Yesterday I got up at my usual ungodly time. As always I dragged myself out of bed in the dark, hobbled over to the bathroom, dressed, washed, combed etc. By the time I finish with all this I am beginning to wake up, but I'm still pretty bleary-eyed. Imagine my surprise then, at coming down into the kitchen and finding a fish on the floor. My poor, sleepy brain actually had trouble registering the fact that it was a fish because fish really are not part of the usual landscape for our kitchen floor. Once I registered the fact of the fish I noticed that this was actually a fish I knew, and that it belonged across the room in the fish tank. At first I thought the poor thing was dead because it was clearly dried out, it did not move at all, and it was covered in dust bunnies (okay, yes, we have one or two small dust bunnies in our house). I was just think "oh no! Poor Fishy! We hardly knew ye!" When the fish went !GULP! in a big way. I ran around frantically finding a bowl, scooping water from the fish tank, and trying desperately not to squash the poor little guy while putting him in the bowl. He didn't move at all. In fact, he sank to the bottom of the bowl and sat there without moving a muscle. I started to think I had imagined the gulp, and that I'd just plunked a leathery, dead fish into a bowl of water. By the time I had to go, he was still not looking good, and I really thought there wasn't much hope.
However, by the time Mark got up, the fish was swimming slowly around the bowl. Mark returned the fish to the tank and poured out the bowl of dust bunnies and slime (when fish get dried out they lose their protective gel coat). Long story short (too late for that you're probably thinking!) the fish survived his near air-drowning. He is a little the worse for wear from his experience. Without much gel coat, he looks very rough and it is hard for him to glide through the water as he should. His tail and one fin are ragged and shredded because they were deprived of blood for too long. Over all, though, he is alive and he will eventually recover. This weekend we will definitely have to go to the pet store and buy a cover for our fish tank. I just don't think I can take any piscine rescue missions so early in the morning.