The Viva Team's Beloved Pets

It's pet week here at Viva, and we're showing off our favourite animal friends like proud parents


NAME: Thunder

AGE: 27

BREED: Station bred

I have owned Thunder for 14 years and he is the sweetest horse ever. He is too old to be ridden now but the highlight of my week is going to see him on the weekend for a carrot and a cuddle – he always runs to meet me at the gate. I’ve had him for more than half my life and couldn’t imagine a world without him. – Saru Krishnasamy, digital editor.

NAME: Phoebe Bella-Vista

AGE: 5

BREED: Silver tabby / Australian Mist

I met Phoebe during a special photo shoot for Viva and a fundraising project with the SPCA in 2015. James Lowe took her portrait and I decided to take her home with me. Since then she's been photographed by other noted fashion photographers including Guy Coombes and Mara Sommer. I've lost track of the photo shoots she's walked into, but she loves the camera and the spotlight. Even though Phoebe is incredibly lazy (as this photo shows), she's a very loyal and social cat who loves being around people. - Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

NAME: Skyler

AGE: Lived until age 7

BREED: SPCA special

From participating in impromptu The Lion King re-enactments to resting over my shoulder as I did chores, Skyler was the world's most chilled out cat. We were so lucky to have this sweet-natured, cuddly and beautiful boy in our family for seven years. - Ashleigh Cometti, commercial editor

NAME: Charlie

AGE: Lived until age 12

BREED: Ginger tabby

We got Charlie when we first moved to New Zealand - I was four years old, and so many of my childhood memories have him in them. He had the best and loudest purr ever, could usually be found napping on someone's bed and was always up for a cuddle. – Rosie Herdman, writer and fashion assistant

NAME: Tuppence

AGE: 13

BREED: Common moggy

This is a photo of my London cat Tuppence, modelling for Italian Vogue, he did feature online on the homepage representing Shoreditch, as he is a born and bred East Ender. Tuppence now lives with my brother and his wife who is obsessed with him. He has been booked for other modelling jobs - a goth shoot for iD where he flounced off wearing the stylist's harness and a portrait of NZ singer Ladyhawke when he refused to model and a stunt cat had to be brought in. Tuppence is extremely temperamental and not keen on modelling although he is big on showing off and used to scare foxes away from my garden. He adopted me whilst living at a neighbours house as he didn't like his owners 10 pet birds (probably wanted to eat them) so he came to me. He now lives in the suburbs of London and I get regular photo updates of his retirement. – Rebbecca Zephyr Thomas, photographer


AGE: 12

BREED: West Highland Terrier

This is a pretty typical photo of my family’s beloved dog JD living his best life on his favourite beanbag (one of many). He appears rather angelic here, but comes untrained with lots of ‘personality’ and is known to take on a Great Dane at any opportunity. – Sarah Downs, writer.

NAME: Romee

AGE: 4 months

BREED: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Romee doesn’t live down her breed's most recognised trait as a “lap dog”. Her typical daily agenda involves cuddles in any and all positions, chewing on Dentastix and chasing her tail when she’s not snuggled into her bean bag snoring. Romee is the shyest puppy in her class, and has been known to make friends with Ziggy the cat, who exchanges polite kisses, over the other playful puppies. – Lucy Casley, designer.

NAME: Mina and Zico

AGE: 7

BREED: Brussels Griffons

My partner and I got these two after my beloved first griffon, Mac, died, and I realised you can't just have one dog. As the writer Dave Barry said, you need an emergency backup dog. Mina and Zico were litter-mates, and Mina was the runt of the litter. Because she was so tiny, she had to be scrappy. She's now the boss of the house, and I imagine that her internal dog voice sounds like Dame Judi Dench. Zico is kinda dumb, but loving. He takes his job as guardian of the house very seriously. No leaf moves in our back yard unbarked-at. Taking them on walks is entertaining, as they are so funny-looking and cute that they attract a lot of attention. Sometimes it's like being a minder for two tiny celebrities. – Melinda Williams, At Home editor.


Zoe is a curious and affectionate SPCA rescue cat who reminds me of the children’s story My Cat Likes to Play in Boxes. She was a horror with flowers when younger, nibbling blooms and knocking over vases. These days in between smooching, snoozing, hunting skinks and wetas and wrestling our dog, she is still partial to swiping or tipping over any glasses left lying about. — Janetta Mackay, beauty editor.

NAME: Franke

BREED: Miniature Schnauzer

Franke is a sweet natured and borderline over-sized miniature schnauzer who is often mistaken as a crossbred when her coat gets woolly. She has a disconcertingly loud bark, but is a bit of wuss compared with our last little cairn terrier. Her favourite doggy outing is Fort Takapuna. — Janetta Mackay, beauty editor.

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