 degree angle and I thought he was a done for, or at least disabled for the rest of his fish-life. The first time it happened, it was very traumatic. Kai cried for days, we prayed over him and, miraculously, like Lazarus rising from the dead, Yoda was completely restored back to health after 2 months of laying on the bottom of the tank, panting and looking like a goner. This happened a couple more times in the course of his fish-life, due to a tank that didn't get the water changed frequently enough. The subsequent times were nowhere near as miraculous or dramatic as the first.
Now we are left with a kind of semi-pet. The semi-feral Fig, aka Figgy, Figlet, Figgy-momma, Figgy-pudding. She mostly lives outside but craves a good rub anywhere from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. She has become so spoiled that she yowls and scratches at the door to be let in. She is rather coy, wanting to come in my lap, but on her terms. She will jump down and run out the door if I pick her up and put her there too soon. I have to begin by petting her on the floor. Eventually, she ends up like a pile of jello on the floor, but it is usually difficult to reach her there. Once she is jello-ish, I can pick her up and put her on my lap, where she will play and snuggle, sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for an hour. Then she just saunters over to the door and waits to be let out. If I don't respond immediately, she is reaching up to the doorknob and scratching.
Her brother Tommy, disappeared around a month or more ago. I hate to think what may have happened to him and keep hoping he'll show up again as mysteriously as he disappeared. Unbeknownst to me, he must have been eating her food because Figgy is fattening up and looks different from the earlier pictures I have of her. It's weird to see her gaining weight because I've noticed the base of her tail is getting thicker. It's not like it's fat or anything, but it is getting wider and thicker. What a strange place to gain weight. Maybe it's like us women with our butts and thighs.
One of these days I'll tell you about Skoshi, the wonder-dog. But he is a whole post in itself. Anyway, RIP Yoda, Skoshi and even possibly Tommy. You made our lives richer and you'll always live on in our family folklore.