At Yoga Works in Mission Viejo, where I spend many mornings, the manager at the front desk had a pet oranda goldfish the students collectively named Om by voting for this name (though no one ever calls him that). Om started out as a little rotund speck of a fish, but is now a beautiful full grown oranda goldfish, swimming around in a bowl that is much too small for him.
Tom, the manager, took care of Om, changing his water periodically with a paper cup.
No one else at the studio knew how to take care of him, though they fed him. He always seems to be hungry.
Yesterday, in one of those things that come up in every work place, Tom left Yoga Works, never to return. He left Om.
When I came in this morning, I saw the fish, obviously distressed, swimming around in a very dirty bowl, in need of a change of water.
Goldfish consume a lot of oxygen from their water, and are very dirty fish. They are carp, messy and dirty fish, even though in this refined state, product of highly selective breeding, they don't seem to be glorified gefilte fish, having lost the streamlined shape of carp. Orandas can only wiggle their round bodies, waving their voluminous tails in a very attractive sort of movement that is nonetheless not very efficient.
So being the only one (apparently) who knows anything about keeping fish, I found that I had to take responsibility for Om. After class, my friend Liz and I went to the store and bought a fish bucket and a net to do the necessary change of water. The bowl still looked dirty when I left (it would have been nice to wash the gravel and wipe out the inside of the bowl) but I had nowhere to put the fish while I was doing that. Next time I will bring another bucket to the studio and leave it there so I can do that.
I hope Tom comes back and takes the fish home with him before that.