Monday, November 2, 2015

Shake Cats by Carli Davidson! A picture Book of Cats Doing Their Daily Activities! Loved it!



When I reviewed Shake Puppies, I was already asking about one with cats, as I posted one of the author's pictures... so I got my wish!



The photographers makes a point to clarify that no harm is done to the cats in this photographing process--I appreciated that clarification in advance, and also her information about providing portraits of each resident in the shelter where she worked with their cats, in order to help get the cats adopted... She also emphasizes the need for neutering and the issues of outdoor versus indoor-cats. I have both and can totally support her recommendations...
But, of course you knew that I wanted to have the book to add to my personal home library! Once I "papered" my kitchen walls, under my cupboards, with cat pictures in a collage, then covered them with clear plastic. Can you imagine being able to stand, washing dishes, and enjoying gazing over hundreds of cats! Others might have thought I was a little crazy...but...

When I was a child, I walked into my local animal shelter and with all the self-assurance of a seven-year-old requested its largest cat. What I really wanted was a tiger, but when I learned the unfortunate truth that my parents were unable to support this dream, I figured I'd settle for the next best thing. That was the day I got my yellow tabby Hulk Hogan--named after my then favorite wrestler.

Hogan, as I liked to call him, wasn't the sort of feline you would want to cross paths with in a dark alley. His face was covered with scars, and at twenty pounds he was all muscle. When I saw him in the shelter, I instantly fell in love with his boldness and independence. He casually walked up to me and smashed his head against my hand, then walked around the room sniffing everything and meowing with a loud, seemingly approving, rumble. He swagger looked more like my dogs' than the more reserved cats I'd met in my neighborhood...
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Anybody who is willing to talk about their cats is my immediate friend, LOL. So I enjoyed the story shared about Hogan, her first cat at age 7... Me, I had a neighborhood boyfriend named Kenny, who brought me kittens from his relative's farm and I really don't remember when I didn't have at least one cat.
Now I have to admit that having had cats all my life that I personally found the book, while funny, not in line with the true nature of cats. Cats are more dignified, independent, sophisticated, and, well, just unhappy to be seen in such an unseemly manner--or at least that is my own opinion based upon my past. However, there is no way to deny the talent, perseverance, and just amazing beauty of Carli Davidson's photos...And her talent is so apparent in this type of book where she just captures the cats in split-seconds of movement and frames them in one shot! Absolutely Fascinating to see the clarity of movement caught!

After having worked with such an incredible and diverse range of cats, I'm reminded that as humans we are left with the responsibility to make sure they have a place as well as a voice in our society...
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Each cat is captured on a black background with the cat controlling the entire page. A number of breeds are included, both long and short-haired. We miss the beauty of their eyes in most shots, so I was happy to learn that the cats who participated seemed to be enriched from the experience:

Working with cats for this book was exciting, but definitely difference from working with dogs. I was slightly worried that I would have a lot of fearful cats I couldn't with with. Part of this stemmed from Hulk Hogan's absolute hatred of riding in cars, because any time we'd put him in a crate he'd poop and then roll in it.
To my surprise, I discovered that most cats were actually enriched by the experience. When they first arrived at the studio, we'd open their crates and let them explore the space...most went straight to the piles of treats we had around the studio. By the end of the session, many of the cats were casually walking around the studio...
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But she did not that she had a vet assistant working with her and recommended that this never be tried at home, as they say... I was happy to see that she also had help picking out which pictures to use...at least when they got interested... 


 If you enjoy the fun of watching animals in unusual physical situations, you are going to love Shake Cats. And if you are a real cat lover, the quality of the book will make an excellent coffee-table addition for you and your visitors to enjoy, in my opinion...

GABixlerReviews

Now before we go...Carli Davidson is a professional animal photographer, so I raided her sites to share some of my favorites to share here...



















Carli Davidson is an internationally recognized, award-winning photographer and animal trainer. Her photographs have been featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and Slate. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Tim, pets Norbert and Yushi, and a rotating cast of foster animals.