Cooper, the Shutterbug Cat

By Yul

Humans don’t have a lock on travel photography. Cooper is a 3-year-old orange tabby and former stray who single-pawedly creates gallery-worthy art and travel slide shows from his ‘hood in Seattle.

To satisfy their curiosity, owners Michael and Dierdre Cross rigged Cooper in a special harness to go about his business one day a week for a year wearing a digital camera that snapped pics every two minutes.

"Say 'Treats!'" (Photo - My Seattle Pets)

"Say 'Treats!'" (Photo - My Seattle Pets)

The Crosses, filmmakers themselves, were stunned by the results.

While many photos were duds, Cooper captured some real jewels, showing a natural flair for composition and special effects. Some of his locales have yet to be identified.

“He takes beautiful nature and wildlife scenes and amazing abstracts. He also takes a couple portraits — one of a friend of ours and one of another cat, finally. We’re now calling it Cooper’s girlfriend,” said Michael Cross.

On that score, Cooper’s mum. He doesn’t kiss and tell.

Cooper’s first local gallery showing opened last week at the Urban Light Studios in the Greenwood Collective. His work has also been exhibited in London and he did a spot on Cats 101, a series on Animal Planet.

Check out some of Cooper’s work and his blog.

What’s in it for Cooper? After supplying photographic proof that he waits hours at the door to be let in, the Crosses installed a special cat door Cooper can control with an infrared sensor on his collar.

Some of the proceeds from sales of Cooper’s work will go to PAWS, a progressive animal welfare society in Seattle.


3 Responses to Cooper, the Shutterbug Cat

  1. Emma says:

    I love animals. Great blog and hope to have some time soon to come back and read more!

  2. adele says:

    Yul,I know you didn’t like wearing your harness at Christmastime, but have you or your feline cohorts considered becoming photo jounalists? I’m not crazy about cats going outside, particularly because I don’t have a fenced in yard, but perhaps you could catch some snaps around the house.

  3. catsworking says:

    Once we found out about Cooper, we batted around who might make the best photojournalist and decided it was Adele because she leaps all over everything and would get the best action shots and special effects. However, since we are all strictly indoor cats, her subject matter would be severely limited. If Karen were to suddenly let one of us outside wearing a strange harness and a camera, we’d freak out. Not to mention get mugged, in this ‘hood.

    But if Karen finds a camera cheap, she might be willing to let us experiment indoors. The camera Cooper wore looked like a people device; there is a smaller one for animals that can be worn on a regular collar, I believe.

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