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The Little Mystery At My Sister's Home

I'm housesitting for my sister's family while they're on a ten-day child-friendly honeymoon roadtrip to California and back. Other than water the plants and care for the kitty, I've little to do but enjoy what I see as my own personal writing retreat.

Sure, there was last night's fun of returning home to find the circuit breaker for the fridge had tripped. It hadn't warmed enough for food spoilage, thank goodness, but plenty to let the ice in the fridge-door dispenser to melt, fill the catch basin, and spill onto the floor. But a few towels, and a trip to the breaker box, solved the problem.

So once I finished that little mess, I checked the little creatures in the aquarium tank--two tiny fish and a little fiddler crab my nephews had won at the carnival a day before leaving and named after Pokemon--and settled in to sleep with the cat who has finally determined I'm her only source of attention right now curled against my chest.

And this morning... There was no little fiddler crab in the tank.

The day before yesterday, I'd been amused watching the crab climb and slide up and down the little water filter bubble-maker thing. (Can you tell I'm not a fish-keeping person?) My sister had told me the tank was "self-cleaning," but after three days the murky water indicated otherwise. So I did a quick crash course in how to properly change water, treat water, yadda yadda, because I do not want to be the Auntie who kills Pokemon-named creatures. All seemed just fine. Swimming goldfish, climbing and crawling crab.

Well. I didn't expect the crab to climb all the way up the wide filter tube, and out the small opening at the back of the tank. I didn't know crabs could do these things! But that's the only explanation I have for the disappearing crab.

Once I realized it wasn't in the tank, I did the stupidest little dance back from the counter, as if something smaller than my thumb was going to spring from hiding and attack my face like something out of Alien. I searched the entire kitchen counter where the tank sits--tentatively moving everything aside, checking the stove, even looking in the drawers.

No crab.

Then I started walking on the sides of my feet, because the floor is about the same color as the little crab, and making little ick noises because the thought of stepping on a tiny crab is horrible. I checked under the cabinets, inside the pantry, and even pulled the fridge out.

No crab.

But this is an "open concept" home. So I dug out a flashlight to check under the sofa, the chairs, the beds in the bedrooms, every corner of the bathrooms, under the washer and dryer.

No crab.

My working theory is that the crab indeed crawled out, reached the edge of the counter and fell, and the sweet kitty cat who spent the first part of the night purring against me got up long enough to find a, erm, midnight snack.

But you can bet I'm still watching my step whenever I walk around the house.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2016 02:40 am (UTC)
Very curious!
Aug. 9th, 2016 05:43 pm (UTC)
Still no sign of the crab. This is the weirdest thing!
Aug. 10th, 2016 07:39 am (UTC)

When our son was about 9 we lost an expensive poisonous frog in the way you describe. We thought if the cat ate it she'd get sick. She never did. I kept waiting for the frog's dissecated remains to show up somewhere. It never did.

Aug. 10th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I'm so glad your cat didn't find it!
Aug. 11th, 2016 08:54 pm (UTC)
Somewhere in here is a story... :)
Aug. 13th, 2016 09:28 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I've been wracking my brain for story ideas lately.....
Aug. 10th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
So are you going to go buy a replacement fiddler crab, or will you tell your nephews that the one they had didn't survive? Carnival-prize critters often don't last long, and that's a fact to be faced, but I can see how you might rather not be the one to make the boys face it.

Anyway, condolences! It's always sad when the little tank-dwellers meet their inevitable demise, however it comes about.
Aug. 11th, 2016 08:55 pm (UTC)
I texted my sis, and we decided not to replace the crab.

Or the fish that are now dead.

Conclusion: I can care for houses, plants, dogs, cats, and livestock. Just don't put me in charge of fish!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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