Pet Holidays

Ramadan has been and gone for another year.

It went relatively quickly for me.  My family returned home for four weeks – as the great majority of expats tend to do, to avoid Dubai’s summer assault. It was a smart move, the temperature was quite intense. I heard that Dubai had one day over the 50 degree mark.

Because of the standard need to have an extended holiday period, we’ve not bought any pets while here – apart from regularly replaceable gold fish.   We don’t like the idea of having to inconvenience and rely on others to feed them while away.

This doesn’t bother many people though. I was asked on a Thursday to feed a neighbor’s birds as he was leaving that evening. And the reason he suddenly became a pet owner without our knowledge is that his friend became a proud owner of a monkey (yes, monkey). The monkey-owner could no longer have other pets. So this Ramadan, we joined a bit of a domino effect of pet minding.

Once I agreed to feed the birds, I learned there were also two tanks of fish.

It sounded simple enough though. So I happily agreed.

And everything went well for a day or two. And then. The two angel fish died.

Oh no.

If that’s not bad enough, I think in that same tank one of the big gold fish looks a bit unwell.

I gave the two dead fish a proper burial, and sent them to the great toilet cistern in the sky.

The question now arises though. What do I do?

I was put in charge. I was entrusted to look after these fish. Killing them was not part of the deal!

My first thought was honesty is the best policy. I’ll wait for them to get back, then come clean that I killed their most beautiful of fish.

And then I had another idea, more around self-preservation and bad sit-com gag. Yes, angel fish look generic enough. Perhaps I could buy some new ones from the pet store around the corner. No one would notice the difference. Altho it sort of makes me wish I paid more attention to any identifying traits as they were laying in the bowl pre-flush.

The fish were dark brown. I have an inkling now they may have had light stripes also.

Either way, this kind of farce is not me.

Tonight’s the final night of animal feeding. The family return in the morning.

The body count so far is just two dead, once impressive, angel fish. Providing the two birds remain unscathed I think it’s an ok record. I fed them all as instructed. I’m hoping it’s not my fault. Although, the title of animal murderer is something that could be quite easily bandied about.

Providing there are no more casualties, I’ve decided I’ll write and leave a note from the angel fish. It’ll share that Ryan fed them perfectly well, they just decided to run away, and maybe join the circus. Or, as they’re called ‘angel fish’ perhaps they had a more heavenly calling – and Ryan wasn’t a killer, more of a facilitator.

Eid Mubarak.

And special celebrations to all the volunteer pet-sitters helping others while they’re off on holidays.

Hopefully tomorrow I won’t suffer a fate similar to the unfortunate angel fish.