I had this year’s National Feral Cat Day post all worked out—which is to say, I’d given myself something like 24 hours to round up the various materials needed (the easy part), assemble what I think we can all agree is a brilliant prop (also easy), and then photograph my cats with the aforementioned prop (what was I thinking?).
As the photos below illustrate, the concept was rock-solid. It was the execution that suffered from (1) a rushed schedule, (2) poor-quality photography, and (3) a lack of assistants.
This all began with Hazel Terry’s magnificent photo of her cat Bellissimo, which I’d first seen when a friend, Denise Davis, shared it on Facebook. (The connection between Denise’s find and NFCD was almost poetic: Denise was instrumental in initiating the Great Kitty Rescue, which, as it turned out, would be my introduction to community cat advocacy.)
I told you it was a magnificent photo. Just one thing missing for my purposes, though. Or, rather, one thing that needed to be missing: an ear-tip. I told you the concept was rock-solid.
Plus, I have a house full of cats, most of whom have a healthy enthusiasm for boxes. What could go wrong?
As you can see, initial interest in the project was encouraging.
Upon assembling the prototype, the genius of what Terry had done become apparent: the gag simply works better with the cat on the inside.
As a friend of mine likes to say: Never bet against irony. The only cat I could to stay inside the box long enough to photograph was Smudge—the one cat of mine who’s already ear-tipped.
It’s all very fitting, really, that I would be outwitted like this—that my modest attempt to make NFCD something special would end in failure. Around here, every day is Feral Cat Day.