Unusual Pets of Baltimore #1: Chewbacca, Elf Cat
In January 2023, I started my "Unusual Pets" of Baltimore photo project. In this series, I'm photographing pets and their owners to showcase the incredible and surprising critters Baltimore neighbors have inside their front doors. From flying squirrels to 300 pound mastiffs; from dwarf bunnies to ball pythons, I will show you, through photos, the menagerie this city holds. First up, this is Chewbacca a.k.a. Chewy, the naked, wrinkly, peach fuzz Elf Cat who calls, in his own way, Marielle and Ben mommy and daddy.
I'd heard of the Spynx cat but elf cat was new to me. According to the website Spruce Pets (thesprucepets.com), the elf cat is a new and rare hybrid of the sphynx and American curl. Here's from Spruce Pets: This breed is known for its hairless body and signature curled ears. These bright-eyed, muscular cats are highly sociable and intelligent and love to jump and play. While the elf cat requires no brushing, its grooming regimen can be demanding, as lacking fur requires different cleaning practices. Elf cats have existed for less than 20 years, so there is still a lot left to be understood about the breed, but rest assured, they make for excellent pets and offer years and years of loyal companionship.
Marielle and Ben love their two elf cat babies so much (only Chewy is featured since Lola is much older and likes to stay cozy in her little cuddle cup). I also made sure to take pictures of Chewy getting his bath re: the above grooming regiment line. I'll share so much more soon.
The future of this project is unfolding. I may make a book out of the photos and I will also pitch the story to BmoreArt @bmoreart magazine. (I’m working on a story for them now, and would love to have concurrent projects with them!) But as for now I will show sneak peaks from the project and keep you posted on the animals I meet and their creative, funny, patient, nurturing, and wildly in love owners a.k.a. humans. Note: I’m doing something different with this project, since I don’t want it to be exclusively a social media-centric and website photo series. But I will give you sneak peeks here and you can look forward to more pictures and lots of stories about these amazing squishy, slimy, floofy, scaly, feathery animals when I publish the project. Also, I'm still accepting interested PAWticipants. Here's a link to the Google Form questionnaire. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in volun-telling their animals to participate, please fill out the form and I’ll see your private responses right away. And thank you again to @mlalexis and @schiffadiff for letting me photo their sweet baby and showing him to the world! 💕 #PetsofBaltimore #elfcat #elfcatlover