Sometimes I Take Photos of Other People’s Cats: Slice of Life 3/31 #sol20

There are 4,500 photos of cats on my phone. Literally.


They are mostly my cats, of course, and I take photos of them when the light is good or when they are doing something funny or when they are in a place I don’t expect them to be or when they’re snuggling together just too adorably for words or when my mom texts to ask what my cats are up to right now.

Cats are hard to photograph. They seem still and sedentary until you try to photograph them, and then you realize just how much they move. They reach out for the camera when you least expect it.

Chipotle reaches for the camera just as I’m snapping his photo.

They photobomb each other’s photos.

Oliver photo bombing

They blink or turn their head inconveniently. And they never forget. I once had a cat who one time–ONE TIME–got a camera flash in her eyes as a kitten. She never forgot and forever after squinted whenever she saw a camera.

Camera squint
See? She does know how to open her eyes

The majority of my cat photos aren’t very good. Blurry or grainy. Bad light. Weird eye glow. A tail when I was trying for a face. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

I don’t only take photos of my cats either. Whenever I see a cat out and about, I want to photograph it. Street cats and bookstore cats. Cats in windows and cats on curbs.

Cats of Detroit

The coffee shop cat at my favorite coffee shop.

Selfie with Toddy, the coffee shop cat

I take photos of my mom’s cats.


I’ll photograph cat merchandise that catches my eye.

Toddy has his own t-shirt! (Yes, I do own one.)
The package promises that “cats love it!”

And I’ll even take photos of other people’s photos of their cats. The Internet makes this very, very possible.

Childen’s author and illustrator Ashley Spires takes some of the best cat photos on the Internet. Here’s her #gingerdreamboat, Scott, with foster kitten Louise.
Another Ashley Spires foster, this is Jiffy. Her tongue sticks out sometimes. Ok, a lot.
Some random floof I couldn’t resist
Lack of floof I couldn’t resist

My son, naturally enough, assumes I personally know the cats I photograph. “Who’s THAT?” he’ll ask as he scrolls through my phone.

“I don’t know,” I say. “But don’t you love them already?”







34 responses to “Sometimes I Take Photos of Other People’s Cats: Slice of Life 3/31 #sol20”

  1. Amanda Potts Avatar

    I admit that I do not take as many cat photos as you, but I know that I’ve been taking too many pictures of our (adorable) cats because my children have started grabbing my phone & taking pictures of them every time they do something cute. We have a lot of pictures of Tippy, in particular. And your last line here is great: ““I don’t know,” I say. “But don’t you love them already?”” Exactly!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh gosh, I didn’t even think about all the photos on my husband’s phone and my son’s phone. Wow. We have a problem! Tippy very much deserves to be the star of the show. There you are writing about important things on your blog and I’m like, hey, what’s Tippy up to?!

      1. Amanda Potts Avatar

        She told me to tell you that she is *not interested* in your idle inquiries. She might pose later this week, but it will be entirely on her own terms…

  2. glenda funk Avatar
    glenda funk

    OMG! I laughed so hard at this: “ My son, naturally enough, assumes I personally know the cats I photograph.“ Of course, you know mentioning cats in the tag is all the “human nip” I need to follow a link. I need another cat so I have more than one to photograph. Fun post!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh yes, mention a cat in the title, and I’m there for your post! (I could use more pet posts all around during the Slice challenge! I love reading about animals!) I have to agree, Glenda, you DO need more than one. Together they do even MORE cute things!! And the dynamics are such a delight to observe.

  3. edifiedlistener Avatar

    Blessings to all the cat folks in my life! As I cannot keep cats in my own quarters I am grateful for everyone who generously shares in the bounty of cat life around the globe. Your post illustrates the multiple layers of cat passions we may pursue in this life.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh dear, I had no idea you had to be catless! I will be sure to share plenty of cat bounty this month!

  4. margaretsmn Avatar

    I enjoyed reading about your passion of cat photos.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you for visiting and commenting! It’s so good to see you!

  5. arjeha Avatar

    Love the photos. Of course I would. We had one cat who seemed to know what a camera was and she would pose as soon as she saw it. Others strike a pose, but as soon as I go to take a picture they turn away. It is as if they are saying that if I want to take their picture they must get something in return.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Yes, I have so many photos of the back of a head when they turn right before the photo is taken. They are not as easy to photograph as you’d think they would be.

  6. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    I love seeing your cat photos–your own cats and all the others. Even Wilhemina, who has crossed the rainbow bridge, was represented! Dear Chipotle and dear Oliver…they are so funny! You know that I love all your slices, but I especially love the ones featuring cats!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I know! I thought of you as I was writing and was glad to feature some of your cats too!

