PHOTO GALLERY: Queers with Pets

Vicki and River / 57, 3 / Sugar Land, TX

“My niece saved her current cat, Pepper, from a cold, wet parking lot one Christmas, but was living in a dorm and couldn’t take her. So, Aunt “Dog Loving” Vicki to the recuse. “Please keep her until I move out of the dorm, Pleassee?” I folded. The day came, three months later, she came to get Pepper. I was happy to reunite them. Finally, no responsibility! No litter box, cat food, water bowls, vet visits but no cuddles either.

A local retailer was having a pet adoption day and I thought what’s the harm in looking. Ha. There she sat, the oldest baby left. The ladies said she was going to have to take her back to the shelter for at least a month if she didn’t get adopted that day. I asked why and was told they didn’t allow black cat adoption during the month of October. Gasp, what?! It was a precaution they took in case some crazies were looking to do harm to black cats because of Halloween. The rest is history. She is mine and I named her for two of my favorite strong, female, syfy, characters, River Song and River from FireFly. River loves to hunt and bring me half-dead spoils of the kill. We enjoy watching, you guessed it, Syfy shows. She talks all the time and always has an opinion as to what we show watch. She doesn’t have time for Instagram, but does have a few pics using the #riverthecat.”

Heather, Pip, RoofCat / Worcester MA

“True story, I got Pip at Deville’s Cafe, a (now closed) lesbian bar in Providence RI. The owners had found the litter in the parking lot and what better place to find a home for kittens but at a lesbian bar?! I went for karaoke and came home with an adorable tiny kitten, best day of my life. I found RoofCat on my roof. He had climbed up the back staircase and got stuck on the roof! He climbed through my window (hence acquiring his name) and decided that mine would be his forever home.”

Heidi, Dewey Dell, Zeke, Huckleberry / 33, 2, 3, 3 / Colorado Springs, CO

“I originally thought goats were silly pets to get, but when my wife brought them home it was love at first sight. We went through kind of a Southern Gothic phase with our animal names. Zeke (brown) and Huckleberry (black) were generic names, but Dewey Dell (blonde) is named after the character from Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Goats are the best animals. They are smarter than dogs and pretty independent. They can eat veggie scraps and fertilize the garden. We usually just hang out while I take a bunch of pictures of them. I have packs for them and I take them hiking with me. They love it. The weirdest thing is that goats, especially males because of the way their junk is configured, are prone to kidney stones called urinary calculi. Zeke got one the day after Christmas and he couldn’t pass it so we got really lucky that our vet was open or else he could have died. Also some people say their eyes are weird. I actually run a memepage for my goats @anarchistgoatmemes

Jill, Kirby, Lisey / 30, 11, 4 / Chicago, IL

“Here’s my goony self with my proud pups the day of the Chicago Pride parade, a couple months before I moved back to Massachusetts. Yes, I am one of those moms who barfs rainbow accessories all over her fur babies. That handsome corgi devil is Kirby, whom I had to leave behind when I moved as technically he belongs to my best friend/ex; we are long-distance co-parents to both of the dogs now (which is possibly the queerest sentence I’ve ever written). We FaceTime with them; don’t worry about it. Kirby is not a fan of doors, and I’d very much like to kick the ass of whomever is responsible for that phobia, but since he’s a rescue (actually both dogs are) I have no way of finding that out. He IS, however, a big fan of the ladies, just like his mama. His theme song is “Shake It Off,” which makes him wiggle his little stubby tail like crazy, and my willingness to play it is a testament to my love for him because I cannot stand Taylor Swift. His little sister, Lisey, is my favorite wiener in the entire world, which is uh not really a difficult achievement but the point is LOOK HOW CUTE. She is named after my favorite Stephen King novel but has about a thousand nonsense nicknames as well. Chief among them is Thiefy McBoingBoing, because a) she believes that everything belongs to her and is fond of demonstrating that belief, and b) she is a master of parkour and can somehow jump up on anything, usually things she’s not allowed on. She also does this super neat (sarcasm) thing where if I’m nearby and she can see me but can’t get to me, she screams – not barks, SCREAMS – like a demon. You know what, though? I’m not even mad. Use that voice, grrrl. Anyway, I love them so much that I judge people who don’t smile at them when we’re out walking. Oh, you don’t find my mupfaces irresistible? Clearly there is sewage where your soul should be.”

