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Rescue Me: From feral to cover cat

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DH Vancouver Staff Nov 05, 2015 8:47 am

Luna Lovegood and her brother Neville Longbottom did not have an easy start in life.

Just two months old, they were found living in some bushes with their mama between a Vancouver costume store and construction site in June.

Their saviour came by way of Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association, a no-kill shelter that traps, treats and shelters feral cats and kittens.

Its staff rescued the duo and brought them to their operations centre, where they received medical treatment and a lot of bathing and TLC.

That’s where cat and kitten photographer Tania Hennessy comes in. VOKRA asked her if she’d be willing to take in Luna and Neville after the kittens she was fostering were adopted out.

Filthy Luna and Neville at the VOKRA intake.

Filthy Luna and Neville at the VOKRA intake.

In this week’s Rescue Me, Tania tells the story in her own words of how she fostered these homeless kitties, and Luna’s journey to being on the cover of Modern Cat Magazine.

I had met them down at the Operations Centre a few times and was excited to welcome them into our home. Because they were so shy and nervous, we kept them in a large wire cage with a cardboard castle where they could hide out in our living room so they could get used to our apartment, our voices and movements. Although they were very scared, they were not aggressive at all and loved to be petted. They were both little purring machines.

Their transformation in their time with us was amazing. In just six short weeks they went from hiding in their cardboard castle with their big scared eyes peering out at us to sitting in our laps purring up a storm. Neville was more confident than Luna and he was always a few steps ahead of her. She was like his fluffy shadow sometimes.

Luna getting a bath at intake (VOKRA).

Luna getting a bath at intake (VOKRA).

Until the Modern Cat Magazine opportunity came along I hadn’t photographed Luna and Neville in my studio. It was important for them to trust and have positive experiences with us, so I kept camera time limited to iPhone snapshots.

Taming feral kittens is always such a rewarding experience and Luna and Neville were no exception. It’s a wonderful feeling to have kittens that were once terrified slowly come around and learn to trust humans. It’s always a proud day when they graduate from “learning to cat school” and leave for their forever home. It was so wonderful when they find the perfect forever home and became one of VOKRA’s many success stories.

Adopting from a shelter is an act of compassion and love. It’s a good deed for you, for the shelter, and especially for the animal who needs a loving home. I think a lot of people would be surprised about the variety of cats that come through shelters. VOKRA sees cats and kittens of all ages, sizes and breeds. When people adopt cats and kittens from rescue organizations they’re helping to solve the problem of homeless street cats like Neville, Luna and their mother.

The photo of Luna used on Modern Cat Magazine. (Tania Hennessy)

The photo of Luna used on Modern Cat Magazine. (Tania Hennessy)

It was so uncanny how Luna ended up on the cover of Modern Cat. Its staff was browsing through the VOKRA website looking for potential models for their Fall/Winter issue Luna caught their eye. VOKRA mentioned to them that I was a cat and kitten photographer and thankfully Modern Cat loved the aesthetic of my photography and it was all go.

I was a little nervous about how Luna would react in my studio with all the lights and equipment, but she completely blew me away with her confidence. It was definitely a sign of how far she had come. Although Neville wasn’t on the cover of Modern Cat Magazine, he is going to be on the cover star of the 2016 VOKRA calendar.

Visit Tania’s website for more pics of these pretty kitties, and check out VOKRA for great adoptable cats and kittens.

Sweet Neville (Tania Hennessy)

Sweet Neville (Tania Hennessy)

Tania and her favourite subject (Tania Hennessy).

Tania and her favourite subject (Tania Hennessy).

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DH Vancouver Staff
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