In our house of one son, one dog, one cat - there is another living, breathing being. One that doesn't constantly demand attention, food, taxi services, walkies. It doesn't, that I know of, chew things, make indeterminate smells, or wee in the most hidden of places. And the reward for being the least demanding creature in the house is that it gets a little ignored and neglected.
Originally our fishy friend belonged to my son. He won him at a fair and we brought him home in one of those awful plastic bags with just enough water to cover him. I thought they'd banned giving fish as prizes like that but obviously not. He was stuck in a bucket overnight as I was convinced he'd only last a day or two. But he was still swimming around the next day. Another trip to the fair resulted in yes another fish 'to keep him company.'
Despite my conviction still that they wouldn't last long, a friend donated a ridiculously large glass fish tank which took pride of place in my son's bedroom. At least for a while. After a year or two, son's room was redecorated and new furniture moved in which meant there was no room for the fish.
The tank was moved to the spare room which also used to be the office. Until the office was moved downstairs. The fish remained in the spare room, with little company, except me remembering to feed them every few days. Son's interest has long waned.
Just to prove how wrong I can be the original fishy friend is still with us - his buddy went to the fish tank in the sky a while ago. But our fishy friend is still going strong - nearly 8 years on. I had no idea they could or would last that long. I have childhood memories of my fishy pets lasting a year or two.
I have to confess to not cleaning the tank out probably as regularly as I should. But I'm sure when it is, he gets a renewed burst of life, which is basically swimming round and doing what fish do (which isn't very much - but is actually quite relaxing to watch. At least for a few minutes).
Anyway he has had his new year treat, he is now in a sparkling clean tank, for a while at least. He doesn't seem to mind being on his own and having few visitors. He doesn't ask for much or need much. He doesn't get much. But he just keeps swimming.