Poutine was my fiancée’s fish; however, I took care of him when she went away for graduate school. I remember the first time I met Poutine. She had gotten him at a state fair the late summer of 2013, and she brought him to Washington, DC later that fall. She brought him a water bottle, which seems ridiculous now because he was about 6 inches wide when he passed away. TSA even had to test the water before bringing Poutine with her on the plane.
I first met Poutine during our third date. Even back then, he loved to pick up the pebbles in his tank to suck on the bits of food before spitting them out. The sound of falling pebbles used to keep me up at night, but I’ve gotten used to it. It was strange not to hear it the night after he died. He was a hungry little thing, poking at the glass whenever it was around meal time. He would always be unsatisfied with whatever we gave him, so he’d just keep tapping at the glass. We didn’t want him to grow too big for his 10-gallon tank, so he often resisted the urge to indulge his gluttony.
Over the years he grew and grew and we didn’t know if it’d stop. I often joked, to my my fiancée’s chagrin, about releasing Poutine in bodies of water we’d come across – rivers, ponds, other aquariums, etc. There was also the summer when he turned prematurely white, and we didn’t know what happened. We later learned that a newly placed bar cart was preventing any sunlight from reaching his tank, which caused him to loss his gold color. We quickly removed the bar cart, but alas he died before fully regaining his color. I took Poutine for granted, but now that he’s gone I regret all the times I made fun of him and joked about releasing him into the Potomac. Poutine, you will be missed.