"Girls And Their Cats" Is Destroying The Cat Lady Stereotype With Unique Portraits
"Girls And Their Cats" Is Destroying The Cat Lady Stereotype With Unique Portraits
Girls and Their Cats is a portrait series by BriAnne Wills that showcases cat ladies in a fresh, positive light.
Wills has been shooting the series for about 2 years now and has now amassed over 180 portraits! The shots are fun and refreshing, nothing like the "cat lady" stereotypes you remember.
Set in the cat owner's home, each entry is paired with a story of how the subject met their cat and how the duo interact on a daily basis. Wills encourages the subject to give plenty of funny details or weird anecdotes.
Want to be featured in the series? The series is mostly local to NYC, so if you live in the city, check out Wills' submission info here.
Behold: this is the new face of cat ladies!
“Max is a bodega cat. I had just broken up with a guy after realizing I liked his cat a lot more than I liked him, and was looking to adopt a kitten ASAP, despite not only my allergy to cats but also my friend’s dad's warning that "if I got a cat I'd never get married." So when my friend rescued tiny little Max from a Bodega and posted on Facebook that he needed a home, I pounced. Max settled in right away, knocking down a few plants, eating anything he could get his furry little paws on, even kitchen floor kale! He was eager for hardcore cuddling before we even got to know each other. Max is gregarious, handsome, and gets along really well with everyone, including dogs and my neighbor’s cat. He makes me really really happy and is worth the stuffy nose and tiny little scratch marks all over my body. And my friend's dad couldn't be more wrong about the whole marriage thing. I'm going to marry Max!” @whimsylohan Amber is a filmmaker living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. #girlsandtheircats #adoptdontshop #bodegacat #bodegacatsofinstagram
“I met baby October on the eve of my 21st birthday. He was the best birthday surprise! October was found inside a cardboard box behind an office in Long Island. As soon as I held him I was so in love. This is a new experience for me because October is my first pet. I definitely treat him like he's a new born baby. I’ve been spending some time researching more about October and cats in general and I’ve found their behavior to be very interesting. I love that when he circles my leg it means he's leaving his scent on me so other cats know I'm his. He’s very playful and loves to cuddle. We also have so much in common like our nap schedules and the fact that we aren't too fond of the vacuum. I'm so lucky to come home to the sweetest little guy!” @alvinabokhari Alvina currently lives in Midtown Manhattan while she attends FIT for fashion business merchandising. #girlsandtheircats #adoptdontshop #newyork #blackcat
"I don’t really remember why I was so determined to have a hairless cat, except for how unique and ridiculous they look, but it didn’t take me long to realize they’re basically a cat-monkey-dog-child hybrid. Now I’m obsessed and follow a ton of other Sphynx on Instagram- a true cat lady through and through. I had adopted another Sphynx before Wilson, but he unfortunately passed away from heart problems. My mom then promised me a kitten as a graduation present (score one for higher education), and we drove 13 hours from St. Louis to Atlanta to pick him up. It was love at first snuggle. He looked like Gollum, with huge bat wing ears and cow spots. Not much has changed, except he’s got a pot-belly now. Wilson’s such a ham, and interested in everything everyone is doing all the time. He sleeps curled up between my me and my boyfriend, follows us around the apartment, watches people out on the street all day, and enjoys causing general mayhem. We recently moved and had boxes all over, and he pretty much thought he’d died and gone to heaven. It was like whack-a-mole - where’s Wilson today? He still hides in some weird places so I’m glad he knows his name and meows when he’s called. Anyone who comes over, even if they don’t particularly like cats, eventually falls in love with him. It helps that he’s probably sleeping on his or her chest within five minutes. He makes me smile every day, and any time I’ve travelled with him, via subway, car, plane, he always gets a good laugh. Besides, he just turned four- I can only imagine how wrinkly and adorable he’ll be when he’s fourteen!" Hannah is a writer and editorial manager for Stone & Strand living in Bushwick. #sphynx #catlady #catlover #girlsandtheircats #catmom #bushwick
