for a cat
Gion Kyoto in June 2000. It was late afternoon and this Maiko, (apprentice Geisha) was setting off to an evening of professional engagement. Suddenly she stopped to pass the time of day with a young white cat, very much at home on the street. I waited for a shot of the Maiko reaching down to pat the cat but alas she only exchanged pleasantries and continued.
Very close to this setting Jill and I experienced one of our most bizarre non disastrous situations ever. It was April 1990 and we were half way through a 5 week tour of Honshu and Kyushu.
Near the foothill of Tea Pot alley leading up to Kiomizu dera we entered an interesting pottery shop. We had left our two Afghan Hounds Floss and Suki and cat Tippy back home and were on the look out for Afghans in Japan. Up near Matsushima Bay a week earlier we came upon a school girl walking 2 Gold Afghan Hounds and had chatted and photographed them. Otherwise no hounds to be seen.
As we entered this pottery store and began browsing the crowded shelves and narrow walk throughs we were suddenly disturbed by a rushing sound coming from the rear of the store. A young Afghan pup was hurtling through the shop straight for us. Instinctively I dropped to my knees and the hound arrived in a ball of energy, tail wagging furiously pursued by a young woman. They both stopped in front of us , the pup stood still and we all exchanged interesting finer points of detail that only Afghan Hound people can exchange between each other and with the dogs. Not one piece of pottery had been dislocated from any shelves let alone broken. We have all heard of the term a bull in a China shop. Well from this day Jill and I knew the opposite term is an Afghan Hound in a pottery shop. Unfortunately we were so excited and distracted we forgot to photograph the pup, but did buy some pottery jewellery. Four years later when I returned to the shop whilst guiding a school tour group I stopped off at the store hoping for a repeat performance and some photos. Sadly the potter informed me the dog had died prematurely of some rare infliction. She was too distraught to get another one.