Cosmo needed a friend. It didn’t even need to be a friend, actually, just something to keep him company while I was working. So, I did a thing. I bought a fish.

He’s a betta and we named him Tuna. (I say ‘we’ because what else would a cat name a fish?)

Tuna lives in a plastic tank with a blue lid that I can keep closed just in case Cosmo decides to go fishing or, worse, decides that Tuna is the other kind of tuna.

So far things have worked out OK. Tuna is still alive, after all, but we’ve had some close calls.

The first night Cosmo didn’t seem very interested in Tuna or his habitat. He looked at him curiously then looked at me with his ears folded back.

“What the hell is this?” I imagined him saying in his demon voice. Tuna had survived.

The next day I fed my pet and my pet’s pet and was off to work, hoping for the best. I was disappointed to find that Cosmo had broken up Tuna’s food and spread it across the floor along with a package of water conditioner that I hadn’t needed. I had no other food for Tuna and I was worried Cosmo had been poisoned by the water conditioner.

They were fine. Tuna and Cosmo survive another night.

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The next night, I observed Cosmo observing Tuna. He batted at the tank. That was the outcome I was hoping for – some entertainment for Cosmo – but I started to get a little anxious about Tuna’s safety. Isn’t it bad to tap on the glass? Cosmo was definitely more than tapping.

His bats escalated. He slid his paw behind Tuna’s tank and pushed.

It caught my attention immediately. The tank had inched forward at Cosmo’s touch. Tuna had to be moved!

It’s been less than a week and Tuna’s tank has been moved a few times. I still want Cosmo to interact with Tuna, but I don’t want to be complicit in fish homicide.

I’ve never had a fish before and, even if it seems lame, I’ve already gotten attached to Tuna. I hope Cosmo does too, just not with his claws.

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. Jersey Girl runs every other Sunday. Follow her on Twitter at @RiaSestito or email her at


Public Safety Reporter

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She covers breaking news as well as crime and courts. Maria came to the Napa Valley Register in 2015 after working at as a reporter and photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC. S