I was at the bookstore yesterday, glancing at the calendars. Mostly, I admit, because I’m getting curious about specific aspects of other people’s photography, what I think makes it speak. Calendars are not a good place to look, I concluded, with one exception. I found this calendar, Urban Trails, which is filled with pictures of and brief stories of Alley Cats. The pictures were compelling, the particular publisher only publishes on recycled paper, and I made note of the web site.

And I’m yet more impressed. I know a lot of people involved with feral cats, I often mean to get involved myself, but I never see them in my area. Some people, it sounds weird, but seriously some people must have this silent call, and stray dogs or cats find them. I’m not one of them, but I know many people who are always finding animals that need rescuing.

Anyway, I still plan at some point to help out a feral group in my area that does TNR. I don’t know what form my help will be in, but the plan is there.

So reading the associated website was fascinating, and heartening. These are people who really see these alley cats, and see them as thinking, feeling individuals. The photographer captures their heart, soul, and personality in the photographs, as well as the grim reality of their lives.

It is beautiful, really, what they do. Visually as well as the lives they save, the suffering they prevent. (They do TNR, in case anyone is wondering.)

I urge you all to check out their site, and read the stories, view the photos.

Remember these pictures with more than your minds. Remember them with your hearts and consider. . . . .

Homelessness, with all its loneliness, deprivation, hunger, illness, fear, prejudice and cruelty, is not just a human condition.

Like humans, alley cats love, explore, play to exhaustion, frolic, and even dance.

Often alley cats, like people, find themselves in situations that call for sheer guts.

As with human babies, alley kittens can be exquisitely beautiful or truly unsightly.

Some alley cats, as some people, must bear either physical or emotional scars for life.

When you see our pictures, allow yourselves to feel. Cats exist with us, fellow travelers in this universe. They are not an inferior species, simply one on a different plane.


And here’s one of my favorite former ferals, who adopted one of my favorite humans.