Photos of readers

Today we feature Bruce Cochrane, an academic cousin of mine who lives in Ohio. His captions are indented:

I’m attaching a couple of photos you might want to use for this feature – one of me yesterday and today, before and after our hair salon reopened (yay!), the other from a couple of years back with two of our ten cats.  The ones shown are Rommel (top) and Java (bottom).  Both are purebred Burmese cats, our most recent acquisition was Mothra, Rommel’s niece, who is a Burmese/Bombay hybrid.

A bit about me:  Professionally, you and I are academic first cousins (Theodosius Dobzhansky was our shared grandparent).  Like you, I’m retired now, having spent my career at the University of South Florida and Miami University (Ohio), first as a faculty member, then as an administrator (associate dean and dean), and then back to faculty for the last five years of my career.  My final major contribution was to co-author the ninth edition of Genetics:  Analysis of Genes and Genomes with Dan Hartl of Harvard.  I continue to live just outside of Oxford, Ohio with my wife, a retired speech pathologist and avid (and talented) photographer of moths, birds, cats, and nature at large. COVID-19 hasn’t changed our lives all that much, although we hated having to cancel our annual trip to the desert and ocean in Tucson and Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.  I read the Hili Dialogs over morning coffee.



  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    You and your wife are staff to ten cats?! How do you have time to do anything but run from pillar to post trying to satisfy their every whim? And when they’re fed and tired, they use you as a bed.

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      You have the situation pegged precisely. But we love them all (Although occasional trips to Arizona, upstate NY, and Winnipeg/DC to visit my sons do provide us some respite.

  2. Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing these!

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Spent a lotta time in Oxford myself. Buncha my high-school buddies went to MU, back when they were known as the “Redskins,” and I’d make my way there about once a quarter. Then, later, in the Eighties and Nineties, my bestie owned a restaurant there.

    Good times.

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      By the time I got here (2007), “Redskins” was history, except in the minds of elder alumni. Alice (my wife) has a Miami Redskins sweatshirt that is likely to be worth considerable dosh.

      • Bruce Cochrane
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Burmese are the best kittens ever. Smart, willful, but also loving and kind.

  4. merilee
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful black pussers😻🐾🐾

  5. Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Great pics! What’s it like tending to 10 princes and princesses?!

  6. alexander
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. We have an entry on Dobzansky in our “The Timetables of Science” (1988) as the author of “Genetics and the Origin of Species” (1937). The apple never falls far from the tree.

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      To truly appreciate Doby’s contributions, I strongly recommend that you work through the papers compiled in “Dobzhansky’s Genetics of Natural Populations I-XLIII”, compiled and edited by Richard Lewontin(Jerry’s Ph. D. Mentor, John Moore, Will Provine and Bruce Wallace (both undergraduate mentors of mine; both deceased.). It describes quite an intellectual journey, one that I think Jerry would agree that he and I benefitted greatly from. And Dobzhansky lacked a Ph. D – proper form of address was “Professor Dobzhansky”

  7. alexander
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Dobzhansky, of course.

  8. Ruthann Richards
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    YES!!!! Someone else who has ten cats! Except that all of mine are former ferals rescued over the last 14 years when they showed up on my property, mostly injured. One looks very much like Rommel except for the white spot on her chest.

    • boudiccadylis
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      me too.only now I only have nine. Number ten went to the great beyond. They are all rescue and eight of them are all black.

      • merilee
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        So many wonderful black cats😻😻

        • Bruce Cochrane
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Seven of our ten cats are rescues (the other three are the Burmese mentioned in the original post). One of them – Ollie – was rescued on North Avenue in Baltimore (Oliver North, get it?) by my son Steven(then a Freshman at MICA)and his friend as it was about to be run over by a bus (he’s still doing fine at age nineteen. Sunflower is the same age – a stray that showed up here in Oxford long before I came on the scene. We are convinced that Ten was left off by a space ship because the aliens new he would be too heavy to retrieve. The burmese trio were bred (very well) by Delores Kennedy of Louisville. And the rest are just good d—n cats.

  9. rickflick
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Cat masks! Why didn’t I think of that?

  10. darrelle
    Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I can’t imagine serving 10 cats.

    Spent a couple of years at USF. In retrospect I wish I had never left. Not sure when you were there, may have been before my time, but did you ever hang out at Skipper’s dancing to live Reggae barefoot in the sand?

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      We had a few lab get-together at Skippers but no, no dancing in the sand. I will admit to a keg stand at an orientation social when I was graduate director.

      • Bruce Cochrane
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        I was there from 1981-2007. About half the time the university was in existence. I loved it (although the pay was sometimes less than ideal).

        • darrelle
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

          I was there in the mid 80s and also enjoyed it.

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      I was at USF fro 1981-2007. Went to the dark side (administration) in 2001, and I admit that I never regretted it. I actually think I did some good during some pretty tough times.

  11. Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Lovely kitties. Thanks for sending these pics.

    • JezGrove
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


  12. Posted May 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful cats!

  13. Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    All interesting! I remember well many trips to Puerto Peñasco in a ‘former life’, as it were, as a hanger-on while a colleague took their zoology field class down there. Camping on the beach, hiking wide marine estuaries, looking for all manner of interesting and sometimes venomous creatures.

    • Bruce Cochrane
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Walking the flats at low tide is a true delight.

  14. Posted May 28, 2020 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    I see you are wearing a black mask in all three pictures. The best is the last. Love those cats!

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