a blog about cats,
photography & cat photography
This week at the shelter I set about re-photographing some cats who have been waiting a while to be noticed. Sometimes I photograph them upon first arrival at Raystede, when they tend to be frightened and unsure, so their photos don't show their true personalities. Armed with a list, I revisited a few lovebunnies this week for some new and improved portraits.
Pixie has been waiting for a new home for a few months now, which surprises me every week when I go in and find that she's still there. This purrpurr is loving and sweet and is a stunning beauty, which only sort of shows in her original picture:
And just look at the sultry stare she gave me this time:
Also, she looks great in pink
I got some help from Jane to provide a lap and some loving strokes for Nellie, who needed a little gentle TLC to bring out her softer side.
Beautiful Fluffy often suffers from Resting Bitch Face (which is what I got in our first photo session) and so I worked with her to find her 1940s Hollywood starlet look.
Here's the before shot:
And here's her new, improved and more optimistic look:
Darling little Pye had a very traumatic kittenhood and because of that she has some trust issues. So when I walk in with my giant camera and flashing light, it's easy to understand why she has trouble looking relaxed for her portrait.
Here's the original shot, taken when she first came in to the shelter and was hiding out in her covered bed:
And here's our second try. She managed to look pretty relaxed, all while giving me a deep warning growl.
Sweet Mary (who is Fluffy's daughter) suggested we do a shot of her while she attacked a tiger's tail, which I think was an inspired idea and really shows her personality.
Here's her original photo:
And the re-shoot with creative direction by Mary:
And finally, a bonus shot of Jane feeding a teensy kitten with a syringe. This baby is the smallest of the litter and needs a bit more nutrition so she can keep up with her siblings.
All of these gorgeous cats and more can be found at Raystede.org
This is Betty.
This is Betty on catnip.
Find Betty and many others at Raystede.org
Max came to Raystede back in January after his human decided to move away and leave Max behind. He was a big handsome boy, full of loving cuddles and somehow without even one tooth in his mouth.
It didn't take long before he found some new humans to love him and he went off to what was supposed to be his forever home.
But something wasn't right and then he became spooked by some houseguests, so he ran away and went missing for two months. No one but Max knows what happened, but he was finally found -- skinny, missing some fur and a bit rough around the edges.
It's anyone's guess how he found food considering he has no teeth!
His adventures didn't change his loving nature, though, and he's just as purry as he was before. He's on the mend and looking better each time I see him at the shelter.
Here's hoping Max finds happiness in a new loving home soon.
Meet Tigger. He's a big ol' ginger kitty who loves to talk. Getting a picture of him with his mouth closed is actually hard to do because he has so much to say.
Really? And then what happened?
Oh! I can't believe she said that to you.
Oh, interesting. Could you elaborate on that?
A knock knock joke? OK. Who's there?
Ha ha ha, that's a good joke
Hey Tigger, can I tell you one of my jokes?
OK, maybe not.
Raystede shelter sees its fair share of senior cats, which is always such a heartbreak - first because no kitty wants to become homeless after a lifetime spent in the loving embraces of their family. And second because the older cats are often the hardest to find new homes for, so they can spend a lot of their Golden Days waiting in the shelter while the younger ones get chosen first.
You might wonder why someone would send their faithful senior kitty to a shelter. Unfortunately it's often because their human has died and the family left behind doesn't want to take care of the cat. A lot of times people surrender their cats to the shelter because they are moving and aren't allowed or able to bring their animal with them. Divorce is another big reason as well as the sudden appearance of a newborn baby in a household, which can upset some furbabies who are used to being the only child.
It's hard to see these beloved cats spend week after week in the shelter, so when one finds a new loving home there is often much rejoicing and some tears of happiness (and secretly some sadness to see them go).
Recently we had 17-year-old Mo in the shelter for quite a while. Her human had died, poor sweetie, and after a month or more of her sleeping her days away in the shelter, Raystede made a big push on social media to find someone who wouldn't mind living with such an old (but lovable) lady. A home was finally found and all of the cattery staff and volunteers have been so excited and relieved for her. Because while Raystede is a loving, comfortable shelter, nothing beats a home with a family who can love and adore a kitty until her last day on Earth.
It's hard to decide what the very most cutest bit of a cat is. Would it be their fuzzy paws? Their dreamy eyes? Their tempting tummies? I think we can all agree that there's one part of a cat's body that isn't very cute, especially when it winks at you just inches from your trying-to-sleep face. (Yes, I mean the ass-terisk that punctuates your cat's back side.)
That aside, I'd like to suggest that it might just be the cat's nose. There's something about their dainty felt-tip sniffers that melt me.
Case in point:
There are many cat nose varieties to admire, including the Tasteful Dot:
(Click to read captions)
And of course the Smudge:
The beguiling Perfectly Pink nose is particularly yummy:
And a few Honourable Mentions:
And finally one of the most beautiful cat noses I know, belonging to Lyra the fuzzy love muffin who sleeps at the end of our bed, who purrs love and comfort into my heart when I'm down and who absolutely forbids me to bring home any other cats:
Do you have a cat with a lovely nose? Why not hire me to visit and shoot some professional portraits of your fuzzlovie and maybe even you too. See my Glamour Puss page for more information.
By Cammie Toloui
Inspired Wedding Photojournalism, Portrait, Cat and Event Photography in Lewes, Brighton and beyond
Call 07813 433347