Philosopher’s friends

Post-conference afternoon on Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Walk, aka Cat Path, with fellow pharmacologist Angela and some largely uninterested furred and feathered locals.

Early-fall foliage was brilliant, from the Silver Pavilion Zen gardens —

— to the towering gate-climb at Nanzen-ji Temple.

Naturally, for two biology enthusiasts, a favorite was animal-themed Otoyo Shrine.


Boo views

Long weekend in Stockholm-archipelago town Saltsjö-Boo with adventurous guests from San Francisco and Geneva. Meeting AirBnB host Tomas was a delightful bonus—easy to see why he loves it here.

Another, sadder sabbatical

Since our first post, we’ve had Franklin and Watson—the formerly-feral cats we adopted in 2007—in our thoughts. At the risk of fulfilling stereotypes, our boys have been constant companions through two interstate moves; as for many young professionals without a single place to call home, our animals have helped create community wherever we go. It was enormously generous of Reba’s parents, Andy and Sandra Howard, to take charge of them this fall, enabling us to explore more ambitious adventures on sabbatical.

So it’s with heavy hearts that we share the recent reduction in our family’s size. Watson has always been an explorer, and escaped from the Howards’ Chicago home in early November. This is nothing new—he’s run off several times from our former home in Saratoga Springs—but it’s the first time he’s not been back by morning. Andy and Sandra have been diligent detectives, but after several weeks, we’ve accepted he may not be back in our lives.

A uniquely congenial animal, there’s reason to hope he simply found a new home. If not, winter in Chicago is an unlikely place for him to survive at large for long. Either way, he came from the streets, and seems to have returned there. So if you can, share a thought for Watson and our treasured time with him, or for the beings that make your life more worthwhile.

Photos by Nikon D70 (50 mm f/2.8), 2010 except as noted


Back in Chicago (from Sandra):

Franklin and Watson have discovered the joys of popping out through the bookshelves at each other. At least, Watson has discovered it. Franklin still seems to be at the Where the hell did he come from?! stage of the game. It was, I must admit, fun to watch him jump in amazement twice when Watson popped out from the exact same spot each time. I’ve included a shot of the aftermath, since I didn’t manage to catch the game in progress.