"I got Oscar as a kitten from a craigslist ad. Not knowing at the time that there was a reason they put him on craigslist. He was a giant. He is now full grown at a lean 30lbs. (every doctor who has seen him claims he is the largest cat they have ever seen) Well, as most people would know, Giants tend to have bone issues. So, when Oscar was about 3 or 4 he started limping. his bones were all out of wack and eventually we discovered he had a luxating patella, which is common in dog breeds. Debating for a long time about surgery and success rates I was eventually talked into it by my cousin who is an orthopedic vet surgeon. She said it was a routine procedure and she's done hundreds of them, and with his specific grade of luxation it was supposed to be no problem. One and done. It wasn't. He ended up having 4 surgeries last year. It's a lot to get into with each specific surgery that happened. It brings me to tears just thinking about it. It was the most difficult thing I have gone through in caring for another animal/being thus far in my life. It would have been impossible without the help of family and friends (most defnitely my cousin and her hospital staff at Cornell Vet Specialist in Stamford). He became their favorite patient. With all the complications he actually ended up living at the hospital getting constant care for one month on two separate occasions. He even had acupuncture 3 times a week. I've never even had acupuncture. It was almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel at many points. On the day he had a successful x-ray - after the 4th surgery - it was the best feeling. I made him a hat for that day, a kitten cake, tons of cat nip and had some champagne. He just celebrated his 7th birthday. He has touched many lives. Mostly mine." @classic_jess Jess is jewelry designer and painter living in greenpoint. #catlover #catlady #adoptdontshop #rescued #mainecoon #girlsandtheircats
"I have two cats: Baby Ice Cream and Yummy Breakfast. They are my true loves. Baby Ice Cream is a 6 year old tabby. I got her in Vermont (where I was living at the time) from a back woods mechanic with a "free kittens" sign out front. She was the last left of the litter - which was shocking because she was so small and could not eat solid foods. She had to drink special formula and eat crushed up food for the first few months we had her. She grew up to be healthy and strong, yet still not very big. She's my girl. We've been through a lot together and she is always there for me and never fails to sleep on my pillow and drink water out of the shower faucet like a boss. Yummy Breakfast on the other hand is a 3.5 year old Scottish Fold. I got her as a wedding gift from my old boss (for a marriage that never came to fruition). She came from a breeder outside of Sacramento and I had to buy her a plane ticket to NYC. She is the cutest, sweetest kitty you ever did see. However, she has had "issues" since the day I got her. She lacks what I would call a "feline grace". She cannot jump up (or down) from high places, balance on anything, or run swiftly for that matter. After years of vet visits and trying to determine whether or not that was just how she was or if there was something seriously wrong with her - it was determined just last week that she has severe arthritis and a malformed spinal chord. She's still just a wee one but experiencing serious afflictions normally associated with later in life issues. She is not going to live a very long life (needless to say, I'm devastated!), but on the bright side so far her life has been very fruitful and we will live her remaining years to the fullest together! She's a fantastic traveler and we plan on taking trips to Montauk this summer and beyond. Seriously, she will sit quietly and calmly in a large tote bag, come along for the ride, and easily adapt to any new environments. It's unbelievable. She's truly one of a kind. There will never be another Yummy Breakfast." 😿😿😿 Megan works in the jewelry industry as a Project Manager for Anna Sheffield. #girlsandtheircats #scottishfold #kitten #catlady #catmom #catlover
Alexis and Claude in Crown Heights for #girlsandtheircats @alexischarleyann "I got Mr. Claude in 2008 from a shelter when he was about 3 months old. As the other cats meowed and fought for attention, he sat quietly in the corner shivering. They informed me that he may be suffering from cat laryngitis and may never meow. They tried to push "healthier" kittens on me, but he was the one that wanted. To this day, he still does not meow. Mr. Claude is by far my best friend. He has traveled from Florida to NYC with me, has seen me through many breakups and job failures. And in July 2013, probably the hottest summer I have ever experienced, I helped him recover from "death's grip." At the time I was living in the Lower East Side in a 5 story walk up with no a/c unit – it’s no joke, heat literally rises. Mr. Claude had been acting kind of sluggish. I blamed it on the record breaking heat and my recent change in relationship status. My boyfriend of about 4 years moved out earlier that week and I thought, like a great friend that he was, Mr. Claude was mimicking my displays of heartache. We would lie lethargically on the couch together, when I cried he would hollow too. I did not become concerned until I realized that he was not drinking his water and there was blood in his litter box. Worried that he was severely dehydrated, I decided to try and force feed him pedialyte through a bottle. This was a bad idea – Mr. Claude let out a painstaking cry and passed out. Horrified, I hailed a cab 11 blocks to The Village Veterinarian. The Vet informed me that Mr. Claude’s bladder had exploded due to a large kidney stone that was preventing him from peeing. The Vet said it was possible that he may die. I lost my shit and hysterically begged the Vet to save him. I never thought I'd ever find myself in the position of agreeing to a $2,500 life-saving “sex change” for my cat, but the thought of possibly losing my buddy was absolutely unfathomable. Long story short, after weeks at the Vet, Mr. Claude recovered gracefully. My friends now joke and call him Miss Claudette." All photos by BriAnne Wills #adoptdontshop #catlady #catlover #lifesaver #catsofinstagram #catmom
