Why My First Fish Was My Last

When I talked about my fear of getting locked in bathroom stalls in “There’s Nothing To Fear,But Maybe This,” I felt a little validated. Maybe I’m not an over thinker. I actually learned that other people have that fear and wonder if others might share my other legitimate fears.

Such as pet fish.

We had a pet goldfish when I was roundabouts 9 or 10. It was orange-ish, going against the gold name given to it, with a black splotch on its tiny cheek that was shaped like Mickey Mouse. An MM fanatic, I named the fish Mickey and had grand plans for us. It liked swimming, I loved swimming, so we had a lot to talk about. It liked Mickey Mouse so much that it had that birthmark or tattoo in the shape of the mouse’s head. I loved Mickey so much that I collected a ridiculous amount of his products. Dolls, bedspreads, that vest I mentioned in this post along with countless other clothes, and a Mickey Mouse phone.

Hi! I’m 9 and no one calls me! How may I help? Oh, you dialed the wrong number? Okay.

Mickey and I had a few good weeks. My mom probably fed him, but I stared at him a lot and imitated how he opened and closed his mouth.


m-owm, m-owm, m-owm

Then the day came. It was time to clean his room. Another thing Mickey the Goldfish and I had in common was that we hated cleaning our own rooms. My mom recruited me to help, because this was a family fish, and I was supposed to learn some sort of responsibility besides keeping him company. She poured a bit of his water into some container somewhere. For the sake of the story, we’ll assume it was a classy vase, perhaps. Maybe a crystal bowl from Tiffany’s, a store we don’t have here. I’ll bet it even had “Mickey” etched into it, even though he was only to swim in there while we cleaned his belongings.

So, yes, my mom poured his water into the bowl, because you aren’t supposed to just toss your family fish into brand new water. They need to slowly adjust to the new environment. Stubborn bloke that he was, Mickey didn’t just fall into the personalized crystal Tiffany’s bowl. He wanted to be escorted to it by my mother. So she got his classy Fish Grabby Net so she could scoop him up and place him in his temporary play-place. With great concentration, my mom scooped him into his net and tried to give him a comfortable ride to his upscale temporary swimming hole.

Not that I can entirely blame him, because I’m not good with unexpected moves, but Mickey freaked out. In mid-air, he jumped out of the Fish Grabby Net and free fell for three feet before landing flat on the kitchen floor. He flopped around, helpless and29mqehkkekvkc confused, misunderstanding our intentions. I squealed, not understanding why he would just jump out like that. And in our kitchen! How couldn’t he know that we only had good things in store for him?? How could he just flop around in the room where I got my snacks?

With each flop, my legs felt weak and my stomach dropped. Maybe because my squeal also got louder and higher with each jump, my mom wasn’t picking him up fast enough for my liking.

“GET HIM!” I squeaked, “PUT HIM AWAY! MAKE IT STOP!” I pulled the neck of my shirt up to hide my eyes while my mom fumbled with the Fish Grabby Net and finally put Mickey in his luxurious temporary suite.

But I couldn’t get over this.

Mickey jumps? Could he just jump out of his bowl whenever he wanted?

What if say I were the only one awake, which was common on a summer morning once my mom left for work. And I groggily came to the kitchen to fill a bowl with cereal. Could I accidentally step on a flopping Mickey?? I could just feel the sensation when I thought of it.

Over the years, my worries grew and grew, until I imagined pet fish waiting until I was asleep, jumping out of the comfort of their homes, flopping their ways to my room, and… well, I’ve never figured out what they would do. Slime my face? Poke my nostrils? Stare at me until I woke up?

Ew, creepy.

The possibilities are endless. I didn’t ask for another fish after Mickey was, um, sleeping with the fishes.

Author: Megs

I'm in my 30s and that's startling. This blog is about random observations that I make, because it seems that I have a unique perspective of the world. Join me.

37 thoughts on “Why My First Fish Was My Last”

  1. I empathize. Having a fish jump from its tank is terrifying. Unfortunately pet fish are arguably the most abused and neglected pets on the planet, and not due to cruelty but ignorance. The iconic “fish bowl” is a TERRIBLE fish habitat, and in fact the EU outlawed their sale. Every pet fish needs filtration and aeration, and a tropical fish should have a heater. A rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon of water, for fish under 2 inches long. Lidded tanks under 10 gallons are fine for a betta or a small school of very small fish. But apart from that the minimum usable tank size is a ten gallon. And every tank should have a lid. I’ve had fish jump to their deaths. Goldfish can grow to be quite large and they are heavy waste producers. They’re also social and shouldn’t be kept alone. They’re really best suited to ponds, but can be kept in 55 gallon setups. If you want to learn about fish follow me on The Accidental Aquarist.


