Pets' eyes and what they say

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 07:00 21/09/2012

As a rule, people don't like you to stare into their eyes, or even look especially long into them. So you don't. I know lots of people quite well whose eye colour I couldn't even guess at if you asked me! Not so pets - pets will stare straight back at you, sometimes with meaning, sometimes in a way that lets you imagine a meaning.

Not that there needs to be any meaning when the eyes are as beautiful as Frankie's...

Frankie

...or as sweet and guileless as Muffin's.

Muffin

Most pets have a "crazy eye" that you see just every now and then. This is Lulu's.

Lulu

Irises narrowed in the bright light: Tess (left) and Audrey.

Tess

Audrey

Harlem's checking out his environment. No need to do anything onerous like lift the head.

Harlem

Two puppyish expressions: Lexi (left) is begging for some play time; McKenzie would love you to fill the bowl with something more exciting than plain old balanced healthy kibble. (Lexi's toy is one of those chew toys brilliantly designed to clean a dog's teeth. We bought one, but neither dog has gone anywhere near it.)

Lexie

McKenzie

Saucer eyes plus raised eyebrows - perhaps the least resistible and therefore most cunning pet expression. It's that pleading element: "Please let me come with you to the picnic" (Rusty); "Please remove this bird-thing that has lately become stuck to my nose" (Molly).

Rusty

Molly

Look away if you dare - Jasper has you in his sights.

Jasper

And Copter has someone in his sights.

Copter

Kind of a mixture of crazy-eye and pleading-eye, is this shot of Dillinja. Meanwhile, Jazz the newly retired racer shows why, in any assessment of pets' eyes, Greyhounds need a subsection to themselves. (Jazz's muzzle is to prevent accidental injuries during a dogs' run.)

Dillinja

Jazz

Second in the Greyhound subsection is Syd. If you have your own Greyhound, you get to stare into these eyes all the time...

Syd

A couch potato with a stunning body - how can that be fair? This is Snowball.

Snowball

Uh oh, touch not the cat. Jerry might not be impressed.

Jerry

Likewise Mouse, who has just decided that there's been quite enough play, thank you. Now leave.

Mouse

Jetty manages to look slightly to your left and slightly to your right, at the same time.

Jetty

Full moons and half-moons: Dumpie (left) and Maximus Catticus.

Dumpie

Maximus Catticus

Have you ever stood on a beach and watched the last of the sun vanish over the horizon? Waching a dog or cat drift into sleep is similar - that slow, unfightable sinking and the inevitable moment when eyelids close and sleep comes. This sleep-drifter is Roxi - RIP Roxi.

Roxi

Don't mess with Eliot. He's a guy with a lot of life experience.

Eliot

Trouble has a unique two-colour gaze.

Trouble

Zac's subtly coloured eyes.

Zak

Cats' eyes are a miracle. This is Fafa.

Fafa

The look that says "I love you, tickle and feed me" - Muzz.

Muzz

Imagine what the world's like through a kitten's eyes - every time you turn your head there's a surprise, and it's huge. All Marmite can do is go whoa.

Marmite

Floyd has a stare that just makes you feel good.

Floyd

On her first trip out of doors, Lenore is struggling to take it all in. Meanwhile, Milly wonders what you're up to with that camera.

Lenore 2

Milly

Piccolo's crazy-eye has a simple message: I will eat you.

Piccolo

The smoochy look, full on, from Rocky, who's making puddings with those paws.

Rocky

When your dog is happiest to see you, yearning for a tickle and just loving to have you around, its ears go soft, its tail thumps, and this is the look it gives you. It's the look that makes you glad you have a dog. Sadie and Abby show it off to perfection.

Sadie and Abby

Finally, what does your cat see? Well, in this case look closely - Toby sees you. In your pyjamas!

Toby

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

And a special, deeply felt thankyou to everyone who voted for Four Legs Good in the 2012 Netguide People's Choice Awards. At the awards last night, Four Legs Good won as Best Blog.

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