Dismantling the "Crazy Cat Lady" Stereotype with Portraits: Girls And Their Cats September 01 2017, 4 Comments
Girls and Their Cats is a portrait series by photographer BriAnne Wills that works to show cat ladies in a fresh, positive light. Because let's face it: cat ladies tend to get a bit of a bad rap. But this photo series is working to dismantle the negative stereotypes surrounding "cat ladies." The interviews help take the "crazy" out of "crazy cat lady" and help folks realize that people who love cats are as unique and intelligent as our feline counterparts.
Maggie Freleng, Bandit & Daisy
"I went to the shelter looking for a kitten. I’ve never had a kitten because I always take in older rescues so it was time to treat myself. But when I went to the shelter I found Bandit, a 6-month-old blind cat, the shelter worker said had been there for months. No one wanted him. It broke my heart and even though I was looking for a kitten I took him. I couldn’t imagine life without him. He melts my heart every day sometimes I cry I’m so happy we found each other and people passed him up because he’s blind. He is the most special boy in the world. He can’t see but he knows his mom. As soon as I pick him up he collapses in my arms purring, and always finds his way to nestle in my arms at night."
Loki and Sara Anderson
"This cat has more personality and sass than any animal I have ever met. We are inseparable. We are best friends.
Loki has helped me return to creative and optimistic parts of myself that were misplaced while I was feeling unmotivated and sad. Animals are incredible healers and I am eternally grateful for Loki’s companionship and generous loyalty. He is truly one of a kind.” - @loki_the_sphynx
Dinah Eke & Wolfie
“I walked into the shelter with every intention of bringing home a fat Russian Blue kitty I had seen on their website. Before I had a chance to meet said kitty, the proprietor pulled me aside and asked if I was open to looking at another cat. I assumed she would show me another Russian Blue, but instead she showed me my Wolfie - a feral black cat. He made no eye contact, in fact, he ignored me the whole time. When I reached out to pet him, he skirted to the back of the cage and hissed. I turned to her, I didn’t understand.
Then she explained to me that he was wary of people due to being treated badly in the past. As a black cat, he had a higher chance of getting put down than getting adopted. Wolfie was mean as hell and I had no idea if he would take to me, but I couldn’t bear the thought of him getting killed through no fault of his own. So I brought him home. It’s been four years since we met. He is still wary of strangers, but he is the most loving kitty ever! If you are not superstitious and ever have the opportunity to adopt; please give a black kitty a chance.” @dee.diary
Naomi Fry, Nina, Roo & Matilda
“Our cats, Roo and Matilda, are both very good girls, but they’re also two very different types. Roo is a large tabby. People always think she’s a man and I always get a little offended for her. She looks very dependable — she has the face of someone you’d ask to watch your laptop for you if you needed to use the bathroom at a cafe. Her body type often reminds me of the bowling bags Prada used to do; I can almost imagine attaching a shoulder strap to her and tucking her snugly under my arm. She’s six years old, and we adopted her when she was one. Nina, our daughter, was also one at the time, so they’ve been growing up together."
Aisha Awadallah, Tigger Oscar Wilde, Xena Warrior Princess & Alexander the Great
"I’ve been a cat person for as long as I can remember, I had the childhood companionship of the most regal and temperamental Burmese cat since I was a baby and have never really felt complete without a feline friend in my life. I like to think that I was a cat in a past life, I’ve always been drawn to them and am always that person at the party who’d rather hang out with the host’s cat than make the effort to interact with people. My three cats are all kind of reflections of me and represent the full spectrum of my personality and phases in my life. I’m an artist, natural introvert, and love creating a comforting and colorful home environment and these three eccentric furballs with their superfluous names and strong personalities are essential to it." Read more from Aisha.
Rachel Cantrell & Bootsy
“When my boyfriend Ryan and I first brought Bootsy Collins back from the ASPCA, we did what they told us to do and set up a little corner for her in the bathroom so that she could get used to our apartment. Little did I know that it would be almost a month before she’d gather the courage to venture out of it. Needless to say, Bootsy’s a shy cat. There’s a secret spot in the back of my closet that she escapes to the moment anyone visits the apartment, and very rarely does she come out voluntarily to say hello to our friends.
But now that she’s been living in the apartment for over a year, she’s warmed up to us a little bit. When I get back home from work, she’ll greet me at the door and hop on the couch for a belly rub. She’ll curl up on the couch and snore next to us while we’re watching Netflix. On one hand, sure, it’d be nice if she’d be cute when people come over. But on the other hand, I get a little kick out of the fact we’ve been accepted into Bootsy’s inner circle.” @rachelmidori
Elvy Yost & Rubbish
"It was a cold and lonesome winter, and I was playing a pet owner in a wonderful play. The bohemian unguessable will-o’-the-wisp life of an actress had convinced me I couldn’t be a pet owner in real life, but I was about to be surprised. One cold and rainy morning that winter, thanks to her keen mother-to-be radar, a lovely pregnant woman heard some muffled hoarse cry-squeaks. She opened a nearby trashcan to find… rubbish. Tiny, cold, about to drown in garbageous rainwater, darling, miserable, distended-bellied, smelly, little, baby: Rubbish.
The first thing I did was sing to her, and the second thing I did was pick her up by the scruff of her neck in my mouth so she’d know I was her mom. She was so tiny back then that she would ride around on my shoulder like a wee soft parrot. She arrived four days before my birthday, and a sweet castmate at the time called her my “cosmic birthday present”. I met my human sweetheart nineteen days later; I think opening my heart to my special cat was the gateway to opening my heart for my special human."
All photos © BriAnne Wills of Girls and Their Cats.