Since the day my girlfriend, Kayla, and I first moved into our rural apartment, we have provided food and a modest shelter for a number of feral cats that have come to visit us. Over time, we named each one and have tried to gain their trust. In 2012, two kittens arrived with their mother and grandmother and became the first family to stay longer than a single season. During that first year, this family of four grew to over 20, most of which continue to see our second story porch as their home. Since most of this colony grew up with interaction from Kayla and myself, they have come to accept us as members of their family. In January of 2014, I began a seven-month exploration of feral life and with Instagram shared my intimate view of the unseen lives of feral felines.
A note to the audience: I have worked closely with Cats Anonymous, a local organization, to control the population growth of this colony. At the time this statement was written, all kittens born in 2014 have been socialized and have found forever homes. All but one female and a few males have been spayed or neutered.
Jason Houge’s work is that of a compassionate wanderer in search of human interest stories that explore the many facets of humanity and life in today’s world. Houge has been published online by the NY Times Lens Blog, Feature Shoot, and Resource Magazine and also in print by a number of small publications. Houge has taught workshops to people of all ages and is an Associate Lecturer of Studio Art and Photography at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. In 2011, Houge earned a B.A. in Design Art from UW – Green Bay.
This work was shortlisted for the Emerging Photographer Fund 2014