UVa Law's Winningest Animals, or, the Pets Who Made Paw Review

Ali Zablocki '19
Articles Editor

Molly Guerinot. Photo courtesy of Brian Guerinot

Molly Guerinot. Photo courtesy of Brian Guerinot

Queen of Dogs: Molly Guerinot (posthumous)

 1) How did Molly come to be a part of your family? What is her adoption story?
My family went to the local animal shelter and fell in love with her. She was supposed to go with another family, but as luck would have it, they weren’t able to take her, and she joined our family.

2) How did you choose the name Molly?
Not sure how we settled on Molly. Sounded like a great name for her and very fitting.

3) Roughly how old was Molly? How long did you have her?
Molly was fourteen. My family had her from the time she was about six or eight weeks old until last week.

4) What were Molly’s favorite things to do? Least favorite?
Molly loved her walks. As soon as she saw her leash, her tail would start wagging. She also loved her belly rubs and jumping on your bed as soon as you got up in the morning. She did not like thunderstorms, loud trucks, or fireworks.

5) Is there an anecdote that illustrates Molly’s personality?
Our neighbors called her our “lawn ornament” because she loved to lay outside and look around. She would move to the shade as the sun moved across the yard.

 6) Given the opportunity to say whatever she’d like in Law Weekly, what do you think Molly might have chosen to say?
I think she would say, “I loved my family very much. They took great care of me, let me sleep in their beds, and rubbed my belly. They taught me to sit, stay (most of the time), and army crawl. I taught them to fetch since I was always too lazy to do so. I will miss them all.”

Editor’s Note: Molly passed away during Paw Review. However, she was the most winning animal to participate, raising roughly $200 of the more than $1,100 Paw Review won for Caring for Creatures, a no-kill animal shelter/sanctuary located just outside Charlottesville.

Jupiter Optimus Maximus Rowe. Photo courtesy of Brielle Rowe.

Jupiter Optimus Maximus Rowe. Photo courtesy of Brielle Rowe.

 King of Cats: Jupiter Optimus Maximus Rowe

1) How did JOM come to be a part of your family / what is his adoption story?
My senior year in college I guilted my parents into agreeing to let me get a Sphynx cat (hereinafter naked cat). After some research, I came across a picture of a newborn male naked cat that was available for sale. (I wanted to adopt, but there really aren’t any naked cats available in shelters). Once he came of adoptable age, I went down to Palm Springs with my mom, picked him up and drove the eight hours home. We really bonded during that time. At first he didn’t trust me, but after an hour or so he was comfortable enough to fall asleep in my arms, only waking up to scream every so often. Though he didn’t trust me immediately, for me it was love at first sight. As soon as I saw his barely-open eyes, I knew that we would be best friends forever.

 2) How did you choose the name Jupiter Optimus Maximus? Is JOM (“johm”) his nickname, or does he go by something else? (Not sure I’m reading it right!)
I was an Ancient Greek and Roman History major in college, and Jupiter (Optimus Maximus) is the Roman god of gods. To be fair, I had the name before the cat. I needed a cat that could live up to the name, and this little naked dude fits the bill. He is basically omnipotent. As I like to say, he’s semi-omnipotent. While Jupiter Optimus Maximus is his given name, JOM is one of the many names I call him. His other nicknames are derivatives of JOM (for example, JOMmy, JOMmo, JOMmer, JOM-boy, JOMerson, etc.).

 3) Roughly how old is JOM? How long have you had him?
JOM is just over two years old. His birthday is 2/16/16. He and I were united on May 13, 2016. We haven’t looked back since.

 4) What are JOM’s favorite things to do? Least favorite?
JOM has many favorite things. For one, he likes to snuggle with his brother Osiris (who does have fur) until Osiris tries to bite his skin. He also likes to stand on my books while I’m trying to read and then refuses to move when I need to turn the page. JOM also loves to get under my blanket in the middle of the night, wait until I fall back asleep, and then endlessly twist himself in the blanket until he has all of the blanket and I have none. His all-time favorite thing to do is to get brushed with a bath brush. To this day I’m not sure how we figured out that a bath brush was a good naked cat brush, but he loves it. Some of his least favorite things are getting his nails clipped and baths. I have to regularly bathe JOM, otherwise he gets greasy. It’s not fun in the moment, but he gets lots of treats after. He also really hates plane flights (understandably).

 5) What’s an anecdote that illustrates JOM’s personality?
There are so many stories I could tell about JOM, but I will limit myself to one. When we first met, I gave JOM a little stuffed lion that was creatively named Little Lion. He pretended not to like it for a few days, but then wouldn’t be caught without it. He played with it so much that he ended up ripping giant holes in it. Every time he ripped a hole in it, he would bring it to my bed and put it on my pillow, expecting me to stitch it up. Of course I did. Every single time. He loved Little Lion so much that it ended up with an appearance worse than Frankenstein’s Monster. When I finally had to throw Little Lion out, JOM was so upset that he didn’t sleep in my bed for a week. Over a year later, I still think he’s mad at me. Long story short, he’s basically a child who knows how to hold a grudge.

 6) Given the chance to say whatever he’d like in Law Weekly, what do you think JOM would choose to say?
He would have so much to say. Where to begin? First, he would demand treats, and then tuna. Then he would like to say that despite his wrinkles, there’s no need to call him ugly. It’s rude. They say not to judge a book by its cover, so don’t judge a cat by his wrinkles and belly fat. Also, he would like to say that you shouldn’t be afraid to pet him. He feels like velvet, not a lizard or a shark or anything like that. Velvet. He would also like to give thanks to all the good people who voted for him, but more importantly donated to a good charity.

Gary Coughlin. Photo courtesy of Anne Coughlin.

Gary Coughlin. Photo courtesy of Anne Coughlin.

Emperor of All Other Animals: Gary Coughlin

 1) How did Gary come to be a part of your family? Why did you choose a toad as a companion?
Gary chose us as companions.  He took up residence in a linen closet that happens to be contained in my home.  I believe, but cannot confirm, that our cat, Trixie, encouraged him to look upon us with favor.

 2) How did you choose the name Gary?
We did not choose the name Gary.  Gary's parents chose his name, just as, I assume, your parents chose yours.

 3) Roughly how old is Gary? How long have you had him?
It would be impolite to ask him his age.  He has lived with us for three years.

 4) What are Gary’s favorite things to do? Least favorite?
Favorite things:  Posing for photographs.  Napping.  Hiding in the watering can.  Least favorite:  Being chased by our dog, Sebastian.

 5) What’s an anecdote that illustrates Gary’s personality?
On summer nights, Trixie frequently opens the door and leaves it ajar.  On many of these occasions, Gary has taken it upon himself to stand upon our doorstep, guarding against intruders.

 6) Given the opportunity to say whatever he’d like in Law Weekly, what might Gary say?
Whatever he might say would be uttered in a pleasing, but difficult to decipher, medium-pitched trill.

 7) Does Gary feel that this year’s victory has made up for any perceived slight by Paw Review in the past?
Gary has a thick skin, impervious to slights.   His campaign manager is another story.  She is thinking of suing Paw Review for otherizing this noble toad.