This is where we talk about our pets

Everyone I know IRL talks about their pets all the time. Constantly. I do, too. Yet the amount of pet-talk here is lacking. So, here’s a place to share all your many, many, many stories about your animals.

Tom and I have a dog named Lacie Bug, a spotty Australian cattle dog/Rottweiler mix. We adopted her when she was 6 years old, and she fit into our lives perfectly from day 1. Her ideal weight is probably 35 pounds, but she was 70 pounds when she came to us, and we dieted her mercilessly since the vet said her hips would give out. But now she’s 49 pounds and we feel like that’s OK, especially since there’s already so much loose skin from the weight loss that we fear she’ll just peel like a banana. Lacie loves Tom with a love that borders on pathological, and she thinks I’m a good consolation prize if Tom isn’t here. She doesn’t play with any of her toys, but she keeps them neatly arranged in her bed and if you take one, she will put it back exactly where it was. A neat freak.

We also have 2 budgies: Guy Peep and Lil Pibble. Guy has one bad foot, is blue, favors making farting noises and spaceship sounds, and is ancient. Pibble is a baby, is purple, and spends his time annoying Guy by trying to get Guy to barf in his beak, and when Guy has had enough of that, Pibs goes to war with the bell in their cage. That evil bell! He hits it and then it swings and hits him in the head, and that sets off a flurry of violence. The sad thing is, the bell always wins.


I have two cats and their names are Zipper and Zoom.

Zipper looks furious most of the time, but is actually friendlier. Zoom is a lockdown baby. They get on okay but don’t snuggle. For a long time Zipper was the only one who dared to use a soft cat box which we’d put up high for her. Then we got a less fur-encrusted box and replaced it. Zoom decided this was a chance for her to dominate her rival, and started sleeping in it. Now we have a second box (also high) and both cats are freaking out as they try to decide which box is truly superior.

I also foster kittens when I get the chance, which I LOVE. This is Cinnamon (tabby) and Basil. (There’s also a whole video about them here.)

I had a long-haired cat named Princess Ana a few years ago. I named a cat in “Fine Felines” (my 2021 entry) after her. This story from “Fine Felines” is true:

“Princess Ana set herself on fire one time,” she says, indicating one of the ladies on the window, who comes and jumps into her lap. “I didn’t have proper air conditioning back then so I kept the cats in the same room as me and used a fan heater. Every time I turned it on Princess Ana would somehow end up in front of it, blocking the heat from everyone else. So one day I put it so close to my feet that she couldn’t possibly get in the way. Sure enough, she squeezed in between my feet and the heater. Ragdolls are big, but not as big as all that long fur makes them look. She was at least warming my feet, so I didn’t move—until I saw the smoke curling up from her other side. Her fur was literally inside the heater, through the bars. And because her coat is so thick, she hadn’t noticed.”

“What did you do?”

“I grabbed her and patted down the burned side until I was sure she was safe. She hadn’t even felt it. She’s the sweetest, calmest, loveliest cat you ever saw… but she ain’t bright.”


Your cats are so gorgeous!

We vacuumed up enough fur today to make another dog from, and I think cats might actually be worse. Although eau de cat lacks the aggressiveness of dog smell, so it evens out, I think?


we have a cat with gorgeous gold eyes and pure black fur who’s also a piece of shit. we love him


My partner and I lost two older cats to separate problems this year: Alipher had a heart condition that didn’t show symptoms until January. We used to joke that he had the biggest heart of any cat we’d ever met. It turned out to be literally true, but we didn’t realize that until it was too late. Persephone followed him at the end of March, due to cancer.

Under the mistaken impression that Alipher would like to have a cat friend more enthusiastic about his friendship than Persephone, we adopted Captain WIlliam Tiberius Blake last year; he is now a year and a half old, a friendly, regal guy whose job is to patrol the house in case squirrels try to break in (they haven’t tried yet, and he intends to keep it that way), and to make sure his humans have a cat who snuggles with them when they have a long day or are upset. He loves preening for the camera:

We adopted two kittens after Persephone left us. (Well, we applied for two kittens. But shelter adoptions in Minnesota are competitive, and we didn’t expect to get both cats. We did, though, and brought them both home.) This is Tristan, sometimes known as Sir Tristan Invictus, as his birthday falls on the winter solstice in some years:

Tristan’s primary goals in life are to destroy absolutely everything and to eat all of the food. He and William immediately became very good triends and spend pretty much all day together.

