Caturday felid: kittehs in art

November 5, 2011 • 4:39 am

This fine Caturday we have two items involving cats as artwork:

If you’ve followed HaughtGate, you’ll find this garment appposite. From artist Richard Smith, it’s a new tee-shirt called “Skeptical kitteh doesn’t like your fish.”  It’s available at Redbubble for only $22.44.  Get the joke on the cat food bag?

Check out Richard’s more serious science design, too.  And don’t forget his other “skeptical kitteh” shirts (here and here).

And from last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine “What they were thinking” feature, we have “Now give me fierce: Los Angeles,” a snapshot of a cat photographer with the lolzy name of Richard Katris (photo by Alyson Aliano):

My mom raised cats when I was a child, so I’m very attuned to them. I’ve taken at least 800,000 cat pictures over 35 years. That’s basically what I do for a living.

Right now I am working this cat into position with a toy to take a photo before the Santa Monica Cat Club Cat Show. I’m trying to make the cat realize that nothing bad is going to happen to him. I’ve got a stick and a toy in one hand, and I’ve got a camera in the other, and I’m trying to get him interested in playing with cat toys. I’m trying to get him happy enough — and then get him in the play mode so he forgets where he is and becomes a feral hunter.When that instinct takes over, the fear goes away.

The first reaction of any cat when you take them somewhere they don’t know is, Oh, is this the vet? You’ve got to basically read that cat’s mind before the cat even knows what it’s going to do; you’ve got to convince the cat that photographing it is their idea and that it looks like a good time. You have to make them feel at home.

If things work as you wish them to work, the cat begins to pay total attention to the toy, and the people don’t exist. By positioning that toy, you can make the cat walk in circles and stand up on its hind legs so you get the photograph you want. This one was cooperative.

Interview by Alexandra Wolfe

h/t: Greg Mayer

9 thoughts on “Caturday felid: kittehs in art

  1. We had professioinal photos taken of Keeshu & Bryxie many, many years ago. It took forever, and, to me, they still look frightened in the pix. Worse than kids.

    1. Oh, you people without kids!


      FWIW, I had exactly one professional photo shoot of one kid–that was it.

      Kids or pets, we “parents” are the only ones who can get the really great photos of ’em.

  2. I bought a sticker of the last one to put on my portfolio bag, and it showed up without the text. Quite disappointing.

    1. Kels, I am assuming that you bought the version that is made for darker backgrounds, which has white text. As the stickers come on a white background (which unfortunately I have no control over), then you have white text on a white background.

      If you contact me via my website (, with your contact details, then I will order the sticker that you bought and put it in the post to you.

      Please note that I can only afford to do this once, as the margins on RedBubble are low, but I will add a note to the description warning people not to buy the white text versions as stickers. Sadly RedBubble don’t give me the option to hide Stickers for these images, which is annoying.

      1. Oh, if it’s an inconvenience I don’t really mind that much. I am glad I’ve at least alerted you to the issue. I may get this one at some point, since I really like the kitty designs and there’s still loads of room on my portfolio.

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