Livingston was a good fish, i bought him February of 2008. i know, for me to be thinking of a little fish years after his passing but to me he was a special fish. I had just returned to college for my final semester and i returned to an empty dorm room. grieving for the lost of our first family dog i found myself lonely in my dorm room. so while picking up a friend from work i wandered into a pet store. in a small blue water cup i found my companion. I came up with his name from Star Trek. the name of the lion fish in captain Picard’s ready room was named Livingston, so i carried over the name to this little fish.
Being a first time betta keeper i only knew what the store was telling me, that a betta would be fine in a small cup, so i bought him one and decorated it nicely and placed him on my desk at school. i then ventured online and quickly learned what i needed to be a responsible betta parent including giving him more space, heaters. by the time his life ended he went from a tiny cup to a large five gallon tank with a heater and filter.
he gave me what i needed too, someone to come home to, have dinner with and talk to. i found myself branching out and starting to talk to a few people more, in fact the RA in my section of the dorm made him his own little door tag. he gave me something to look forward to seeing, a delightful little red fish who danced every time i came home. when i was studying he would go back and forth begging for food, he became almost a distraction to my studies i eventually had to retreat to the library to finish reports. however i found my final semester there a lot less challenging emotionally, i found my foothold and my place i didn’t feel as alone. i know its weird to put so much on a tiny fish but i think he changed my life for the better.
there is a saying in fish keeping calling bettas a gateway fish that from keeping a betta you will find yourself with more fish…and i did. a week before leaving college for good i had adopted another little fish a female named rayne. while trying to figure out how i was going to get two little betta’s back home with me from college, the ailing Livingston swam to the front of the tank one last time, as if he was saying goodbye then went to the back of the tank and died. i was heart broken my little buddy wouldn’t continue with me, and i cried. in many ways i still mourn him. i have had quite a few bettas since him, each one with a personality, most have outlived livingston, but there has never been at least in my heart another fish quite like him. I have also, consciously, or unconsciously have never bought another red betta, i just can’t bring myself to.
i have found now that i find my bed side tank once again empty thinking more about little livingston. what he gave me, what a small life that was with me for such a short time brought to my life. it has been six years since his passing. i know i won’t be without a betta for long, but i know in my heart i will never find another fish quite like him.