Cat Cosplay Takes Over Our WorldOctober 1, 2015
If the Internet can come together and agree on one single thing, it is how much they love cats.
And you know what else gets a pretty solid pass from the aforementioned governing Internet body? Cosplay. Everyone enjoys a good cosplay.
So, what happens when lightning strikes sand, and cats and cosplay, are combined? Well, perhaps belief that benevolent gods are showering us with a true gift, because Cat Cosplay does exist.
Freyu is the one such individual that has brought this unique and fun prospect to life. So we couldn’t help but talk to the Seattle native about Cat Cosplay, and what were some of the difficulties and most rewarding aspects about it are.
How/When did you start Cat Cosplay?
Cat Cosplay started 5 years ago when our shoulder cat Nak accompanied us to a renaissance faire, we bought her a dog costume of Jack Sparrow for the first weekend (see below) and although the public loved her I was dissatisfied with the quality of the garment. By the second weekend of the faire not only had I been hired with the cat by a performing troupe, I had upgraded her costume to a handmade dragon outfit complete with scales and pose-able wings. We’ve remained performers at renaissance faires in the Northwest since, and that’s how it started, but it would be years before I would make more than a couple costumes for her to perform in.
What cat(s) do you have?
Nak (Calico, 11 years old) and Fawkes (3 years old)
How did you get your cats to cooperate?
A lot of it is communication with them. Knowing what they are willing to do and what they aren’t. When they are done posing, when they would rather play. We do train them with treats and toys for holding poses, looking certain directions; facial looks to display emotions can be achieved with different stimuli (and lighting/camera angle). I always find it amusing when people say, “Your cat looks pissed!” on the pictures where I’m going for that emotion. But it’s all trickery of the camera angle and lighting in the attempt to make the pictures more than, “Here’s my cat in a goofy outfit.”
Also they do get lovely dinners of tuna and seared salmon after large photoshoots. Good rewards go a long way.
What have been your favorite submissions?
Ganondorf (Legend of Zelda), Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan) and Vault Cat (Fallout) are our most iconic currently. But then again we’ve only been doing cat costumes seriously for the last six months.
How long does it take to make your cats costumes?
Depends. I classify them into three categories. Light requires small edits, may use toddlers clothing, and requires probably no more than a few hours to get it sized and edited down. Medium usually is built from scratch or on top of a base, but its a simple enough design that usually it takes from 4-15 hours tops to put all the pieces together. Most of our outfits fall into these two categories. Heavy is anything past 15 hours. Usually it involves fabrication, painting, detail work as well as remodeling the costume to accommodate a non-humanoid body. Ganondorf is an example of a heavy costume labor of love. I had to scrap the armor a few times before I got things right and overall it took around 40+ hours of crafting by the time it was done. But I learned a ton on the build.
Do you cosplay? Have you done any joint/coordinated cosplays with your cat?
Outside of being a performer at ren faires I do cosplay. A year ago I won the Wildstar Costume Contest at PAX. And I’ve done a couple joint costumes with the cat. I did a James Sunderland to match the Pyramid head cat cosplay I put together last year (I was learning how to work with foam).
What are your favorite cat cosplays?
My favorites outside of my own would have to be from Wendy Mckee, who makes tiny costumes for rescue kittens in order to help get them adopted. She does wonderful, wonderful photography. Seriously go look up her and her kittens! Also, the blog Timeywimeyjedi on Tumblr is doing some fantastic work with felt and her cats. They really inspired us to move out of our comfort zone and work on more of our zany large costumes.
How do you decide to dress your cats?
It started with a few things I wanted to make, and materials I wanted to learn. Now I look at future social media trends based on holidays, release dates of games/movies/shows, popular happenings… etc., etc., etc. The goal being to expand our audience. Know any geeky things happening in the future? You might have a good idea of one of our planned costumes. Right now I’ve planned for the next four months of builds. Of course we’re also doing some small costumes based on requests we get from our fans.
What is the most rewarding thing about cat cosplay?
They joy we bring. The world is overly negative, and social media is a breeding pit for it. We started our social media accounts with one goal. Positivity. If I can bring one smile to a person during a day… brighten one mood, change one outlook, then all the effort is worth it. Yes, it’s silly cats in costumes, some people even call me stupid for devoting such time for it. You see I’m a plumber by trade, I do a dirty thankless job helping keep my city running, and I love it. I’ll never change the world in my career, but if I can promote people taking a more positive outlook on life. If I can promote people taking a moment of their busy lives to look around to find someone to bring a smile to, I’ll have made the world a better place. In a world where so many people are taught to excel, and be the best they can be… we can use a few more who look around to find those who need a lift. It’s my one challenge I pose to anyone I meet. Find someone, anyone, once a day and bring them a smile. You don’t have to know them. Taking that time to devote your attention to someone, to put down your distractions and devote that moment of your self to their wellbeing. It’s the most rewarding pursuit I’ve found in this life.
What I do is indeed silly; most people will dismiss it. Some call me names over it. In the end we’re brightening peoples days, and as long as I can bring that joy to people, even if it’s a tiny thing, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.