  2. Great story Megs. I had lots of fish when I was younger. They do jump a lot when startled. Goldfish are very short lived – I too got tired of my fish dying and bought some hardier species. I had a pair of Oscars that I had for years and my ex got when we separated. Excellent writing.

    P.S. I followed over here from Cordelia’s Mom’s. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you found me from Cordelia’s Mom’s and that the trip was worth it!

      I had to Google oscars. While I’m still afraid of fish, I’ll admit that they look pretty and I could appreciate them in someone else’s aquarium, far, far away. 😉 😀


  3. I managed to read your post about the goldfish, even though I have a horrible fish phobia! (I had to hide the photos though) …It all started with our goldfish that actually would jump out of his bowl. Scared me so bad, all the flopping around. I have nightmares about fish rising up out of their bowl or aquarium, and swimming through the air to get me! Love your story! 🙂


    1. Ha! I don’t like looking at my flopping fish gif, even though it’s a cartoon! 😀

      Oh, my, I *knew* there were fish that actually jumped out of their bowls! People laugh at me, but I just knew it was a real thing.
      I’m glad I’m not alone with this fear! 😀


  4. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:
    Please welcome one of my newer blogging friends, Megs of Midnight Musings With Megs. This young lady is an incredible writer. To all those who brought home their first fish and didn’t know quite how to take care of it – this one’s for you.

    (Comments are closed here. Please leave comments over on Meg’s site.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha!! I laughed at your comments to correct “verifier.” XD Autocorrect is too funny sometimes.

      And, yes, maybe he did just want to show me how great he was. I just couldn’t see his intentions, poor guy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Meg! Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for Sunshine Blogger Award! You can see my page for the rules/questions if you want to join in. I saw that you also were nominated by A Kinder Way, so I totally understand if you don’t want to answer a second set of questions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh! Thank you!! I lovvvve your blog, humor, and writing style so much, so it means a TON when you nominate me! I will most certainly accept your nomination, as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ok that made me happy. Here is my fish story. Our son wanted a dog. We couldn’t have one where we lived so we got him a gold fish. When we went to get one there were two tanks. The fish looked the same but one said 50 cents and one said 2.99. I asked why and was told that if we wanted to pick the fish…it was 2.99. If we wanted a random fish…it was 50 cents. I asked for any orange one out of the 50 cent tank.

    The kid named him Rover. Rover appeared to die at least 10 times over the next 3 years. He would float to the top of the bowl and i would panic…worried about my sons reaction. Afraid he would be devastated. After about the 3rd of 4th time that he did this and then went back to swimming in his little home, we pretty much ignored it. He finally did die…but come on… a 50 cent goldfish lived for 3 years!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes he did. Not sure if your familiar with this or not, but when someone who is catholic dies, you get this card from the church I think…not sure exactly because I’m not catholic…that has a saint on one side and then their information on the other. Sort of like a small obituary. Well we had 2 of those from when catholic family members died. My son had of course seen them. When Rover died, he made one for Rover. 🙂 🙂 I still have it. It’s hilarious. My son was like 5 or 6 at the time. It still makes me laugh every time I come across it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Do you think that Mickey is in the Fish Olympics competing in the Fish High Jump. I mean he was just taking a fish nap after all and I’m sure he was just resting after his amazing jumping. Shall we see in him in Rio for the 2016 Olympics competing against Michael Phelps?


      1. When you become a mom you have to start thinking about the kids needs. But think of the presents you will get for mothers day! Fish food, maybe some plankton. The possibilities are endless.


      2. I like sushi. Would it be wrong if he gave me sushi? I don’t think I eat goldfish. Maybe mothering a goldfish isn’t so bad…


  8. Yikes, what a freaky moment! That happened to my family too, right after we bought a new fish. He was teeny tiny, and surprisingly really, really hard to pick up off the tile. So, unfortunately, he died before we could get him back to the water 😦 And then another fish I had growing up was murdered by my grandmother. I still like aquariums at other people’s houses, but it’s best (for the fish) if I avoid getting one myself…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What terrible luck!

      I guess if I’m visiting someone for a day, I don’t mind an aquarium. But if I’m staying overnight for a visit, I feel nervous. That’s how I learned of this fear. A cousin that I mention often here decided to get a fish while I visited and it made me feel unsettled. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

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