A testament to any great photographer is the ability to peer into the soul of his or her subject with grace and respect. Los Angeles-based photographer Casey Christopher does just that with her own astounding subjects who deserve time in the spotlight—blind cats.
Christopher’s photos not only amaze, they inspire thousands to give a chance to these oft-overlooked, but incredible creatures.
A pet parent (both to two dogs and a cat named Imogen, the kitty behind her Instagram page) and photographer, Christopher’s life changed forever when she began to volunteer at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter in California.
“I was inspired to start photographing blind cats after I met a cat named Regis,” she tells PawCulture. “He was surrendered in April after his owner died.”
Christopher recalls that Regis had glaucoma eyes that were huge and cloudy. “He was really lucky because Best Friends Los Angeles took him and he received the proper care he needed and his eyes were removed,” she says. “After that, he was taken to a special needs cat rescue called Milo’s Sanctuary, located in Burbank, California, that specializes in blind cats.”
When Christopher learned of Regis’s new whereabouts, she knew she wanted to work with the sanctuary. She reached out and set up a photo series highlighting the blind cats who are in the organization’s Lifetime Care Program.
The program, according to Milo’s Sanctuary, gives cats who require long-term care but cannot be placed in a forever home, a chance to stay with them. The Lifetime Care Program provides medical care, special food, and medications to the felines.
While the beautiful cats featured in Christopher’s series aren’t up for adoption, there are cats at Milo’s Sanctuary who are, and she hopes her work inspires people to consider adopting a blind feline.
“There’s really nothing wrong with them and they can live their lives just fine,” she says.
Christopher knows firsthand how normal these cats are from working so closely with them. “Photographing a blind cat actually isn’t very different than photographing a sighted cat,” she says. “I just have to use sound to get their attention instead of sight. I always use a little ball with a bell inside of it to get [their] attention.“
In addition to her photography and volunteer work, Christopher is also helping raise funds for one of her subjects, Sir Thomas Trueheart.
Sir Thomas (pictured) was brought to Milo’s after someone intentionally poured acid into his eyes. While he’s in good hands with the folks at Milo’s, he still requires more surgery and care. “I’ve seen very graphic pictures of this poor baby and all he endured and it’s amazing to see him now,” says Christopher. “He’s a happy, friendly cat. He isn’t afraid of people at all. He’s as sweet as can be.”
But no matter how many cats she meets and loves and photographs along the way (including her equally awe-inspiring series on black cats), Christopher always credits her own kitty, Imogen, with helping her pursue her passions.
“She is the love of my life,” Christopher gushes. “Because of her, I started photographing at the animal shelter where I adopted her, and then photographing for other animal rescues, [where I met] some great friends. Everything is because of Imogen.”
Photos via Kelly Williams; Casey Christopher