The pet rite-of-passage you’re guaranteed to regret

“Mum you need to clean the fish tank out. It’s getting a bit grim again.” said the girlchild yesterday.

“Yeah, I probably do, but it’ll be OK for another few days”. I replied with the feeling of foreboding that she was probably right.


Fucking fish.

If you’re one of those families who didn’t have a pet before you have a baby, I guarantee these utterly pointless creatures will factor in your life at some stage.

You see I’ve always been a cat lover, and for years I’ve harped on about how we should get a cat. Then we had a baby and, well a cat might sit on their face and suffocate them. That was Mr MF’s excuse for a while. That and the fact that he basically isn’t (well wasn’t – I will come onto that) a fan of cats.

Then we had another baby, and same issue of potential baby suffocation/excessive excuses came my way, but also added to his argument was the cost. Vets’ bills, medicines, food, “what if they get hit by a car and we have to pay hundreds of pounds to fix them when we have mouths to feed.”

So I parked the cat fantasy for a while and moved onto a tortoise – but apparently you don’t just put them in the garden or a box during winter like I was led to believe from Blue Peter. You need heat lamps, and indoor areas. So I went back to a desire for a cat in my head and did what any respectable mother would do – and manipulated my children to mirror my own views and feelings and fly the flag of us having a pet.

So two years ago while whispering mentions of pets into their ears continued they were brainwashed enough to start voicing their ‘own’ desires.

Brilliant. Try saying no to their little faces Mr MF.

But the plan went awry when the different suggestion of fish came into play and we found ourselves at the pet shop buying a tank, some poxy fake plants and fish so small you could barely see them.

I’d like to tell you tales of how we all watched the little creatures swim around their tank, giving us plenty of fishy memories for years to come, but this isn’t the case.

What is the case is this:

  • Those fish have lived forever. Well when I say forever, the goldfish died but the tiny tetra fish are double the size they once were, have gone through a variety of colour changes and still going strong two years on. HOW? I once even accidentally tipped one down the sink while bleaching (yes bleaching) and didn’t realise for a good two minutes, only to find it flapping around in the bleachy plug hole. It is as hard as nails as that was more than a year ago and it lives on.
  • I am the ONLY ONE who cleans them. Mr MF – nope. Never. Not even once. There I am, every few weeks filling up buckets of water, letting it stand, clearing and cleaning the entire sink so I can then tackle the shit show of a fish tank, because despite being about an inch long, it’s surprising how much crap three tetras can produce. Also it’s quite a shock how much concealed watery poo slime sticks to those ornaments in the tank. But there I am, for the good of nature every few weeks.



I even added a cleaner shrimp and weird thing that sucks the side six months ago, because we’ve all seen Finding Nemo right, those dudes can help clean the tank. Not so much. Apparently Pixar lied to me. They’re mainly good for hiding or having a weird human/fish stare off.

So people, if you find yourself at that pet cross roads in life where your child (and/or you) are desperate for a pet, don’t even contemplate fish. They are pointless.


And what’s even more frustrating – and also wonderful – is we finally got Mr MF to give in to the cats, they’ve been in our life for more than a year and are everything and more. Mr MF is now a cat obsessive and they’re the most amazing addition to our home.

But it means there’s even less interest in the fish I still have to clean. Sigh.


5 thoughts on “The pet rite-of-passage you’re guaranteed to regret

  1. 😁 this made me laugh. I used to breed tropical fish for some cash on the side when I was a teenager, and after we had the baby I was like “no fish – I’m not cleaning that sludge every two weeks with a baby to care for”. So I totally get your pain. It’s a yucky job.

    • Message from Nanafudger – do what we did with the rabbits you and your sister were so desperate to have but barely ever bothered with and NEVER cleaned out despite all those promises!!! Give the whole lot away to another unsuspecting family. I don’t think the fish will be broken-hearted after the harsh treatment and lack of love they’ve endured in the care of Motherfudger! BUT you may have missed your chance now – everyone will have read your Blog!!!

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