Scott Fish was the last Betta fish we bought. After four failed attempts to own a fish, Scott was going to be our last one. We had a long talked and got into an agreement that, whatever happened to the fish it was going to be the last one. I could not bear the tears Dan shed every time a fish die.
First, it was Rojo Fish (Spanish for Red) lasted a week, our first attempt. Then came Blue Fish, lasted 4 days and was the prettiest of all. The third was Harley Fish, lasted two weeks. The fourth one was a No Name Fish lasted only hours with us, not long enough to be given a proper name.
We bought Scott-Fish at a pet store in a plaza near our house. Scott had a peculiar mix of colors, white, purple, blue, a dash of green and red that could have been mistaken as a birthmark if fish had birthmarks. From the five fishes, Scott was the mellow one. He moved slowly and it was like he could understand when you talk about it.
It is said that cats have nine lives, but never that a fish could survive a series of life-threatening events. We never expected that it would live as long as it did. In fact. We were prepared for it to last a week or so. As slow as it moved none of us expected that Scott will have longevity in its blood.
It was almost a month after we bought it that we knew he was special. I remember it well, a March Monday morning after dropping Dan to school went back to the house to get ready for my work later that day. I was getting out of the shower when a knock on the door. A man I didn’t recognize was there to warn me about a fire that was starting in the back of the house. First thing I did was call 911 and while doing so, finished getting dressed.
Not even 2 minutes and the firefighters were there getting me out of the house. Just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, no shoes and purse in hand. That was all. My heart sank and my stomach got in a knot. Scott Fish was still in the house. I beg the firefighter to let me back to get Scott or if one of them could get it for me. No. Not possible. The priority was to put the fire out. It was mid-afternoon by the time they allowed us to get back to get some personal stuff and get out. One trip and whatever we could carry on that trip.
First was shoes, then my bag of important papers, then get Scott – which I thought it was a recovery, not a rescue. To my surprise, Scott was there. Moving faster than ever. Got the fishbowl and food and out I went.
How in the world did it survive? All that smoke. I was inside the house for a hot 3-5 minutes and felt like dying. The smell was intense and could taste the burning materials on my throat.
So there I was, pursue on one hand and Scott’s fishbowl on the other hand. It became the miracle fish that survived the house fire. Like a wake-up call, the slow pace fish became the speedy hyper fish.
Drop Me Not
Scott Fish was part of the family, it would be with us at all times. Even when we went on vacation. In order to carry it safely, we had the Traveling Blue Bucket. A bucket where we would put Scott’s fishbowl and safely placed it on the floor of the car.
It was the last day of our vacation and we were loading the car to start our return. Dan had the responsibility to bring the bucket to the car. So far he had done it wonderfully and with the most carefulness. But as fate would have it, a few step away from the car the unimaginable happened. He dropped the bucket.
Water everywhere, the rocks that once were on the bottom of the fishbowl where scattered all over the sidewalk. The fishbowl was broken and in the confusion Scott nowhere to be found. The sidewalk had grass on both sides. Carefully we looked and search for it. No sign of Scott. We picked up the mess and put the bucket on the side to continue with the search. Nothing. Just when we had no hope, there it was.
My husband went to clear the bucket from the fishbowl pieces so one could get hurt. When he retrieved a big piece, he felt something moved. It was Scott! To our surprise, it was alive and had been in the bucket with water that whole time. Carefully, we improvised a fishbowl while we clean the bucket out and save as many rocks as we could for him. He lived in the bucket for two days after the accident.
The Many Fish Stunts
Among Scott’s many survival adventures, I have to mention all the times that he survived a dirty fishbowl. They need to be clean every two-three days. Dan was in charge of doing that. Not always he did it, so, many times I found myself cleaning the fishbowl. I truly believe Scott grow immunity to a dirty fishbowl.
And there’s the time when cleaning the fishbowl we put Scott in a little container while doing it. That time somehow and accidentally I pushed the bowl and knocked Scott out of it. A slippery fish on the loose, trying to get him proved to be a task. It wouldn’t help me catch it to put him back, was more like it was “running” from me. Finally, I caught it and swim his way through a clean fish bowl.
Or the time immediately after the house fire and we had to leave him in the car. We bunker him on the floor on the passenger side and try to keep him as cool as we could considering South Florida sun and heat. Again, to our surprise, Scott was as fresh as a lettuce in a supermarket. Swimming like there’s nothing wrong with the world, at least to its world there was nothing wrong.
If there is something as a stunt career for a fish, Scott was a stunt actor for sure. A daredevil on a fish disguise. Cruising through life on a slow pace swim.
A Legend Was Born
Scott indeed had its fair share of incidents, which have become tales and a topic of conversation on family nights. Scott was part of our family for 3 years, 2 months and 27 days. Lived more than what we had expected it to live in comparison to the four that preceded it.
Scott’s death was sudden and unexpected. When we moved to Tennessee and moved to the new place, the next morning we found him dead. Yes, we cry. Scott Fish was part of us. We gave Scott the funeral and burial it deserved. We kept our word that it was going to be our last fish, not because he died but because there will never be a fish like Scott.
Scott became a legend the day of its death. But he made his impact during his life. We were the weird people that when a Hotel clerk would ask if we had any pets, we would answer “Only a fish, is that OK?” and then the half laugh with a “That’s fine”. While we were making our own adventures and memories, Scott was making it as well. After all, a fish only live once.
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