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The Essential Cat by Thomas Wester

The author, Thomas Wester, is a Swedish photographer with a splendid love ofcats. Cats have been his subject of choice for over twenty years. He started his photography at the end of the 1960's and five years later he acquired his first cat. His love and interest in cats escalated from then on. Wester was encouraged in his work by friends and colleagues and many of his pictures were published in magazines and newspapers. When he found that more people were writing to him about his cat photographs than any of his other pictures, he started to think about publishing a book of photographs of cats. 

In putting together this book, his aim was to draw away from the common trend of photographing 'cuddly kittens in full colour with silk bows, sitting on turquoise paper', similar to those seen in today's coffee table books. He wanted to take photographs of cats in their natural surroundings, in natural poses, simply going about their everyday life.

This book is full of his brilliant black and white photographs of cats. Having travelled all over his home country, Sweden, in search of material to photograph, it is interesting that he decided to stick to black and white in this age of colourphotography. The cats posed as they were - naturally. Sometimes they co-operated, sometimes they did not! Sometimes Wester waited for hours to get that perfect shot, sometimes he had to crawl into the most uncomfortable of spots in his pursuit. The result is here for all to see in this book of 122 truly exquisite studies capturing the essence of the cat.

Cats in the city, cats on the street, cats on doorsteps, cats on horseback, cats in the window, cats in the kitchen. Cats in every imaginable pose and place you can think of. My favourite photo (a hard choice!) is one of a cat at the bottom of a refrigerator helping himself. Just sooooo typical! I have two cats myself and one of them would certainly give it a go if I let him! 

Also accompanying the photos are a number of short verses on cats and kittens.

This is the perfect book for any cat lover.

Contributed by Sonia Bryant

(Published 1st Dec 2011)

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