Divya and Fugazi for #girlsandtheircats (Fugazi was clearly done with the photos at this point 😂) @bloodyberrylicious "Before we adopted Fugazi, he hung out behind a pizzeria in Jersey. Which may explain why he goes crazy for our food whenever I'm eating cheese, olives, or anything seasoned with oregano. He's named after one of my favorite bands, Fugazi. When I first laid eyes on him 7 years ago, he was running around, chasing flies, and just being a scrappy little dude--so I thought the punk band reference would be appropriate. On that visit he also showed me that he knew how to take a stinky dump in his litter box, and he stepped in it right after, losing no confidence and pretending not to care--so of course I fell in love. My husband and I probably spend an hour each day playing with him, setting up cardboard box obstacle courses, or making him toys out of twine. He comes to the door whenever we come home, but is most definitely not a lap cat. I got Fugazi while I was going through a spell of depression and loneliness that I never thought would end, but taking care of him really motivated me to take care of myself and find some meaning in life. The first time I ever let my guard down completely was with this little guy, because other than scratching the wrong piece of furniture, a cat really isn't out to screw you over. We experienced an apartment fire when he was still really young. My downstairs neighbors were smoking in bed. Their apartment and the ones above and below were burning. The urgency of putting out the fire meant that the response team didn't put him in the carrier as per the pet notice on my door, but left the windows open, so I surely thought he escaped and went back to being wild. I saw his sooty paw prints all over the place and felt the churning loss of losing a loved one. I called his name in panic and heard the tiniest meow coming from my closet. He decided to hide out in there and shred up a vintage Chanel wool coat. I was the happiest lady in the world knowing he wasn't gone. Its cliche, but one quickly realizes that pets do so much for us and ask for so little in return. I can't picture my life before I had Fugazi."
“This cat has more personality and sass than any animal I have ever met. We are inseparable. We are best friends. Loki came into my life shortly after I moved to Syracuse, NY with my boyfriend Brent, who was working on completing a graduate program at the time. We are both from Minnesota and moved to New York together. I had always wanted a hairless cat but never thought it was a realistic possibility since the breed is so rare and can be wildly expensive. Brent, unfortunately, is also allergic to cats so I ruled out the idea of owning a cat for some time until I found myself feeling a little depressed from the move to Syracuse and decided I wanted a pet. I started researching hypoallergenic cat breeds and poring over Craigslist for any possible leads on pets. I searched for Bengal cats, Sphynx cats, anything I could find that could potentially coexist with allergies. I looked for about 3 months before I came across Loki's ad on craigslist and the rest is basically history. Brent and I adopted Loki the day before Halloween in 2014 and have happily accepted him as an integral part of our lives. Loki is incredibly affectionate, cuddly and chatty. He loves napping on our bellies, eating chicken and scrambled eggs and receiving hearty head scratches. Brent and I are completely and wholeheartedly enamored with him. Shortly after we adopted him, I started an Instagram page solely dedicated to Loki. His Instagram page quickly picked up a following, noticeably for his seemingly grumpy demeanor and unique look. It has been really fun cultivating posts to share and interacting with the community on Instagram, both on my personal page and Loki's alike. 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.” @kjelsvig @lokithesphynx Sara Anderson is a Minnesota native who lives in Brooklyn, NY with her lovely boyfriend Brent and their hairless cat Loki. Sara is an avid black coffee drinker, vintage clothing buyer and proud cat mom. #sphynx #girlsandtheircats
“I grew up with cats but took a break after my sweet childhood cat passed away a few years ago. It took a very influential visit to a cat cafe in Tokyo to get me thinking about cats again. My boyfriend surprised me with baby Tabitha Potato after a month of back and forth kitten pics. Tabitha Potato is a sweet and curious little cat. (She believes) she has full reign of my apartment and is still figuring out her place with her Old English Sheepdog sister, Aiko. Despite having not one but two water dishes, T Potato only likes Aiko's. She enjoys sleeping on faces, pouncing on dust bunnies and following me around my apartment. Her favorite human food to steal is parmesan cheese, but any aged cheese will do. She is Potato, Sweet Potato, Tabby Tato and Tater. She is the best cat friend a girl could have.” @awnah @tabithapotato Ana Coccioletti is an artist and plant enthusiast living in Bushwick. #catlovers #girlsandtheircats #catlady #caturday
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