Archive for February, 2002
“Fluffy Gray Kitten” is a photograph of a straggly-haired blue-gray kitten with white paws and chest. The cat, borrowed from a Glendora pet store, leans on a log and is backlit so that a halo of bright light appears behind it, and its hair appears fuzzier — fluffy. Its head is cocked to the side, and it has that serious, confused look that kittens get when they pause for a moment from being completely silly and frantic. You’ve seen this kind of photo countless times: on posters, calendars and gift cards, and on the sweaters and mugs of some obsessive cat lady in your office. This type of image is so familiar that it’s nearly impossible to judge any single example, like this one, on its own merits. You see it and, if you think of it at all, you just say to yourself, “There’s another one of those cat pictures.” But this particular picture of the fluffy gray kitten was judged, carefully, and it won the gold medal at the most prestigious amateur photo contest in the country. The award made its creator — Joanne Stolte, a business consultant to ophthalmologists — so proud that she could only scream and jump around when she found out she won.