I wanted to relate a story about my beloved Pleco. I bought him as a 4 cm little baby and very quickly he grew to a 10 cm adolescent.
One day, I was feeding and couldn't find the Pleco. After checking all his usual haunts (behind the heater, under his ceramic pot, behind the bubble wand, I feared the worst.
I peeked around behind my tank and there he was, on the floor, covered in cat hair and dust, dried out stiff as a board and definitely not alive.
Or so I thought...
I picked him up by his caudal fin and he was like a dried twig. Absolutely stiff. I felt horrible and was about to bury him when my husband suggested putting him back in the tank.
I thought he was joking, but he said his sister had a fish that jumped out and then revived after being put back in water.
I placed him back in the tank and immediately, the Pleco started moving! I was so happy I cried.
I knew he wasn't out of the woods and probably wouldn't survive, but I would try if he would. He was very weak and still stiff, so I used my hand to 'swim' him around the tank for a few minutes to get some water moving through his gills and after awhile, he took off on his own. Still extremely shaky and off-balance.
I figured the best thing for him was to let him be and hope for the best.
Later that night, he actually nibbled on a veggie wafer and returned to his spot under his ceramic pot.
He did lose some fin, but it has all grown back beautifully and he has since grown another 8 cm! This catfish definitely has nine lives!