All signs are pointing to the end of life for Gilligan, the former newsroom fish, who has lived at my house for the past year. I took him home for holidays and the kids forbade me to bring him back to his desk post.
You’ll recall I bought the little blue fellow about four weeks after David died. He had his 15 minutes of fame on YouTube when he was at his friskiest stage and willing to nibble human fingers in search of food.
Gilligan has provided highlights and drama for the staff here. Most notable was when his new owner put him into water she thought was de-chlorinated. Turned out to be a false assumption and while I was out on an interview, Gilligan nearly went belly up. The quick thinking of one editor saved his little blue life.
We’ve had a few spells in Gilligan’s life where it looked like my tiny swimmer was on his last lap. But, by golly, he rallied back every time, stronger than ever.
We’re now closing in on three years of a great relationship. I fed and changed water, Gilligan ate and swam to the side of the bowl to peer out at whoever approached. He was especially fond of court reporter Terry McConn, in a way none of his newsroom peers cared to emulate — Gilligan positively danced for Terry in his bowl, standing on his head in a bid for Terry to dip his finger in the water.
I wanted to believe that Gilligan’s recent lack of enthusiasm is just another example of the winter blues. But his beautiful tail has faded and become jagged. He hides in his bowl, peering up through his spider plant but rarely showing interest in his breakfast.
Checking to see if he’s breathing when I come home from work takes sheer willpower.
I brought Gilligan into my world when I was at the saddest moment of my life and he gave me delight — even on the worst of days. He’s leaving, it appears, as the sun has come out and is shining brilliantly in my life once again.
He served his mission well, above the call of beta duty. I love my little sailor. I hope I don’t have to say good-bye to him for just a bit longer. It might be selfish, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Gilligan hung on until the new year. That’s how he rolls.
He’s one of the beta parts of my life. Send him fishy wishes, won’t you?