Four Legs Good
Every pet seems to have a favourite thing - a precious, a fetish, a treasure. If you're lucky, your pet's cherished object will be something sturdy and cheap, like a ball. If you're unlucky, your pet will form an attachment to something quite unfitting to both its species and your budget, such as a shoe.
But once the choice is made, it's made. A pet and its favourite thing will never be separated.
That inseperable bond is the subject of today's photo collection. Here are some pets surrounded by, or surrounding, their favourite things - or at least their favourite thing for now.
How could you not want to cuddle with Big Ted? He seems so, well, open to it. And Teabag is more than happy to accept the invitation.
The world is many things to a pet. A boundless playground; an endless party; a doorless toilet. But most of all, it's an immense collection of places in which to relax.
And relax they do. For being a pet is not about standing on ceremony or enduring inconvenience. It's about getting the maximum fun and comfort out of any given circumstances.
Take Trouble, for instance. For you, as a human, an ironing board is a venue for steamy toil, but for Trouble it's a place to recline while looking terrific. So long as the iron is turned off and cool.
Freddie throws a casual backward glance from the couch.
Today's pet photo lineup is another rare collection in which the pets' owners also star. And after last week's all-female edition, today it's the turn of Men Who Love Their Pets and Aren't Afraid To Show It. (Or Who Slept or Remained Unaware While Somebody Photographed Them Clandestinely.)
Selfies taken by guys holding their pets? Not so much; it doesn't seem to be a 'Thing'. Among the thousands of readers' pet photos that I've seen, hardly any have been male-plus-pet selfies. Maybe we could change this, and flood the internet with man-cat or man-dog selfies - feel free to take one and send it to me. Make it funny or artistic if you like - I'll make sure there's a prize!
Anyway, back to Furry Friday. I think these men earn the title of Gentlemen. See what you think.
Ashley and Paige feel nowhere safer than in their dad Eddie's colourful arms.
I asked followers of the Four Legs Good page on Facebook to send me photos of themselves or someone they know with their pets. As usual, more photos arrived than could be used in one go, so I've sorted them into a few themes that can be the basis of future Furry Fridays. Today's theme: women and their pets (or someone else's pet).
Now, I think pets are as important to men as they are to women. But I've noticed that women are much more likely to hold their pets close for the camera - to be seen and photographed cuddling their pets. Does that align with what you've seen?
There are whole books written about this - how photos of human-and-pet interactions are "gendered". It's a worthy subject, but a loose fit for me and this blog, especially on a Friday. So I'm going to skip over the erudition and go straight to the cuddles. (And never fear, a blog entry on "men and their pets" is in the works for next week!)
Our cover-cuddle is between Zeus and Madhu (to ward off confusion today, when both names are given, the pet's comes first!).
Why do we love cats? The indispensable Encyclopedia of New Zealand has some learned, if obvious, answers. But today, I thought I'd offer a set of less mainstream reasons.
I also thought I'd provide illustrations - lots of them. In their own persuasive way, they answer the question I posed.
We love cats because of that look they give us, you know, when we're looking at them. It's a look of grudging patience and edgy indulgence, a look that's a little off to the side. It's well performed here by cover-cat James (of whom we will see more later).
This look is often seen first thing in the morning, when any cat a) wants food, b) wants to love you, and c) wants to be left alone to sleep a while longer. Oh, the unresolvable conflict. This is Bella's morning face.
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