I hope you like cats because this post is all about these beautiful feline creatures!
I’ve had the honour of contributing to Maria Bell’s Cats of Oakville book. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, Maria has published two Dogs of Oakville books in support of the Oakville Humane Society. All sales proceeds, and I mean every penny, have been donated and the books, to date, have raised over $50,000.00!
There are as many cat lovers as there are dogs lovers, so this time around Maria focussed on putting together a Cats of Oakville book. I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to this project and I’ve learned a lot about cats even though I have owned cats for the last 30+ years. We often see cats, especially not our own, as they are without truly paying attention to every minute detail. Trying to photograph them forced me to pay more attention to each one’s physical details and personality.
The initial reaction as I showed up for the photo session was expected – Some eagerly greet strangers, some need a little warming up and some never come out of hiding. Funny enough, the less attention you pay to them the more they become curious and approach you! The next thing I noticed was the overall shape and appearance of the cat(s). They come in all sizes, big and small, with long or short legs; their fur varies as much as our hair styles with some having none and others having so much that you constantly have to brush them; and lastly their tails vary in thickness and length in support of their physical appearance and agility.
What I’ve enjoyed the most is noticing all the minute differences in their facial features. Our busy and fast paced lives usually means that we register a cat in terms of it having a face, eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers. What we often overlook are the nitty gritty details.
Some cats have big bulging round eyes and some don’t; some cats have striking eyes with multiple layers of colour and some even have two different coloured eyes; the nose can be big or small, elongated or short, and straight or with a little hump; mouths are generally on the small side until they yawn and then they turn into large openings; whiskers are so amazing because they come in various lengths and thickness plus they can be straight or curly; some cats have all their teeth and some have none; and lastly their meows vary as much as their personalities.
What impressed me the most was the number of cats that were obtained from shelters. For some reason, cats seem to be more ‘disposable’ than dogs and it really pleases me to see how people have stepped up to the plate to provide these homeless cats with a new home. They are all well taken care of and both the owners and the cats benefit from each other’s loving company.
The book is well on its way and we’ve had a lot of fun fundraising events to collect the funds for printing the books. You can find out more about the events and our cat models by looking up ‘Cats of Oakville’ on Facebook.
I’m looking forward to the launch of this book knowing that I’ve been able to make a small contribution to a great cause.