Cats are the Perfect Muse

For creative people, inspiration comes from all kinds of places. For some, like graphic designer Kady Lone, it comes from cats. She and her cat Pudge are inseparable – where Kady goes, Pudge goes. This tight bond has blossomed into a whole creative enterprise, as Kady’s photography documenting Pudge’s life has become its own force of nature. Their relationship keeps Kady constantly inspired – in her graphic design job and in her hobbies as well.

A Lifetime Love of Cats

Pudge definitely influences the design aesthetic of Kady's apartment.

Even when Kady was a kid growing up in a family with dogs, cats quickly became her main muse. 

"I remember being obsessed with the Sailor Moon tv show as a child. It had these two cats and I'd spend hours drawing them," she says.

Her Very Own Inspiration

Now that she's a grown-up graphic designer and photographer, she’s able to have her own cat for inspiration. When looking for a cat, she opted for an Exotic Shorthair. A breed fairly small in size, Pudge has what Kady calls "dog-like" characteristics, including a strong attachment to her owner, a laid-back nature and a high capacity for training. At barely eight pounds, Pudge's fluffy hair makes her look much bigger than she is. Thus the name Pudge, inspired by a bear from the video game Animal Crossing, who always talks about loving food.

Connecting Cat Lovers through Photography

Does Pudge have a Mona Lisa Smile? Kady's Pudge portraits capture the many moods of her cat.

When Kady adopted Pudge, she also brought a new photography muse into her life. As she started posting Pudge’s photos to Instagram, the little cat quickly became a force of nature. Soon, she had acquired a following of cat-lovers around the world.

"When I post Pudge's photos," she says, "It's like she's broadcasting to her friends what she's up to that day. Pudge and I suddenly have thousands of new friends."

A Creative Home

On a daily basis, Pudge helps inspire Kady as she works for her graphic design job from home. Whether it's scoping out the perfect cat accessories to suit their stylish space or taking a photo shoot break, Pudge makes her day-to-day more creative.

"Working on Pudge-inspired creations is what I love," she says. "I can take a break to spend a little time on an idea, then return to work more energized and inspired."

When Kady does leave home for a day to go into her office, Pudge gets to come too. In work, play and creation, wherever they go, they go together. 

Kady's Tips for Finding Inspiration in Your Cat

1. Don't Worry About Being a Pro

Even if you don’t have a professional camera or any photography training, you can still create work inspired by your pet. All you really need is a cat or a dog and a smart phone. “I didn't start off taking photos of Pudge with the nicest camera or with the best knowledge of how to use that camera, but I got better at it,” she says.

2. Avoid Posing Your Pet

Your cat’s personality will shine through the most in natural, candid photos. “Except for some special occasions, none of Pudge's photos or videos are staged. They're all captured spur-of-the-moment and therefore her true personality comes through,” Kady says.

3. Photo Captions Can Take it to the Next Level

Adding a funny caption can make a photo of a cat go from cute to relatable – even poetic. Adds Kady, “Sometimes it can be challenging coming up with new photo captions, so some days it's easy to just resort to how I'm feeling that day.”