Light and shadows

Rather than give you something on the lines of wet pets, or Olympic pets, or dogs outdoors, this week I've collected some of my favourite photos sent by readers, themed according to a quality of the pictures as much as for the animals (which are, by the way, magnificent looking). It's about light and shadow.

All these pictures have one thing in common: there's bright light along with shadows, picking out the pet's features and creating beautiful and often dramatic portraits. Scroll down and you'll see what I mean.

This week's light-and-shade cover-cat is Stumpy. He's so named because his tail is a mere stump, for some reason unknown to his adoptive family. One thing is for sure: they love it when Stumpy uses his stump as a third, balancing leg to tripod himself upwards to reach for something.

Ginger and Little Star are interrupted during a dialogue conducted across the bars. Make yourself scarce, and they'll resume...

Pull up a dog and make yourself comfortable; don't mind if I do, says young Harvey. The role of La-Z-Boy is played by Bosco.

A wide-screen photo-bombing: Squeak invades the shot as Steve sleeps.

I know this superb beast only as "Tania's dog", and hope Tania sees the blog today so she can tell us her pet's name.

Mini is herself a creature of light and shade.

Sweetness and light: Rexie and Roari. Rexie wasn't sure about the kitten's choice of sleeping spot, but he's such a gentle soul, he shared his space in the sun.

Alfie is a couch-dwelling West Highland White.

Sprung: this tabby started out as Pippa, then was known as Pip Squeak due to her tininess, and now, at 10 months old, she answers to Squeakles.

The subtle coat-stylings of Piri. Lovely shot, Jamie.

Frank sneaks ino the shadows.

Ernie assists with study.

That Kelpie all-over tan: Kita at rest. At two years of age, Kita learned how to live peacefully with cats after having been a chaser. A fearless Maine Coon named Trouble taught Kita how to get along with felines, so peace rains.

Tacoma, full of optimism at three months of age.

Here's Sid, determined not to miss a moment of excitement at the water's edge.

Lucan is another outdoorsy chap.

Do you remember Zara and Bailey from last Friday? Zara was tiny then. Here's proof that cat and dog have remained close friends.

Meet Java, plucky garden explorer. Well, plucky-but-alarmed.

Walking on the wild side: Charlie patrols his patch.

Sam and Jasper have sun and shade.

Poppy is well behaved around the chooks, including the youngest ones.

Doyle goes belly up. And something about the way he holds up his socked hind paws is slightly irresistible...

This tortie-tabby kitten is named Skye. She's now eight years old. Lovely moody picture, Mel; have you found a new companion for Skye? (Skye lost her lifetime friend, Storm, a while back.)

Another moody portrait: this is Archie.

Finally, the light and shade picks out the splendid ginger-and-white features of Macavity. This much-loved fellow departed earlier this year at the good age of 17. Owner Irene says: "He became part of our household as a 'lost' cat and we don't know how he spent the first few years of his life. For many years he was terrified of Mr Whippy's icecream truck when it played Greensleeves, and used to hide under the bed! He will never be forgotten."

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.