The internet is full of all kinds of silly, adorable, and crazy cat content, but none of them are quite like Richard Saunders’ “The Topiary Cat.”
Using his cat Tolly, who passed away in 2016, as inspiration, he began creating fantastical images of a real location… that always include an edited image of topiary in the shape of his cat. Now that Richard has been making these masterpieces for years, there are so many on his Facebook page! We’ve gathered some of our favorites for you to enjoy below.
1. When Richard started making these edited photos, he did it just for fun, never imagining that he’d garner thousands of fans across the globe.
2. “I had taken a photograph, in the grounds of a historic house, of a huge cloud topiary, and it occurred to me that I could fairly easily photograph Tolly in a position to match the shape of the bushes,” he said.
3. Proud of what he had created, he decided to share the first image on Flickr. Soon after, Richard said someone removed his name from it and stole it.
4. That very image went viral on Facebook, and through that happening, he learned that people believed his cat topiary was real.
5. Eventually, BBC discovered that Richard was the real creator and did a story on him, revealing that the images are, in fact, edited.
6. Although some people were initially disappointed that the photos are edited, even they couldn’t help falling in love with Richard’s incredible art.
7. This 75-year-old’s love of the arts started when he became a surrealist painter as a teenager.
8. He was able to carry that love into his work when he learned Photoshop two decades ago for his position as an advertising creative director.
9. “The idea of creating The Topiary Cat, over eight years ago, while Tolly was still alive, was easily accomplished with skills I already knew,” Richard said.
10. “The images have become more complicated since, many taking days to produce, with tailor-made photos taken especially for them,” he added.
11. What started out as an edited photo made for fun has turned into so much more.
12. On Richard’s website, you can buy prints of his art, puzzles, and 3D images. There’s even a novel in the works!
13. The Topiary Cat has come a long way, but it almost ended in 2016 when Tolly passed away.
14. Devastated over the loss of his furry friend, Richard lost the desire to keep creating photos. But with the help of his 40,000+ Facebook followers, he found the drive to keep going.
15. One reason why Richard is still so passionate about what he does is because he believes his art helps others who are struggling with the loss of their own beloved pet.
Grieving the loss of a pet can be a long process, which is all the more reason why we love that The Topiary Cat exists. It’s such a beautiful way to honor Richard’s beloved cat, Tolly, while also creating a community of people who understand how special it is to love and be loved by your own furry friend.
Don’t forget to share this article with a cat lover to make them smile.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.