In my life and, indeed, my research, I am accompanied by cats. I was born into a family which had 5 cats and grew up an only child so you could say I was raised by cats. As you may know, my personal Twitter handle which references my cats (@precatlady) has become a place where I discuss my professional life, so my cats end up being a frequent topic of discussion. It seems only right to introduce them here, too.
Fiona is my black, elder cat, adopted from a shelter in Bellingham, Washington in 2006. She is named after the main female character in Shrek 2, one of my favorite feel-good movies. She is fond of quiet, warm spots, sitting on black furniture, and sunning herself in the light of every lamp she can find. In spite of cat stereotypes, she always notices when I’m having a bad research day and comes to snuggle. I am not convinced I would be sleeping if she did not regularly yell at me to go to bed and sit on my books.
Tiberius was my orange and white cat, fool of the family, skilled in catching toy mice, pestering his sister, and snuggling with anyone who doesn’t want it. He supervised my transition from Masters’ student to PhD candidate, and the drafting of my PhD dissertation by providing comic relief. He passed away unexpectedly during one of his outdoor adventures in Fall 2017.