Furry Friday: The essence of pets

Which are the best pet photographs? Well, the ones I like most are those that I recognise something in - something true about the cats or dogs (or rabbits, or guinea pigs...) that I've known.

Those are the photos that make me think "Ha, my cat does that," or "Just like my dog," or "That reminds me of..." Somehow, they capture part of the essence of a pet species.

Inevitably, because I'm choosing the pictures, every edition of Furry Friday has some of those kinds of photos, whatever the overall theme. This week, instead of "box" photos or "kitten" photos or "sleepy" photos, I've chosen a lineup of what I think are "true essence" pictures. I hope you agree that, between them, they capture a lot of what makes us love cats and dogs.

Today's cover-cat is Zozo, who's tired of this so-called human entertainment. However, Zozo's not surrendering control...

Lewis the Doberman was all set to roll around in the new lambskins in his kennel and imbue them with the essence of Lewis. But Cara got there first. Zoom on the photo, if you can, to grasp the full smugness of Cara's expression. Also note Lewis's avoidance of eye contact - yet you can still tell he's really put out.

Fergus is back-on to us, but I'd guess that he is avoiding eye contact too. Smeetah the cat is having fun but it doesn't look as though there's any room in the game for a dog.

Another insight into cat-dog coexistence: Domino and Solo enjoy the sun - just not the same bit. And both of them know that Domino gets to choose first.

Molly is lucky to be growing up with a cooperative shagpile friend such as Lulu. 

A bit of carpet, a bit of sun - who needs the Central Otago scenery? The late Ali has the kind of holiday she prefers.

Ah, a shed-office - perfect for Medix to hang out in. All human constructions are potential beds, after all.

Never too big for a cuddle: this is Marlee.

Everyone needs a dad for a pillow.

Pull back the blankets, and it's Carli and Harry. (Reminds me of winter with a Dachshund.)

There's just enough room on the bench for company - but Misty has the sunny part.

A classic playful-cat post from Sophie - who, despite the name, is a boy. 

Kiva's pigeon-toed trot.

A candid view of Fi, focused and graceful.

Twink went somewhere unadvisable for a white cat, but there's no loss of dignity.

Louie's high five.

This is today's favourite for me - Audrey's on a trip somewhere, but the destination is not the joy. She's right in the moment.

Happy can look a lot like crazy, when you're a Mastiff. This is Neo, caught in a gallop.

With dogs, one minute they're lolloping around, then suddenly they're regal, strong and dignified. Meet Kobi and Izzy.

Katie has mastered carrot-eating technique.

Tuka looks so cool in that bowl. I wonder if she first had a go at getting into the bucket...

Miranda Purr tries to disentangle.

Sammy is determined to find the end of the bag that opens.

It's Tuka again, testing out the cupboard.

It's Miranda Purr again, making sure she's close to the centre of attention.

Greville is talkative.

Interested, optimistic, just managing to stay patient: this is Shutz.

Soulful, loyal: this is Megan, well loved at 15 years old. Her owners built her a step to get into the car and one to get on their bed. They chopped up her food for her, rubbed cream into her dry ears and took her with them to the shops every day to get a piece of luncheon sausage. They took her on her final journey in December.

Finally, Carmel. She's going strong, if a little more slowly than before. She's 20 years old.

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 3000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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