Saturday, January 13, 2007

It's A Cat-fish?

Brown Walking Catfish Photo by Hang Zhou
This weekend will be a dreary one too. The weatherman said so.

Taken the prospect of the rain, heavy rain that is, that has made a comeback since Thursday when all the sunshine and the birds were making their presence felt just a few days ago.

Since it is more comfortable to spend time at home with all this wetter than wet weather, I had several choices to make the weekend count... watch DVDs, blog surfing or get some exercise - a gym workout maybe.

The choice was obvious. With a hot drink, watch DVD and TV all day long!

Nah! I decided to clean up a few of the hamster cages instead. Wonderful choice! Sigh.

Having 10 cages to house 46 hamsters in HamsterVille, I figured staggering the clean-up of a few cages at a time, I will not have to spend the whole weekend stuck at home cleaning after these "citizens."

A Mayor's job is never done... clean-up the town!

Though it was hard work, the task was quite enjoyable made possible by one interesting pet. Catty, out always excited, interactive catfish. Yes, catfish.

Googled a few and found in a website dedicated to catfish called Planet Catfish.

Its common name is Brown Walking Catfish. It belongs to a species called Clarias Fuscus, found mainly in Japan, Taiwan and China. Also introduced to the Philippines and Hawaii. Having a lifespan of 1 to 4 years. It can grow up to about 10 inches.

Either I identified it wrongly or the last data was misunderstood. The one we have already is beyond 10 inches, and its not even 6 months old.

What is at the back on my mind is how big will Catty get. That was after a concern whether it has venomous spikes in its pectoral or dorsal fins. Fortunately not this species.

This stow-away catfish always reacts excitedly whenever we are around. Most certainly asking for more food... it eats like a pig, never full.

Always following us along the aquarium when we pass by and will react excitedly if we put our hands against the glass following our hand around. Very interactive fish.

Catty Playful Cat-Fish
What is so interesting now is that it somehow has learnt a new trick to attract out attention. It will spit water out to whom ever is near the tank ignoring it.

Our son had his first experience while he was playing with the hamsters. He thought Catty was splashing water with its tail like we have seen it before, but when ignored further, the splashes were hitting him more accurately.

Observing it, he got to see it spat at him, asking for food. It got want it wanted.

Wifey had her splashing experience too, just like me but never being well, spat on. So this afternoon's encounter with the spitting catfish was amazing to me!

I was spat on several times while cleaning the cage. After heeding Catty's request by giving it more food, it stopped its new-found trick. Instead, it started what looked like... playing!

I may be grossly mistaken, but it looked so... adorable, playing. It made me stopped cleaning the cages for a while, observing its antics instead.

Catty Excited When People Are Around
A plastic piece from the air pump came loose and floated around in the aquarium. It would push it around with its mouth like a toy. On and off it will take the plastic piece down into the water and let it float back up again and push it around more.

It very well thought that that was food. It was entertaining to watch.

I guess, Catty has to keep itself entertained. After all, being stuck alone in a 2 foot tank all day is not exactly good living. What do you do after meals?

We decided to leave the plastic piece in the tank to be its toy. Fortunately it has not learn hypnosis, else I would have not completed my task of cleaning HamsterVille.

Let the cat... errr, fish play with it.

Cat-fish, pet-fish, whatever.... it will not end up as food in this household.

Hey! I just realized that I have been writing about animals these last few posts. Hmm...


  1. I don't mean to make you feel bad, but here in Louisiana Catfish the kind native to here is eaten regularly. It is quite delicious. some of the best food you will get down here in Louisiana. Very good food.

  2. Hello C-Dell,

    Thanks for coming by. You're still up I see. It should be very late in Louisiana.

    Yes, catfish is eaten here too. There are catfish farms in our neighbouring countries.

    When we realized that the stowaway was a catfish, we always joked about cooking it once it grows big enough to feed 3 of us with our son.

    He despised the joke because the catfish has become more like a pet to him than food. It really is like pet to us now. We even named it as Catty.

    Back when I was 8 and living in a village, I had chicks I took care like pets, not livestock.

    As they grew larger, my parents slaughtered them for food. Since then, I had not touched chicken meat until I was about 20.

    One weird thing about me is that I will never eat any living thing that I have seen alive before it becomes food... even a prawn.

    Hypocrite, I know. I am not vegetarian, but I just can't in that circumstance.

    Strange, I know.

    Anyway, have a good Sunday!


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Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger