‘Alice the rat was so special’: readers on their brilliant, beloved pet tattoos – The Guardian

My double rex rat was the natural choice for my first tattoo

Alice was a double rex rat we adopted from the local RSPCA. She was such a special girl and we had a great bond, so she was the natural choice for my first tattoo. Sadly, Alice died earlier this year, so Im getting a second tattoo in tribute in a couple of weeks, on the spot where she loved to sit. Sarah, student, Greater Manchester

When our old cat Wilson was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to be put down, I knew I wanted to get a tribute tattoo. He was such an amazing, cuddly, loving old lad. I was going to Berlin for a long weekend and found an artist who did the style I had in mind, so I made an appointment. I never told my partner I was getting one of our current cat, Meg, at the same time so it was a complete surprise when I got home. The thing hanging out of her mouth is a shoelace, her favourite toy although it could be mistaken for a rats tail, which would be equally apt. It may seem soppy to get a pet tattoo, but theyre such a huge part of our family that I think they deserve it. Lindsay, partnerships manager, Bristol

I decided to get a big portrait done of my boy, Cain. Hes 21 in July and Ive had him for 10 years. Ive been through some of the most stressful years of my life with him, so to keep him close to my heart I got a tattoo of him on the left side of my chest. It was done by Lucie at Black Swan Tattoo Studio in Sunderland and is really special to me. Dionne Clark-Patterson, student, Sunderland

I have several cat tattoos, but my memorial tree is special: each cat on it is a cat of mine that has died. I have two more to add to it, lost during lockdown, and I am having the ashes of the one I most recently lost mixed with the ink. I also have a tattoo on my back of a small black cat playing with a larger one which I got done before my wedding, as I could not take my cats with me. My husband says they dont look anything like ours and that I had the neighbours cats inked on me for our wedding. Laura Miller, private tutor, Essex

I have two tattoos inspired by my cat, Kevin: a portrait of his face on my leg, which was done recently, and his paw print on my hand. Kevin is a legend of a cat hes so loving and he follows me everywhere. I got him during a time of bad anxiety and hes stuck with me. Lucy Openshaw, cleaner, Grimsby

This is a tattoo of my ferret, Ben, dressed as a British navy admiral. It was done by my friend Zo Brookes, a Seattle-based tattoo artist. When I first moved here, my partner and I discussed having some sort of pet, but hes allergic to cats and we werent allowed dogs at our apartment, so we decided on ferrets. I volunteered at the Washington Ferret Rescue and Shelter to learn how to care for them; thats where I found Ben. We fostered him for several happy years, until he passed away from liver cancer. One of Bens nicknames with us was Admiral Benbow, so that was what prompted this design for my tattoo commemorating him. When Zoe showed me the design, I almost cried because her work really captured his expression and personality he was funny, goofy, and incredibly lovable and sweet. JC Lau, game developer, Seattle

A month ago, I got my first tattoo, of my cats Circe and Juno. Id been wanting to get a tattoo for 13 years, but had never seen anything that truly sparked joy until I discovered a wonderful tattoo artist named Kiera, who specialises in cats and other animals. I knew as soon as I saw her work that I wanted one of my girls. When I saw she was leaving the country, I had a now or never moment and took the plunge. I sent Kiera some pictures of my cats, told her I loved her celestial motifs, and she did the rest. Its a gorgeous design that I will treasure for ever. Lucy Pallett, bid writer, High Wycombe

This is a portrait of my dog, Trouble. Shes my best friend and the sweetest creature thats ever lived on this earth. I could not imagine life without her. I show her the portrait often, but shes never impressed. Jeff Neuman, musician and lawyer, Oregon

This is Elwood, my first ever pet and a beloved member of our family. He was constantly shedding hair, clingy and annoying but also loving, loyal and always happy to see us. In 2019 we had to put Elwood down and we were devastated. I felt like our family shrank from four to three. I had wanted to get a tattoo of Elwood for a long time, so when he died I booked it in. Its lovely to see him there and feel like hes still a part of me. Minus the shedding hair, thankfully. Clare Lombardi, marketing director, Australia

This is Tuco, my beloved havanese. He is almost seven years old and will be a life companion to me and my wife, Diana. He represents love, care, joy, tenderness and most of all, family. Because of this, I decided to wear his face on my left arm for ever. Rosa Surez, journalist and digital project manager, Spain

Louis came into my life when he was 12 weeks old. He was a blue roan cocker spaniel with a real love for life and a constantly wagging little tail. We went everywhere together; he was my best friend and my soulmate. I had the privilege of sharing my life with him for 17 amazing years, until February 2021. The pet crematorium took some brilliant prints of his paw for me and, as soon as the tattoo studio was allowed to reopen, I had Louis paw print tattooed on my ankle, with a splash of watercolour. Caroline Pater, Kent

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'Alice the rat was so special': readers on their brilliant, beloved pet tattoos - The Guardian

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