A very Berkeley calendar for cat lovers

Scrunch, a 19-year-old cat who lives in the Berkeley Hills. Photo: Daniel McPartlan

There are cat people and there are dog people. This article is for cat people.

Daniel McPartlan, a photographer, professional cat sitter, and frequent Berkeleyside tipster, has made a 2017 calendar called Berkeley Cats highlighting some of the creatures that slink through the city. Not only are there 12 photos of a wide array of cats in the $15 calendar, there are brief, amusing descriptions of the cats’ personalities, the neighborhoods in which they roam, and what they did in a previous life. There are even hints about what the cats’ owners are like.

Take Scrunch, 19, who lives in the Berkeley Hills. Scrunch was “born under a house in Berkeley,” is “fierce, yet funny and big-hearted.” Scrunch belongs to Lucy Jane Bledsoe, the author of the new novel, A Thin Bright Line, and the cat’s New Year’s resolution is “to be patient with her two-year-old sister,” according to the calendar. Scrunch is the February pinup.

There are no photos of kittens with big wide eyes. These are pictures of mature cats, well-loved and well lived. One of the models, Ponyo, is missing an eye.


Ponyo, a one-eyed cat, is featured in the Berkeley Cats calendar in the month of November. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
Alvin is featured in the month of January in the Berkeley Cats calendar. Photo: Daniel McPartlan

“I could have made just another cat calendar: nice, cutesy photos, but very little depth and meaning,” McPartlan wrote in an email. “But I wanted to create something that is different and shines the spotlight on the cats that reside in this renowned city. We can’t have their learned and politically active servants getting all of the fame and attention :).”

McPartlan selected the cat models by sending an email to his pet-sitting clients telling them about the project. The first responders were included in the calendar. Unfortunately, a lot of interesting cats had to be left out, he said, but McPartlan hopes to include them in the 2018 calendar.

“Berkeley. Cats. Both are notorious for their independence, eccentricity, free spirit, and engagement with the world around them,” McPartlan writes in his introduction to the calendar. “…Their extraordinary diversity and complexity of their personalities might be reflective of the people of Berkeley. Just as no two Berkeleyans are the same, neither are any given Berkeley cats.”

McPartlan may really love cats, but he likes dogs too. His series of images of dogs and cats that were adopted from the Antioch Animal Shelter are on display at the shelter.

To find out more about the Berkeley cat calendar, or to order one, visit Berkeleycats.com.


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