In June, 2019, I got a call from Jason Cassidy, the entertainment editor at the Chico News and Review. The paper does an annual pet issue and they needed a photographer experienced with cats to help out with a story on Camp Fire cats. He asked if I would go with him to Paradise, to two facilities still housing cats, to photograph them in hopes of their owners seeing them, or perhaps they could attract adopters. I wholeheartedly said yes.
It was an emotional experience to say the least. We went to Friends United in Rescue (FUR) and Fieldhaven and I photographed 20+ cats. I wondered "where did they come from?" - "did they used to have owners who were still missing them?" - "are they going to be OK?" In both locations, the space to photograph the cats was not ideal, and I wondered if anything would come out. I was SHOCKED when the issue came out several weeks later and I saw "The Rock" on the cover! That was my favorite photo, and I had no idea that this story would actually be the cover story. They ended up publishing a photo of every cat I photographed–they weren't all great, but they were much better than the cell phone photos the shelters were using.
I head later from both FUR and Fieldhaven that the story did generate interest in the cats in their care and helped with adoptions. I gave both facilities files of all the photos and let them use them for promoting the animals.