The Paw of Peace

I am seriously working on my photography, and I got the lighting right and worked at a better angle like many of you suggested, so here is a picture of Steve, freshly brushed and catnipped, sitting on the couch next to me extending the paw of peace, love, and harmony:


It’s a big file if you click to embiggen it, but he’s a big cat and worth it. I think my skills are improving.

Plus, you can clearly make out his funky special needs whisker on the right side. It’s all broken and bent, and when I first got him I thought something had just happened, but then he lost it, and a new one grew in just the same- all angled and broken. I guess this is the equivalent to Tunch’s after-market tail.

He’s fucking awesome. He’s the Steve.

43 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Mary says:

    Oh wow — that is very nice! Comes across well on my phone. What kind of camera are you using?

  2. 2
    Arclite says:

    1. You need something better than a phone camera. Get something like a Nikon P520. I got mine at Costco for $300. It takes pretty good low light pics b/c it’s got a fairly large lens.

    2. Why are you still up? It’s 3AM out there! Go for a good hike around 6, hot shower, some TV, meditation, lie in bed with a boring book and you’ll be asleep by 11.

    EDIT: I assumed from the thumbnail it was a phone camera, but looking at the full size image, I’m pretty sure this was taken with a digicam. I stand corrected.

  3. 3
    karen marie says:

    I don’t know, it’s hard to tell, but Steve doesn’t look that big. Maybe if you put a quarter next to him for scale?

  4. 4
    👾 Martin says:

    Hey, I think you got it, man. Light is really key – low light forces a longer exposure and that’s why your shots often come out blurry.

  5. 5
    👾 Martin says:

    @karen marie: That doesn’t really tell you much. You need to balance a pancake on his head to really get a sense of scale.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    I see you’ve managed to find and turn off the Outofocus feature on your camera.

  7. 7
    Jebediah, RBG says:


  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    That’s the look of love right there. Steve’s a hell of a good boy. Do yourself a favor & get a decent camera. You won’t regret it. A few days ago I watched a few seconds I caught of Takkun snoozing in my lap. Memories are great & all, but shots are a wee bit better.

    I’m strangely happy & excited. Maybe a cosmic fever broke.

  9. 9
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    OK, that made me laugh…

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Mary: He’s using a Sony DSC-H10 at ƒ/3.5 and a shutter speed of 1/40, and he used Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows to take it off the camera.

  11. 11
    sfinny says:

    Well that seems to be the same totally smug look that my cat gets, and I totally love. Deep contentment. Oh yeah, and it is lighted. Good photo.

  12. 12
    mai naem says:

    OMG can we give John a chance before telling him he has to has to has to get a new camera. The recent pics have been a massive improvement over the last ones and I’m assuming he doesn’t have the great light in WV that TBogg has in SD to get those great Basset pics.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @mai naem: His camera is fine.

  14. 14
    Luci says:

    Damn… that is a glorious cat… No matter what the camera, the light, the outofocus, Steve is a beauty. “Outofocus” made me laugh too….once @Jebediah, RBG pointed it out. :-s

  15. 15
    something fabulous says:

    That is one nipped-out face, right there. Cuteness.

  16. 16
    AnneW says:

    My only complaint about the Steve pictures is that they are so small.

  17. 17
    patty \ says:

    he is definitely gorgeous. his coat looks luxurious!

  18. 18
    Pogonip says:

    My phone camera works great. I think all John needed to do was turn on a light for a change. (My parents are like John, they prefer lighting levels more suitable for cats and vampires.)

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Your skills ARE improving, and you’re finally doing Steve justice. Damn, he’s one gorgeous cat. My sister’s Maine Coon is a bit darker, but more or less the same fur patterns. He’s also HUGE by domesticated cat standards.

  20. 20
    J. says:

    Also makes a nice throw pillow.

    Your best photo yet, John.

  21. 21
    PurpleGirl says:

    Steve is gorgeous. That whisker is hilarious. It is a much better picture.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    Now that you have improved lighting and angle of view, it might be time to go ‘crazy cat lady’ and get Steve the Xmas reindeer costume. High probability Tunch’s ghost would visit to rip out your throat while you sleep, though. If you sleep.

  23. 23
    sm*t cl*de says:

    So he has his own couch now? Mrs Spat approves.

  24. 24
    HelloRochester says:

    You need to get some editing apps to slim down that fattie. Have some pride.

  25. 25
    Jamey says:

    JGC: Did you always refer to Tunch’s tail as an “after-market” accessory? Because that’s exactly what I thought (and said) when I first saw his pix on this site.

    Steve’s quite the qat. My folks had a Maine Coon, Mel, and he was terrific–had those dog-like qualities that wear well on felines.

  26. 26
    K488 says:

    Steve is magnificent, but that is the paw of ownership! My cats do the same thing – it’s a sign of their benevolence in total domination.

  27. 27
    skyweaver says:

    Holy cow, that is one beautiful cat, John. I’ve started to look into Maine coons a bit because of these posts, as I intend to get a cat in the next year or two. They seems pretty interesting.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    Day and night in the photo-taking department.

  29. 29
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Well first off, great photo and that Steve is just a cutie. I miss Tunch’s tail. :-(

    On the wonky whisker – as a naturally curly haired girl, what I know is kink and curl are determined by the hair follicle, so the whisker will always grow back that way. Probably some kind of damage to the follicle.

  30. 30
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Cole, your skills are improving. And Steve is a handsome young gentleman. Time to get a second cat? Steve needs a playmate. A feline one, not a canine.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:


  32. 32
    LarryB says:

    Those eyes. Wake up, Dr. Morbius! It’s the monster of the Id!.

  33. 33
    Miss Barbie says:

    My male cat, KennyB, does that thing with the paw too. He is underscoring his ownership of me, I believe. Anyway, he is a magnificent beast for sure.@K488:

  34. 34
    Bill D. says:


  35. 35
    celiadexter says:

    That’s a fine and handsome man cat. The whisker anomaly is just part of his charm. Our male has the same thing, except with almost all the whiskers on his right side. C’est la vie.

  36. 36
    John Casey says:

    Your last line is correct. No way is he just ‘Steve’; clearly, he is ‘THE Steve’.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    LT says:

    Nice one.

    As a not photographer with photography skills ten levels below some others here – let me give my advice: look through the camera at the thing you want to take a photograph of, and keep looking. Move. If you shut up and look, your brain will light up when something special shows up. Listen for it.

  39. 39
    LT says:

    And he really is a good looking kitty. What a nice fat head!

  40. 40
    AdamK says:

    Didn’t Cole used to have dogs? When was the last time he even mentioned Lily? Whom he claimed to love.

  41. 41
    ADS says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous kitty.

  42. 42
    Betsy says:

    It’s a beautiful soft soft keetty. Also, I love his five o’clock shadow. Great cat, great pic.

  43. 43
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Yeah, photography is about working with light, pure and simple. You don’t need a fancy fancy camera, you just need to know what the light is doing and get the composition more or less right and you can make great pictures with whatever you have on hand. (But turn off the flash. Really. On-camera flash only makes sense when you have paid money for fancy fancy camera.)

    Senior Cat in our household is fuzzy and grumpy and black, which is a challenge to digital photography. Though strangely, the otherwise shitty sensor on an iPad is really good at producing pictures of him that aren’t simply dark blobs.

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