Any cat owner can tell you about the magic of catnip. Many cats get downright loopy when exposed to the stuff, and their behavior can be pretty amusing.
But one man has made it his mission to perfectly capture the strange euphoria of a cat on catnip, photographing the hilariously strange faces of these trippin’ felines.
That man is Andrew Marttila, who is known as “The Cat Photographer” and lives up to his title. Andrew’s love for photography and his love for cats go hand-in-hand. According to Insider, Andrew grew up allergic to cats and instead had unusual pets, including lizards, hedgehogs, and a chicken.
But as an adult he learned to deal with his allergies, adopting three cats with his girlfriend. And it was one of their pets that inadvertently inspired a new career field.
“I began taking photos of cats starting with my own cat, Haroun,” he told The Conscious Cat. “I wanted to document his growth when he was a kitten, so I borrowed a friend’s camera.”
As his skills improved, Andrew realized that cat photography could be his niche: “People close to me thought that there was something special about the way I captured him and encouraged me to make a social media account which consisted of cat photos,” he says.
Years later, Andrew has a large following on Instagram, which showcases his many great cat portraits. But his most interesting project is all about cats tripping on catnip.
Again, Andrew was inspired by his own experiences with his cats: “I don’t remember the first time I gave my cat catnip, but I recall immediately wishing to see what it would look like frame-by-frame,” Andrew told HuffPost. He recalled a friend’s cat who was particularly zealous about catnip: “My old roommate’s cat absolutely loved the stuff,” he said. “We’re talking 12-step program obsession. Whenever I’d give him catnip, I felt like my next move was to call the exorcist.”
“As soon as my photography advanced to the point where I learned how to capture those wild moments, I was hooked on taking freeze frame action shots.”
The results speak for themselves:
Andrew then photographed over 100 cats “high” on catnip—sticking their tongues out, rolling around in the herb—each photo captures a unique kitty experience.
When it comes to catnip, Andrew says the more the better. He says he comes prepared with multiple tubs for each shoot.
“A lot of cat owners don’t know how to dish out the stuff,” he said. “Cats don’t want a pinch! They want to cover their entire bodies in it. I took a number of hilarious photos with cats completely covered in catnip like a suit of euphoric armor.”
While these cats seem pretty chill in all of his portraits, Andrew says that they’re not always the most cooperative subjects.
“I’ve had a cat claw its way into the underside of a couch before,” he told The Conscious Cat. “Pretty clear signal that she wasn’t a fan.”
“Some cats are just not interested in being my friend – and that’s totally cool! I don’t try to force any situation.”
Want even more of these crazy cats? You can buy the book, Cats on Catnip, available in bookstores and on Amazon. It’s certain to give any cat lover a laugh.
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