Cat Photos Plus Cat Haiku: Haiku-A-Day Challenge #11 #sol18


Image CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 Steve Rotman on

I’m joining Trina Haase at Trinarrative for a daily haiku challenge in December.

When you have nine cats and an iPhone, you take a lot of cat photos. I know some people are really organized and sort their photos into albums. I don’t, which drives my iPhone crazy, so it sorts them for me. Recently it collected all my cat photos into one album–of over 5,000 photos. Five thousand photos of cats. I knew I had a lot, but five thousand? I definitely haven’t taken five thousand photos of people with my phone.

But cats are good subjects for photography. They sit still a lot and they gravitate toward really good light and they mostly look pretty. You don’t have to do much to get a good photo (Chipotle napping on the curtains because the cat bed apparently wasn’t enough):

chipotle napping.jpg

They tend to be very photogenic, even when they look a little cranky. Here’s my mom’s formerly feral cat, Barbara, who’s mama to my four formerly feral kittens and only looks angry in this photo because the petting stopped long enough to snap her picture:

barbara personality.JPG

Even when you don’t get a good-quality photo, you can still capture some of the goofier things they do (the four kitten siblings plus Zorro swarming an open suitcase):

cats in suitcase.jpg

And sometimes a slightly out-of-focus photo actually captures the moment best (Panda with his favorite toy):

panda hunting.jpg

They curl up in sweet positions (Oliver and Chipotle, mortal enemies except sometimes when they’re cold):

chipotle and oliver.JPG

Oliver would certainly be in the running for least dignified and graceful cat ever, but even he often takes deceptively dignified photos:

oliver in covers.JPG

But not all cats were meant for the camera. I try so hard to get a good photo of Chipotle, my favorite cat, and it’s almost impossible. He has a good side:

chipotles good side 2.JPG

But photos of his left side don’t capture the special charm of his appearance. Chipotle was born a little uneven: his right side is smaller than his left. Smaller ear, smaller eye, smaller nostril, smaller teeth. Everything is smaller on the right side except his whiskers: he got an extra dose of those running up his nose. Or maybe it’s his eyebrows displaced down his nose because he doesn’t really have eyebrows on that right side. Nothing works quite right on that side, so he sneezes a lot and sounds a little asthmatic as he breathes and that wonky eye constantly tears up. I think he’s super adorable. Unfortunately, photos from the uneven side usually make him look homelier than he really is:

homely chipotle.JPG

A photo that captures his full adorability is rare, but I think this one comes close:

chipotle the uneven.JPG

uneven eye weeps
mouth twists in a grimace
little face I love








17 responses to “Cat Photos Plus Cat Haiku: Haiku-A-Day Challenge #11 #sol18”

  1. arjeha Avatar

    Love the photos and captions. One other thing about taking cat pictures is that the cat will never tell you can’t share a particular picture. The two curler up together reminded me of Ned and Dustin this morning. They are not fans of each other but they were nesting together asleep and content.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Funny how a cold morning can bring cats who don’t care for each other together. I think Ned and Dustin are the best cat names ever. So cute! I really do enjoy the combinations of nesting cats we see at our house. I can’t think of any animal that knows how to get cozy as well as a cat does.

  2. margaretsmn Avatar

    Thanks for this post about your adorable cats. We have a tuxedo cat, Mimi, who is the most photogenic cat ever, but she’s not very nice. (except to me) I love how you captured your adoration in a haiku.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think tuxedos tend to be very photogenic. We have three and my mom has two and they all take amazing photos. Well, except poor Chipotle.

  3. Terje Avatar

    What a variety! And this is just a minute fraction of all your photos. Your post leaves no one cold and certainly brings a smile on a face.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It was hard to stop when I did! But then I reminded myself that my readers don’t want to see all 5000 of those photos!

  4. mbhmaine Avatar

    I love this post with all its photos, cat love, and fabulous haiku. Nine cats and 5,000+ photos– quite an accomplishment–I topped out at 6 cats long ago, and now only have 2. Cats are wonderfully amusing and photogenic. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Six cats is still pretty serious! Eight was good for us, nine has been really difficult, though that might just be because cat #9 is A LOT of cat, big big personality and just everywhere all over the place all the time. My husband longs for just 2, I think. But which 2, I always challenge him. Cats really are wonderfully amusing and interesting creatures.

  5. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    I think of you every time I see a cat! Your Haiku is perfect and so are all those cat images! Love it

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      And I am totally okay being forever associated with cats in your mind!! I was actually trying to write in the style of Issa again with my haiku. There was a lovely bit I wanted to quote from the book I’m reading about Issa about how he isn’t trying to present himself as a poet with important thoughts and important ideas. A little moment of wonder is enough. But I couldn’t wedge the quote into my post.

  6. wahooteacher Avatar

    I love cat photos and videos so I couldn’t wait to check out your slice! Chipotle is one precious feline!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! I think Chipotle is very precious too! And I’m pretty sure that Chipotle thinks Chipotle is precious as well. It’s one of the wonderful things about cats: they are so very secure in themselves. I can’t ever resist a cat photo or video either.

  7. theapplesinmyorchard Avatar

    I love cats and miss ours terribly (they both died about a year and a half ago). Thanks for sharing yours with us! It’s funny, I like taking photos of flowers and Monarchs…I probably have about as many monarch photos as you have cat photos….many more than people, just like you have more cats than people photos, too!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am so sorry about your cats. It’s hard to lose our beloved pets. Flowers and Monarchs are very fine subjects for photography. How wonderful to have so many opportunities to photograph butterflies!

      1. theapplesinmyorchard Avatar

        Thank you. I miss them so much! It is very hard to lose pets – they become family so easily! I enjoyed looking at the photos of yours! Thanks!

  8. […] slice about taking photos of cats (with lots of photos of […]

  9. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Just found this post – ah, December. I love love love all the pictures of your cats. Chipotle really is super-cute. And I think I owe you a slice about my cats one of these days…

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