Admit it. You number among the millions who cannot resist a cute cat photo. Emily Kempa certainly couldn’t.
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Pets didn’t seem to be in the cards for Norwalk’s Kempa family with dad having a severe cat allergy. Certainly rescues were out. But Emily Kempa wasn’t deterred. A little research found that Siberian Forest cats are known to be “hypo-allergenic,” and a particular photo of a fuzzy fluffball on a local breeder’s site sparked instant love.
Six years later, Kaiya, as the fluffball became known, is a much-loved member of the family.
“My dad is severely allergic and he’s been fine,” said Kempa. “I’ve always wanted a cat and thought it would be impossible for me to have one, but it’s ended up working out.”
There is something majestic and downright magnificent about the Siberian Forest Cat: the glossy fur, the mischievous eyes, the size. Kempa noticed and started snapping photos with her phone. An Instagram account, Kitty_Kaiya, followed in October of 2017. And some 15 months later, Kaiya now has over 1,200 (and growing) followers.
An indoor cat, Kaiya is known as a cuddler in the family, and clearly has staked claim to Emily as her favorite.
“When I come home from work, she hears me pull into the driveway and will run and greet me at the door, meowing as if she’s telling me her day,” said Kempa. “It’s like she’s really having a conversation. She’s always hanging around where people are.”
A grumpy cat Kaiya is not. Although she isn’t fond of pre-planned photo shoots.
“A while ago, I tried to set up a backdrop and take pictures, but she was more interested in playing with the backdrop,” said Kempa. “Now the photos are more spontaneous, capturing her in her own element.
“The best time to photograph her is when she’s really relaxed, we call it ‘smushy’– when she just lays there and licks her paws. She really likes the light and the sun.”
Kempa will post about a photo a week on average.
“If I see her looking cute, I’ll take a picture,” said Kempa. “I think she poses; she likes getting her picture taken. Kaiya’s a little princess.”
Do you have or know of a pet that deserves some internet love? Send us your photos!
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