Deb and Fancy/ 66, 3 / My Grooming Salon, Pinole Paws

“Fancy, a whippet ,was purchased from breeder Sherry MacKormick in Southern California at age 10 weeks. Omg she was the cutest bestest puppy. I love her to the moon! I named her Fancy Parti Girl cause she is Parti colored and very fancy. The best thing about Fancy is that she loves everybody, and she is wicked smart. Our favorite thing to do is go lure coursing, which is like a race on an open field chasing a white plastic bag on a pulley system. She is fast like lightning. Our other favorite thing is going to the beach! The weirdest thing I guess is that Fancy doesn’t like eggs. Never had a dog that didn’t like eggs! She doesn’t have an instagram but you can like her Facebook page: Cindy’s Fancy Parti Girl.”

Laura and Charlie / 31, 8 / Fanwood, NJ

“My wife and I went to a shelter to start looking for dogs. We wanted a rescue that would be medium sized, and the shelter said we have the dog for you! Charlie trotted out, about three months old and 13 pounds, chewed my sleeve, and then laid down in my lap. I was sold. The best thing about Charlie is that he basically speaks English. I can tell him that I’m making myself a cup of coffee and then we’re going outside to play ball. He will lay down and wait, ball near him, until I put my mug in the sink– and then go crazy– knowing it’s time to play. We love to go for walks at the park, hang on the back steps in the sunshine, and play fetch. The weirdest thing about Charlie is that he jumps up and down when he needs to go out, and he jumps about three feet in the air each time. It’s hilarious. No idea how it started, but he’s done it as long as I can remember!

Bryana, Kelsey, Gladys / Atlanta, GA

“We adopted Gladys (3 yo.) from Furkids shortly after we relocated to Atlanta from Brooklyn. She is a snuggle bug that enjoys lounging by the window. She also loves to curl up on your lap and watch Steven Universe. After her previous owner passed away we were happy to have her expand our family and our hearts.”

Niki, Emily, Lyra, Toph / 23, 22, 4, 3 / Grand Rapids, MI

“When we were just best buds, we picked out Lyra together: a classy grown-up cat who charmed us with her too-smart eyes. Toph came three months later: needy, naughty, 100% kitten. Their names are from His Dark Materials and Avatar: the Last Airbender, a product of Niki’s obsession with children’s literature. Not long after Toph moved in, we fell in love with our weirdo cats and each other. We feel compelled to admit that Lyra is not a cat at all, but a witch in feline form. We discovered this when we were airing out our tarot deck and Lyra was lurking round the cards. On a whim, we asked what her card was. Staring us right in the eyes, she put her little paw on “Death” and pushed it forward. We are trying to be supportive and not afraid. She is coping with her transformation by fetching q-tips and drooling when she’s petted. Toph may or may not be a cat, but she is also a dirty rotten thief of earrings and food and succulents. She carries little plastic balls around in her mouth all day then stashes them in Emily’s shoes at night. She sleeps at the head of the bed like a human. Both of them snore.”

Reann, Maggie, Dexter / 27, 28, 3 / Our Apartment’s Balcony

“This is us with our cat Dexter. He’s the queerest cat around (and incidentally the second queerest Dexter we know) because he came to us via the Boston Queer Exchange Facebook group – hey there, queer Bostonian who was Dexter’s human before us! Our first thought upon seeing him was “Woah, that’s a huge cat!” Together with Dexter we like to cuddle, play with the laser pointer, and wonder where he’s been for the last several hours (answer: usually inside the box spring that he tore open to create a nest despite our best attempts to seal it up. We’ve written off the box spring). Dexter LOVES to sit on the balcony soaking up the sun, watch the people pass by, and hunt ants and flies like the true wild cat he is. As you can see from the photo, he’d much rather do any of those things than hang out with us. Dexter doesn’t have an Instagram of his own but he does claim ownership of our accounts, just as he has claimed ownership over all of the surfaces in our apartment.”

Alex and Gabby / 33, 8 / Chicago, IL

“Gabby got her name because she is the most vocal cat I’ve ever known. She makes this chirping sound where she is clearly telling me all about her day and it’s very important information. She briefly belonged to a woman I was in a…. complicated relationship with, but Gabby didn’t get along with this woman’s other cats and after about 6 months or so I adopted her. And, really, if Gabby is all I got out of that toxic mess of a relationship IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. She always knows when I need to snuggle and has the loudest, most wonderful purr any cat has ever purred. She is, however, a diva and does not play well with others, which is the only thing that has kept me from adopting all the cats. She’s also intensely suspicious of cishet dudes, which, like, me too girl. Me too.”

