Visions of Cat Alley
During the fall of 2017, I discovered one of my favorite places to visit. I call it: Cat Alley. The alley was between two streets lined with old, decrepit houses in Mission Hill. I was fascinated by the amount of cats I saw, and also by the area they were living in.
The following evening I returned with my friend who helped shine a light on the cats to illuminate them during the long exposures. After that night, I began to walk through this alleyway as often as I could.
During each visit I’d meet the different cats that lived there and find them in all kinds of visually interesting scenarios.
After awhile, most of the felines became comfortable with my presence which allowed for closer portraits of them to be made.
Although I was very excited about the pictures I was taking of the cats, I felt it was just as important to successfully capture and portray the alley. Boxes of food, notes written by neighbors, and empty yards served as the narrative for this very secluded space.
The most interesting aspect of this series is that no matter the time of day, there is always activity happening in the alley. At night, the cats are certainly more mobile. During the day, however, I find them lounging closer to the houses that border the alley.
Everytime I visit, I observe more and more. The mysteries of the alley are slowly unravelling. I will continue to visit Cat Alley, for it still has so much left to be discovered.
Joseph Ritchie is a photographer whose work is influenced by the New England landscape and its histories. He earned a B.F.A. in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art. He currently is the photography assistant for Abelardo Morell.