Richard Saunders has an incredible imagination — and the skill — to turn his fantastic thoughts into even more fantastic looking images. The Hertfordshire, England, artist has turned his cat, Tolly, into a gigantic topiary, inserting him into lush landscapes, beautiful gardens and on the grounds of massive English estates. The one problem? Saunders’ digital creations are so impressive, some people believe that they’re real.
Saunders got the idea for The Topiary Cat — the name of his Facebook page — when he saw a topiary at an English country house that looked like a cloud.
“It reminded me of an animal sleeping, and I thought to myself ‘you could change that into a cat quite easily,'” he told the BBC.
So he did change it into a cat, digitally turning the shrubbery into a lush looking version of Tolly. His work became increasingly popular with each new image (one of his most viewed Facebook posts has more than 9 million likes) and, in February, they took on a new meaning.
Tolly, a Russian Blue, died in February at age 13. Saunders has promised to keep The Topiary Cat as a way of honoring his pet.
“Beloved Tolly certainly has the legacy that he deserves and we wish he were still here to enjoy the love out there for him,” he wrote in a recent post.
Here are a few of Saunders most impressive creations.
1. The first Topiary Cat image that started it all.
2. Sadly, you can’t find this giant cat on Google Maps.
3. A memorial to Tolly, created a month after his death.
4. This home would be easy to find: “Turn left at the massive cats.”
5. At least The Topiary Cat can water himself.
6. One of the few images that features the artist, Richard Saunders, beside his beloved Tolly.
7. And another, which shows Tolly being “groomed.”