Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Do fish feel sad when they eat their friends?

Before we begin, I’d like to set the mood for this sad, sad post about failed friendship, death, and nobody noticing with a little music from the 60’s.

First, we have Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles.  Eleanor Rigby met a sad and lonely end…one where nobody came and nobody was saved *sniff.*

“Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came…
Father Mckenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave 
No one was saved…”

Next up, we have That’s What Friends Are For, featured in the movie The Jungle Book.  Words to keep in mind as you read further about the tragedy of failed friendship:

“We’re your friends
We’re your friends
We’re your friends to the bitter end…”

Bitter end indeed.  As those of you who have been here for a while know, while I am a semi-awesome dog owner, I pretty much suck at having fish as pets.  Call PETA now if you must.

My most recent fish mishap was caused by the light bulbs in the tank burning out. I placed the burned-out bulb in my car so that I’d see it every day and remember to purchase a replacement while running errands.  Turns out, good intentions don’t mean jack shit.  That damn burnt-out bulb hung out on the seat of my car for like two weeks.  There were days when I truly forgot about it.  It was like the bulb had just become another common car-feature.  Just one more easily overlooked detail like the steering wheel, the door handle and the 2,734 Cheddar Bunnies that litter the floor.  Other days, I was just too tired and lazy to put the car into park, exit the vehicle, lock it, walk into a store, find the light bulb isle, find the specific bulb and purchase it.

Which meant that my plecostomus, four neon tetras and two guppies lived completely in the dark. For two weeks.  I mean, I still fed them and everything but I wasn’t exactly diligent about checking up on them, asking how they were doing and making sure they were all getting along.  In hindsight, this was a mistake.

Finally, one day, I decided that I wanted to say the words “Let there be light!” out loud to my little fish friends.  I suspect that, to them, I am already God-like and therefore should bless them with the ability to see their food, me, and one another.  So I purchased a bulb, screwed it into the socket thingie and lit up their little world.  And realized that two of them were missing.  As in gone.  Not floating on the top, not caught in a plant or in the filter.  Just gone.  Poof.  Vanished.

Their absence was completely confounding to me.  While I realize that living in the dark for two weeks is not ideal, it’s not like they could escape to find more suitable living conditions, right?  So basically that leaves me to theorize that one or more of my fish ate their little buddies while we weren’t paying attention.  Talk about betrayal.  It’s like you’re just swimming along, hanging out, having a conversation and your best buddy decides that you’re lunch.  And that your brother is dinner.  WTF.  So I ask you – do fish feel sad when they eat their friends?

I’m linking up today with my good pal Jen over at My Skewed View (formerly Break the Parenting Mold) for Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesday!

Wanna link up with us?  Enter your post below and happy Tuesday!

DJJENNYtyedye    MCMomee-TuckTuck




  • Kerri - I think they just feel full and bloated. You might want to turn the light back off so they are not ashamed of their reflection.June 4, 2013 – 11:13 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kerri,
    HAHA! Those little f*ckers – turns out they’re quite mean.June 4, 2013 – 11:17 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Ok, I am so not laughing at this one, but I have totally killed my fair share of fish since we got them right before the hurricane last year and now our fish tank has sat empty for a few months. Every once in awhile I get asked by Kevin if we are getting more fish and just don’t have the heart to kill anymore at this stage. So, just know it isn’t just you and I apparently am not a very good fish owner either!!June 4, 2013 – 11:18 amReplyCancel

  • Chad Miller - Dang it, Kristi! Now I feel like crap. I’ve been leaving my friends in the dark and just ignoring them and now when I pop back into their lives they’re not going to be there… that is what this was about, right!? Right!? No? Oh, well, at least it was a great reminder that I need to change out the spring water in my son’s frog tank.June 4, 2013 – 11:21 amReplyCancel

  • Lori Lavender Luz - LOL about it all — the intentions, the cheddar bunnies, the burp. Dang, you just put about 10 smiles on my face.

    Uh, except for how sad I am about Carl and Louis.

