Jennifer Herd participated in Afar, our second book, and now she’s back for the third project! She couldn’t join up on our first one, even though she really wanted to due to her absolute adoration for her cats, but with Furr 2, she now has that chance! Let’s jump into it.
First of all, cats or dogs? (or both?) Any particular reasons why?
Both! My parents and I always had dogs, since I was a baby. We had a sweet little beagle named Peaches, a retired show dog we adopted from a neighbour. We also had black labs and boxers, all from shelters or foster homes. I always wanted a cat too, but it would have been too much work for the family, so I played with the cats in the neighbourhood.
After I graduated from university and left home, the dream to have a kitty was still very much alive. As soon as I got a big enough place and a well-paying day job, I got two rescues. They're absolutely everything to me. My friends talk about how their pets are their children, and I understand what that means now that I have my own pets.
And as a bonus, I get to go home to visit my parents and play with the doggo, so it’s nice to be able to get some love from both animals.
What’s the inspiration behind your work in Furr 2?
I've had some fairly random things happen to me since I became a pet owner, so I decided to recount some of the stories that are too ridiculous not to share with the world. I have so many, but I could only tell a few of them in this book (mainly because I didn't quite have the time to draw 400 pages!)
I also mention towards the end of my comic that, scratches and scrapes be damned, I chose not to have my cats declawed. I am entirely against the practice for various reasons: It's cruel, it hurts, and it leaves cats vulnerable to attacks from other animals if they escaped or were let outside. I'd rather sustain a few scratches here and there if it spares my animals from suffering like that.
What quirks or peculiarities does your pet have that you won’t find in other cats/dogs?
I definitely get the sense that, compared to others, my cats are unusually shy around strangers. When I'm hanging out at a friend's place, their cats are all over me, giving me nuzzles and headbutts and meowing for attention (which I will appreciate every single time no matter how much cat hair I get on my clothes) (because priorities). But my kitties will immediately hide in the back of my closet or under my bed the second I bring any friends over to my apartment. They do eventually warm up to new people, but it takes a long time and lots of visits!
Which animal describes you better, a dog or a cat?
I think I'm a cat? The dogs I grew up with were all very hyperactive and bouncy and eager to be everyone's friend. I'm someone who only trusts a handful of people and prefer peace and quiet most of the time.
If you could either be a cat or a dog for a day, which would you choose, and what would you do?
Again, I'm Team Cat here. I would spend the day using my powers of stealth to swipe some of those A&W Beyond Meat burgers and bring them to Human Jenn. Human Jenn is hungry and too lazy to cook this month.
Which would you vote for president? A dog or a cat? And why?
Either. Honestly, anything, including either a dog or a cat, would be better than Trump. I'd vote for a goldfish at this point.
Let’s say Furr 3 happens (crossing fingers). Other than dogs and cats, what other kind of stories about animals do you think we should try to include?
Anything with a positive message, especially about adopting from a shelter instead of buying from breeders or puppy mills. There are SO many abandoned dogs and cats in the world, waiting for someone to love them. It would be great to see the breeding industry shut down in the near future.