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    For our September animal issue, we asked our staff to share a story about their pets.

     

    Cali loves to come with me to work, where she sits on my desk and barks at the men in the office. I have nicknamed her “the Grumpy Old Lady” because she growls all the time, but she really is sweet.

    – Lindsay Flint, advertising production coordinator

     

    I recently hosted a small show at my house, cramming a drum set, an amped guitar, a powerful singer and a saxophone into my living room, along with 15 to 20 people. Most cats vanish as soon as an instrument comes out of a case, but Gwyd — short for Gwydion, after the mischievous wizard-poet of Welsh lore — hopped up in my lap while we were jamming away. He seems to respond to some auditory stimuli, so I don’t think he’s completely deaf, but he sure seems to be hearing-impaired. Whether he can hear or not, he’s one groovy cat.

    - Dylon Jones, web editor

     

    A solid-black cat showed up at our house on Halloween about five years ago. Initially, we planned to give her a proper Halloween-themed name but instead decided on Penny, after the character from The Big Bang Theory.

    - Stacey Hallahan, advertising director

     

    When we first rescued Hans he was a master escape artist from his kennel. After getting home one evening, I opened the door to our finished basement and Hans happily met me at the door. Panic rose as I considered the potential damage he might have caused. In the basement, it was like slow motion as my eyes followed the path of feathers to my husband’s prized turkey mount — now headless. To this day, if you ask my four-year-old “What happened?” — even if it’s something he did — he will say, “Hans did it.”

    - Emily Douglas, advertising account executive

     

    I have two young kittens, Bird and Bunny. Bird is mellow; Bunny is a holy terror. They have French alter egos when they make biscuits in their pâtisserie: Gelée d’Oiseau (bird jelly) and Petit Lapin (little rabbit).

    - Suki Anderson, art director

     

    Big Steve, aka Devil Dog, always knows how to get us where it hurts. Every December, for example, my husband and I take a day off to knock out all of our Christmas shopping. One year, we quickly unloaded our goods and headed back out for a bite to eat. We came home to shredded plastic bags, gnarled boxes, hole-filled clothes. Big Steve left his teeth marks on every gift we’d purchased.

    - Mandy Wood, advertising account executive

     

    Phoebe is a standard poodle, but we’re pretty sure she is part cat. She likes to wind around our legs and doesn’t really care if we’re trying to get somewhere when she does this. If she likes you, and you’re standing, there’s a good chance that at some point Phoebe will use your legs like they’re the East End tunnel and she’s on her way to Indiana. 

    - Jenni Laidman, writer at large

     

    I don’t know what to say about Finn other than he’s really fat and has the body of a seal.

    - Michelle Roeder, Louisville Tickets

     

    Reese wags his whole body.

    - Jenny Kiefer, associate writer

     

    I’ve had Tonto since I was 13, when we first moved to a small farm in Henry County. He learned very quickly how to unlock the pasture gate and untie the boards keeping him from the hay barn. He’s taught me more than I could have ever imagined — like not to trust a horse and a low-hanging branch while riding.

    - Alexandra Winters, assistant web editor

     

    The first night I brought my kitten home, I kept him in the back room of my house, cardboard boxes barricading the entryway. The next morning, he had vanished. After 20 minutes of looking around in a panic, I rested my arm on top of one of the boxes, defeated. Suddenly, the box moved. I decided to name him Ranger instead of Houdini because I didn’t want the disappearing act to become a regular thing. 

    - Katie Molck, contributing writer

     

    Otis’ favorite thing to do is to pull back our bed covers and lie down on the pillow like a human. Which is why, at the onset of last winter’s deep freeze, I got him a sweater and some booties to keep him cozy outside. He dramatically acted like he couldn’t walk. I put away the get-up and let the pup freeze his paws off — and comfortably retreat back to a bed or sofa. (Advertisement: Like-new dog attire, free to a good home.)

    - Mary Chellis Nelson, managing editor

     

    Tristan is 10 but has the spirit of a pup. A couple summers ago I was a nanny, and Tristan and I stopped at Subway one day on the way to pick up the two kids. The plan was to picnic at the park. I left Tristan in the car as I signed out the kids at school. By the time we got to the car, Tristan had eaten all three sandwiches. Oh, and I had even stopped at McDonald’s to get him vanilla ice cream so he wouldn’t feel left out at the picnic.

    - Brooke Wyrosdick, operations assistant

     

    The first night I had Atticus, I let him sleep in my bed. In the middle of the night, he crept into the crook of my arm and lay on his back, feet up like a dead cockroach. Afraid that I had somehow killed my new dog, I poked him awake. A week later, he stole a sandwich right out of my hand.

    - Michelle Eigenheer, contributing writer

     

    My daughters tolerate conversation, just barely, but bristle at human contact. They reserve their affection for animals, all types. My house has been a foster home or forever home to, at one point or another, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hermit crabs, baby birds and one lucky bat that flew into our pool. Just yesterday, I sent this text to my older daughter: “Do not kidnap the bunny.” (Long story, but turns out she didn’t.) Right now, we have Piper and Izzy, both mutts, and Luna the hedgehog. Not pictured: the fish. Oh, dear, I forgot: We have fish.

    - Deana Nelson, circulation

    Cover photo: Pexels.com

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