Our Pets (3 & 4 of 4)

Xiao P is a black moor goldfish, named after the black pig P-Chan from Ranma 1/2.  Like Ponyo, his name was determined before we even picked the fish.  We had known that we wanted a black one, and Xiao P was the first and only adorable black cartoon character that we could think of.

By original plans, Xiao P was going to be the second fish in the tank, along with the other pre-named fish Ponyo.  However, bothered by the sight of two dead bodies in the store tank of black moors on that day, we looked around to avoid bringing home a potentially sickened Xiao P.  Without that incident, we wouldn’t have discovered Nemo.

I’d hate to hurt our dear pet’s feelings, but Xiao P is the pathetic kid in the family.  Living up to his namesake, he’s as clumsy as a pig – though lacking the intelligence.  With what we presume to be poor eyesight, he struggles to catch food even when directly placed in his face.  His mouth suctions rapidly like a little vacuum cleaner, scanning every square millimeter on the surface as well as on the gravel floor in hope to get some by chance.  On any given day, he puts in three times as much feeding effort as Ponyo and consumes half as much.  Then he gets grumpy and pushes the other fish around.  Uh, that’s right, that piggy character in Ranma 1/2 is pretty short tempered as well.

Mr. Wiggles, the golden dojo loach, is the odd ball of the family.  Not only is he not a goldfish, he’s also got the only name not from a cartoon character.  Mr. Wiggles, well, wiggles about and got the name.  Whether he’s really a Mr. is a different story.

Mr. Wiggles has been getting a disporportional amount of attention, both due to his unique body type and the special care required.  Most people probably don’t know what a loach is, since even the Firefox spell checker doesn’t recognize this word.  Loaches are a freshwater scale-less fish.  Dojo loaches look like eels, or perhaps more like worms with critter whiskers.  Dojo loaches are also known as weather loaches, as they get excited before a change in weather.  The care isn’t exactly intense, but since Mr. Wiggles only feeds from the bottom of the tank, far below where three starving goldfish lurk about, we take particular note to deliver food to him.

Mr. Wiggles is the shy one.  Or was.  During the first two days, he hid out in the mountain cave so much, that I almost considered replacing that mountain with something with no hidden area.  Over time, he did warm up to show us his playful side.  He’s like a crocodile in that he idles for most of the day but could be lightning fast when he’s on the move.    When he occasionally freaks out, he shoots back and forth in the tank like a missile.  I don’t wanna think about the damage that could do once he grows up!