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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

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  1. I want to pet all of them. Even the house plant.

    Also, I really, really wanted to participate in this one, but unfortunately my cat doesn’t live with me and I couldn’t make it over to my mom’s in time for the deadline. I even had the photo all planned out!

  2. Wow, after looking through all of these I have that kind of post-TV-binge feeling, like I am slightly stunned and unsure what to do with my feelings or my body.

    Also, did I miss Sue Perkins the sourdough?!

  3. 1. Weare, NH is one town over from where I grew up! Wow!!
    2. Everyone’s pets are so charming, omg
    3. I did not know there were this many queers in Ohio?
    4. Marty and Olive are delighted to have been featured <3 <3 <3

  4. Having a real moment over here with all the cute.

    I’m also shocked that the entirety of my crazy dog lady verbal diarrhea made the cut.

  5. This post combines two of the best things in the world:queer women and pets.

        • I feel like this is something that can be rectified, also probably needs to be rectified as it’s unfair if the world cannot witness Friday’s glory.

  6. I met some wonderful pups hiking Triple Falls in DuPont National Park this summer. One of my favorite parts of hiking is all the dogs I meet. I used to have a Springer that hiked all over Pisgah National Forest and The Smokey’s with me. As well as playing on the beach in Isle of Palms. It’s been a couple of years since my last Springer passed away. I have had all kinds of dogs, but we foster Springers. Hopefully, my sister and I will be able to adopt a couple of dogs soon. We already named them Biscuit and Grits.

  7. Hello I am in love with everybody of every species in this gallery.

  8. Lovely! So heartwarming to see the photos and read how all these lovely animals found their human companions.

  9. ok do you all have professional photos taken with your pets or what?

    …wait, can I have professional photos taken with my pet?

    • Right? I tried to use my good camera but that was a no-go with Mr. Grumpy Pants, so I ended up having to use my crappy phone camera instead. I am impressed with everyone else’s well-behaved fur friends.

      • (To be fair though he was only grumpy because I made him wear a costume)

    • Everytime I take a pic of reptar I am RISKING MY VERY LIFE because he hates phones. I think the screen doesn’t refresh fast enough for bird eyes to make sense of them? I’m p sure phones are murdery strobe lights for him

    • Al

      Maybe a little food before and after the shoot could make it more professional? Food to distract then food as reward when your pet does a good job.

    • yes, you can! or painted portraits. I do pet watercolors. check out my ig @_welltrained_

    • Yes you can have professional photos taken with your pets (says the woman who has signed her dogs up to be calendar models).

    • I’ve done that before but Boris was very scared in the studio and tucked his ears all the way back. I sent one of those I turns to my dad and he answered me “your poor dog has no ears”

  10. If this was a coffee table book, I would read it every night when I got home from work.

  11. So much cuteness! I thought I was going to die there for a minute.

    Glad to report that the result was this instead:

  12. Also wow wasnt aware we were meant to write essays on our animals?? I worked so hard* to condense mine

    *”hard”, “for five minutes”, potato, potahto,

  13. El

    I wish I knew about this! I would love for you guys to meet my pet cock, Pirri, 10! I love that guy. ?????

  14. So many good animals and so many good animal names and so many good faces and pictures and ahhh! So much good I so desperately needed today. <3

  15. Thank the gods for this post today. I was already crying last night out of overwhelmed-the-world-is-the-worst-dumpster-fire-ever types of emotions. Then I woke up to the tragic news about vegas. This is a nice reminder that not all is bad.


    ps. It looks like my pic with my dog is lumped into the folks pictures above me.

  16. meg

    Oh thank you, this helps. Sorry I didn’t get it together to send a picture of my rescue dog.

  17. All of your pets are adorable and I’m jealous that I am a poor grad student with a lease that forbids dogs and cats.

    Also I reeeeeally hope the next gallery is a Halloween costume gallery.

  18. Oh how I needed this gallery today! Rather than try to pick favorites, I’ll simply say that y’all and your pets are just *the cutest*. Thanks, everyone! <3

  19. This is the best thing ever. I have officially followed all of your instagram accounts, because whenever the world is bad I follow another 20 or so animal instas and this was a perfect opportunity. This thread is amazing and I wish I hadn’t forgotten to send in pictures of my amazing cats. You can see them on my instagram if you want; my username there is also ankhmorpork. It’s 90% my cats with a few selfies here and there. I don’t pet sit as much anymore but I tend to take pictures of the dogs and cats I sit for as well.

