Professional photographers, animal lovers, pet breeders, and everyone involved with pets, all say in one voice — it’s impossible. That is, everything is possible in theory, but in practice no endurance and nerves are not enough. And Kathy Smith agrees with them, she was about to abandon the undertaking, as at the last moment accidentally still made a decent shot. The only one! In which all 17 of her cats and dogs are sitting together.
This is the picture that went viral. All around, posing, no one had time to run away, as they usually do.
Kathy Smith has eight dogs of different sizes and nine cats in her house. There’s also a hedgehog, several parrots and a fish. It is a deliberate choice, she is in the business of rehoming animals, nursing the sick, and professionally caring for them. This zoo lives in a large private house with only three bedrooms, so they all fit. It’s not that they are so friendly, but there are no quarrels for sure — all the newcomers are quickly explained how cats and dogs must live.
The idea of photographing the whole horde had been floating around for a long time, but how to do it in practice? Kathy says it took her several days of training. She had to learn the question from scratch, it was so complicated. For example, dogs are willing to sit in one place for a reward, no problem here. But cats are completely incompetent, you can only deal with them one by one. As soon as you stop paying attention — they turn around and leave.
So the picture was created in man-made chaos. While the dogs sat quietly in front of the camera, Katie scooped up the cats, quickly put them in their places, and put the ones that wanted to run away back in their places. She ran back and forth between the camera and the animals until the intrigued felines stopped running away. And then, practically on the run, she pressed the shutter release, thanks to the angle, lighting, and other details she had set up beforehand. In a split second the cats had already scattered, so the shot itself was unique. I don’t think there is a second shot like this.