If there's anything as popular on the internet as the photoblog (and bestselling book) "Humans of New York," it's cat photos. So naturally, MTV's own Jim Tews thought to combine the two with the spot-on satirical site "Felines of New York."
Tews captions his original photos with inspirational and absurd quotes straight from the cats' subconsciousnesses, which can be a hilariously dark place. We asked Tews about his inspiration, his passion for feline photography and the lessons learned from capturing this concrete jungle made of cats.
MTV: How did you get the idea to start "Felines of New York"?
Jim Tews: It was definitely inspired by "Humans of New York." I like that site a lot, but sometimes it takes itself too seriously. It's funny to think about trying to get a touching, human story from a cat.
MTV: Why did you chose to capture cats over dogs (or any other pet)?
Tews: Cats feel a little more aloof. Have you ever tried to take a picture of a dog? As soon as you squat down, they run over to you. It's way easier to photo an animal who's trying to ignore you. I love dogs, and maybe I'll do something with them. Cats just seemed a little more interesting for something like this. Most cats seem to take themselves very seriously.
MTV: Do you have any favorite cats that you've photographed?
Tews: They're all pretty cool. I liked photographing Chuck. He really started hamming it up in this weird way. Rolling around on the floor and looking into the lens.
MTV: Likewise, have you photographed any cats that were more problematic subjects?
Tews: I have one that's going up later, named Shutter. She kept hiding, so I took pics of her hiding. Cats like to hide, which is the only real difficulty. They don't have an interest in you unless you've got something for them.
MTV: How do you find cats to photograph?
Tews: The first two weeks or so of posts were just pictures I had on my phone, or pictures friends sent me. Now that I'm actually going out to take the photos, I just started asking around. I'm trying to keep it to friends and friends of friends for now. But I'll branch out more eventually.
I'm looking for more interesting settings, meaning nicer apartments. My friends are all comics, writers, artist types. So their apartments all kind of look alike. I'm trying to find a cat that lives in a mansion, is what I'm saying.
MTV: What's the most challenging part of running "Felines of New York"?
Tews: Scheduling cat photo sessions. I have a day job, and I do other comedy writing projects. Now that this thing has been doing well, I'm trying to get a nice backlog of photos. Running around New York to take photos of cats is pretty time-consuming.
MTV: What are your future plans with the site?
Tews: I'll just keep doing it until I tire of it, I guess? I'd like to make a book out of it or something. I'm also looking into pairing up with a shelter, or somewhere that puts cats up for adoption. It'd be nice to feature a cat that needs a home every once in a while, and then have this site get them that home.
MTV: What can we learn about cats from this site?
Tews: Cats don't give a fu-- about you. They're beautiful, amazing animals, but I really get the feeling they see us as getting in the way of their world domination.