Cait, Maddy, Waverly / 28, 23, 1 / South Bend, IN
“On a mundane March morning we went to the animal shelter “just to look” at cats. I (Cait) was convinced we needed to wait until we lived together for longer before we adopted a cat child. We saw a little Waverly curled up in a sleepy ball and knew she was the one for us. We named her of course after our favorite brave little toaster, Waverly Earp. Much like her namesake everyone loves Waverly and she is the sweetest cat in the land. The best thing about her is how energetic she is and how she greets you at door when you come home. She often does kitty parkour off the walls in our apartment. She loves snuggles and chasing ribbons. Before we leave for work, we build Waverly a blanket fort at the end of the bed so she is a happy cat with a place to hide. True to cat form, Waverly loves boxes and paper more than the toys we buy for her. We love our little fluff.”
Agnes, Ylva, Esme / Stockholm, Sweden
“We’ve been thinking about dogs for a few years now and finally everything aligned to allow us to look for real and finally welcome Esme to our lives. Unfortunately the reason we have so much time to give her is because Ylva is on extended sick leave and Agnes is unemployed/trying to start a business. We got married in the beginning of August and then Esme moved in on the last of August! A bit quicker than we expected, because we had originally been looking at other puppies. Near the end of August we stumbled upon Esme and her siblings and fell in love. We were lucky, because her origin family lives in the south of Sweden (Skåne) and we live in Stockholm, but they were going on a trip to the north of Sweden so they brought her along. In the end we picked her up at the parking lot of Ikea at 3:30 am!
We were looking for short names that are easy to call to a dog, and at least Agnes wanted it to be subtly nerdy. Finally we hit upon Esme late one night and it just fit. It means loved, and also shining (think of the emeralds!), and we have several fictional Esmeraldas that we like (including granny Weatherwax from Discworld and Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame). We love her and she loves us and it’s awesome having her in the family! She loves water, especially muddy puddles and sleeping in her water bowl. So far we love hanging out in the forest, discovering new things and chasing toys. She also loves chasing and catching her tail which is adorable. Her Instagram is @goldenesmay because Esme was already taken. Along with Esme we have a pair of tortoises living with us, but Paddis and Pippi refuse to pose for pictures. They are 25 (Paddis) and 5 (Pippi) years old and have been in Agnes’ family basically all their lives. They have a lot of character and really make themselves heard when they have opinions!”
Mallory and Moz / 26, 10 / Atlanta, GA
“When I was in high school, my parents finally agreed to let me get a cat. They saw a listing on Craigslist for a brother and a sister cat, who were both feral cats that someone had trapped in their garage, and were “just going to look!” at the brother. I had to work that night, and they said they would still let me pick out my cat. Lo and behold, both cats left with my parents and were waiting at the house when I got home from work. I’m a music nerd to the depths of every bone in my body, and Moz is a nickname for Morrissey, one of my favorite musicians. Unlike the other Moz, my Moz does not cancel concerts or make questionably appropriate comments, at least to the best of my knowledge of his meows.
He’s the most loving and sweetest boy, to me and me only. He likes people, usually, but he is a true mama’s boy. He follows me around everywhere; we have extended, sometimes deep, conversations in meows; he spoons with me every night; he loves having his belly rubbed; and he takes an interest in my hobbies, pictured here taking a break from reading with me for a photoshoot. Really, if I thought he would tolerate being toted to and from work or around town in a cat stroller, I would be that cat lady. Luckily, for the sake of my dignity and his, he wouldn’t tolerate this. So, we spend a lot of time together reading (he enjoys absorbing a book by gumming the corners of it), watching TV, and sleeping, aka 75% of my hobbies. He loves to smell people’s breath, after they’ve eaten. And not just casually smell–my little dude opens his mouth, makes a weird tasting face, and tries to really taste the smell. No one believes me when I tell them to breathe on him after they’ve eaten because he loves it.”
Emma, Elyse, Puck / 24, 24, 7 / Philadelphia, PA
“The Fat Man came into our lives one day when we woke up and said “we should get a cat.” At the local shelter, he reached his little hand out of the cage towards us and we were in love. We’re unsure of how old he is and how he got to be 18 pounds as a stray, but he was the best $15 we’ve ever spent. He’s named after a troublemaker because that’s what he is, though we fought for quite some time over why he couldn’t be named Rumpelstiltskin. He enjoys watching birds outside, playing with his ketchup packet of catnip, and biting us when he’s hungry. Also screaming at the top of his lungs. Weirdest thing about him: his natural leotard and soul patch.”
