Pets and the LGBTQ Owners Who Love Them

Paula Weber and Doug
In what city do you and Doug live?
Doug and I live and work in NE Ann Arbor, Village of Dixboro, in a 140-year-old farmhouse. Doug is the self-appointed manager and he takes his position quite seriously. Nary a deer, squirrel nor mouse goes unnoticed by Doug.

How old is Doug?
His birthdate is noted as Dec. 31, 2009 on his adoption papers, so he just celebrated his 8th birthday.

BTL Photo: Andrew Cohen

When and how did Doug come into your life?
In March, 2010, I stopped by my neighbors, The Huron Valley Humane Society … need I say more. A PetSmart Rescue Waggin' truck had arrived from Georgia and the staff was removing puppies from crates and handing them out the door, assigning each one a name as it was handed over: Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Daisy, Petunia, Rose, Itsy & then Bitsy. Doug started life as Bitsy. He was renamed Baby, and then last year he officially, and legally, became Doug. It was overdue. He outgrew Baby long ago.

What do you love about Doug?
He can be very enthusiastic, and very low-key. When asked if he wants to "go for a walk" he's as happy as a little dog can be. Doug's always up for a walk. If I'm on the couch taking a nap, he snuggles right by my side the entire time getting his nap on, too. I guess I love that he lives in the moment, is content, and low-maintenance. What's not to love? We're pretty much a perfect match.

BTL Photo: Andrew Cohen

What is your favorite thing to do with Doug?
While taking him for a walk around the yard makes him happy, taking him for a walk that first requires a car ride thrills him! He loves riding in the car, then walking where he can check lots of p-mail and leave p-mail. His anticipation, as he sits on the car console looking out the window barely able to sit still, is a sight that makes me happy. As much as I love Michigan winters, it will be nice when the weather breaks and we can take longer walks.

Does Doug have any special talents?
Yes! He is a Jack Russell-Italian Greyhound mix, and is quite agile. He can take a full flight of stairs barely touching the middle step, land at the bottom, then fly another six feet across the room. He'd certainly excel on an agility course, given the opportunity. As his Mom, I may sound biased, but I assure you that others who've seen him in action are equally impressed.

BTL Photo: Andrew Cohen

How does having a pet make life better?
As a single lady with a "Work/Live" lifestyle, a lot of my activity takes place at home where I'm completing my 22 year restoration project, curating vintage decor for homes and business interiors, and providing Marriage Officiant services for couples who desire a private elopement. Seeing my little dog's joyful, everyday moments make me smile a lot. When he gets a rawhide treat he runs around the house with it like it's the best gift ever. If I pick up his stuffed dog toy he's all about putting it back where he wants it to be. When I come home he's so happy he spins and spins in little circles. He amuses me on a daily basis and is an integral part of my household, whether he realizes it or not. Just last week I put laundry into the dryer and said, "I'm going upstairs to get another load of laundry." Yes, I actually just admitted that I told my dog what I was doing with the laundry.

BTL Photo: Miz Korona

Jermaine and Matirio Moore with Uma, MoMo and Kuvo
In what city do you live?
Detroit in Indian Village

How old are your cats?
Uma (the lady of the house) is 10. Her birthday is April 13. MoMo is 9. His birthday is April 6. Kuvo is 7. His birthday is May 28.

Describe each of your cats personalities.
Uma (grey and white) is a mild mannered, girly girl with a little fire to help deal with a house full of boys. She loves to be brushed. She is also very affectionate, has a tiny meow and will balance on her hind legs for rubs and affection. She loves sitting by the heat in the winter and the sunniest window in the summer. She favors any women that come over and on a daily favors Matirio.
MoMo (orange) has all the personality. He is playful, loves when company comes over. He likes to be right in the middle of everything. He comes anytime his name is called. He is also very affectionate and likes to snuggle. He meows/growls loudly randomly and loves the smell of mint.
Kuvo (orange and white) is the busy baby of the bunch. He harasses both Uma and MoMo. He is extremely curious, gets into everything and is currently figuring out how to open the hook latches on the doors, smart. He meow/sings around the house almost speaking. He likes to roll on his sides while being rubbed.

BTL Photo: Miz Korona

BTL Photo: Miz Korona

Where did you get your cats?
They are all rescues from the Humane Society on I-75 in Detroit. We brought MoMo home in 2008 and Uma and Kuvo in 2011. When we were looking for MoMo to have company I spotted and wanted Kuvo, Matirio spotted Uma and they let us adopt Kuvo then let us also adopt Uma with no charge so they have a bond we each other.

What do you love about your cats?
They are great company, very loving and comforting. They provide a sense of love that one would receive from a child.

BTL Photo: Miz Korona

Do your cats snuggle with you?

We snuggle and watch TV in the den. They may either lay on the ottoman, the couch or chair. They are not allowed in the bed. We learned that lesson one good time.

Do your cats ever misbehave? In what way?
Uma is the good one. She generally listens and stays out of trouble. MoMo is the reformed troublemaker turned obedient child but sometimes falls back. Kuvo on the other hand is trouble (which I have also been called). His nickname is ‘Bad.' They are not allowed on the kitchen countertops or any tables, which we keep mostly covered to prevent them from jumping up, yet when he thinks no one is around he will hop up, but water bottles are always handy. He is led by his curiosity so that gets him into trouble. We always have to tell him ‘No' or ‘Back' two or three times before he listens.

BTL Photo: Miz Korona

Do you have any advice for future cat owners or someone thinking about owning a cat?
Cats can, to an extent, be trained – not as well as a dog – but they understand tone and inflection in the voice so being consistent is what we found helps. All of our cats are short hair, but constant brushing helps to cut down on fur.


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