1. Who are you? What is your background?
My name is Josie, I am 26 and from Washington State. I live on a farm with my husband. We have three cats; Waffles, Batman, and Gotham (aka @thewondercatfamily). I love them all so much!
I am a wedding and portrait photographer. Photography has always been a big part of my life and a great way to express myself. I love capturing special moments of people and animals.
I am also chronically ill and have been since high school. The doctors suspect I have sarcoidosis, but on the side of that I have arthritis, tourettes, and sleep disorders. I like to be open about these things, because I don't want to hide parts of who I am. Being sick isn't something I want to be defined by, but it is part of my story and how I came to be where I'm at today.
2. Were you always a cat person?
Not at all! For most of my life, I was STRICTLY a dog person. I only ever had dogs until I moved three years ago and met Waffles. She was abandoned on the farm where I currently live. But she changed my entire life. We bonded instantly and she helped me through some dark times. I feel as if she is my kitty soul-mate! I am thinking of having her be my official support animal because of how much she helps me just by existing.
There was also another cat, Pop Tart, who used to be our neighbor's cat, but quickly became ours when we moved in. Our neighbors didn't feed or take proper care of him so we took it upon ourselves to get him neutered and shots. He was a wild boy and will always have a piece of my heart. Unfortunately, he was FIV positive and he passed away at a mere few years old. I now have him tattooed on my forearm in memory of him and what he taught me about life.
After awhile, we got two more kittens who we named Batman and Knox. They were like our children. We raised them to be farm kitties and hunt. One day, however, Knox didn't come home. Eventually he showed up but could barely walk. We rushed to the vet and found out that he had a punctured lung and a lot of internal bleeding. It would have cost over $10,000 to try and fix him, but there were no guarantees that it would work. We ended up having to put him to sleep. It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made, because he was only about 1 year old. It broke my heart into a million pieces and it is still hard for me to think about. I could barely eat for days afterward.
Batman was also heart broken over the loss of his brother, which is what led us to try and find him a friend. This is where Gotham comes in. We call him Goat because he acts like one. He is a hilarious and crazy little guy. Thankfully he has bonded a lot with my husband, because Batman and Waffles are more heavily bonded to me. Now our little cat family is just trying to stay healthy and happy.
3. Why did you join Instagram?
I joined Instagram on a whim to show off Waffles beauty and sassy self! I had no idea I would meet so many other cat people and make so many wonderful friends. Now, more recently, I started @thewondercatcrew in order to make an even deeper cat community. I want the crew to be a supportive and happy place where cat people can escape to.
4. Anything else?
In my spare time I also do pet portraits. I have done a number of portraits for cats on Instagram which is a lot of fun. If you are interested you can just let me know! My personal photography and art website is josiefrances.com