On Companions | The Case for Aquariums

According to a survey by nationaltoday.com in honor of national pet day (April 11th; we missed it, sorry), while 45 percent of pet keepers have dogs, and 30 percent have cats, a mere nine percent keep fish.

PHOTO COURTESY | Pixabay.com | Who wouldn’t want this friendly little fellow for a best friend?

As a keeper of fish, I find this unacceptable.

This is the argument for aquariums.

Unlike dogs, fish will not poop on your floor. Also, they won’t get lonely when you’re away — Fido might get all mopey in your absence, but Flipper and Ahab won’t give a flying fig.

While cats also don’t care when you disappear (as long as they’re fed), you can’t make them love you. You can try, but they’ll probably just maul you because they’re all secretly little monsters, unless they’ve been declawed (you monster).

Meanwhile, fish can’t actively express their distaste for you.

Because of this, you can completely fabricate personalities for your flippered friends and pretend they legitimately love you because you’ve put so much work into finding driftwood and actual plants to mimic their natural habitat, and they can’t contradict you about it.

Besides, fish are clean. And cute. And they won’t trash your apartment or destroy your garbage can.

They will, however, add a little life to your home. And they’ll train you to keep a little ecosystem because goodness knows your fish will have the greatest little fish life a fish could have.

Even with all of the bonuses of keeping fish, I have to acknowledge a certain aspect of keeping pets in general: other people.

According to the same survey, 22 percent of Americans find pet keepers more attractive than the pet-less masses. Just over 10 percent of men and women say pet keepers are their dream dates.

But I have a hard time believing these statistics apply to aquarium keepers.

Fido and Fluffy might help you attract that special someone, just because they’re so darn cute. But Ahab and Flipper just don’t pull their weight.

Imagine this. You’re talking with your special someone, and use this doozy of a line: “Want to see my aquarium? You can pet my fish — Ahab and Flipper are really friendly.”

It won’t go over well. Everyone knows you can’t pet a fish.

Even though Flipper and Ahab probably won’t do you any favors in the relationship department, don’t let it deter you. It takes a special person to love fish. You’re special.

Go you.

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