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Company, At Last!

Fifteen minutes ago Nino, my landlord, and Giovanna, his 10-year-old daughter, arrived at my door with a globe-like glass bowl containing one small goldfish. I have agreed to take care of it while they are on a holiday in Germany. They will return Saturday. Meanwhile, I must feed this fish—whose name I failed to get—every two days.

I don’t mind doing this because since my cat Pushi died last year, I have had no company in this villa. But then on the other hand I feel mild anxiety. This is a huge and serious responsibility. What will I do if this poor creature suddenly gets sick and dies? What will I tell little Giovanna?

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You'd better stake out a stand in carp, just in case. Goldfish tend to not be the hardiest creatures of the sea.

Well, I've come up with a plan. I'll take more pictures of the fish, including some tight closeups. So if it dies, I can go to the pet store in Lacco and buy one that looks just like it.

goldfish will live for over thirty years and are extremely hardy. But not when mistreated like this. They produce a lot of waste and require at least thirty gallons per fish.

I'm thinking that between now and Saturday, when my landlord and his daughter return, I can pour out old water and replace it with fresh. My main goal is to keep this fish alive while it is in my custody! Also, before I pour in the fresh water maybe I should shake it up vigorously in its plastic bottle, so as to get some oxygen in it. What do you think? Any advice will be appreciated.

Yeah, I think that would be a good idea. I don't know if they add chlorine to the water there, but if they do, it would be best to let the water sit out overnight before you change it.

Best advice for keeping the fish alive until Saturday would be to feed a little less than you think you should. A goldfish can go for over a week with no food, and it's much more likely that it would die because of water pollution than starvation.

Good luck - Saturday isn't too far off; I think you'll be fine.

Aw, man. Adopt another kitty. I took in a stray off the street about 6 weeks back and at first I was mad because she was sick, and therefore expensive. But now she's integrated amazingly well with my existing cat and she's keeping both of us company!

A couple months ago I encountered a charming little kitten. Pure white, with blue eyes. I know this means it was likely an offspring of a Siamese, and therefore deaf. I scratched its head, and a dog came up and sniffed my hand, and demanded some attention as well. I almost picked up that kitten, but then I knew it belonged to someone, it wasn't just running wild, because the wild ones never let you get near them.

Before I adopted my first cat, my friend left me a Beta in a glass bowl in front of my door, with a note begging me to care for it. I have to say it was one of my happier memories with pets, even if he only lived for 6 months.

To my dismay I note in these comments that a goldfish--perhaps all fish--require a lot of water, far more than is in a small bowl. Plus I note that all professional aquariums have a means of filtering and oxygenating the water.

If Stinky dies, you could wait for awhile and then replace it with 2 goldfish before Giovanna comes home. You could tell her that while she was gone, Stinky had a visitor drop in.

The fish needs a bigger bowl.

Yes, a larger bowl. And being a paranoid American I fear that even if I manage to keep the fish alive until they get back from Germany, it will die rather quickly thereafter, and they'll suspect that it might have lived had they not entrusted its care to a foreigner.

Well, of course, straniero.

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