Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)

News About My Fish

I am sorry to announce that my beautiful goldfish died. Shortly after Christmas and the following day the black fish gave up his ghost. Was he heartbroken? Only the miniature catfish went on living. I bought a small glass tank, the same kind I had owned many years ago, put some green pebbles on the bottom, stuck plastic seaweed in it and transported the fish into its new tank, since the old one was too big and cumbersome for me to clean regularly. The catfish hid at the bottom at first and barely moved. When it tried to swim it would hit the glass wall with its head, and soon gave up  efforts to swim. It seemed in a state of depression and refused to eat. However, after a few days it seemed to recover. I watched how it worked itself up and down the glass wall. After all, catfish are scavengers and keep their surroundings clean, but it still spends most of its time on the floor. I discovered a surprising thing, It uses its bottom fins as if they were legs and seems to walk along the sand keeping its balance with the tail and dorsal fins.   

I am told that it looks lonely. Can we really put human emotions into the minds of a miniature catfish with the size of a brain like the smallest sand pebble?

I promise that if it should survive until next week I shall buy another catfish to keep it company; hopefully they will live peacefully together, but they may fight. Only through experiment will I find out.


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