We’ve seen them and heard them on video calls. Tails flashing in front of webcams. Barks breaking up team meetings.

Though some come with cat-titude and others are relentless in their pursuit of that next game of “fetch,” they’ve also been wonderful sources of company and comfort these past few months.

Meet the #PetsOfMSVU.

Humans: Ashley Brewster, Office Assistant, Dean’s Office
Pet: Skyler & QiuQiu

“Skyler is a sweet, fun loving girl who is always up for an adventure but also loves to cuddle. QiuQiu prefers to nap all day and he is the naughtier pet out of the two.”

Pet’s nicknames: Sky & Quiball
Pets’ ages: Skyler is 2 and QiuQiu is 4
Type: Dog (Australian Shepherd) and cat (Ragdoll)
Do you have any other pets (not listed above): A snake named Nagini
Pet’s favourites: Skyler loves every person and dog she meets. She enjoys going on hikes and romping around at Camp Bow Wow with her puppy pals. QiuQiu’s favourite thing is napping in places that Skyler can’t bug him and trying to nibble on my plants when I’m not looking.
Does your pet have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: Skyler & QiuQiu both have a special talent of losing so much of their hair on the floor that I have to vacuum every single day.
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pet: Amazing! I wouldn’t have gotten through all of this extra time at home without them. You can follow their antics on their instagram page @skyandqiu

Humans: Dr. Martha Walls (Department of History) & Dr. Corey Slumkoski (Department of History)
Pet: Fauci. Since he’s a pandemic puppy we named him after Dr. Fauci, the voice of reason during these trying times.

“Fauci is only about 10 pounds, which is small for his breed. But what he lacks in size he makes up for with personality! He’s also a very gentle puppy, who is great with our two cats and with our daughter.”

Pet’s nicknames: Fauch, Fauchmeister
Pets’ ages: He will turn one on February 25! We’re having a party!
Type: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Do you have any other pets (not listed above): Yes, we have two cats – a tuxedo cat named Ray Ray, and a grey cat named George. Ray Ray doesn’t much care for Fauci, but George is his friend!
Pet’s favourites: He loves walks, chasing squirrels and birds, cuddle naps, stealing cat food, and especially his human sis on whom he regularly bestows big slobbery kisses.
Does your pet have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: He gets so excited when he knows we are going for a walk that he starts jumping around in circles!
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pet: It’s allowed us to focus on training him a bit, and he’s gotten to spend time with our daughter (although George is still her favourite!). He’s a real snuggle monster, and is so glad “mom and dad” are working from home since it means extra cuddles, even though his snoring is distracting.

Humans: Dr. Tammy Findlay, Associate Professor and Chair of Political and Canadian Studies
Pet: Roxie

“Getting Roxie was my favourite sabbatical project in 2017. She’s very vocal and energetic and is always a big hit at rallies and protests.”

Pet’s nicknames: Rox/Roxie Girl. My sister calls her Lil’ Munchkin.
Pet’s ages: 4 years
Type: Maltese
Pet’s favourites: Treats, toys, her best friend Eeyore (who is actually a neighbour of Jester, another MSVU pet), and plastic bottles (she’s not very environmentally friendly!). How do I put this delicately? She also has a “special friend,” a large stuffed dog that she enjoys spending quality time with.
Does your pet have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: She can twirl on two legs and can sense an animal on tv from any distance. She likes to sit on my shoulder like a parrot.
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pet: I’ve learned that the only way to prevent her from barking the entire time I’m in a virtual meeting or teaching is to let her sit on a chair directly beside me. I have to warn my students not to be alarmed if my “teaching assistant” starts barking. She’s not going to be pleased when things go back to “normal.”

Humans: Jennifer Thornton, Stats Lab Instructor, and Amber, first-year student in Child and Youth Study
Pets: Hazel and Peanut

“We gave into the ‘COVID pet’ craze by adopting Haze and Peanut in September. Hazel is Peanut’s mom, and it was love at first sight for us when we went to see them at the SPCA. Peanut adapted to our home instantly, like she’d been here all her life. Hazel took a little longer to adjust but now is settled in well.”

Pets’ nicknames: Hazel: Mama, Peanut: Nut or Trouble
Pets’ ages: Hazel is almost 2 years old and Peanut is 8 months old
Type: Calico cats
Pets’ favourites: Hazel loves to sleep by the living room window, and often can be seen sitting there watching birds on the lawn or cars going up and down the hill. She’s quick to run to the door when someone in our household gets home. Peanut loves to curl up on a chair, sofa or bed beside one of us.
Do your pets have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: Peanut plays fetch. She especially loves to play with plastic bottle caps and will chase one across the floor like a hockey puck and carry it back to us in her mouth to get it thrown again.
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pets: They don’t know any different, because Amber and I are both studying/working from home since we adopted them. We are anticipating some separation anxiety when we go back to campus full time.

Human: Cate Carlyle, Coordinator, Curriculum Resource Centre
Pet: Zoey

“Zoey is super smart and LOVES humans (Other dogs?  Not so much). She likes to sleep in laps, give sloppy kisses and sniff to make sure your ears are clean!?”

Pet’s nickname: Zee
Pet’s age: 7 months
Type/Breed: Long haired chihuahua
Do you have any other pets (not listed above): Our 15-year-old Bichon Frise Lucy passed away this summer, and although we had said no more dogs, COVID struck and we ended up rescuing a COVID puppy.
Pet’s favourites: Zoey loves cheese and Cheerios, preferably stuffed in her Kong toy. She will play fetch with her stuffies until your arm wears out.
Does your pet have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: Zoey will find the only patch of sunlight in the house and park herself in it to soak up the heat.
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pet: Zoey gets lots of attention while I work from home and a walk on my lunch hour most days. She can walk surprisingly fast and far for such little legs. She has been the best company as my partner must now work out of province.

Humans: Dr. Áine Humble (Professor in the Department of Family Studies and Gerontology) and Dr. Arthur McCalla (Professor in the Departments of History and Religious Studies)
Pet: Luna

“Luna was a kitten when we adopted her from the SPCA, and we were quickly besotted. In very uncreative fashion, we named her Luna because she’s mainly a black cat; however, we discovered later that she has a moon shaped white section on her stomach!

Luna is a very chill cat for the most part. She’s easy going, inquisitive, and friendly around people. However, she does occasionally like to nip at legs and bite arms—this tends to happen in the hour leading up to feeding time. She’s a quiet cat as well; the only time she meows is when she wants us to wake up in the morning (open our bedroom door) or when she sees us walking up the pathway to the house.”

Áine is a rug hooker, and she hooked a portrait of Luna in 2018, and it hangs in Arthur’s work office.

Pet’s nicknames: Luna Petunia, Lunabug, loopy Luna, funny girl
Pet’s age: 4 and a half
Type: Cat
Pet’s favourites: Like all cats, she sleeps a lot, and because she’s a captive hostage, she loves looking out our windows. She loves to curl up in our laps when the weather is colder, and she also has a favorite blanket she likes to sleep on. She will likely show up during some of our online courses this term, especially if they are held shortly before dinner time!
Does your pet have any special talents or charming traits or quirks: She loves to lick water out of the bathtub, and when she was a kitten, she would play catch with her toys. She’s very intrigued and a little nervous about my printer.
What’s it been like spending tons of extra time at home with your pet: We love being around her! Having a little furry creature in the household is good at all times.

MSVU students, faculty and staff, tell us about your pets! Submit your Pets of MSVU to Lora.Arenburg@MSVU.ca.

Check out the Pets of MSVU 2020 edition to see more fantastic animals.