What Lost Pet Posters Mean

“Representations of pet culture have long celebrated a certain kitsch sentimentality. Think of the sugary calendars depicting puppies and kittens lolling in one comical posture after another.  Alternatively, representations of human-pet companionship often mark the outsider status of the human, like that of the cat lady who prefers animal contact over humans… both of these condemnations prefer to account for the pet in a generalised abstract sense, rather than through the specificities of a lived relation capable of crossing species' difference... unlike kitsch representations of an interchangeable figure of the pet, lost pet posters do lend us specific accounts of human-pet companionship... depicting pets as socialised entities who contribute, even in spite of their species' difference, to notions of human domesticity. However, as compelling as this story of separation and kinship is, lost pet posters also tell a second story, one that relates to what Jennifer Wolch calls a 'subaltern animal town', a geography or territory that occurs within human settlement patterns, but that often exists below our (human) visibility threshold...”