There may not, I suppose, be many records of the birthdays of goldfish, but mine has passed his 35th, and we are quietly celebrating together. What’s more, he has passed more than 30 years of his life swimming alone, the only inhabitant of his tank in the conservatory. His companion died and I hesitated to introduce a stranger into his placid life.
I am no judge of a goldfish’s state of mind; he may relish his independence, he may be lonely and depressed (or indeed he may be a she) but there he is every morning basking peacefully among the leaves. A few flakes of fish food give him obvious pleasure – but what he likes best is the hose; a jet dropped from high enough to bubble oxygen into his water. Each time I do this he swims a little jig.
His name is Diogenes, after another loner who lived in a tub – although I like to think my Diogenes is more of a philosopher.