Before I moved to the Frobbit House I was warned that there would never be a shortage of cats. This was wonderful news to me, especially since I had left Cherry behind in Berlin, to be brought over only when I had found a more permanent residence. It was basically a matter of hours before the first curious local feline residents sauntered around to check out the new human, and when I put out a plate of dry food, well, it was literally an overnight sensation. The Breakfast Club ensued, and word quickly got around.
There are 15 stray cats in our little hamlet who are all Six-dinner Sids, breakfast from me, lunch and dinner from the neighbours. When it comes to loyalty and a place to chill, however, they are only scattered between two houses, mine and the neighbour across the street. I have the garden now, where they not only love to romp around and keep me company, but also chill. This will be a welcome haven for them especially during the upcoming scorching summer months. Cherry of course, has caught on to this and hangs out with the gang in the afternoons, weather permitting. It is so endearing to watch her socialise and be adventurous. She probably knows the garden better than me now. The old lady is fearless – grumpy, but fearless nonetheless!
There were only two cats that had names before I arrived, but I made sure to change that right away. Considering the amount of time they spend at my place, it just seemed right for them to have a name or sorts. Recently I also started opening the house in the afternoons, just to air the place, but invite the Breakfast Club in for a snack or to just hang out. It has been a slow start, but my patience has paid off, and those who trust and know me have no qualms about marching in to say hello. Only Xico stays long enough for a nap the rest just make a quick tour of the house, check if there is anything in the food bowl, and then dash out. I’m hoping that by next winter, some of them will be comfortable enough to come inside and warm up by the fire.
I like to push myself in general, but when it comes to photography, I find animal portraiture supremely challenging because they don’t follow directions. You can’t tell your model to look this way or that, to open their eyes more, or tilt their head forward a bit more depending on the lighting. With animals, the photographer moves around just as much in order to capture that perfect moment and look into infinity. Dogs will at least sit still when told, well, for the most part. But cats refuse to understand the concept of bending to human commands. So I have 15 new and difficult models and have managed to catch a few of them after a lot of patience and trust building.
This is going to be a long-term project, since I’m not even half way and some of them are not confident enough to stay around me long enough yet. For the full collection click here.