So Hot Right Meow — Adorable Octogenarian Cat Lady

You’re going to think I’ve lost my mind. But since I’m told the internet is made of cats…I couldn’t resist this one. Whatever you want to say about pet photos (I’m usually on the front lines of vigorous head-shaking when it comes to this well-known and over-saturated genre) this series of “cat photos” stopped me in my tracks.

Far from a run-of-the-mill pet gallery, these are poignant images, deeply textured and as much about life in rural Japan and aging as the adorable relationship between a white cat and elderly woman. Photographer Miyoko Ihara starting taking photos of her 88-year old grandmother and her feline companion, Fukumaru, more than a decade ago. The work is now in a photo book Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat. As I’m sure anyone who has loved a pet can attest to, there is more than meets the eye to our relationships with our animal friends. This book of photos depicts an undeniably special connection between Misa and Fukumaru and does a wonderful job of demonstrating that powerful connection of between pets and their humans.

See below for my favorites and check out the book for the full collection.

All Photos: Miyoko Ihara







17 Responses to So Hot Right Meow — Adorable Octogenarian Cat Lady

  1. Richard Cave December 14, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Nice to see photography be a testament to a great relationship, people think I am strange when I miss my cat. My cat is my best friend, unconditional love, non judgemental and allows you to be yourself. These photos have none of the fourth wall falseness of normal pet photos, these are candid momemts of time. Beautifully shot and heartwarming, I photograph my cat and I unashamed to do so even as a pro photographer.

    Love this and the last shot pleads you to ask for more, that is the mark of a true photographer,

    Thanks for sharing this, really made my day


    • FrancoisM December 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      You’re a good man Rich. Your cat knows that :)
      He must be part of the ISCS (International Spoiled Cats Society)


      • Colleen McCoy December 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

        Our 5 cats are all a part of that society as well! I will NEVER be ashamed to photograph my cats or to post their pictures as you just never know when the pictures may be all you have left of them. They will live on forever in the pictures I take of them and I will cherish those for as long as I live.

  2. Tim Roper December 14, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Okay, that’s a relief. I assumed “cat lady” meant swarms of cats and a mentally ill person. Some of these are actually sort of nice (although I’m still not a fan of the genre, either).

  3. Mary Beth December 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    So your not down with the pet photographers then?

  4. Schweet Life December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    One cat does not a cat lady make. A “cat lady” must have a ridiculous amount of cats, typically 10+. That being said, I’m not fond of cats but these photos are adorable and its heartwarming to see the close relationship between Misao and Fukumaru.

  5. Ad Commercials photography December 15, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    This is so great you got every bit of her life……Nice pics really impressive.

  6. Jen | Fetchlight Pet Lifestyle Photography December 15, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Ouch, Chase! Thanks for sharing these touching images, though!

  7. Peggy December 15, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I share my life with 2 cats at present and also spent 3 years in Northern Japan, in the early ’90s. Had 2 cats then that we brought from the states and traveled back with us in 2003. These photos capture the beauty of the country, the texture of the land and the touching story of affection, caring, sharing and love between two living beings, for a short period of time that they have been so lucky to have had together………WONDERFUL!

  8. faisal December 16, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    What a car, almost always in the same post.

  9. Yuichi Ueta December 19, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Great photos! The loneliness of the elderly. The depopulation of rural areas. Weak interpersonal relationships.Japan is running its many challenges.But take a look at her facial expressions. Anxiety is hard to imagine.Human and cat friendship.Many seniors are lonely in Japan. And many cats are disposed.

  10. Linda December 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    These photos are so beautiful. It is very evident that Fukumaru loves his human and she loves the cat just as much. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Daniel kappelle December 22, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    That is indeed a beautiful series of photos :)

  12. Fabiano Silva December 27, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    This lady looks very good for a 88 years old woman! Hope the rest of the essay cover her lifestyle too.

  13. Michaela January 6, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    So beautiful ♥

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  1. browserFruits Januar #1 - kwerfeldein - Fotografie Magazin - January 6, 2013

    […] Chase Jarvis weist auf die aus diesem von Kitsch überschwemmten Genre herausragende Serie Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat von Miyoko Ihara […]

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