Perfect family paWtrait after a lot of trying

Getting one dog or cat to sit and look at the camera for a photograph is bad enough, but imagine doing it with 17.

That’s exactly what Kathy Smith, 30, did she managed to get all her pets sitting perfectly still for a family ‘pawtrait’.

It took seven days to get all eight dogs and nine cats lined up on and around the sofa, staring down the lens.

Kathy said she took a series of warm-up photos of her pets before embarking on the impossible challenge of lining up dogs Ruby, Ben, Max, Sheba, Teddy, Rio, Storm, and Mishka with the not-so-disciplined cats.

She said she had to dash backwards and forward with her camera on standby and had to reassemble them three times for the final shot. Within a split second after pressing the button they dispersed to carry on doing what cats and dogs do.

Kathy, from Corwen, Wales, said: ‘I was so thrilled when I realised I’d captured this shot – it’s like a little family photo.

‘I love all of my pets so much so I was really happy when I managed to get them all posing together – despite it not being easy to do.

‘I kept trying to get photos of the cats and dogs all together but some of them were always out of frame.

‘The dogs will all sit for treats so that was easy enough, but the cats were another matter.

‘I now know the real meaning behind herding cats – I had to just keep picking them up and putting them back until they stayed.

‘It took about three attempts but in the end I managed to keep them there for a couple of seconds and get the photo before they were off again.

‘We live in quite a chaotic house but you get used to it.’

Kathy, who rescues and cares for pets and other wildlife in need, has often surprised visitors who are surprised at the number of animals she has in her three-bedroom semi-detached home.

Kathy has three German shepherds (Mishka, Storm and Max), three Border collies (Sheba, Ben and Rio), a mongrel called Ruby and Yorkshire Terrier Maltese cross Teddy.

In addition to her photogenic dogs and cats, she also has four budgies, several fish and a baby hedgehog in her care.

Kathy said: ‘People are usually shocked when they come over and realise how many pets we have, the house is mad but we’re used to it.

‘They all run around and you don’t realise there’s a lot of them until they’re in one room.’

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