Browsing through the recent photos on Fotothing and I came across some pictures of tropical aquarium fish. Beautiful as always, but annoyingly unlabelled, so the curious viewer is left not knowing what they are. Reminded me of fish I used to keep, then of other pets I’ve had over the years.

The loach, sold to me as a Javanese Weather Loach, it always sounded so exotic in there with the goldfish. I think it escaped from the tank over a dozen times, to be found curled up in a ball of carpet fuzz somewhere in the corner of the room — inert but still living, dropped back in the tank to resume life. I see now that they are listed as an exotic pest in Australia. Assorted goldfish over the years. An axolotl for a while. Tropical fish at various times, swordtails and gouramis and angel fish and the odd cichlid — I can remember all the names. Hairy pets were limited to Cindy the male cat and a very long-lived but exceptional wild and shy guinea pig that never had a name. An escaped budgie that flew into the garden when I was about 12 started an aviary of budgies and finches for a while, zebras and double-barred and chestnut-breasted finches, and a small group of king quail scurrying around on the ground.

Birds, fish, mammals, only the reptiles and marsupials are missing! I think a blue-tongue lizard and a long-neck tortoise fell under my care at times, the closest I came to marsupials were the kangaroos in the bush over the back fence and the possums in the fruit trees!

There, a trip down memory lane. I wonder if I’ve missed anything?