This 75-year-old artist created edits of bushes in honor of his deceased cat

Most of us know the feeling of missing a pet you once had.I sure do, I even tattooed my cat.However, 75-year-old Richard Saunders has taken it to a whole new level.

The artist decided to express his love for his cat, who died 5 years ago, by creating extremely unexpected surreal images. Plants from real places have been replaced in these images by giant bushes in the shape of his adorable cat, Tolly.

Richard Saunders exclusively told Bored Panda the story behind his project, “The Topiary Cat”: “Initially I created these images just for fun. I had taken a photograph, in the grounds of a historic house, of a huge cloud topiary, and it occurred to me that I could fairly easily photograph Tolly in a position to match the shape of the bushes.”

Richard claims that after making the first image and posting it on Flickr, it was stolen and his name was removed without any approval. The image eventually went viral on Facebook and people believed it was a real topiary. The BBC later did a story for their page and revealed that Richard was the real creator of these manipulations as he made more and more of them.

Richard has been a surrealist artist since his teenage years and learned how to use Photoshop over two decades ago while working as an advertising creative director. He says: “The idea of creating The Topiary Cat, over eight years ago, while Tolly was still alive, was easily accomplished with skills I already knew.”

After Tolly died in 2016, Richard was too upset to think about continuing with The Topiary Cat, but his 40,000 Facebook followers convinced him to continue. Richard believes it helps them when their own furry comrades pass away.

The Topiary Cat has become a real enterprise.Now Richard also creates puzzles, 3D images and a novel that he reads on YouTube, chapter by chapter. So, the adventures of The Topiary Cat continue, Tolly is now accompanied by another Russian blue named Georgy.


The creator admitted to Bored Panda that most of the people he meets love The Topiary Cat, initially becoming frustrated that the creations aren’t «real» and then quickly turning into fans of the ongoing story. The future of the project depends on how the book “The Topiary Cat” is received, which is initially released in very limited quantities as a test in the market.

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