Richard Saunder’s cat Tolly is only a memory. But his image has endured, transformed into surreal art by Saunder’s digital vision of a fantasy world inhabited by a magnificent topiary feline.
One image of Saunder’s Topiary Cat drinking from a lake has been seen by 3 million people, according to BBC Radio, which interviewed Saunders. He made the first digitally-enhanced photo five years ago, according to the BBC.
Saunders, who lives in the UK, digitally replaces ornamental shrubs found in iconic English gardens with his cat’s image in the form of topiary. The images are posted on his Facebook page: The Topiary Cat. Tolly was a Russian Blue who was a beloved member of Saunder’s family. Here’s the real Tolly in a photo with Saunder’s wife.
“I’m fascinated by how things go viral,” Saunders said in his interview with the BBC. “I never planned to make any money out of the project. It’s just a bit of fun.” People have written to him to ask if the images are real, and he tactfully explains that they are not. But they are amazing and delightful.
OK, just one more glimpse of the magical but also very lifelike Topiary Cat.