The Stray Cat Picture has been made into an art form in the photographs of MAR. The photographs on this page are reproduced with MAR’s permission and they are his copyright – please respect it.
MAR exhibits his photographs on the Flickr website, where he has a community of fellow photographers who are fans of his. I am one.
The cats, of course, are non-purebred, non-pedigree but there may be the odd pure-bred stray out there. It doesn’t mean that they are any worse than any other cat.
I think there are 4 things to talk about when I look at these fine photographs. Who is MAR? Where does he take his photographs? What technique does he use and what do people think about stray cats?
A beautiful little story of a rescued stray cat:
“My children were outside playing in the snow near a small field when they heard the cries of a stranded kitten. I was cooking dinner when they rushed in and begged me to let the kitten in. We already had two tuxedo cats so I told them no but I gave them food for her. Finally they brought her in and placed her in my arms and she was brought into our heart and home! She made herself at home and got along with the two other cats. Abandoned and out in the snow yet we saved her and she is such a jewel with warmth and love….Stacy Reffner (Whitewater, Kansas US)
Actually I think his Flickr name should be M.A.R. (but I don’t know what that stands for). I believe his name is Masakazu Ikeguchi. His wife is called Nyoroko and she takes photographs with him. The photographs, I believe where taken in Japan.
MAR uses both film and digital cameras (Nikon). His skill is in recognising great light and using that in the composition together with the ability to capture the moment (Cartier Bresson style).
Above all MAR has a great sensitivity, it seems to me, towards the cats he photographs. He says that sometimes he forgets to take the photograph as he is too engrossed in the beauty of the scene before him.
His photographs give these stray cats dignity. He is not imposing his ideas through his images. He is not making the cats look poor or cute, for example. MAR respects the stray cats.
The stray cats in these photographs have a loneliness (to us) about them but are just as worthy as any other animal.
He says “persistence pays off”. I have learnt that from my cat (when she asks for food :). An excellent stray cat picture often depends on persistence.
Attitude towards stray cats
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi. A well known and used saying.
I feel that there is a spectrum of opinions about stray or feral cats. For some they are a nuisance. But who created the conditions for stray cats to exist?
Others try and help and feed stray cats. The wisest feed, help and home if possible but they also neuter (trap-neuter-return). This is the only sensible way, currently, to manage things.
Stray cats have either come from a human’s home or are the product of the mating of feral cats. Mind you the phrase “stray” cat indicates the former.
Either way a feral or stray cat was once a domestic cat or his/her parents or grandparents were. The problem is largely ours and we need to resolve it (if one considers it desirable to resolve it) in a humane manner if we are to be part of a great nation. Australians consider theselves part of a great nation but are they, when you consider the government’s views on feral cats.