Poor Henry! While I sat and got my morning fluids Master ran down to replace his cracked tank. We decided to upgrade him to a bigger five gallon one just because we figured it would fit. 2.5 gallon is reasonable for one betta though. Unbeknownst to Henry and myself the store was having a sale, however! It turned out that because of the sale it was a much better deal to get a ten gallon tank instead of the five gallon one. Henry was about to have a fuckin’ rodeo! Of course, with such a big area to romp around in, he wound need some more play things and more rocks. Master Pravus opted to return our previous black rocks for some other slightly more natural rocks. I didn’t find these things out until Master came home. He also needed to stop off to get himself some Monster energy drinks, and while at the store he said someone “fell” into the grocery cart who he knew would be perfect for me!
He sent me a picture of him via Couple and I squeeked! A NEW PIGGY! I couldn’t believe I was getting a new piggy! I was only too excited for Master to bring him home.
So, once Master was home, he started setting up the new tank (I was still attached to my IV pole) and I asked the pig if it had a name. He didn’t answer. I asked Applepig if he had a name, and Applepig asked him. Applepig said that some people used to call the pig “Patches” but he wanted to be called by a new name, whatever name I would give him. I laughed and I looked at Master and said:
“So, like.. Grey Worm?”
He said “Oh my gosh that’s perfect!” But, the pig didn’t seem to respond to it at all, so we couldn’t call it that. All day we tried different names on it. “Lemmering?” “Pennyroil?” “Pigwidgeon? Pig, for short?” “Petunia?” “Ainsley?” “Walter?” Just random names on and off all day. Master pointed out somewhere along the way that the pig was terribly terribly cute so maybe it needed a terribly terribly cute name. I started trying to think of cuter names and one of the ones I said was “Pebble.” Master was holding him at the time, and Pebble turned his head around when I said it. It was like he just responded to the name. Master said he wasn’t sure why, but he thought Pebble really liked the sound of that and pebbles were terribly cute things so maybe Pebble was the perfect fit! It took all day but we figured it out!
Once my fluids were done and I got dressed we couldn’t put Henry into his tank quite yet because we needed the tank to heat up of course. So, Master figured it would be a good time for the surprise! Of course, getting a fish wasn’t “enough” I guess. Ha.
Every year for my birthday I get to be a princess! Master went one step further this year by buying me a tiara… Ha! That sash is one we bought the one and only time we went to Disney. We didn’t actually go to Disney, we went to the Disney Marketplace, but we were only in Florida for a very short time. That’s a story for another day. Regardless, I’ve saved my sash all these years and it’s still in great shape! I wore my stage earrings too. I was super glammed up for this.
I really wanted to wear that blue and black skirt too because it was a present from Master. Nothing I buy with my allowance (aside from presents for Master) is bought without his approval. So, I had actually sent him a link to this skirt a few weeks ago and asked him if he liked it so I could buy it with my allowance. He said “No, I don’t really like it. Why not buy this other one instead?” It was weird, because I was pretty sure he was going to like it. It seemed like the sort of thing he would like to see me in. Nevertheless, I didn’t buy it. Now I see that it was just a clever trick to buy me something by my favorite designer he would know I would love for my birthday! HA HA! See how clever he is? Ha! I thought it was pretty clever. I wasn’t even thinking about my birthday at the time.
I even brought Pebble! There was a moment when I wasn’t sure if I should.
“Should I bring Pebble? I just got him! I always bring Applepig out though! I don’t know what to do?” And I swear for a quarter of a millisecond Applepig sat up a little straighter.
“Bring Pebble. He is your birthday pig.”
Applepig starting moping.
We got in the car and started driving to my surprise! The BUTTERFLY PAVILLION! I’d never been there before. We got there and we got to the counter. The lady was super, super nice.
Master told the lady that it was my birthday and this was the place I wanted to go. (Whatchu talking about? SURPRISE! LOL! I hadn’t ever been there! I think he was playing it up for the nice lady though.)