    I often wondered if the vultures were modeled slightly on the Fab Four. Awesome juxtaposition.June 4, 2013 – 11:24 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Janine,
    So glad to know I am not alone!
    —–
    Chad,
    Um…yes, exactly! A deep, philosophical share about not ignoring our friends!June 4, 2013 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Lori,
    I love love love that I put 10 smiles on your face. And yeah, I’m really broken up about Carl and Louis, too. Sigh.June 4, 2013 – 11:26 amReplyCancel

  • Dream - Of course they don’t feel sad, it was premeditated fishicide. The culprit lay in wait for the cover of darkness to perpetrate its foul deed. I think you have a sociopathic fish on your hands. Good luck with that.

    BTW – Eleanor Rigby…fantastic song!June 4, 2013 – 11:47 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Premeditated fishicide!?!? Awesome. So um….should I flush them all and consider that my act of kindness for today? As in, I’m protecting the rest of the world by removing a sociopathic fish from society?June 4, 2013 – 12:00 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - OMG, another hilarious post today!! Dear God of fish that is Kristi, I was snorting while reading it!! Thanks for the good laugh!June 4, 2013 – 12:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Dream - Unless you have a crack forensic team to find your fishy Jeffrey Dahmer, flushing is an option. Or you could just avoid providing opportunities for its cannibalistic tendencies by Motel 6-ing it and “leaving the light on”.June 4, 2013 – 12:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Joy,
    Glad I made you snort!
    —-
    Dream,
    Hm. Leaving the light on. Now that’s a stroke of brilliance, to be sure.June 4, 2013 – 12:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I’ve never seen a floater, I think they have to be BIG fish. But you do know the little ones dissolve right. Like if they die and you didn’t know they were dead, those little ones grossly dissolve and that’s part of the crap in the tank.

    P.S. I have cleaned my since I sent you a picture of Broccoli. What’s worse than not cleaning the tank? Topping it off with water so you don’t have to hear the running water sound reminding you that you need to clean the tank. UGH. Don’t anybody call PETA on me either.

    Ok now this is really gross and my possibly freak you out. The one and only floater I have ever had was a GIANT COCKROACH. YES IT WAS IN THE TANK. I scooped it with the next thing and said Ewwwwwwah Eww Eww Eww Eww Eww Eww Eww all the way to the toilet. EWWWWWAH!!!June 4, 2013 – 1:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I just saw the comment above. Leaving the light on makes the stupid green stuff grow faster.June 4, 2013 – 1:23 pmReplyCancel

  • The Sadder But Wiser Girl - Aw poor fishies. Your post brought two things to mind:

    I had a rather eccentric English professor in college. We had to analyze the words of “Eleanor Rigby” and figure out what they meant. I really liked that assignment…

    And finding Nemo-“Fish are friends not food!”June 4, 2013 – 1:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Jean - After reading way too many fantasy books as a kid and then watching Toy Story with my son, my tendency to personify everything is crazy. Yes, those fish are feeling pretty shitty right now. The lightbulb is horrified about what happened. And that truck you threw away because the wheels keep falling off is mad at you.June 4, 2013 – 1:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - “In hindsight- this was a mistake.” HA! That was one of my favorite drawings ever, too… The fact that your fish were in the dark for two weeks makes me feel much better about our deceased pets for our daughter- Ariel, Eric, and Rainbow. They all bit it, and then one of their carcasses got stuck in the side of the tank. It was creepy, and I was too grossed out to retrieve them, so I made my nephew do it. Fish kind of suck as pets. Sorry, but it’s true. That post was beyond hilarious.June 4, 2013 – 2:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Menopausalmother - I totally sucked at the fish thing, too..and the hamsters, and the turtles…..funny post as always, made even funnier with your drawings!June 4, 2013 – 2:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kenya,
    I had no idea that the fish would dissolve. Are you saying that Louis and Carl may have actually not been eaten? I think dissolving is even grosser, actually. Stupid fish tank. I’m never having one again – they are gross and messy and a pain in the butt. (I said butt instead of ass just for you by the way. oh. ooops, now I said ass.)
    I top off our tank with water all the time. I’ll bet PETA is flooded with calls from fish activists.June 4, 2013 – 2:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kenya,
    And yes, leaving the light on does make the green stuff grow faster. Ugh.
    —–
    Sadder Sarah,
    “Fish are friends, not food!” I wish I’d remembered that awesome line and included it!
    —-
    Jean,
    Hm. So the ninee that had to go to live on a farm because his wing fell off is crying right now? Should I go try to find him?
    —-
    Steph,
    Fish are kindof gross. They do suck as pets. You are wise.
    —-
    Meno Mama,
    Freaking fish.June 4, 2013 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

