Cat Woman Wednesday: Mom To City The Kitty

While Lori Shepler had cats in her life since she was in her twenties, she didn’t realize how significantly one seemingly innocent-looking, homeless, ginger polydactyl kitten she crossed paths with about six and a half years ago would impact the course of her life. Today that little kitten, named City The Kitty, is a celebricat with over 268k Facebook followers, 2.2+ million YouTube views, 88k+ Instagram fans, and – if it receives enough support – a photography book.

Lori Shepler with City The Kitty

But most importantly perhaps, it’s because of City (for short) that Lori found a new life-purpose. Enhancing the welfare of felines everywhere by educating the public about and taking action against declawing. But as anyone who knows or has seen City’s photos and videos can attest, while he is a great spokescat, he’s also a handsome, funny, playful, and sometimes naughty Manx mancat (he was even on an episode of “My Cat From Hell”!). And the camera loves him.

When City found Lori (and not the other way as she tells it), she had just been let go from the Los Angeles Times after an illustrious career as a staff photographer covering everything from the Olympics to the L.A. riots. He came into her life just as she was looking for a new project, and proved to be a very willing model.

City The Kitty

City began showing up on Lori’s curb each morning waiting for his breakfast and daily photo shoots. At first Lori took his photograph to make fliers thinking he might have a family looking for him, and later, in the hopes of getting him adopted.

When no one stepped forward to claim or adopt the kitten, Lori brought him inside during the nights, letting him roam free during the day. Until she began hearing about his antics from neighbors – his love of teasing dogs, playing in the street, and almost getting into her plumbers car and taking off with him –  figured “he’d used up 8 of his nine lives and it was time to be an indoor only kitty.”

City The Kitty

Lori now hopes to make a photography book culled from 20,000+ photos of City including the very first photos she took of him outside her home. As she puts it, “He changed my life for the better in so many interesting ways, and in turn I wanted to bring joy and laughter through his photos and videos to the world.”

She says he’s very intuitive and can read her her emotions. He’s a talker and lets her know when he wants to chat by staring at her and responds to her in a chatter similar to that cats use when they see birds. Their bond is obvious in the stunning photos Lori takes of him.

City The Kitty and the Paw Project

For more samples of her photography, and to read more about the book project check out City The Kitty’s Kickstarter. And if you’d like to learn more about City The Kitty’s campaign to end declawing, check out his website citythekitty.com.

How have your kitties (or kitty) changed your life? Leave a comment and share with us – we’d love to hear from you!

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  • Judi Basolo

    Meowvalous to read about City & Momma. A simply purrfect article

    • SO glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts! =^^=

  • Regina

    Lovely article. Go City!!!

  • Kim

    Love this article about City & his Mom! Truly remarkable, the time, energy & compassion that Lori puts into this cause is truly amazing. I wish & hope more people will follow City & Lori’s example, treat cats humanly, let cats be healthy & happy with paws with claws. I personally can’t wait to see the inspirational Photobook, I’m positive it will be amazing!

    • Agreed on all counts! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Andrea Kalka

    What a wonderful article on Lori and City…two of my favorites on Facebook!

    • yay! so happy you liked and thanks for commenting!

  • jmuhj

    The “MY CAT FROM HELL” episode with City the Kitty was one of the most memorable of all, and a favorite of mine. Wonderful article, and big props to Lori for recognizing true star quality when “it” meows at her 😉 <3

    • ha! so true! i’m going to have to find that episode and watch it!

  • Suzy Bankston Dickerson

    Such a great story about City and Lori. Life changing? I can totally relate. A tiny kitten showed up during a struggle in my life. Coincidence, I think not. It was meant to be. She got me through it with her oh so attentive and playful spirit. For that I am forever grateful. City and Lori were MEANT TO BE. 🐾❤️🐾

    • Aw how lovely that you had a kitty that showed up at just the right time in your life…thank you so much for reading and sharing =^^=

  • Aimee Raucher

    I absolutely love this article, it means so much to me that there are others out there who can have their life purpose altered by a seemingly innocent feline. City seems like such a sweetie, thank you for sharing your rescue story of him! I hope he brings you many years of happiness and laughter!

    • awwww thank you for reading and taking the time to post a comment! I agree Lori and City are lovely together!

  • Brian Frum

    Such a wonderful couple and it was meant to be!

  • Allie Birmingham

    I want to read more! City has brought me so many smiles when I needed them. Thank you.

  • Kat Chaplin

    Thank you for this! City and Lori are remarkable! 30 years ago my vets declawed my mom’s cats. Never once did the say declawing was amputation. Then the litter box problems started, the Claw regrowth through the pads of their feet, arthritis set it, it was horrible. The vets response? “Yeah sometimes that happens. !!! American cats desperately needed a hero to fight the misinformation, myths and lies from AVMA.

    PLEASE follow and support City’s efforts to #outlawdeclaw. The AVMA is extremely powerful and we need your voice.

    Go City! Outlawdeclaw2016!

    Thank you again for this article.

  • I think that Lori and City are both amazing and inspiring! I follow City The Kitty on Instagram, and I truly appreciate the advocacy for protecting kitties and their claws! Wonderful!

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  • dmricciardi

    Tamar, Of course, I follow City on facebook and you tube. And I stand behind him (as well as others) about ending declawing. I have 2 polydactyls out of my 12 kitties. City is gorgeous and I am so happy for his Mommy too!! It’s truly amazing how cats improve our lives!! ♥♥♥ gonna go check out her kickstarter program. .. ♥♥♥

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