Monika Malek is changing how the world views disabled cats one pawsome photograph at a time via the “I’m Still A Cat” Project,” starring 100 disabled felines (some missing limbs or facial features, others deaf or battling leukemia) acting like cats despite their disabilities. With the photographic series, Malek hopes potential adopters will overlook the so-called flaws of disabled felines, and consider adding one to their family.
“The goal is to bridge the gap between people’s perception of able-bodied and disabled cats,” Malek writes on Facebook. “This is my attempt to show people that a disability does not mean that a cat is inferior. A disabled cat doesn’t require care 24 hours a day, the same as an able-bodied cat. He eats the same amount. He plays the same way. Meows, as well, and purrs the same.”
Malek, who oftentimes works side-by-side with animal welfare foundations, photographing felines for adoption announcements, met her feline stars through animal organizations and Facebook, quickly feeling a connection between herself and her subjects (as well as their humans).
“The more I’ve met them, the more I felt that there’s nothing to be afraid [of] and people take animals’ disabilities to be exactly as people’s disabilities,” Malek told ABC News. “[The cats] still jump everywhere. Cats without one leg are still perfectly well with jumping, meowing and stealing food from the plates. When I understood this, I’ve wanted to show other people that disabled cat is completely normal cat.”
Though she has never owned a disabled cat herself, Malek describes herself as a cat lover, sharing her home with two kitties.
“Every day is better with them,” Malek says. “I love them purring.”
You can learn more about the “I’m Still A Cat” photoessay, and peep some of the prettiest (and most inspiring) kitty pictures you ever will see here [https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.372265572979787.1073741877.237501646456181&type=1].
“I hope that when people see disabled cats during normal cat stuff, they will understand that there’s nothing to be afraid of,” Malek says.
Do you share your life with a disabled cat? What do you think of the “I’m Still A Cat” Project?