This week I visited foster carer Naomi to photograph her two adoptable cats, Bubbles and Poppy.
Naomi explained that they had quite different personalities, and that Bubbles was a bit skittish and not likely to be very cooperative, but that Poppy was usually pretty friendly even with strangers when given a few minutes to adjust.
So rather than rip out the camera straight away and start shooting we sat for a bit and had a chat. This was made all the more interesting because Naomi is an artist, and her home is filled with fascinating pieces. And of course with Perth being the tiny place it is we soon identified a few things in common.
It was also great to have a chat about the way Shutter Paws works. So many people are surprised to learn that Shutter Paws is run entirely by volunteers as a support service to a wide range of pet rescue organisations around the Perth Metro area. The admin are volunteers, the photographers all donate their time and collectively we provide a besquillion profile photographs of adoptable pets every year.
Before long a cat emerged from behind the couch, but suprisingly the cat to emerge was Bubbles.
Bubbles is a striking tabby with tiger like strikes and the world’s swooshiest tail. She likes to sleep in the linen cupboard and loves her food. Her eyes are mesmerising.
Knowing that she was easily startled I worked only with natural light for this session. Most pets I’ve met, including most rescue animals, are quite comfortable with artificial light, but it’s important to read the room. After inspecting my gear, Bubbles was very clear about wanting to be petted. Then she wandered around, gave me her beautiful catwalk parade, had a bite to eat and settled down to relax.
I got a cat to out in a misguided attempt to tempt Poppy out to play, but this was not appreciated by Poppy or Bubbles. It’s a reminder of how varied cat personalities can be. Bubbles loves her food, Poppy only likes biscuits. Neither of them play with toys.
This time around Poppy remained uncomfortable coming out from behind the couch, so for now we decided that Bubbles could be the poster girl for them both. It’s critical when working with animals that we work at their pace, with what they are comfortable with.
When it comes to cats, I do wonder why fewer cat lovers commission photographs that their dog loving neighbours. I suspect it is because people think their cats won’t cooperate. I think this experience reminds me that while sometimes that’s true, most often your cat will surprise you.
If you’re looking for a fabulous feline companion or two, check out their profiles with WA Pet Project.