  • SocialButterflyMom - Sadder Sarah took the hook right out of my mouth 😉June 4, 2013 – 3:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I think I already shared with you that I too am very impaired when it comes to caring for fish..I won’t bore you with my repeat story but I totally get your “issues.” I can’t believe they ate each other. I do believe there was a movie about something similar involving people!!June 4, 2013 – 3:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Social Butterfly Mom,
    I wish I’d have thought of them! You both are awesome for thinking of the Nemo reference!
    —-
    Emily,
    Yeah. Fish are sucky to one another sometimes. And hey – good point, I suppose it’s better than people eating their friends!June 4, 2013 – 3:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Slu - Ha… As one who is seriously considering a “Fish Tank” for my Office/Man Cave, you have given me something to think about. lol

    Enjoyed!!! Have a great week, SluJune 4, 2013 – 4:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Slu,
    Trust me when I say they are a pain. But so pretty…June 4, 2013 – 4:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Kristi Rieger Campbell, I had the same feelings long time back…and I came to the conclusion that Survival of the fittest!

    Hang in there, buddy! Your sentiments gave a good vibe to the survivors in the fish tank!June 4, 2013 – 5:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim Pugliano - Don’t fret. Haven’t you ever seen Nemo?June 4, 2013 – 7:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - I dread the day I kill Henry’s first fish…

    When I was living in Italy, my boyfriend there was obsessed with turtles and fish. He decided to buy this exotic piranha. We’d named all the little creatures, but sadly, most of them died horrific deaths at the hands of the piranha. And then it went belly up itself. Totally. Effing. Traumatic.June 4, 2013 – 8:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - I just heard a beautiful instrumental version of Eleanor Rigby the other day. What a great song. Did you know that there was a real Eleanor Rigby? Kevin was just telling me the other night. He’s a wealth of Beatles trivia!June 4, 2013 – 8:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - So remember my post about the fish all dying. All eleventyseven of them? Well some of mine “disappeared” but I actually think they disintegrated. And then when they get gelatinous the plecostomus just eats them. You know..sucks them up.
    BTW your car is my car. We had mice in my car this winter, thanks to fries, pirates booty and cheddar bunnies. Dude, not pretty. And the thing is there’s crap everywhere. Winter hats, sweatshirts, dog beds, what-have-you…so I have this box I’ve been meaning to take to the postoffice on the floor by the front seat for about 8 months. Today I got the carpets shampooed, because mouse poop. And they put the box in a little bag for me. Did I stop at the post office on my way home?June 4, 2013 – 9:08 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - …so when I was around 7, my father got into tropical fish. The inevitable progression until there was a 50 gal tank in the dinning room with every species of tropical fish available in the RI pet stores. The final addition was some kind of specialized tropical *frog* that cost, like $25. (this was the 60’s so that was a significant expense.)
    Everything was until the night, sitting at dinner ( *in the Dining Room* ) and my mother screamed ‘giant spider on the floor’! Father had his shoe off in a second and bam!
    I thought it was pretty funny, but chose not to laugh.

