Caturday felid trifecta: Cat wears costumes to promote local library; cat demands belly and armpit scratches, imaginary topiary cats (and lagniappe)

July 4, 2020 • 9:30 am

From InspireMORE, we have the tail of Horatio, who works for a library in Pennsylvania. Each Caturday his staff, Lisa Shaffer, dresses up the moggy in a literary-themed costume. Click on screenshot to read:

An excerpt:

Lisa works for Centre County Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. A few years ago, she noticed they had little to no social media presence, so she set out to make a change.

Knowing how much the Internet loves all things feline, Lisa approached her supervisor and asked if she could share pictures of her cats dressed up as famous characters from literature and pop culture. After getting the green light, the creative library employee got to work making her vision a reality!

Here are a few of the outfits. Horatio doesn’t seem to mind!


So far, Lisa is proudest of the Iron Throne she made out of cardboard as a prop for Horatio’s “Game of Thrones” costume.

Here’s a YouTube video starring Lisa and Horatio:


Voilà: a lovely tabby enjoying scratches on its ventral surface for 6½ minutes. The YouTube notes say this:

Found a footage of maumao when she was relishing in bellyrubs and armpit scratches. In the video, she is still a kitten about 7 -8 months, she recently turned 1 years old!

Maumao the rescue kitten enjoys her bellyrubs and massages so much that she shrieks and meows with approval and satisfaction, It is so adorable to watch the video back! At one point, she raises her front leg/arm and tells us where to scratch her, at the armpit! Watch till the end, its so cute and hope you enjoy the video😍


I’ve seen these “topiary cats” presented on social media as real vegetal sculptures, but they come from the imagination of ailurophilic artist Richard Saunders. As recounted in this BBC article (click on screenshot), Saunders:

. . . . .once saw an ornamental shrub and was struck by how its shape resembled his beloved pet cat while asleep. Now the images he creates replacing real-life bushes with his pet’s feline form have reached millions of people around the globe.

The pictures all feature Tolly, a Russian Blue owned by 69-year-old Mr Saunders.

The first image he created took a picture of his beloved pet – who died in February – and cropped it into a photograph he took at Hall Barn, in Beaconsfield, where he had spotted a topiary shaped like a cloud.

“It reminded me of an animal sleeping, and I thought to myself ‘you could change that into a cat quite easily’,” Mr Saunders recalled.

One of his later images, which depicted a cat drinking water from a lake at Painshill, in Surrey, was seen by 3.25m people on Facebook.

“I’m fascinated by how things go viral – I never planned to make any money out of the project. It’s just a bit of fun,” Mr Saunders said.

To wit:

. . . and:

He said he always made it “very clear” that the topiary cats dotted around country estates were not real, but “about 25%” of people who saw them believed they actually existed.

Comments on The Topiary Cat’s Facebook page speak of how users “wish they were actually possible” or are “captivated” by the “inspired pictures”.

But wait! There are real topiary cats! Read on. . . .


Some lagniappe: The Daily Echo in the UK reports that there’s a real cat-shaped hedge, which is quite well known, and it’s been given a mask and gloves for the pandemic:

But one Hampshire business has made a more unusual nod towards beating those lockdown blues.

A well-known topiary cat in Hedge End has been spotted wearing full PPE.

The little character can be seen peering over a wall on Grange Road, watching the traffic pass by and giving motorists a well-needed smile.

The cat hedge, which has been a feature outside Grange Cattery for a few years, can be seen wearing a face mask and gloves.

The cat belongs to e cat, a family run business that offers Hampshire cats a home-from-home when their owners are on holiday.

The business launched in 2007 and was founded and is owned by Cheryl Knight and Collin Davidson who is described as an avid feline friend,

“Cat Bush” – as named on the cattery’s website – has been a feature of Grande Road for some time.

And here it is:



h/t: GInger K., Andrea, Keira, Jeremy


6 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Cat wears costumes to promote local library; cat demands belly and armpit scratches, imaginary topiary cats (and lagniappe)

    1. Lisa is a bibliographic services assistant, not a librarian, according to the video. So it will need to be Bibliographic Services Cat, if you don’t mind.

    1. I have the shrubs, but not the focus. I am honestly hard pressed to nerve up to top them twice each year.

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