When your children end up with crawfish as pets, suffice it to say mistakes were made. First and foremost, we blame the fish counter, which has been bringing in new and interesting items like soft shell crabs and crawfish for weekend culinary experimentation. Intrigued by the crawfish, we bought six, thrilled they were so fresh they were still alive.
We will accept some blame for storing them in an old fish tank partially filled with water while we got the Old Bay and water to boil. That attracted the children. If you have brought something home to eat that you must kill, do not let children near it. Do not let them name your food. It is a lot easier to boil some anonymous crawfish than to boil one they sweetly (passive-aggressively?) named after you.
If you do find yourself with crawfish as pets, feed them fresh peas and change their water daily. Do NOT tell your ex-husband who will inevitably remark how backwater it is to keep mud bugs as pets. Heck, if we lived in Louisiana it might be a pedestrian pet. But this is New York City. Here they are exotic – maybe even dangerous and illegal like ferrets. But crawfish have one distinct advantage over ferrets. Who has ever heard of ferret étouffée?