Saturday, 19 July 2014

2011-7/19/2014--R.I.P. Scoops

I'm taking a break from writing about climbing at this moment.  Feel free to skip this post, should you so desire, but I need to write it. 

Heather and I went camping for the first time in months, and after climbing up in Cheakamous a few days ago we were stoked to get back up on the rock this weekend.  It was a challenging trip, and lots of misadventure was had, but the cap was, of course, the rain.  It rained a fair lot, and we returned to our home an evening early.

Upon arriving at home, we were turning on lights and feeding the fish, when I noticed that our beloved florida blue crayfish, Scoops, was sitting motionless beside his cave, in the same place that he had been when we had shut the lights off upon leaving only a day before.

I was truly destroyed to see that our beloved pet had passed on.  Some might say he was only a simple crayfish, but anyone who knew him would know just how special he was.  He was a truly remarkable fellow, and was such an influence on our lives from the first moment that Heather decided to bring him home to be the daycare's pet.

Baby Scoops-y, shortly after coming home.
From the silly circumstances attached to his name (the pet store employees' suggestion that he would eat anything, even raisin bran, mmmm two scoops of goodness) to the first time I realized that he was the reason fish were disappearing in his little tank, he has never ceased to surprise and delight us.  Watching him grow from this precocious little guy trying to claw his way out of the bag in Heather's lap, to the monstrous specimen that he was today, well over double the expected growth of his species, you never knew what was next with him.

He ate everything, from fish (the more expensive the better) to vegetables (the only person in this house that likes cucumber) and fruit, bloodworms, or anything else in the tank, he was truly remarkable, and was so loved. 

I'll never forget the morning that I caught him chowing down on the twenty dollar algae eater that I had just bought Heather, or every time that I tried to move him to another tank.  He could climb like nobody's business, and managed, once, to escape from the brand new tank he had just been moved in to.  Nobody will ever know how long he was out, but I found him trying to climb up the door towards the knob.  I swear he knew that he wanted to get out of the apartment to see what he could eat outside.

Shortly after his big day out we acquired another tank, just for him, as he was still eating fish at a rapid pace, and destroying any vegetation that we planted.  We learned his ways, and he learned ours.  He started 'begging' for treats from Heather, coming to the corner of the tank where they sat and standing on his tail whenever she came near.  He had amazing personality.  He lived happily in this tank, contentedly moving with us to our new home.  One morning, shortly after the move, I came out of the bedroom to get ready for work and noticed that the water noise was exceedingly loud.  I turned on the light to discover that half of the contents of his tank were on the floor!  I will never know how he redirected the flow of water from his filter to not return to the tank, but he did.  He would always try to climb out that way, but he was just too big!

We could tell he was nearing the end of his time with us, as his shedding of shells had decreased drastically in frequency, and he wasn't working nearly as hard to catch fish any longer.  Internet research revealed that he was over double his expected growth, and well past his expected life span, so we have been prepared for the worst for quite some time. 

Scoops-y was laid to rest this evening in a beautiful park near my childhood home.  A place where crayfish roam in the creekbed, as I well know from catching them as a child.  I think it is a place his spirit will be comfortable, and I look forward to seeing him again someday, one of the best-loved crayfish that ever lived.  I feel blessed for having had him in my life, but I am having a very hard time coping with this loss.

Your moms-y and dads-y will always love and miss you, Scoops-y, thanks for sharing some time with us.  You are missed and will always be remembered.

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