Friday, July 27, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Cat Edition

These days, I do cat photos almost every time I go to the shelter. I never post them since this is a small animal blog, but this week I've done about 40 different cats and I had to post some. Since it's kitten season, we are inundated with kittens of all ages, plus the usual suspects - teenagers, long-termers, adults, strays.
My favourite thing about doing cat photos is comparing them to the intake photos that are already on the website. Cat intake photos are quick snapshots the staff take when the cat arrives - their only purpose is to show the basic look of the cat, in case someone recognizes it and claims it. In an ideal world, the cat would get a nicer photo when they move into adoption, but the staff are far too busy to re-do all the photos. Which is why, if you have a camera and a good eye, you should always volunteer your services to a local shelter!
So here are some of the more recent 'before's and 'after's:
 Pumpernickel here is definitely my favourite 'before' and 'after'. He's such a mess in the old shot! This sweet, shy guy was not meant for the streets, and clearly arrived at the shelter in a rather roughed-up state. He's got a little scar on his nose to show for his troubles. He's a scared, gentle guy who would do great in a quiet, indoor home.
 A really common issue with kitten intake photos is that they're normally of the whole family, when they first arrive. This means that by the time the kitten is old enough for adoption, their photo tends to be of either newborns, or a whole group, and they get lost in the shuffle. Looking at Ollie's old photo, for instance, his orange sibling is taking all the glory.
I love this guy! Blaze is an incredible sweetheart. He's one of those cats where it was difficult to get his photo, not because he was trying to escape, but because he was so determined to crawl into my lap and get head scratches.
Humphrey here, on the other hand, definitely fell into the other category for being difficult to photograph. This guy can. Not. Sit. Still. He is completely nuts. You'll note that I never did get an in-focus photo. If you're looking for a kitten with energy to burn, this guy or his equally crazy sister fits the bill.
 And rounding it off, we have Marilla, a recent adult stray. She's an independent girl, but she's quite affectionate and determined to get your attention. She also posed very nicely! The number one rule for shelter photography is eyes - if the animal looks into the camera, then someone browsing the website will be more likely to connect with them.

It's been a crazy summer but - dare I say it? - the cats actually aren't too bad right now. The Room, on the other hand, is packed to the brim. It seriously is the Year of the Guinea Pig - four more have arrived in the last week.


Unknown said...

Ooh, did you take the photo of Awesome, the deaf white cat with one blue and one green eye? I adopted her last Sunday and could kick myself for not saving her photo from the TAS site. Any chance you would please send it to me, if you took it?

Pumpernickel is a fabulous boy, such a sweetheart. I was torn between Awesome, Pumpernickel and Jameson. So difficult!

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Oh my, these are some seriously cute kitties on here! I've stumbled upon your blog but it's fantastic and very well done!!

Keep up the great work!!

From one kitty lover to another :)

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