Sometimes an animal shelter's kitty cup runneth over. This is what happened at the local shelter where I volunteer. Enter the Kittenpalooza event. I was asked to help out photographing the kittens that were coming back to the shelter from foster homes in preparation for Kittenpalooza. For a while now, I've been trying to figure out a way to help visitors to the shelter's website fall head over paws with the cats. There's always suggestions for dogs and smaller animals especially if you have access to a studio...well, we don't so we have to make due with what's readily available sometimes.
When the cats/kittens are out in the adoption area, the light and backgrounds are quite pretty and attractive. In the "Behinds the Scenes" area, the kennels are gray and not so pretty. The two wonderful volunteers who have been helping me, have started holding the cats and kittens on their shoulders against the off white walls which has way better lighting and allows for more creativity (adding textures or backgrounds).
The challenge we had when we were preparing for Kittenpalooza was there was going to be a lot of kittens shown on the website and how can we bring attention to ones we were photographing...
Well, as I sat in airports the weekend before the event, I started to think about all the shelter DIY projects I've seen blogged. I had found some baby headbands on a discount sale at a shop while I was out with my parents during the weekend trip home to see my parents (my dad has terminal cancer).
The baby head bands inspired me. Okay, I can make bows. Do I have time to make bows? What do attach the bows? How will they stay on? Will the kittens tolerate something around their necks? Can we use this idea with the adult cats or maybe dogs?
So I arrived home exhausted thanks to delayed flights and a whirlwind weekend. I had three days until our marathon kitten photography session. I took my oldest assistant (my daughter) and we went shopping. I didn't want to spend a fortune and I knew I had some sticky sided velcro and maybe something narrow elastic...now for the bow.
First I started looking at quilting squares (fat squares I think they are called?). Okay I know I can easily make bows from these but how do I affix them to the elastic? Alligator clips would work but then I had to buy them and glue them to the ties.. Then I headed to the baby section of a certain blue big box store...and I found baby hair bows!
The section of the baby department I had avoided like the plaque when my daughter was a baby became my salvation! The hair bows had clips that I could clip onto the elastic! Suddenly my evening wasn't so full as I had envisioned late nights with lots of sewing and hot glueing!
If you can put them safely on a baby, you can put them safely on a kitten with a little help!
Here are my supplies!
How did I size the elastic? I utilized my cats at home to gauge how big I needed the elastics to be and added longer pieces of the sticky velcro to allow for more narrow necks.
Here are some examples of the cuteness! I will suggest the reds look awesome on black and tuxedo kittens, blue looks great on gray (grey)/white kittens and pinks work for darker colored animals! You could easily get some larger elastic and try these on older cats but I will warn you, some of the adults aren't too into being all dolled up for their shelter portraits!