Posts Tagged ‘betta fish’

Touched By an Angel

She’s just a bit of a thing – her name is Pipsqueak and she’s a female betta fish. I first met her when my neighbors prepared to go on vacation, a time when I mind their cats and their pond fish. This year, one of the girls brought over a vase with her new pet, Pipsqueak. My experience of Pipsqueak was so enjoyable; I never imagined such a tiny creature to have such a personality – not only curious about everything, but also very responsive to me as we got to know each other over the 3+ weeks of her stay.

Pipsqueak and one of her favorite friends. (Pipsqueak is not actually that big, BTW, nor are the marbles – it’s a distortion of the glass.)

Pipsqueak often stayed on my computer desk while I worked, though not too close to the computer, and sometimes on my other work desk. I often placed various items next to her, as she seemed to really enjoy checking out new objects. But one struck her fancy, as you can see in the photo … a Willow angel given to me as a gift. She is an Angel of Wishes.

Pips was fascinated. She checked out the angel’s face, (which, if you know Willow angels, you know their faces have no features), but then every aspect of her from top to bottom. She really seemed to enjoy spending time with her. Sometimes I rotated the angel a bit, and she became interested all over again. Of all the things she had the opportunity to see, the angel and my bringing my face up to the glass and waving at her – which brought out actual body wiggling and fast and furious front fin action – were Pipsqueak’s favorites.

I think I was touched by a little angel, too.



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Babysitting A Betta

Meet Pipsqueak. She is a female betta, a type of fish sometimes known as Siamese Fighting Fish. But Pipsqueak is a lover, not a fighter.

Each year I watch my neighbors’ pets for a week or two when they go on vacation. Up until now, that has included their 2 cats and their pond fish. As they built a new and much larger pond this year, I am also caring for koi in the pond as well. But my next charge was brought over in a glass vase by the younger daughter, C. It was a betta. Bettas are new to me.

C. gave me instructions to change the water once a week, and gave me food that appeared to me like the pond goldfish food crumbled up with instructions on how often to feed Pipsqueak. Without a filtration system in there and after talking with a friend, I felt a bit concerned. So … me being me … I stopped at Petco and purchased a book on bettas, which will be for C. when she returns, and some food formulated especially for these fish. My suspicion was correct in that the water needs to be changed way more often for that size vase. I had also noticed the small rocks in there had some rough edges which might tear her delicate fins and many cracks which could harbor bacteria. No problem, I have many decorative marbles. And so I read about bettas.

Pipsqueak has already had her second water change, now has safer rounded-edge flat marbles, and a food to suit her needs. She actually has enough room to swim in that vase. I’d probably give her something bigger, go for plants, etc. but she really isn’t my fish. My adjustments are to insure her health and that she’ll be doing well when C. returns. She’s a great kid, about 12 years old, that really does like animals. I think she will be interested to learn what more she can do for her little fish.

Now Pipsqueak … I didn’t know much about bettas, though I’ve never been crazy about any animals kept in small spaces, (and that is different with this fish), but I didn’t expect too much from her personality-wise. Well, has Pipsqueak surprised me! She’s an amazing little fish, watches what I do, comes up to say hello, etc. and otherwise swims about her little “tank.” I keep her with me as much as I can as she is actually quite curious! (Not next to the computer, not in sunlight.) At night, she’s on top of a bookcase where the cats don’t see her.

I am always humbled when I meet and learn about a new kind of animal. Every animal, bird, insect, fish, reptile … has it’s own life, habits, needs and … personality. We rarely give them enough credit for being the amazing creatures they truly are. So I am enjoying Pipsqueak and trying to give her a pleasant time while she’s visiting. It didn’t take long to see … she’s so much more than “just a fish.”

In the wise words of Anatole France,
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

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