We bought Athena a fishtank recently, complete with two fish, which Athena named Gummy and Nemo. Gummy is still with us; Nemo, alas, is not. Athena was upset about this, naturally, but not so upset that she couldn’t memorialize the event on the white board.
Here you see the entire final journey: There’s Nemo (top right), the poor fish in question; moving clockwise we meet The Tank, in which Nemo spent his short life; The Cup, the vessel with which Nemo was transferred from his home in The Tank, and The Toilet, the conveyance which sped Nemo on his way to the afterlife (represented by the headstone, complete with “RIP” on it, in the center of the tableau).
At the far right, you see The Ocean (spelled “oshin,” as Athena sounded it out), which is, Athena believes, the final destination of any detritus that is dropped into our plumbing. In point of fact, our plumbing goes to a massive septic tank buried in our yard, but Athena’s version is more poetic, so we’ll let it go at that. Finally, the inscription and memorial: “Nemo will always be remember(ed) forever.” Or until this Saturday, when Nemo II will undoubtedly be purchased.
In all, Athena handled her first experience with pet expiration well; a little crying, a little sadness, a little sublimation into creative expression. I’d say the healing has begun.
Update, 1/21: Spare a thought for poor Gummy, who apparently couldn’t face life without the beloved Nemo. Gummy has now joined Nemo in the septic tank afterlife. Uh… ocean afterlife, that is. Yeah.