Of course she acted even more surprised. She came out from around the counter to see my outfit and pig and wish me a happy birthday and I was immediately feeling in the best mood ever.
I mean, until I heard a part I wasn’t really supposed to hear. She was still super super nice, and I don’t want to paint the woman as anything but nice, however my feelings still got hurt and it’s totally a personal thing that I can’t blame her for. She kind of said as an aside to Master Pravus:
“Since you have to push her around in here, I’ll just charge you for her admission, so you get in for free.” (And you get in really cheap on your birthday, so it was wicked cheap that day, which is beside the point.) Master just said “Oh, thank you!” After all, it was a really nice gesture. A lot of times, if you have a child in a stroller they don’t charge you for the child’s ticket but I figure that is because the child is too young to enjoy anything. After all a two year old in a museum might kind of like seeing a butterfly or a starfish, but they aren’t really going to understand what is going on around them. That’s why a lot of places will allow a child to get in places for free if the kid can sit on your lap, etc.
So, at best, I felt like I was being kind of infantilized. And, also I’ve personally been struggling with finding meaning with my existence as someone who has to live with substantial incurable disability, and this didn’t help with that. As I was wheeled away, I felt kind of deflated and I cried a little bit. I tried to brush it off but a few people saw me crying anyway and when Master asked me why I was crying I had to tell him that it would be better if I explained in the car on the way out (because I was worried I would start crying worse, and I was trying to hold it in so we could enjoy our outing rather than start ugly crying). I really want to reiterate that the counter lady was trying to be really nice and had no idea that she hurt my feelings in any way. This is just something I’m personally dealing with right now, so it didn’t help. I would never complain about her, she was clearly not trying to hurt my feelings. It was just kind of one of those things that was just the exact wrong thing to say and the exact right time to say it to make me cry.
Once I was able to suck it up, we went into the butterfly room, which really was beautiful and made me cry again but for different reasons. The first thing I said when we went into the room was:
“Oh my gosh, Master! It’s so beautiful! Look at them all! It looks like Skyrim!”
Master laughed. “Yes, Kitty. It’s exactly like Skyrim.”
I don’t normally say “Master” like that in public, but there was a demonstration for the butterflies and everyone in the room was way far away at the other end of the room so no one could hear me.
We went really slowly through the room. We could have stayed if we had more time but we got up really slowly and got going a bit late as we needed to get the tank going. That’s OK Henry comes first! Maybe we will get back there again someday.
We took a ton of photos, but I’m just posting a couple of my favorites. My super favorite butterfly I saw that day was the owl butterfly. It was so cool looking. They seemed to be the most mellow butterfly I saw, too. A lot of the more colorful small ones didn’t like to sit too still for pictures. I guess I don’t blame them.
My favorite picture by far was this shot of a butterfly that landed on Master Pravus’ shoulder. :) I had to take a picture seated directly in front of him, so I mean, not a bad pic considering! The lady was like “Why would this land on you, you guys are in all black? You must smell like fruit…” HA! Well, he is sweet.. ;)
After the butterflies we headed home to take care of Mr. Henry. He still needed to be put into his tank. We finally got everything in place and he was looking pretty good! Here’s a shot of his full ten gallon setup:
We do plan on buying him some more plants soon, and a snail(!) but not quite yet. Maybe in another week or two. For now he just has a marimo moss ball. Yes, we wrote on the tank. It says “Welcome Home Henry VII <3 Mommy and Daddy.” We keep drawing on the tank with dry erase markers. Then we wipe it off and start again. He likes to come investigate the new pictures. I like drawing things crossings the bridge. Tee hee.
Here is a close up of Henry VII himself. It was so hard getting this shot of him because he is constantly swimming around! I was so lucky to score this! I’m always trying to get pictures of him and every now and then he sits still for two seconds, but you have to be quick. He really does seem to love his new home.