My parents recently watched Robert Hazen's The Joy of Science series (The Great Courses) and my dad became enchanted with trilobites. Trilobites have been around for a while, but now, thanks to the magic of eBay, they are as easily available to a whimsical man with a credit card as they must once have been to the average predator in the Cambrian (or Paleozoic or Devonian) sea.
Little "Phacops rana" comes from Morocco (but speaks beautiful English, when he speaks), and thinks he may be 400 million years old (He doesn't look it, does he?). Every time I go over to visit he is sitting sweetly on his rock. Fond as I am of our cats, I do have to admit that Phacops has many fine qualities as a pet. He is clean and quiet, doesn't seem to shed or hack up hairballs, and my dad claims that he is very companionable.
I hope these pictures convey his charm!
Here he is leaning forward, listening intently to my dad ...
Here, deep in thought.
It is a little hard to be sure, but I think here he is looking out the window, watching the local dog pack and thinking how amusing it would be if a Dunkleosteus were to wander through the neighborhood.
And I'm almost sure that here he is wondering what's for dinner.
He really is sweet.
the cats. They shed, shed more, bang on the cat door and knock stuff on the floors at night. And steal little toys and pile them up in hoards around the house. And other stuff. But when I sit down with a book and my legs are just a little cold, it isn't long before I have a cat or two snuggled up on my lap and my legs are no longer cold, and I think cats are not such bad pets either.