8 Times I Tried to Take a Photo of My Cats … And Failed


You know as well as I do that taking great cat photos can be tricky. And by tricky, I mean next to impossible. I remember the days before digital cameras when I’d race down to Walgreen’s to pick up my prints from its one-hour development service. I never knew which of the photos would turn out — I just snapped the pics and crossed my fingers. I always chose 4×6 matte photos. That’s how I rolled (ha). Glossy never did it for me, and why would I want 3×5 when I could see my cat’s awesome face on whole extra inch of surface?

I’d thumb through the envelope of prints and usually find only half of them (if I was lucky) looked as fantastic as I’d dreamed they would. The rest were blurry, out of focus or the cat didn’t follow our directions. Go ahead and laugh about that last one — it’s okay.

Thank goodness for digital cameras! Now we can take a bazillion pics and simply delete the ones that don’t meet our expectations. And there are still plenty of those duds. Because I always need new photos for my blog and freelance work, I’m constantly asking my cats to pose. Sometimes candid shots will work, but in many instances, I need pretty particular photos, so I am charged with the task of instructing my cats to pose. Go ahead and laugh again — I’m expecting it.

Here are eight outtakes from some of my work-related photo shoots.

1. You’re gonna have to work for this one

I recently wrote a post for Catster about DIY crafts you and your kids can make for your cats. I was planning to snap a photo of Phoebe playing with the little pipe cleaner toys I’d created. I placed two of the toys beside her and aimed the camera. Soon she began batting them, but as I snapped the photo, she’d stop. This went on for a several shots before I finally snagged a good one. This one is particularly represents the contrariness of a cat: “I won’t play with the toys and I refuse to look at the camera — ha!”

2. Wink, wink

Oh, man. There is so much wrong with this one. The lighting was off and Cosmo switched positions just as I took the photo, resulting in a fine “how do you do?” from his keister. Or as my husband likes to say, “His little brown eye is winking at you.” We’re classy like that.

3. You didn’t tell me you had pipe cleaners!

I was poised to secure a great shot of Saffy when she twisted her head and started going to town on some pipe cleaners in a nearby bag of craft supplies. Where was she during the pipe-cleaner-toy photo shoot? Geez.

4. Photobomb butt

Another attempted photo of Saffy gone wrong. With cats, you never know when a photobomb is going to infiltrate the frame. Phoebe doesn’t like Saffy and I think she’s making a statement with her rear quarters in this one. Saffy does not look amused.

5. There’s the rub

Cosmo loves to sit in the kitchen doorway and stare at me. When I call him over, he always rubs his face against this one part of the door frame before he makes his way. I really wanted a photo of him staring at me because it’s really a loving look, with just a smidge of creepy. As I leaned down to take the shot, he started rubbing the door frame, which revealed a surprise shot of Saffy.

6. Camera batteries, check. Holy water, check.

I love catching a great yawn photo. They’re unexpected and can look super cute or even hilarious. In this one, Saffy started yawning and I thought, “Oh, this is going to be really sweet!” Then I looked at it. Then I felt the urge to spritz her with holy water.

7. She’s on the board

Phoebe is obsessed with the printer and perches on top of it, waiting for the magical sound of the inkjet. She loves pulling paper out of the printer and taking off with it, which can sometimes be problematic when it’s an important document. I was writing something about this little habit of hers and needed a few pics. She looked perfectly posed, so I grabbed the camera. That’s, of course, when she decided to lean over and start chewing on an emery board — another of her endearing habits.

8. Hey, four-eyes!

Yikes. Don’t stare at this one for too long. He looks kind of like an optical illusion, doesn’t he? Cosmo always appears a little bit cranky, but I don’t think I’d want to cross this four-eyed beast.

Do you have any funny cat photo outtakes? Share the photos in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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