Laura, Julia, Mac / Balsam Lake, WI
“It’s hard to find apartments that allow dogs, so we had to wait a year until we could find one. We decided we couldn’t start looking for pups until all the boxes were unpacked at our new place. So, naturally, the boxes were unpacked quickly and we started looking through the pups on the website for the rescue organization Secondhand Hounds. Somehow, we were lucky enough to get a meeting with Mac’s foster family! We still feel so lucky – he was one of the cutest puppers on the website! You should see his baby photos…
We instantly fell in love with this crazy furball and we’ve had him now for almost 4 months. He came with the name Mac (Mac Attack, Mackey, Mackers, MackerDaniel, Mackerdoodle, Macaroni, etc, etc), and he already knew his name when we met him so we decided to keep it. We never would have thought of that name, but we love it! It’s very nicknameable. Mac is a crazy lovable adorable big baby. His energy is boundless and he wants to get to everything that moves – birds, cars, squirrels, cars, people, falling leaves… While that can be a bit overwhelming at times, we love how curious and playful he is. We love his adorable giant bat ears and how he looks like Yoda when he sticks them out to the side. We love the heart-shaped spot on his side. We love how quickly he learns new commands. We love how freaking cute he is when he rolls in the grass.
We like to take walks, play fetch until we’re sick of it (Mac is never sick of fetch), find amazing sticks, learn new tricks, run on the banks of the Mississippi River, and hike. Mac loves to chase squirrels, find dead animals, and howl at weird new things in the yard like the grill or buckets. We love to snuggle with Mac and pick him up like the big baby he is! Mac’s weird habits include aggressively grooming himself in our bed at 6 a.m., licking our mouths and the mouths of his doggo friends, and watching ice cubes melt. Mac doesn’t have an Instagram because he’s not calm enough to use a smartphone yet. He only has two states: bouncing off the walls and dead tired.”
Lark, Jezebel, Rufio, Inigo Montoya
“A friend showed me Jezebel’s picture on a shelter’s website where she was listed by a number and an expiration date that was rapidly approaching. Her entire litter had been ditched at an abandoned motel, and she was the only one left because her little feets weren’t working (she wasn’t getting enough exercise for her body to support her growth). I took one look and had to have her. The pic of baby Jbel (and baby Lark!) is from the day after I got her. My partner and I chose ‘Jezebel’ because we liked it, but it turned out to be a very accurate description–she is the queen of all of us. Jezebel has lived in three states, seven houses, and been all over the country with us. She stood up with us at our commitment ceremony. Her favorite thing is going swimming, where she likes to stick her entire head underwater to pull out rocks and put them on the beach where they belong.
Rufio was the end of a long search for the perfect brother for Jezebel. He was four when we adopted him from the Humane Society, but really he was always ours. We named him Rufio because he’s tough on the outside but so very tender inside. He’s my dæmon, like in His Dark Materials. He’s my soul on the outside. Rufio and I share many traits, including lots of anxiety and Big Feelings. The picture of the two of us is his reaction to me coming home from A-camp this past spring. Inigo Montoya was the product of another long search for the right fit for our family, and he came from one of those rescues with a five page application. We named him Inigo Montoya because we needed him to complete our unit, and his namesake is the only one of his group who can’t function without the rest. He’s still new to us, and we are watching his personality unfold. He likes to give tiny nose kisses and eat the couch. He spends most of his time attempting to antagonize his siblings into playing with him.”
Laura and Scout / Pacific Northwest
“My wife and I adopted Scout a year and a half ago after spotting her on a rescue organization’s website. She and her blue-heeler sisters were picked up in a pound near Bakersfield, CA and transported to Portland, OR by All Terriers Rescue org. We were looking for a new pup to love after our previous dog, Mattie, passed away suddenly. After many months of dealing with a broken heart, we were ready for new love and I think Scout could tell. When the rescue coordinator opened the door to her cage, Scout leaped into my arms and put her head on my heart. She picked us, we picked her, and we’ve been an inseparable pack ever since.
Scout got her name because she’s a brave girl who is always up for fun and adventure. We do a lot of hiking together, and are about to start agility courses (&eventually sheep herding classes!). We travel with her and she’s become a bit of a celebrity around town and in the places we visit. Scout has the most open heart of any creature I’ve met – she will play with puppies, children, adults, anyone – and people fall in love with her instantly. She’s especially drawn to the ladies (well, she has two moms after all), and when we walk down the street she’ll often elicit gasps of delight from women who spot her. She’s so used to it that now if she hears that sound she’ll stop to see which woman made the noise and insist that we go say hi to her. She brings a lot of joy to the world with her silly face. Scout’s adventures can be followed at Scout_the_intrepid on Instagram.”
Kate and Eddie (Edwina)
“She thinks she’s peoples.”
Elisa, Lou, Coco, Cappie and Pluto / France
“Jupille is quite simply perfect, Cappie is adorably smelly and we were all dogsitting an energetic Pluto (in the middle) that day!”
Eddy and Sasha / 23, 9 / Rest Stop Somewhere in WI
“Sasha used to be my family’s dog, but I stole her so now she’s mine. She’s the chillest and the cutest but is occasionally a little fuzzy ball of panic. We both like to sleep and she likes to do it with her head resting on me. She hates exercise so all of our walks and hikes involve a lot of coaxing.”
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