It has become an annual harbinger of winter that’s far more welcome than the first snow or rising heating bills: the return of the annual Tufts Cats calendar.
The 2014 calendar showcases 70 proud cat owners’ photographs of their pets. The kitties were chosen from among 189 photos submitted to the Cummings School’s student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
This year, a surprising number of cats wear costumes or clothing. However, interviews reveal that this trend doesn’t indicate that cats are becoming any easier to herd—only that this particular cast of feline characters is more open than usual to those kind of shenanigans.
Take Russell, for example. While the former feral barn cat generally doesn’t care to wear costumes, Cummings School fan Chris Powers says that “for whatever reason, he does not seem to mind his green jacket.”
Stihl similarly welcomes a bow tie. “He must know he looks handsome, because he struts around the house when he has one on,” says owner Allison Prokop.
And Ewok “doesn’t mind being dressed up”—something that owner Jessica Zorge, a staff assistant at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, says happens quite often, thanks to her 2-year-old daughter.
The annual Tufts Cats calendar contest has proven a breadwinner for the student group, known as the “cat club” on the Grafton campus. Sales from last year’s edition raised more than $300 to help fund events the association sponsors for its 50 members and for the veterinary student body, including a field trip to a cat show; talks on nutrition cases, cat behavior and managing stress in shelter cats; and labs on cat handling, neurology and intensive care procedures.