I then reminded Unni that we have a Japanese cat, and cats and Japanese are both known to enjoy sushi. Before leaving for work, we sternly instructed Greta that the fish was to be a friend and not a meal. Greta has never been very enthusiastic about food or climbing up on the counters, and the fish was so well hidden in the roots of the floating plant, I think in our hearts neither of us actually thought anything would happen.
When I came home that evening, the fish was not in its bowl. There was no sign of any kind of violence or splashing. I looked around in all the places Greta hides her treasures but could not find it. Greta was sleeping up in her cat tower. But a little later on, she came down and started sniffing around the bed. With an awful sense of foreboding, I went over and discovered the dead goldfish under my pillow, stuck to the blankets by a wad of congealed fish blood.
|Menace to society|
I called Unni immediately and told her what happened. She sounded sad, but philosophically remarked that it must have been that fish's fate. When she came home I pointed to the counter where I had wrapped the fish in a tissue, but she said she didn't want to see it. She asked me to take it somewhere and bury it.
Unni explained that she had heard from a friend that there is a Buddhist saying that if a lady keeps a single goldfish in her home, she will find her soul-mate. That was why she had bought the fish that Greta had so hastily dispatched. We sat in silence contemplating that for a while, and then I pointed out that Unni is Christian, not Buddhist.
The next day I took the fish out to the grassy area behind our apartment and buried it. I said a few words over the grave and marked it with some stones and pretty flowers.