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Cat’s Instagram

 
 

Abyssinian cat Asya and her owner Irina — popular persons of Belarusian Instagram. Followers of their profile @virinka are equal to the population of a small town — 37 000 people. where Minsk found out why this cat is photographed only in mornings, that Abyssinian is a miracle breed and how to become a star of Internet in Belarus.

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— Tell us about the one who gets 5 000 "hearts" — cat Asya.

— I had dreamed about this cat long time before I could buy. The breed is rather expensive: one kitten is about 700 $. Asya appeared at our home 2 years ago. It means now her "human" age is 25 years, almost like mine. She is a born model, she likes being photographed. This story began on one spring day: the kitten was sitting near the window, the sun was shimmering on her fur — Asya was like a little sun. And I just wanted to photo her. Till that moment I thought that I didn’t have any talent to make photos but now I am experienced. Our Instagram is about the cat but we want to make it a family one. Gradually I put there photos with me and my boyfriend Artem, also I want to show my hobbies and work — I am a designer. 

— Maybe that’s why Abyssinian is not the most popular breed in Belarus. They say these cats were intended for Pharaohs.

— There are many versions of history of this breed. It was registered in Great Britain at the beginning of XX century. Some people think that these cats’ roots are in Abyssinia (Ethiopia now). Others — that they are from Ancient Egypt: there are frescos with pictures of similar cats. There is an opinion that the breed originated from wild cats: Abyssinians have a typical fur color — each hair has alternating sections of color, light-dark, light-dark. And some cats even have brushes on the ears.

— What features of courtier cats do you notice in Asya’s character?

— She looks like she is wild. It may even seem that her fur is stiff like porcupines’ quills. But in fact her fur is gentle, silky. As for the character, I think these cats are more like dogs. They even can perform some commands. For example, Asya is able to turn somersaults if I pronounce special sounds. If she hears rustle somewhere, she runs to check whether everything is ok there. In general, these cats are disciplined, sweet and kind. Plus to everything caring for them is very simple.

— Sounds like it’s a perfect breed.

— It is. I can’t imagine how we lived before without Asya.

I tell you how our mornings begin. She never bothers us earlier than the alarm clock. And right after the signal she jumps into the bed, begins purring, stroking, kissing, making me head massage by paws. Of course after that it is our turn to carry her. She always meet us at the door, distinguishes our steps and neighbors’ ones. She used to follow me like a tail everywhere. When I cook, she sits on my shoulders and controls process. She pokes her nose into everything — very curious. And she always says "Bless you" after somebody sneezes. Well, doesn’t say it but purrs it. And she never fails to do it. 

 

Asya is very well-mannered, can only be naughty if she wants something very much. For example, she wants to play but we are busy. She goes to a hanger with clothes and starts to meow. It means "If you don’t play with me, I will hang on dresses". So she warns us.

— What does your home shooting process look like?

— My camera is an ordinary old Samsung. That’s the reason why I can make shoots only with natural light and never in the evening or in bad weather. Of course, I am planning to buy a professional camera. White background — a fleece blanket from IKEA, it is perfect because it does not crumple. I fix it on hanger, put this structure in front of the window and take pictures. If necessary, wood panels play the role of wooden floor. That's the way it is, and not in the light-filled penthouse with panoramic windows and white walls, as people can think.

Ideas for photographs appear spontaneously. For instance, photo with fur, where Asya looks like a lioness, turned out when a piece of fur pulled away from the sleeve of jacket and I tried it on the cat. She liked it and was sitting like that 10 minutes. She posed, squinting eyes — and it’s a clear sign of pleasure. 

But not everything is so easy. Once I got an idea to make a photo with Asya’s kittens with wreaths of flowers. But they didn’t want to sit calm. I was trying to arrange it during 2 weeks. Now this is my favorite, and it’s on top. 

— Why do you need Instagram?

— It’s like a life. Our life, quite frankly. We post not only Asya’s photos, but also share our news. I don’t know whether it is normal or not. Maybe, the world is going crazy. A few years ago, when I had just registered with this application, I didn’t understand it: people show selfie or food. I had no idea about creative users who made really great photos. 

There are so many negative situations in life, and I want to keep my page here as the sun which will be warm to everyone. Of course, bad things happen but you can write about them in different ways: think about it as an impulse to invent something new and unusual. 

Sometimes people text me "Where are you? We have been waiting for you for 2 days". They wait for new pictures. This is the way Instagram works and I am addicted to it already, all the time I think about new ideas.

I make a story for each photo — something funny that makes people smile. Sometimes I write "fairy tales", sometimes — serious topics. I found out that people want not only to see nice pics but also read about them. And I get feedback from them. It’s not only emotions but also people ask for a piece of advice — about breed, how to care for cat, about life situations. I help with pleasure if it’s possible for me. 

I have my personal Instagram inspiration — a few favorite pages. Here they are: @jenikrauze, @palomaparrot, @annaremarchuk, @ps.ny, @cay_mae, @mashadaff, @mrpaddingtonbear.

— For many people it might be topical — how to grow (boost) Instagram page?

— I guess you need to put your soul into it and just be yourself. It is important to communicate mood, share emotions. Of course, pictures should be nice. But all these things turn into something more, into lifestyle. 

Text: Natallia Halavach

Date: 10/04/2015

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