The other kitten we adopted was Esmerelda Phoebe “Lobster Claws” Weatherwax. She has extra toes! Apparently polydactyly is a common feline mutation.

Since she is a cat with excellent taste, she spends as much time as possible near my girlfriend, but she’s also more interested in playing with toys on her own than any other cat I’ve ever met. She’ll happily run around, tossing small plush toys into the air and chirping happily while she chases them around. Despite the several dozen cat toys in the house that were designed and built and sold to be cat toys, her absolute favorite toy is any disposable plastic food-takeout fork she can get her hands on (though the first time I showed her a spork her eyes got very wide and, after spending three or four minutes verifying that it is also an excellent toy, she went off and hid it somewhere and it hasn’t been seen since. I think she’s hiding it for a day when she needs an especially good toy).

She and Tristan are also very good friends.


They look very content. Their humans must be well-trained.

You have the best ideas for cat names!


They are very happy little cats, and good at training their humans.


My father has a Jack Russel terrier, circa 3 years old. I see him twice per week. He liked to apport but refuses to let go off the ball. So my father needs two balls: When he throws the second ball, the dog (Max) lets go off the first ball and runs after the first ball.

And when I was a early teen we had pidgeons. Not post pidgeons, but beatiful coloured. Whenever I see a city pidgeon I get fond memories about “my” birds.


Our last dog was like this. She desperately wanted to chase the ball, but once she had it, it was really hard for her to give it back. You could see the agonizing cognitive dissonance playing out in her expressive eyes: “Want to chase ball again. Must give ball up to chase again. Can’t give ball up. Existential crisis! Whine.”

Our current dog could not care less about chasing a ball. She wants to chase deer, which might kill her if she actually cornered one. She also keeps trying to eat bees, though I have explained many times that eating bees is a recipe for tragedy.


(not my drawing, a popular meme on the internet)


Our oldest cat, William, is like this with some of his wand toys. He will catch the flying worm and refuse to let go. He wants to drag it and its long stick under the bed so he can murder it some more.


Meet Minoes:

At the time of the photograph, Minoes must have been a little more than 3 years old. A lean and feisty young girl, eager to get up to the top of the highest cabinets and cupboards in our house, finding improbable routes to jump and climb until she could regally regard her humans below.

Spin back three years. A friend of ours had told us that her cat had just given birth to a litter of kittens and she (the friend) was looking for people to adopt them. I told her we would love to welcome a little cat into our home. Soon after, we heard that our friend was moving out of town, so I figured our agreement wasn’t going to go through. I was even looking to adopt a cat from an asylum.

A few weeks later, I got home and there was a note on the kitchen table. It said : “Your furry new black cat-friend is waiting for you.” Our friend had stayed at our home for a few weeks when she was down on her luck, and she had come in with her backdoor key. I thought she meant I should call her to meet up and collect the kitten we talked about, but she was unreachable on her phone. I decided to call back later that evening and started making dinner.

An hour later, I heard the teeny-tiniest mioew
And again… mioew

There I was, crawling through our house on all fours, desperately trying to get a read on where that plaintive little whimper was coming from. Finally honing in on the source of the sound, I stuck my arm behind our book case and gently pulled a fluffy ball into the light, small enough to cradle in the palm of my hand. It was so covered in dust and lint and cobwebs it was nearly indistinguishable from a dust bunny. But it was a kitty instead!

Our friend had come to our house with the kitten on the way to her new house in the new town. She knew I’m a houseman, so I should come home soon. She was also very stressed for time because of an appointment with the moving van people. So she left the kitten in our house and the note which I misunderstood on the table.

Now, kittens are supposed to stay with mommy for at least six weeks, preferably longer, up to twelve weeks, before moving to a new family. This little kitten was not even five weeks old, barely old enough to start weaning, yet here she was without her mommy.

We surrounded her with love and affection and cuddles and gave her special kitty food and milk, but that early weaning and the shortage of mother’s milk nutrients at such a young age stunted her growing process.

