Aquarists of the world, rejoice! A new type of fish has recently been discovered in the waters off New Zealand. These more than likely will not be considered a game-changer for aquaria – but they’re nonetheless pretty amazing to behold.

Sabrina Boem is a photographer who lives in a tiny hamlet near Venice, Italy. She had never owned a cat before and knew very little about them. Sissi, 9, and Ricky, 8, her feline companions, introduced her to the world of cats. She was able to combine this with her love of photography.

Sissi and Ricky were the first cats she photographed. “I spent a lot of time alone with them, observing them without intervening, waiting for an intriguing opportunity to present itself, always motivated by a genuine desire to grasp their actual character,” she adds.

She found stray and colony cats, notably those belonging to a cat sanctuary in Forte Marghera Park in Venice’s lagoon, which comprises two shelters, feeding stations, and volunteers who care for the cats, after a couple of years of photographing her pets and those of friends and family. She was smitten with them from the start.

It’s easy to feel sorry for our stray cats, but Sabrina takes a different approach. “All of the cats I’ve shot so far have been taken care of by volunteers,” she explains. “They are cherished and have a home, even if they live in a colony after being abandoned.”

She began chronicling the cats’ life as the seasons changed and the particular link most lonely cats have with nature while shooting them. Many of these moments took a tremendous deal of patience, dedication, and planning, much like going on a photography safari. Long stakeouts in inconvenient places taxed both her equipment and her drive. But she was so delighted to be able to present cats in a new light, and she knew her art was one-of-a-kind, so she never gave up. “Photographing them has taught me to see the world in new ways and to never take anything for granted,” she adds.

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Sabrina has already been recognized for a number of accomplishments, including a National Geographic photo shoot and multiple exhibits. Her most recent accomplishment is the book Oltre la Laguna (Beyond the Lagoon), which is based on her encounters with these felines. “I felt that my experience with these #trending Fresh-From-The-Fridge Meals kitties had already taught me a lot, and I wanted to share it with other people, volunteers, and photographers,” she adds.

Both an Italian and an English edition of the book are available. Sabrina may be found on Instagram and Facebook under the handles @sabrina boem photography and @Sabrina Boem. The Catographer is a character in the film Catographer.

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