Brianne Wills is a Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY and she is the Founder of Girls and Their Cats on Instagram two years ago as a way to showcase cat ladies in a positive light. These are some of the most heartwarming stories from the series.
You can also have look into her previous post here.
“My husband Brian and I used to live in this old loft building in Toronto called The Coffin Factory, that’s what it was before people started living there. It was right next to this abattoir and around it there lived a colony of feral cats. They probably thrived from the waste of the pigs slaughtered there. They all looked tough as hell. Our dog wouldn’t even go near them. One day my friend Agi and her boyfriend at the time had a new cat mom and her kittens arrive on their doorstep. A friend of theirs had found her and dropped her off. She was no doubt from the colony, a beautiful pale grey calico with exotic light green eyes and orange ringlets on her tail. They named her Nala. When the kittens were ready to find new homes, we thought we’d go take a look. I remember going down through the maze-like hallways of The Coffin Factory to her unit. There were 6 kittens and they were all nuts, one climbing on something, a couple napping on the couch, another chasing a toy across the floor, they were everywhere. I wasn’t sure if we should get a cat since we travel and move around a lot, but Brian said “Of course we’ll take one of the kittens, we’ll make it work!” Ok, we’re getting a kitten. I’m not sure which came first, his boss-like swagger or his name, Captain. Probably his name but he grew into it so well I can’t imagine him as anything else. He’s always liked to ride around on our shoulders, I think it comes from his nature of liking to be up high and perhaps escape our overly affectionate dog when he was too small to ward her off. He’s a cat and can’t help but do cat-like things, like wake us up when be wants food, showing a certain remorselessness when he chews on expensive computer cords, but behind those things there’s something of higher being capable of great love and affection. Anyone who spends enough time with him falls completely in love. He tends to really affect people and share special moments with them. I feel very lucky that I get to be his cat mama.” Anna Agneta is a model and musician. She plays guitar in a Canadian indie rock band called Dusted.
Sam and Charlie in Bushwick. Charlie and his brothers were rescued by @tinydarsky when she noticed someone giving the kittens away in a Dallas grocery store parking lot. Worried for their safety she had them flown out to NYC where she found them loving homes.
“I met ‘the one’ in Greenpoint at the home of a woman who saved cats from the euthanasia list – her name was Eva. We knew we wanted to rescue and that perhaps we wanted a grey cat. So, I went and met the cats Eva had and fell in love with a little playful Russian Blue. He had been rescued from the streets of Bushwick and was only 2 months old at the time. Spencer (my then boyfriend, now husband) came to meet him and we agreed. This was it. A few days later Eva brought him to our apartment on North 7th and Bedford and we fell in love. Hard love. But we noticed something was different about this cat. Were his eyes a little brighter? Was his face a little rounder? We called but Eva assured us this was “our” cat. Okay, we thought – he’s here and the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. Whoever he is we love him! We named his Schiaparelli after the designer Elsa Schiaparelli. I told Spencer we would either name our future child Schiap or our cat…he could chose. He chose the cat. A few days went by and Schiap made himself feel at home. He slept on our laundry bags and pawed at our feet as we walked by him. 3 days after we got Schiap I got a phone call from Eva at 9 am – she frantically confirmed our suspicion. She gave us the wrong cat!!! The numbers of the cat we chose and the cat she gave us were just reversed. She apologized profusely and told me she would come by that afternoon to swap the cats out. At that point we had already fallen in love with Schiap and figured it would be awful to send him back. We kept him and we are SO happy we did. He is the most mischievous, vain and sweet cat we’ve ever met. A few interesting things about Schiap: he pees/poos in the toilet (even covers his poop and pee with toilet paper). He is a world class hunter (birds, mice, rats, cockroaches, worms – you name it, he’s brought it). He wakes me up at least 3 times a week asking to be spooned back to sleep. generally he bites my cheek or chirps until I open my eyes then he crawls beside me and lays on his side. At that point I have to put my arm around him or the bites start! We joke that he’s Mexican like me because he loves beans and avocado.” Paulina is a fabric r&d manager for Coach.
“I got Oscar as a kitten from a craigslist ad. Not knowing at the time that there was a reason they put him on craigslist. He was a giant. He is now full grown at a lean 30lbs. (every doctor who has seen him claims he is the largest cat they have ever seen) Well, as most people would know, Giants tend to have bone issues. So, when Oscar was about 3 or 4 he started limping. his bones were all out of wack and eventually we discovered he had a luxating patella, which is common in dog breeds. Debating for a long time about surgery and success rates I was eventually talked into it by my cousin who is an orthopedic vet surgeon. She said it was a routine procedure and she’s done hundreds of them, and with his specific grade of luxation it was supposed to be no problem. One and done. It wasn’t. He ended up having 4 surgeries last year. It’s a lot to get into with each specific surgery that happened. It brings me to tears just thinking about it. It was the most difficult thing I have gone through in caring for another animal/being thus far in my life. It would have been impossible without the help of family and friends (most definitely my cousin and her hospital staff at Cornell Vet Specialist in Stamford). He became their favorite patient. With all the complications he actually ended up living at the hospital getting constant care for one month on two separate occasions. He even had acupuncture 3 times a week. I’ve never even had acupuncture. It was almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel at many points. On the day he had a successful x-ray – after the 4th surgery – it was the best feeling. I made him a hat for that day, a kitten cake, tons of cat nip and had some champagne. He just celebrated his 7th birthday. He has touched many lives. Mostly mine.” Jess is jewelry designer and painter living in greenpoint.