Not her spirit though! She soon got used to first the wet food, then the kibble, and with her appetite grew her lust for life. She was one-an-a-half when our son was born. She immediately took him under her paws, sleeping as close to him as we would let her. She sat on my love’s lap while she (my love) breastfed our son. She caught spiders and brought them to our son as presents.

Minoes is twelve now. She doesn’t jump on cabinets anymore, instead preferring to curl up inside them, comfy in the dark. She still sleeps in our son’s bed on many nights, especially after we come home from vacation. She’s still small and spirited.

One of my absolute favourite moments of the day is when I take my book and settle in my comfortable chair. The second Minoes hears the scraping of the footstool’s legs as I rest my feet, she comes running to cuddle up on my lap. Sitting calmly in my chair, holding my book in one hand while the other scratches her forehead just the way she likes it. Purring noises and the turning of the pages the only sounds in the otherwise quiet house.



That is the sweetest pet story. Poor little thing. But so lucky to have had you to raise her.


I do not currently have pets (one of my partners is allergic to quite a lot of stuff), but I’d like to give an honorable mention to a few previous ones! :star_struck:

My black-furred Brussels griffon, named Luka, who had a conversational bark and sneezed on everything. :grin: Her favorite hobby was laying on your lap while you played videogames.

And I used to have a goldfish, named Professor, who had something growing above his mouth that resembled a handlebar mustache. We never learned what it was, but he had it at the pet store too. It didn’t seem to affect his lifespan. :woman_shrugging:


A goldfish named Professor.

With a handlebar moustache.

Hah! Funny!


I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my previous pets. I met the dog of my heart, the love of my life, when I was 21. I found her on the side of the road with a huge head wound and assumed she’d been hit by a car. I took her to the vet, who burst into tears because it wasn’t a car-- someone had beaten her and burned her ears with cigarettes. Her brain injury meant that she had some trouble navigating the world: she’d get stuck in corners and cry and I’d have to go turn her around. But she was the sweetest creature I’ve ever met and I had her for almost 16 years. She died a long time ago, but I still think about her every single day and miss her.


It would be a gross dereliction of duty on my part not to mention that I’m so devoted to my dog, Colonel Mustard, that I actually wrote an entire text game about him!

I think I captured something of the mischievous essence of Mustard in the game, but I definitely gave the fictional version some qualities that the real animal doesn’t possess, such as forward thinking, common sense, and an intelligence keener than that of mushroom. The real Mustard is a three-year-old pug / bichon frise cross which makes for an incredibly stubborn, fairly odoriferous and surprisingly large animal.

Mustard has the IQ of a pickled walnut, will eat absolutely anything - socks, cardboard, and Sellotape being amongst his favourite consumables - and smells like an antique carpet bag stored in a damp garage (and picked up at a flea market, naturally). But he’s incredibly affectionate, wants nothing more than to be with you (by which I mean, actually sitting right on top of you, at all times) and has the face of scruffy old teddy bear. We complain about him all the time – he’s a very needy creature – but we love him a lot and although it’s only been three years, it feels as though he’s been around for so long that I honestly can’t remember or imagine what life would be like without him.


Omigod, that’s EXACTLY how I pictured Mustard. You really nailed it in the game.

Speaking of the IQ-challenged amongst us, a piece of sausage dropped on the kitchen floor FIVE MONTHS AGO, but you can imagine how great that day was for our dog. Like life for her split into “before-sausage-appeared-on-floor” and after. Every day, she spends a good amount of time staring at that spot on the kitchen floor and licking it a little, waiting for the miracle to happen again. And after 5 months, I’m starting to think that this is how we’ll roll forever. We even debated dropping something in a different place just to see what would happen to the routine.


@EJoyce and I have two cats, named Jessie and James. Jessie is an absolute scamp of a tortie and causes trouble 24/7, but is cute enough to get away with it. James is a big baby who loves bread and is terrified of fresh fruit (strawberries are particularly scary). They were pandemic kitties and I don’t know how we would have gotten through quarantine without them.




Awww. Cuties.

??? All fruit? Like bananas to grapes to apples???

Animals are so weird. My last dog was scared of farting. She’d begin to fart and try to run away, but, y’know, her butt would come with her. It was just pitiful.