Will Tesla count?
He passed away on 2/25/13.
He was a rescue from Petco that had bitten off most of his caudal fin at the store due to stress. He was only with me for a few days, but I became very attached to him. I was in Petco "just to look" when I saw him. I could tell that he would color up in some warm water, and I greatly pitied him for what happened to his tail.
Sorry, this is not a wonderful picture of him:
Here's a story I wrote about how I met him from his point of view two days after I got him:
I sat at the bottom of my cup, miserable. I’d already gotten tired of my caudal fin weighing me down in this disgusting water, so I’d bitten it off. I was freezing, and as I looked across the aisle at the others, I knew they felt the same. A blue HM had already given up on his struggle, and was lying at the surface of the water, not quite dead, not quite alive. As the humans walked past, I felt their thoughts weigh down on me like a rock. All of their trouble and unhappiness, their negative thoughts, it was terrible. I was starting to wish that Bettas hadn’t been given the ability to sense human emotions. I swam up to the surface for air, and as I did, a small cloud of my own waste rose up around me. You’d think we’d at least get a water change once in a while, but no. We weren’t even fed daily. I hadn’t eaten in five days. Suddenly, I felt a change in the emotional atmosphere of the store. Another human walked in, but her thoughts were different. They weren’t like the others, cold and full of negativity. She walked over to the Betta aisle, and examined the others. She frowned, as if she realized the deplorable conditions we were kept in. She walked across the aisle, and stopped in front of my prison. Her eyes widened, as if they weren’t big enough already. She stood there in front of me for several minutes before pulling a flat, rectangular box out of her pocket. I figured it must be some form of communication, because I’d seen some of the employees speaking into them. That’s not what she did though, she just held it up in front of my cup, and it made an artificial sort of clicking noise. She put it back into her pocket and after that, just stood beside me. An employee came up to her and they spoke for a time, but she stayed by my cup always, as if guarding me. After the employee left, she walked across the store to look at something, but returned shortly. I was glad for this because I wanted her to stay close. Her thoughts comforted me. She stayed by me for about an hour, when another human who vaguely resembled her walked in and beckoned. The girl looked reluctantly back at me, and after a moment, she left. Wait, don’t leave
, I thought. But my hopes were crushed. The girl was gone, and nobody would want a brown Betta with less than half a caudal fin. I sat miserably in my cup for two more horrid days, being overlooked by humans. My cup was relocated, but as usual, I watched some of the more flashy Bettas being taken home along with horribly small tanks or bowls scarcely bigger than my own cup. All of the sudden, I felt her presence. The girl was back, and she was carrying one of those “Kritter keepers” meant for reptiles. It was decently sized, three or four times as big as the average Betta tank. She looked around desperately. I realized that she didn’t know that I had been moved across the aisle. I swam around my cup frantically, and at last she saw me. She carefully picked up my cup, unlike the employees, who tend to shake us around a bit. She walked over to the register and paid for the tank and I. It was raining outside, and a few drops got into my cup, but I didn’t care. I was going home with her
. Upon arriving home, I was tenderly set on a low counter while she set up my tank. It seemed she already had a heater, and for that I was grateful. She floated my cup in the tank of another Betta, who flared at me. I flared back. Soon, the girl came along and dropped something brown into my cup. It took me a moment to discover that it was food. It was delicious, and unlike those wretched, stale bloodworms that they feed us at the store, it wasn’t greasy. As I stared across the room, I counted four more Bettas in separate tanks. By this time I was warmed up comfortably. It was a new feeling for me. The girl came to feed me again, and this time, she called me Tesla. I realized that she had given me a name. I was overjoyed, for at last I had an identity. It has been two days since I came home with this girl and, honestly, they’ve been the best two days of my life.