Topiary Cats Made Us Green With Envy

Saunders, digitally replaces ornamental shrubs found in iconic English gardens with his cat’s image in the form of topiary.  He posts all the images on his Facebook page: The Topiary Cat.


Tolly died in February this year after 12 happy years with the family, but the legacy of his Topiary Cat images will live on.  Below is a photo of the real Tolly with Saunder’s wife.


The 69-year-old says he gets inspiration of the feline form in everyday objects and first spotted his much-loved Tolly in some cloud-style topiary over five years ago.  He once saw an ornamental shrub and was struck by how its shape resembled his beloved pet cat while asleep. He said: “It suggested a sleeping animal by a lake. I photographed Tolly with the light source the same and married the two images together.  This image montage quickly spread on the internet, unattributed and with my name cropped out, claimed as a real ‘amazing’ place.


Subsequent images have gone even more viral, some having had well over three million hits.“I’m fascinated by how things go viral,” Saunders said in a recent interview with the BBC. “I never planned to make any money out of the project. It’s just a bit of fun.”  The images are so realistic, that thousands of people have written to Mr. Saunders to ask if they’re real.


“About 25 percent (of people) who saw them believed they actually existed,”  Saunders told the BBC.



  1. Hillary June 6, 2016
    • Cat Fu October 9, 2016

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