The Comics

Crittertude book: Happiness is a Warm Tush

Welcome to the realm of Crittertude, featuring the real-life adventures of a rag-tag, not-so-fugitive assortment of pets ranging from your ordinary household dog to a squiggly ferret in dire need of something shiny. Captured over the course of many years, this full-color photographic and comedic journey interprets the innocent and mischievous mindset of our furry creatures as they battle on against threats both real and, more often than not, imagined.

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Crittertude is portrait of the secret world of ferrets, dogs, cats and birds all forced to live together under one roof. Part comic-strip, part photographic documentary, Happiness is a Warm Tush presents us with the often conflicting views and fantasy realm of these extraordinary household pets in full-color, comic book format. From the innocence of Mady the squiggly ferret to the diabolical plans of the nefarious black sneaky cat, Crittertude is a place where life is magically transformed from the daily doldrum of existence to the realm of fantasy, imagination and the occasional unplanned mayhem.

Crittertude book: Aliens Have Taken Our Cat
Fans of the online comic have felt a strong connection to each of the characters over the years as they have made us laugh, cry and ultimately realize how the simple unconditional love of a pet can transform our lives in ways never before imagined.

Who are the main characters?
Perhaps the rising star in all of this is Mady, the squiggly ferret, who adds a certain unpredictability and air of innocence to the house. Booper the white fluffy Maltese dog is the guardian of the house and general underdog for the innocent (no pun intended). Lazy Orange Fat Cat is, essentially, a cranky behemoth with an appetite that is rivaled only by her girth. Melvin is our resident green cheek conure who constantly vies for attention and, according to a pet psychic reading we once took on a dare, secretly wishes that all the other animals in the house would just pack up, go away and die.

Crittertude book: Ferret Dreams
Sitting in the cage below, our Zebra and Java Rice finches share a common nest and are the best of friends. While Black Sneaky Cat is an easy-going, simple silent observer, he tends to be undone by his own obsessive-compulsive desire for playtime and overall power. Finally, there’s One of Six, the only surviving bird out of a litter of six baby European Starlings that took nest in our roof. We’re fairly certain that he exists with the mere purpose of uttering phrases in English and other various Star Trek sounds. And then there’s the occasional household guest or two.

Are all of the critters yours?
For better or worse, they’re all part of the household. Occasionally a critter is featured that is a temporary household guest; the others are the primary residents.

Crittertude book: Shiny Things
Is any of this Photoshopped?
Believe it or not, the majority of all the pictures are real, with the notable exception of the occasional flying saucer, lightsaber, small mouse (this is a mouse-free household) or objective-oriented mechanical finch. Situations also tend to be real and are rarely “staged”, as is the interaction between all the animals. While Photoshop is used occasionally, it is minor and typically for image post-processing, inserting special effects or just general tomfoolery.

Do they all really get along that well?
The cats both stalk and tolerate the ferret (pointy teeth and claws prevent certain death). Melvin (the Green Cheek Conure) fears nothing except for the ferret. The white fluffy dog likes everyone except for the sharp biting conure. Of all the critters, Black sneaky cat is the most suspicious of all others. The starling (One-of-Six) just sits around reciting English phrases and Star Trek noises all day.

Crittertude book: So Long and Thanks for all the Treats
Where did you come up with the name Crittertude?
We’d love to say it was the result of much involved soul-searching. Frankly, it literally just came to us.