Clifton Phifer Lee, a Betta fish from New York City, passed peacefully on the floor of his bowl on October 20th, 2014. He was at least several weeks over three years old.
Born sometime in late summer 2011 at a Petco on 4th Avenue, Cliff was named for his parents’ hero at the time, Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies. Cliff the Fish watched closely whenever Cliff the Pitcher was on the mound, though he became as distraught as everyone when the Phillies started being terrible again.
Cliff lived a long, happy life (for a fish.) He could often be found hiding in his castle, or resting on his purple flower, and would become visibly excited when pellets of food were dropped into his bowl. At the height of his career as a fish, he could make bubble nests that covered his entire bowl, and frequently tried to fulfill his destiny as a Betta by trying to kill any male that stood near his bowl.
Cliff enjoyed his retirement months following his family’s move to Manhattan, but began to decline following the birth of his younger brother, the human baby Isaac. On or around October 10th, 2014, Cliff entered hospice care in his castle, and the family went on death watch on October 18th.
Cliffton Phifer Lee is survived by two parents, four grandparents, two aunts, two uncles, and Isaac. A memorial and burial at sea will take place on 23rd street and the East River sometime on Saturday, October 25th.