When I started graduate school, I decided I wanted to study the cognition and behavior of wild animals in their own habitat. In my case, it's "wild" fox squirrels whose habitat happens to be a college campus.
I spend a lot of time outside with the squirrels. Sometimes it's a lot of time for very little data. Part of the reason it takes so long is that sometimes they decide they need a little siesta during an experimental session. And when this happens, there's really not much we can do...but wait. They are volunteers, after all.
Because it's almost winter and the Ross Dress for Less ads are on all the time...
A former research assistant recently sent me this photo, mentioning that she had deliberated in the store for 10 minutes (!) about whether or not she should get this amazing squirrel-covered sweater for me. When I saw the photo, I have to admit a longing to own and wear this sweater... and I considered rushing to the store to try to find it.
This led me to thinking about my life as an animal-obsessed person. As a researcher and consultant, I have worked with pigeons, squirrels, and cats. And in my lifetime, I have received numerous gifts and tchotchkes with the aforementioned animals emblazoned on them, and they are always much appreciated.