When crafter and photographer Wendy McKee found herself flooded with felines at the beginning of April, she decided to help find them homes as only a true geek can. She sewed them tiny costumes of her favorite iconic characters from "Doctor Who," "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars," and "Game of Thrones." Then she photographed adorkable portraits to help influence fellow geeks to adopt.
"I found myself in the position of having a ridiculous number of kittens that needed to be adopted out to good homes," McKee told Crave. "In an effort to grab a little attention for them I knew I would be doing their portraits and posting them on some social media."
Choosing the beloved cultural characters was easy. All McKee had to do was match up the kittens with characters who already fit their description, in a sense.
"One of the kittens has beautiful blue eyes and white fur, and as season 4 of 'Game of Thrones' was just about to begin it struck me that I should dress her up as Daenerys Targaryen for her portrait," McKee told Crave. "I hand-stitched her a little dress, and sculpted the dragon eggs. I continued the 'Game of Thrones' theme with Jon Snow."
One special kitten, who happened to be born without eyes, reminded McKee of certain powerful wizard. "The gray kitty just said Gandalf to me," McKee told Crave. "He is very special, having been born without eyes, and is really an incredible little guy."
Sewing petite costumes for kittens has its challenges. Making minuscule suits and dresses can be next to impossible if your furry client refuses to sit still for fittings.
"The biggest challenges in costuming cats are setting the sleeves at the right angle and making sure they are easy to get on and off the kitty," McKee told Crave. "Being true to the character is pretty important to me so trying to get all the little details in there can also be pretty tedious. Leia's wig was definitely a learning process having never attempted a cat wit before."
While the kittens redefine cute in their handmade costumes, one has to wonder how hard it is to get creatures with tiny claws into outfits best suited to human cosplayers, not to mention have them pose for the camera.
"Getting the cats into their costumes isn't terribly difficult," McKee told Crave. "Kitties in my care are accustomed to being handled and interacting with me. Some are a little stunned for a few seconds but once they get acclimated to the feel of the clothes they settle in and behave as normal."
To take the photos, McKee sets everything up beforehand and dress them right beside the set. She shoots very quickly, undresses them, then plays with the kittens, giving them treats throughout the process.
"If a kitty seems at all distressed when putting on the costume I immediately take it off and move on to another little model," McKee told Crave. "I promise they aren't traumatized. Far from it."
With all the positive attention McKee has received from bloggers, cat lovers, and cosplayers alike, more kitten portraits of other geek icons are on the way.
"I am almost finished with a 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' set -- fishnets for cats are pretty difficult, by the way!" McKee told Crave. "Other costumes in the works include 'Alice in Wonderland,' another 'Doctor Who' kitty, Captain Jack Sparrow, 'Labyrinth,' and 'The Princess Bride.'"
So far the kittens-in-cosplay portraits seem to be working. The little khaleesi and little gray Gandalf are getting set to head to their new homes, while three others are in the process of getting adopted.
Those interested in adopting one or more of McKee's cosplaying kittens can contact her on her Facebook page.