Many of us know that feeling when we miss the pets we once had. I’m pretty sure I have a tattoo of my cat too. However, 75-year-old Richard Saunders has taken it to a whole new level. The artist decided to express his love for his cat, who died five years ago, by creating stunning and surreal images. In these images, the realistic plants are replaced by giant shrubs in the shape of her adorable cat, Tolly.
Richard Saunders exclusively tells Bored Panda the story of his topiary cat project: “I originally created the images just for fun. I took a picture in the garden of a historic house with a big cloud and thought I could pose Tolly easily based on the shape of the bush.”
Richard claims that after he created the first image and posted it to Flickr, it was stolen and his name was removed without his consent. The image ended up going viral on Facebook and people thought it was a real topiary! The BBC then made a report for its page and revealed that Richard was the real creator of this manipulation, as he had been for many others.
Richard has been a surrealist painter since his teenage years and learned to use Photoshop over twenty years ago when he worked as a creative director in advertising. The idea to create Topiary Cat came easily over eight years ago when Tolly was still alive, using skills I already knew. Since then, the images have become more complex, many of them being made in a matter of days, with photographs personalized especially for them.
After Tolly’s death in 2016, Richard was too sad to think about suing Topiary Cat, but his 40,000 Facebook fans convinced him to press on. Richard thought it would help them when their own furry friend passed away.