The wordsmiff is also an animal, a critter in fact.
One of the things that lead to my lecturer loving that last story so much was because I had submitted it to other students for feedback. That was actually part of the assignment. The feedback was very useful and helped me to improve the quality and flow of the story in question. It was a timely reminder of just how much value one can get out of having others critique your work.
I used to be an active member of www.critters.org but with life intruding, I had to drop out of being an active member. However, as I got so much out of that uni critiquing exercise, I decided to renew my active membership of the site. So I am once more a critter.
My late better half loved animals. Her next door neighbour's dog treated Dimples's place as its own. She had a seemingly continiously increasing number of cats. There was an incredibly spoiled iguana called Charlie that was supposed to live in a large, open-topped acquarium in the living room, although Dimps would often wake up to find Charlie on the pillow beside her. Feeling lonely, the cheeky thing would get clamber out of its tank, wander off to the bedroom and climb up on the bed. Dimps would also take Charlie for walks on a leash, to give him some exercise. Can you imagine the sight - an iguana at the end of the of leash! Dimps used to refer to her 'critters'. So it makes me laugh, now being a 'critter' myself. I think she would have appreciated the joke.