The ‘real’ topiary cat

The reason why I have used the word “real” is because there is a well-known surrealist artist who created ‘The Topiary Cat’ and he’s on Facebook and he has his own website. His name is Richard Saunders. His creations are unreal; they are expert examples of photo-editing, and I briefly discuss his work below. However, in North Shields, North Tyneside, UK, there is a terraced house in a modest street and sitting on a red brick wall surrounding the small front garden is a large, plump and contented cat carved out of a hedge by the homeowner. This is what I have described as the ‘real’ topiary cat and just like Richard Saunders the anonymous creator was motivated by the love of his cat companion.

The real topiary cat in South Shields
The ‘real’ topiary cat in South Shields. Photo: North News and Pictures Northn.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Real cat topiary
Real cat topiary. Photo: see credit embossed.

I’m not sure, but it appears that he lives with a tabby cat because the news media tell me that it is a 2-meter topiary tabby cat. As expected, it delights passers-by and, in the picture, you see a greyhound enjoying it as well.

Richard Saunders

Rich Saunders' The Topiary Cat, the first digital photograph, as I understand it, based on his Russian Blue Tolley sleeping
Rich Saunders’ The Topiary Cat, the first digital photograph, as I understand it, based on his Russian Blue Tolley sleeping. Screenshot.

On the website he calls himself Rich Saunders. The photograph that he presents on that website, and there must be many others, is of a topiary cat of gargantuan proportions looking down on a couple of horses pulling a carriage, and a couple sitting on a bench. The cat represents his beloved Russian Blue, Tolley, who died in February 2016.

Rich Saunders 'The Topiary Cat at Hatfield House'
Rich Saunders ‘The Topiary Cat at Hatfield House’. Image: Richard Saunders.

He was inspired to create his surreal topiary cat photographs by his beloved cat and he explains how it all started in the video below:

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

The description of his “The Topiary Cat at Hatfield House” is:

The Topiary Cat tries not to draw attention to himself, so he keeps ever so still. However here he has obviously become fascinated by the magnificent horse-drawn coach that transports visitors around this historic estate.

Looking at the video, it ends with a montage of Tolley, who was indeed, a magnificent Russian Blue with emerald eyes. The genuine article. I say that because a lot of people like to say that they have a Russian Blue when they mean that they are living with a grey cat. That’s okay but the Russian Blue is quite a special purebred cat. You may not know this but the writer J.D. Salinger lived with a couple of Russian Blue cats. He wrote ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ (1951).


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