Holy smokes, it’s National Cat Day (not to be confused with International Cat Day, which is August 8, der)! In celebration of this most momentous of days, we went on a mission to find the most fashion-conscious cats of Instagram. And we’re pretty sure we’ve hit the jackpot.
Meet Monica Maroon, aka @sissymaroon, a nanny based in north Chicago. Every day–up to three times per day–she sends out photos of her four pet cats to her nearly 2.4K Instagram followers. Only these aren’t your typical omg-look-at-her-sleeping-in-the-sink cat portraits. Maroon’s kitties get dolled up for every conceivable occasion, whether it be theoretically lunching with the ladies, trick-or-treating, or keeping cozy in the cold weather. “I try to do seasonal looks for the cats,” she tells us. “Right now it’s lots of fall colors.”
It all started about a year ago, when Maroon snapped the very first Insta of her 15-year-old rescue cat Mabel, who’s “always been interested in [her] jewelry,” wearing one of her necklaces. She sent the pic to a friend (as one does) and got an overwhelmingly positive response–and just like that, she was hooked on cat fashion. Maroon now shoots three of her cats–Mabel, Usul, and Helen (Danger is “too sensitive”)–for one or more 15-minute-long photo sessions each week.
Her portraits are weirdly elegant, blended with the inherent silliness that comes with putting stuff on your cat. The kitties don everything from scarves to hats, crystal bindis to tiaras, and even wigs. Maroon usually uses items she already has in her closet, though she admits the wigs–originally made for vintage dolls (though clearly God-intended for the heads of fashion cats)–resulted from a “creative slump.”
As for where the cat stylist gets all her ideas? Maroon counts 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil (though, ironically, that film was about dogs) and Alex from A Clockwork Orange as her inspiration go-tos–but she also gets plenty of requests from her Instagram followers, who sometimes send her wigs and scarves as well.
“I think that some cats are natural fashion cats, and they should be able to enjoy being fancy and adored,” Maroon says. “I never think it’s okay to dress them if they are not in the mood. If I push them, I feel like a bad stage mom and they don’t perform. We work on a system that is largely guided by them. I will say that when I flip the overhead light on for a shoot, the cats come running, ready to work it.”
Click through for some of our favorite @sissymaroon fashion cat snaps.