    Good post again, KristiJune 4, 2013 – 9:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Middleage Monologues - Holy Crap that cartoon is hilarious! Speaking of little Nemo’s eating little Nemo’s my daughter (she’s 4) and I were at Walmart ( I know I only go there if I have to and it is painful EVERY time) well she likes to look at the fish in those nasty little fish tanks…so we wander over there and are perusing the algae ridden tanks when my daughter sees a tail hanging out of the face of a huge goldfish and she was like “Mommy…I think that a fish is taking a nap in that other fishy’s mouth?” Ummmm….yeah…can I say AWKWARD?! That was one conversation that was a little bit difficult to have in general but in the aisle of Walmart…yeah Classic! Sheesh!June 4, 2013 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - I’ve had my fish eat each other. It’s an awkward conversation to have with a toddler for sure! By the way, I totally loved “That’s what friends are for” in middle school. It was my favorite song!June 5, 2013 – 12:07 amReplyCancel

  • Terrye - LOL! *burp* Yep, I’ve had my fish eat each other for no apparent reason; lots of light, room, food, etc. Then *poof* the goldfish ate everyone else…and then grew to the size of a koi bent on swimming back to Japan!

    He was arrested, tried, convicted and served a very short life sentence in solitary confinement, where he met a long and painful death. (Mom was cleaning the tank and dumped him in a bucket that had previously held bleach water – he tried to jump out, but, alas, failed miserably. I just stood there and watched and thought of all of his helpless victims).June 5, 2013 – 12:51 amReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - Sorry for your fishy loss. Love your sense of humor and drawings. After reading a few of your comments its was interesting to find out that the little fishes dissolve.June 5, 2013 – 3:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Misty Brandon-Cotton - kristi, that was just too funny!June 5, 2013 – 3:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay - You CRACK ME UP. Where the hell did the fish go??June 5, 2013 – 10:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay - OMG, ignore my last comment. That’s what you get for catching up on your favorite blogs while drinking a beer…you miss the most important parts…parts that are included IN THE TITLE and in the last paragraph. I’m laughing out loud at your post AND my stupidity tonight…or is the beer that’s making me laugh? Whatevs! 🙂June 5, 2013 – 10:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - TraShay,
    Drink more.June 5, 2013 – 10:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate - Poor fishies. I hope they just disappeared somehow and didn’t eat each other!June 6, 2013 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - I knew that those sucker fishes were never meant to be trusted. Bass turds.June 6, 2013 – 10:38 amReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Do you really care about the fish? I doubt I would have even noticed one was missing!June 6, 2013 – 3:09 pmReplyCancel

  • K - HAHAHAHA OMG I love this! I mean, I feel bad for your fishies, but this is hilarious…and it reminds me of a particularly traumatizing experience that I had back in the second grade. My guppy had little baby guppies but my mom didn’t realize that she had to separate the mother from her babies…As a result, the mother guppy ending up EATING. HER. BABIES. Talk about a life-scarring experience for a second grader! 😉June 12, 2013 – 1:19 amReplyCancel

  • Debbie - LOL, I just arrived at this post and I am LOL at “Let There be Light!” and then I LOL’s more at “Carl and Louis” and then LOL’s ten minutes later.
    OMG Kristi, you shake my belly fat. (Hey, have you guys seen my belly fat? *Burp*). HAHA…
    Your have really good sense of humor, Kristi.

    By the way, I will answer your question.
    My answer is, NO! Big NO! They eat their friends whenever they hungry or if there is a chance (Looks like I have to say God-Like sentence “Let There be MORE Light! So I can watching their activity) and they don’t feel sad. Guess what, more fish are coming.

    “Okay guys, we are heading to pet store now!”..LOLFebruary 18, 2014 – 3:45 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Ruchira,
    Survival of the fittest! I like it. I suppose Carl and Louis were not very fit, after all. June 4, 2013 – 5:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Really? I had no idea! I wonder if she really died in church alone. Wow. June 5, 2013 – 12:06 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Thanks, Susan. We’re sorry for the fishy loss as well. And EW to the dissolve thing. Right?June 6, 2013 – 2:43 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Misty,
    Thanks, love. Funny and nasty really is what you mean, right?June 6, 2013 – 2:44 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Fish are assholes. Mean, totally NOT like in Nemo and just rude to each other. Who eats their friends? YAY to “That’s what friends are for!”June 6, 2013 – 2:45 amReplyCancel

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