In September, my 11-year-old cat Valrhona died of lymphoma. I’ve had cats for the past 25 years, and while I couldn’t imagine living without them, I wanted to take some time to enjoy life without scooping litter and fur flying everywhere. That period didn’t last as long as I thought it would, because in November I noticed that I felt sad every time I opened my door and was not greeted by a furry friend.
So it was time to adopt, and I decided that it would take two kittens to fill the hole in my heart left by Valrhona. The previous August, I volunteered to photograph a benefit for the rescue organizations The Toby Project and Animal Haven. Remembering that, I headed downtown to Animal Haven and met a lively litter of seven kittens, eight weeks old. I played with them all and found a strong connection with two of them. Later that afternoon my application was approved, and I brought them home the next day.
Well, I couldn’t have asked for better kittens. They’re very social, and they love meeting new people. Best of all, they sleep all night and don’t get up until I’m ready. They’re challenging to photograph, and I hope to keep trying throughout their lives. We had a short session in the studio and made the rest of the photos at home. After about three weeks of waiting, their names presented themselves. As they were wrestling, they appeared intertwined like a double-helix, and being a science geek since high school, I thought to name then after the Nobel-prize-winning team who discovered the molecular structure of DNA, James Watson and Francis Crick. Watson is the black-and-white male, and Crick is the faux-Siamese female.