    P.S. Atlanta people, we should become friends so I can pet your dogs. And because half my queer friends have moved away and you seem like fun people. But also, dogs.

  20. Oh, my goodness. OH, MY GOODNESS! My heart. I can’t handle this right now. Look at all of this cuteness. Precious babies.

  21. So many beautiful humans with amazing animal friends! ?

    I was kind of expecting at least one snake or lizard though…but I’m very glad nobody sent in a photo with a pet tarantula! ?

  22. I love animals and I love you guys and everything is so cute and let’s choose to ignore the rest of the world, just for today

    • Thank you so much, Carmen! I told Nunu what you wrote, and now he’s considering signing up for Belgium’s Next Top Model.

      Gotta get perfecting that smize.

  23. YOUR PETS ARE ALL SO GREAT but now i feel guilty that i only posted my dog and not my cat, because he is also a star. instead of using a litter box, he likes to jump over our back fence, crap in the neighbor’s yard, and then come home, because cats are dicks. we used to be okay with this because we hated our old neighbors but now we have new neighbors, a nice gay couple who love him, so now he goes over there to crap and then they let him in their back door for food and treats. he has a second family and thinks we don’t know because he still comes home wanting dinner. anyway that’s my cat and i need you to know about his antics.
    my sister also has a ball python. she sleeps most of the day and hates men, so, ya know, relatable.

  24. This is the best photo gallery ever!! I just went and followed all the Instagram accounts! I kinda wish this was an ongoing queers with pets instagram. Haha. I also really want a cat now! I also absolutely loved that Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs had their cat here too and an instagram!! So exciting!! This has made my day. <3

  25. a/s

    this was soooo lovelyyy!!!

    anna^2 i really want a christmas card from you and yours. that is year-round fridge material.

  26. OMG the adorbs. Part of me regrets not including my parents’ new puppy Ms Frizzle for the amazing cuteness factor, but Mikoto’s my priority. I was getting nervous that we weren’t going to be on the list but turns out we were just near the end.

    I miss my camp buds and now I miss your pets too ❤️

    • First thing I did was Ctrl+F my cat’s name, and then look through the gallery once I knew he made it in ~^_^~

  27. It is 7:25 am on Bainbridge Island in Washington, and I have been up since 5:10 am to take the ferry over here – so forgive my emotions when I say that all of you and your bbs are perfect. Gosh. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I thought my favourite page on the internet was a cache of 215 pictures of Kate McKinnon at the Emmys, but I see I was wrong. I live here now.

  29. This gallery makes me SO happy. Like it is the most heartwarming, relaxing, adorable thing ever. Thank you for putting this together.

  30. Shoutout to the people whose dogs are named Henry and Hazel – those are our dogs’ names too! <3

  31. I’m going back through this a page a day and reading every single word you all wrote about your furbabies, and I just laughed out loud at this: “fun fact: if you name your very independent dog Stella, every trip to the dog park turns into A Streetcar Named Desire.”

  32. Yo bookshelf, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Pets is the best gallery of all time.

  33. lnr

    So good! I particularly love Boris the show cat who reminds me so much of my cat Spike. She was a show cat in her own mind.

  34. Lex

    The submission period was midterms crunch time for me so here’s my girls doing what they do best

    View this post on Instagram

    But Why

    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on

    Amber, the runt of an oopsie litter between a hunting dog and herding dog.
    Likes guarding and playing catch but not necessarily fetch.

    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on

    Daisy Mae, abandoned pup and former fosterling her prime directive is cuddles. Has no sense of self preservation, she’s probably part terrier.

  35. Wow, I wrote a god damn essay. I am sorry ya’ll lmao. I love everyone’s pets!!

    If you and your doggo live near Sacramento, CA, we need to meet up ASAP!!!

    • Bee

      Beau and I are on page 13 and also we would love to be friends. He needs practice making friends because he’s not great at it and friends confuse him. Shoot me a message… I’m much easier to contact on Instagram or Facebook, so swap details with me and you can play with my dog?

  36. So many new instagram friends for Puck! I’m very glad we can keep this gallery going on instagram ^_^ And it’s nice to see there’s another mischievous Puck out there :)

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