  7. livinglife816287820 Avatar

    So lovely, my husband would be amazed to know there are people crazier about cats than I am! Have you checked out the guy from Scotland who is biking around the world with a stray cat he picked up in Greece? It’s called 1bike1world, pretty sure you’ll love Nala!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      No, I don’t know about that guy and his journey! That sounds amazing. I’ll find that for sure. My son would love to turn one of our cats into an adventure cat who could go for hikes and trips with us, but I’m not sure we have the right personality for that right now. It’s a fun idea though.

  8. BeReal81 Avatar

    My middle son would fit in well at your house! He loves all animals and especially our cats. We have a wonderful black cat who lives on our farm, which the boys would proudly tell you they traded for a bucket of horse manure. She is so tame and the best mouser/squirrel killer/chipmunk hunter/rabbit assassin you could ever want on a farm. Sparky has as litter of kittens every so often, and WG works like crazy to tame those kittens. Sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much. I know when he has his own phone it will be filled with kitten photos and crazy snapchat filter photos. Your post almost made me like cats a little more than I did before reading it . . . almost.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh yes, it sounds like your son and I would get along so well! I have a sibling group of four formerly feral kittens who took many months to patiently tame, so I feel for the efforts he puts in to tame those kittens!

  9. Susan Kennedy Avatar

    You should follow the Instagram of nachoflay Bobby Flay the chef’s cat. Also it took you three days to write a post entirely about cats but mostly about you. 🤛🏻

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Haha! I wasn’t sure how I would write about them this year because I felt like I’d said it all, but I was pleased to find a new way in. And I will check out nachoflay for sure! My son has visions of making our cats “Instagram famous” someday, so he will want to take a look too to get some ideas for his future fame and fortune!

  10. mrsday75 Avatar

    This just made me laugh out loud. I love all the pics and the comments about them.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! I wrote the piece first and then got the treat of scrolling through my phone looking for the right photos to illustrate!

  11. mindyr6572 Avatar

    Love cats! I have three myself and volunteer at the humane society. Love this:)

  12. terierrol Avatar

    I’m a cat person too. I love my cat. And I love meeting new cats. I agree that cats can be difficult to photograph, since I just did want to photograph my cat, Janus, for a January post. It took awhile to get a decent pic. Keep on clicking those photos.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Cats are the best. I’ll have to scroll back through your blog and find the post about Janus!

  13. carwilc Avatar

    This is so funny! I’m not a cat person, but last year, every time I read one of your posts, I considered getting a cat. I feel. that same way reading this post.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Maybe someday! And wouldn’t it be good to expose Rooney to cats?!?! It could be part of his service dog training!

  14. karpenglish Avatar

    Your cat slices always make me laugh! (I’m also glad to know that the wonderful Ashley Spires has cats. How could the creator of Binky the Space Cat not have cats?) I am now officially curious about how many cat pictures I have on my phone. I do occasionally take pictures of other people’s cats, usually with my son petting them. I want to say that I don’t take pictures of pictures of pets, but I know that my photo roll currently sports a photo of a photo of a ferret wearing a leather biker jacket. (There’s a totally rational reason for this picture. Honest!) I also know that when I was looking at cats on Pinterest yesterday, as one does, my husband wandered by and asked why the internet was mailing me cats. Apparently this does not happen to him!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh, definitely follow the Binky the Space Cat page on Facebook, because Ashley shares fantastic photos of her cats, plus cartoons she writes about Scott and Tess. Oh, and there are occasional photos and stories about Gordon too, whom you’ll recognize from her books. She’s a really good photographer, and since she also fosters, there are periodically amazing foster kittens who always have hilarious encounters with Scott. I love that notion that the Internet mails us cats. YES!

      1. karpenglish Avatar


  15. Ramona Avatar

    So thrilled that it only took you until day 3 to get to one of your topics that really matter! Now I’m waiting for one about your reading life. And I thought I was the only person who took pics of random cats!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Glad to know I’m not alone in taking pictures of random cats! I’m sure I’ll get to reading soon. It’s definitely a favorite topic.

  16. Shaye Miller Avatar

    March is always exciting because I enjoy reading your daily slices in my email, Elisabeth. YAY! And I love this slice so much!! We, too, bought a Toddy t-shirt — I went to get one during Christmas, but they were out of my mom’s size. So I finally shipped her one for Valentine’s Day. LOL

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh thank you, Shaye. I love that your mom has a Toddy tshirt! I do love my morning time spent with Toddy.

  17. […] written about the challenges of taking photos of cats before. The challenge doesn’t stop me, of course. My phone is mostly full of cat photos. Here […]

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