Monday, September 6, 2010

Creatures of Corsica: or, the cat that tried to steal my underpants

Some of the things I very much enjoy about Corsica, or at least Cargese, are the animals. As the town is very compact, there is clearly no room for yards, and so people's dogs and cats are allowed to roam free. I like this mode of operation very much - the dogs I have met are all calm (probably because they can run where ever they like), well socialized, and smart enough to avoid traffic (I should add they are all wearing collars, so I know they are not strays!)

A dog nap at the institute.
The institute appears to be a favorite hangout for about six dogs from the village, which has created some funny moments at the school. Most notably, the dogs seem very intent on entering the lecture hall during talks, and so it is not uncommon to have speakers interrupted by a dog who just wants to be part of the action. It doesn't help that the pointer is actually just a giant stick.

My advisor, petting a dog in the middle of a talk. 
Me giving my flash presentation. Notice the large stick - very tempting to dogs.
Every night I leave the doors to my balcony open while I sleep. On my second morning here, I woke up to find a little white kitten looking up at me from beside my bed. It looked at me cutely for a few seconds before viciously attacking my feet. I played with it for a few minutes and put it on the porch so I could shower.

Wake up!!
That night the cat returned before bedtime, and since then he (I checked -  it's a boy) has been a frequent visitor to my room. One night after a long hiking trip I was dozing on the bed when he came in, jumped on my chest, and proceeded to take a nap with me, nuzzling my neck. More often, however, he is in full-on kitten mode - running in circles, attacking anything that moves, and rearranging my laundry (last night he made it to the balcony carrying my underpants - I luckily caught him before he could get any farther, though I do believe now I am missing  a red sock!)

During a rare calm moment

I want to name my little Corsican vacation kitten. Any ideas?


  1. soooo cutttteeeee... why can't MIT have random pets wandering around?

  2. You have that already at MIT! Rats and Roaches!

  3. long time reader, first time poster. how about Baset (sometimes spelled Bastet)? egyptian god of some kind, i think. turns out it's the child of Ra, the sun god. Very fitting with your conference, methinks.

  4. How about:
    Destructor the Terrible
    Mike Tyson

  5. So cute!!! I think you should smuggle it home in your carry on :-) I unfortunately have no name suggestions

  6. that little guy is TOTALLY personal-item-beneath-the-seat-in-front-of-you-sized. ;)

    how about "OMG?" at least that's what I thought when I saw that picture of his blue eyes...