Columnist shares struggles with least favorite pet

I will never again own a Betta fish.

According to the terms of my lease, I can?t have pets, but my landlord told me a fish was ok, so when I moved out of my parents house over two years ago, my Betta fish from college, Jereth, went with me.

From the first day I got him, I hated this fish.

Jereth, named after David Bowie?s character from the movie ?The Labyrinth,? was a gift to me my senior year of college after my previous Betta, Maverick, died.

I loved Mav. He would follow my finger and was a generally calm fish. Jereth was just irritating.

I?m sure you are wondering at this point how a fish could annoy someone, and that is where Jereth?s story begins.

The first night I had Jereth, it was raining. I am a very light sleeper, and when I turned off my light to go to bed, I kept hearing ?tink?splash! tink?splash!? At first I assumed that one of my roommates maybe didn?t get a faucet turned off, so I flipped on my light and did a quick check of the place. Everything was off. I went back to my room, shut off the light and tried to get some sleep.

?Tink?splash! tink?splash!?

Maybe there was a leak near my window. I turned on the lights again. Nope. No leak. Lights off again, made another attempt at falling asleep.

?Tink?splash!? Again!

I turned the lights on, and realized that when the lights were on, the noise stopped. Lights off, it would start again.

I used my cell phone to make a scan of my room and that was when I realized I was the owner of a fish who was afraid of the dark.

Every time I shut the lights off, Jereth would try to jump out of his bowl, hit the glass and fall back into the water, causing the mystery noise.

I did some quick research and found out that some Bettas really do try to jump out of water. Just my luck. So I turned my laptop to face the fish tank and act as a night-light so I could get some sleep.

I ended up having to buy an actual night-light for my little fish so he would stop trying to jump out of his bowl.

Luckily for the fish, the bowl was shaped like a globe with only a small opening at the top for food, so even when he did try to make an escape, he would just hit the top and fall back into the water.

Being in the dark wasn?t the only thing my little fish didn?t like. He also didn?t like when I listened to music or watched TV.

He was a very spoiled fish, and my dad used to joke that if I left him at my parents house Jereth would have been fed to their cat because he wasn?t about to get a night-light for some dumb fish.

One fateful day, I left to do laundry and I came back to see my fish laying next to his bowl. Poor guy.

Someday I hope to be a pet owner again, but never to a Betta fish.