Beyond cats and dogs

Falling in love with other sweet creatures of the pet world

Don’t think it gets any better than a kitten rubbing its face on your chin? How about a tiny horse kissing you on the lips? We humans have our two favorites in the pet kingdom, but while cats and dogs offer unending affection—and cute videos to boot—there are plenty of other domesticated animals—such as miniature horses—that add color and love to people’s lives.

So, for this year’s Pet Issue, we’ve branched out from the usual fur babies and looked at a few of the pet species locals keep. We found a music teacher and her husband who share their lives (and music) with a herd of alpacas. There’s the local woman who is so obsessed with rats as pets that she’s known simply as The Rat Lady. And Pumpkin the miniature horse likely will make you rethink your cutest-pet-in-the-world rankings.

Of course, ignoring cats and dogs completely is impossible, and the cute pet contest on the CN&R Facebook page yielded only the most ubiquitous of house pets as entries. Read on to see the winners and to find a few more viable options for the petting zoo of life.