Besides being an animal lover who has had dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, chickens and a hamster; Casey Elise Christopher is an amazing photographer that since 2012, has been taking pictures of botanical gardens, national parks, ghost towns and abandoned buildings. In the beginning of this year she expanded her photography to animals and an incredible project on black cats was born.
It all started in December when she adopted a kitten which she called Imogen; a gray and white now 10-month-old cat that redirected her life into the “Black Cat Project“.
Imogen’s adoption led Casey Elise to volunteer in the same shelter where she found her cat. This is one of the six city shelters in LA: the West LA animal shelter, which has the highest adoption rate. All of them are open for admission of stray or surrendered cats which creates space issues and because of that, they euthanize animals.
According to the reports of animal services in LA, in the last 5 years 24 000 cats were adopted while almost 41 000 were euthanized. Half of the cats euthanized were underage kittens. Kittens can only be adopted after they are 8 weeks old, so when they receive younger ones without their mother, they euthanize them because they can’t take care of them.
In addition to that, shelters tend to have a larger black cat population than other cats’. They are usually the last ones to get adopted and the first ones to be euthanized. Casey Elise says:
“It’s very difficult to leave the shelter and go home to spoil my pet knowing that some cats at the shelter will never have that opportunity. It’d be impossible to save all the cats and kittens that come into the shelter but I can advocate on their behalf“.
Besides volunteering, she started taking pictures once or twice a week at the shelter for their website or social network pages. Showing their beauty, attitude and personality she promotes them hoping it will help them get adopted.
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Particularly, she wanted to promote black cats since Halloween is coming, and she wanted to destroy the idea that they bring bad luck. Many shelters suspend adoptions of black cats around Halloween because they are afraid people only want them as props for their customs and once the night is over, they will abandon them or return them.
LA city shelters don’t have that policy and even though Casey Elise knows this is a sad reality, she chooses to see good in people and to use Halloween to remind them black cats are great animals: beautiful, playful and tender as any cat can be. She also wants to remind them that they are waiting longer in shelters for their loving homes, because most people choose to overlook them.
This is her way to celebrate black cats.
Her project captured a lot of attention when she published it on Bored Panda; it had a great response, so Casey Elise Christopher is now very motivated to expand it. She wants to photograph all six LA city shelters and eventually turn the project into a book.