And It Only Took Four Hours to Get This Shot...
People ask all the time how Homer is coping with his new-found fame, and I always answer that, for the most part, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know. It’s true that he’s been getting a lot more treats lately (every time the book hits a milestone, my husband and I reward the cats so they get to celebrate, too!). And it’s also true that a lot more people have been coming through our apartment these days–photographers, videographers, reporters–and giving Homer even more attention than he’s been used to getting (and that was a lot).
For the most part, though, he’s taken all the hooplah in stride.
A couple of weeks ago, my publisher decided they wanted a few more publicity photos of Homer, and this time instead of sending somebody to our apartment they had me bring Homer to a studio a few blocks from my apartment. There was a photographer, a lighting tech, a couple of assistants, a professional groomer (not that a groomer was needed…I mean, the cat’s glossy and immaculate all the time. I should only be so glossy and immaculate!), a hair and makeup person…in short, it was quite the “dog and pony” show!
Homer doesn’t leave our apartment much, unless it’s to go to the vet. I’m almost positive he thought the photo studio was some kind of crazy vet’s office at first, because–unlike his characteristic fearless self–he spent the first hour or so hiding under a couch. He didn’t cower, exactly, or hiss or cringe or do any of the other things a cat in distress will usually do. But he did make it pretty clear that he wanted to be left alone. I don’t need any shots, thanks! was what he was clearly trying to indicate.
Once he realized he wasn’t in a vet’s office, and that in fact he was in a different kind of space than he’d ever been in before…well, then we had the opposite problem. He wasn’t hiding under the couch anymore, but he also had no interest in sitting in one spot long enough to get his picture taken. This is a pretty cool place! he seemed to be thinking. There’s so much neat stuff for me to do here! He was relentless. After he’d introduced himself to everybody working on the shoot, he set about climbing all the furniture, crawling into every crack and crevice, sticking his nose into everything within reach, and generally being a very difficult little “star.” Even my old stand-bys–catnip and Pounces–weren’t enough to keep him in one place.
At one point, we decided that maybe it was best if we let the camera follow the cat rather than vice versa. So every time Homer moved, the photographer, lighting tech, professional groomer, various assistants–and, of course, me–hustled to get all the gear and lights to wherever Homer was.
You really haven’t lived, by the way, until you’ve seen five or six grown people following a blind cat around with lights and cameras and things, saying: “Wait! I think he’s going this way now!”
Eventually, Homer got tired enough that we got him to sit in one spot for a good five minutes, and were able to snap the shot you see above. Although, as you can tell from the way Homer’s head is turned, he still hadn’t given up on trying to figure out if maybe something more interesting was happening in another part of the room.
All I can say is, I’m pretty sure that we’re done with most of the photo and video shoots we’ll have to do with Homer, at least for now. He’ll probably miss all the treats and attention, but I personally am grateful that I’ll have plenty of time to rest before we have to do another one!
Oh--and we found out last Wednesday that HOMER will be on this Sunday's (9/13) New York Times bestseller list!!! Did I bury the lead by not mentioning that first...? ;)