I have a fish, and his name is Lloyd. He comes with me to college and lives in my room. Lloyd is a college fish; Lloyd is a Catholic fish.
It sounds crazy, right? Goldfish can’t be Catholic any more than they can be college students. So how can I say I have a Catholic fish?
A little explanation, perhaps: goldfish are actually much more intelligent than popular culture supposes. They do have memories and can remember specific voices–I know that Lloyd, as soon as my sister’s best friend comes over, immediately swims in the direction of her voice and doesn’t stop swimming at the edge of his bowl. He also wakes up at the sound of my voice so I can do my usual are-you-alive check. He “begs” for food and “yells” at you if you haven’t fed him in a while; and he hates the colour orange. All these facts (including the colour thing) can be proven with basic biology. So how can I, with full honesty, say I have a Catholic fish?
To begin, Lloyd was won at a church carnival–a Catholic church. But origins do not always denote the end result (as proven by the fact that he was so tiny when he came home that if he were to do battle with one of the rocks in the bottom of his bowl, he would have lost; and now he is so big I had to put him in a new bowl).
Point number two: I’m Catholic; therefore, my room is covered in Catholic things. Eventually, maybe this would rub off on him, right? My whole family is Catholic, so maybe he got it from there? Or I said enough Rosaries or other prayers in my room that the little fishy converted? Sounds ridiculous. Is ridiculous.
But! He is extremely drawn to a particular card I had pinned up on my board near his bowl. I have taken to setting it near his bowl whenever we travel or he will freak out. This is a Mary card, an image of a statue of Our Lady of the Globe. The image is quite beautiful. Lloyd falls asleep staring at this card. I have a goldfish with a Marian devotion.
And so, the discussion has ensued–can a fish be Catholic? Do I have to get him baptized? (After all, nature fell when Man did…) If so, how is that done when he lives in water? Comment if you come up with a solution to this conundrum, please.