OXFORD – Next year, two Oxford residents’ work will be seen on calendars across the nation. Multitudes of pet owners from around the world submit pictures of their furry companions annually to Workman Publishing out of New York City, in the hopes that their pet will make the cut and be featured in one of the company’s bestselling pet calendars. With so many submissions, being selected is a rare and special privilege, yet two Oxford cats have been chosen for 2013 editions of “365 Cats” and the “Bad Cat” calendars.
“We get thousands of submissions for our cat and dog contest calendars each year,” said Workman Publishing Editor in Chief Susan Bolotin. Of the thousands of submissions Workman Publishing receives, only a few are ever chosen and sometimes the workload of sifting through so many contestants can be so overwhelming that the photo editor gets backed up making selections, said Bolotin. “As he (the photo editor) sorts through them, he looks for beauty, wit, variety, and artful composition, as well as for pictures that simply have that “ahhh” factor,” she said.
“It’s never an easy decision – everyone who submits a photo of a pet thinks that theirs is the most beautiful or the cutest or the funniest, and we tend to agree!” said Bolotin as she described just one of the many difficulties her colleagues face when choosing which blessed cats will greet calendar owners far and wide.
Doris Henion of Oxford had always noted the advertisement in her cat calendar, inviting pet owners to submit pictures for the annual contest. Finally, a few years ago, Henion decided to send in pictures of her four cats for the “365 Cats” calendar. Henion waited in vain to receive the letter confirming one of her cats as one of the most photogenic felines in the nation, but alas heard no response. But then, earlier this year, Henion received a letter informing her a picture of her cat, Josie, would be featured in the 2013 edition of the “Bad Cat” calendar.
“I thought, excuse me!” laughed Henion. Henion had been surprised to learn of Josie’s selection for the “Bad Cat” calendar, she said. “Josie was the quietest of all my cats! She was always hiding some place and would only ever come out when she heard her food bowl.” But Henion admits that, although Josie was a quite and peace loving feline, the photo she submitted may have actually told a slightly different story.
In the selected photo, Josie’s eyes reflect the camara’s flash, lending them an eerie and demonic green glow, and as she poses amongst a group of large stuffed teddy bears, it is conceivable to believe she is up to no good.
“Now she has a reputation as a bad cat,” Henion jokingly bemoaned. “Poor Josie, she was such a good girl.”
Margaret Conroy’s cat, Lady Lois, of Oxford, was also selected by Workman Publishing for the 2013 edition of “365 Cats.”