Trials and Tribulations of Working with Animals

Modeling is not easy. People who are not “in the scene” often do not realize how much time, energy, and effort goes into a photo shoot. I know what you’re thinking: “But all you do is look pretty and pose, how hard can that be?” Trust me—it’s not that easy.

This past Sunday was perhaps my greatest challenge thus far: doing a photo shoot with a live animal. More specifically, my kitty cat Buffy. Buffy is not a difficult cat. She is a sweet little ball of love; always comes to me when I call her, loves to lay next to me/in my lap, friendly, never bites/scratches/hisses……

Usually.

It’s my fault really, so I know I deserve my war wounds. Buffy is very much a house cat. She never goes outside, and does not try to do so either. She often sits by the door and watches when people in the house go in or out, but never dares cross the threshold into the outdoors. The only time she has left the house is when she goes to the vet’s office.

So I— being the idiot I am— decided to pack her up in the carrier and cart her down to the Graffiti Warehouse for this shoot with my friend Ren (of Random Eye Candy Photography fame).

In the moment Buffy saw me take out that cat carrier she morphed from my sweet lil Buff-buff into demon cat from hell. She DID NOT want to get in that carrier….I don’t blame her, in her mind: Carrier=Vet. She never likes getting in her carrier, but this day was worse than ever before, and I had not one to help me at first. I tried about 5 times to pick her up and put her in there. She tensed up her body so I could not put her in butt-first, fought too much to go in head first, and when I tried to turn the carrier vertical and lower her in (which USUALLY works) she freaked out, wriggled out of my grasp and ran away…..scratching me to pieces in the process and putting rips in my lounge-around-the-house shirt.

Thank goodness I had the sense to not get my wardrobe on before corralling my cat.

I thought I could lure her out with treats, but she knew better. She huddled up in the corner of the living room, glaring at me with all her fury. I caught her again and made more attempts—much to her displeasure and my pain— and the ensuing commotion woke up my roommate. It was only with her help that I finally managed to get Buffy inside that carrier, and we had to basically take the top off, put her in, and then quickly put the top back on to hold her inside. It was quite the ordeal.

Once I had her in the carrier, her little pitiful cries were awful to listen to….these cute little mewings were enough to break anyone’s heart. I talked to her, telling her she wasn’t going to the vet and it would be okay, but she didn’t believe me. She just wanted out of that carrier.

Once I was all dressed, we left for Graffiti Warehouse. I thought once Buffy got inside and had time to adjust to the new place, she would be fine. She always seemed to adjust so quickly at the vet’s, so I assumed she would be the same here.

Not so much.

Buffy spent most of the time hiding in a corner of Ren’s studio. She ventured away from the corner only slightly, to investigate what was under a nearby table. Luckily, our MUA was caught in traffic, so she had plenty of time to decompress and hide.

Once Natasha arrived and did my makeup, it was time to make Buffy get in the spotlight—literally. I picked her up, and though she was still nervous, she seemed okay…..until we got in front of the studio lights. Once she was in those lights, my poor cat panicked all over again, wriggled free, and retreated to her corner. Trying to make her as comfortable as we possibly could, we moved to the corner and did some shots with only the ambient light. I don’t know how well they turned out, but Ren said she got stuff she can work with, so we’ll see.  We also did some solo shots, and gave Buffy a break she desperately needed.

Buffy scratched me up that day….all over: my arms, hands, fingers, chest, and shoulders…. But I learned a valuable lesson: when it comes to animals—-particularly cats— be understanding. Most animals, when put out of their element, will not act as they normally do. I know one thing for sure: if I ever do a shoot with Buffy again, we’re going to have to set something up in the comfort of my own home.

Sorry Buff. 😦

Lucky for me, she is a forgiving cat. Once we got home, I was sure she’d hide from me for the next 8-12 hours. But within 5 minutes she was rubbing on my legs and following me around. Animals really do love unconditionally.  I love you, Buffy. I’ll never put you through that again, promise. ❤

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2 responses to “Trials and Tribulations of Working with Animals

  1. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Many thanks!

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