[Vision2020] Caturday (June 18, 2011)

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Jun 18 08:18:58 PDT 2011

Courtesy of the Seattle Times at:






Seattle's camera-toting cat not just an accidental artist, owner says


Ever wonder where your cat goes during the day and what it sees? Seattle
residents Michael and Deirdre Cross wondered the same thing. Moreover, they
were worried their pet was eating the neighbors' cat food.

So Michael and Deirdre attached a small digital camera to Cooper, a
5-year-old American Shorthair who spends his days roaming around the Green
Lake and Greenwood neighborhoods. The camera was set up to take snapshots
every two minutes. The couple thought the photos would simply chronicle the
cat's day. But what Cooper brought back surprised them.

Below is one of his photos titled "Summer in the City."




"We really became interested in what he was bringing back," Michael said. "I
would describe the photos as abstract and beautifully haunting. And some
even are hilarious and make us pee our pants on the floor."

Michael said one photo in particular had him and Deirdre rolling on the
floor. "New Haircut" depicts Cooper hanging out under a car with a
neighborhood cat who looks as though it has just had an encounter with a
buzz trimmer.




The Cross's experiment has catapulted Cooper from budding photographer to
media personality and author. He's had shows at the Chicago Nature Museum
and Urban Light Studios in Seattle, made appearances on Animal Planet's
"Must Love Cats" and The Today Show Australia and has, with help, penned the
book "Cat Cam".

But the cat photography business is by no means lucrative, Michael said. The
couple breaks even on the project, with a portion of the proceeds going to
the local animal shelter PAWS.


"There's also enough so that Cooper can pay for his own cat food," Michael

But some who see Cooper's work aren't convinced it's art. Michael evoked the
cat-versus-dog debate to illustrate that Cooper's photos are indeed art.

"You know what would happen if you put a camera on a dog while you are away?
It would probably sit on the couch the whole time," Michael said. "A cat has
more personality and an elusive mystery that is universally intriguing. That
is what makes Cooper's photos interesting."

Take for instance the photo "Captive."




It captures a neighbor's dog staring out of a window at Cooper, as if the
cat were taunting the imprisoned dog. It's this voice that comes across in
Cooper's photos and makes him not merely an accidental photographer.

"There's an Ansel Adams quote that describes Cooper's photos," Michael said.
"He said, 'There are no rules for good photographs. There are only good




Cooper, the photographer cat in the natural surroundings that provide
subject matter for his pictures. The small digital camera around the cat's
neck is set up to take snapshots every two minutes.





Seeya round town, Moscow.


Tom Hansen

Moscow, Idaho


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20110618/d2e37e03/attachment-0001.html 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 27313 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20110618/d2e37e03/attachment-0004.jpe 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 18079 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20110618/d2e37e03/attachment-0005.jpe 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 25540 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20110618/d2e37e03/attachment-0006.jpe 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 23164 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20110618/d2e37e03/attachment-0007.jpe 

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list