Jessica Portillo, Rodney & Sunny

It all started when my roommate Simia’s childhood cat passed away. Her name was Mooshi and she took care of us. We had just moved into the first floor of an old brownstone and had so much space, but without her it just felt lonely and empty. My roommate knew she wasn’t ready for another cat but wasn’t against me getting one. I work from home and figured we had the means and space, so I decided to see what was out there.

The first adoption we had fell through and it was extremely painful, but then I found Sunny (then Snowy) on Petfinder.com. I reached out to Felines for Adoption in New Jersey and was informed he was a rescue from Qatar and would have to undergo a quarantine upon his arrival. It would be weeks before I could actually bring him home, but my roommate and I decided to go for it anyway. When it came time to sign the paperwork she offered us a second cat—another white Persian from their Qatar program! The thought of two puffy clouds roaming the house got us excited so we figured, what the hell why not? And I decided to adopt Rodney (then Roni) too. Kate from the rescue was really great. She let us know when they landed and sent us photos and videos throughout their quarantine, where the boys met and instantly bonded. My roommates and I rented a car to go to New Jersey and pick them up in the pouring rain on Mother’s Day, of all days.

Left to right: Rodney & Sunny

It hasn’t even been a year yet, but the boys already seem to feel at home— they even greet people at the door. Rodney is the cuddler—on the car ride home all he wanted was to be held. He would reach his paw out of the carrier for attention. Eventually I caved and he spent the whole ride home on my lap. Sunny likes to play hard to get, but he’s secretly a sweet boy. He likes to be where we are and watch over us. When I fall asleep he’s usually on his tower, but sometimes in the middle of the night I’ll wake up and he’ll be next to me.

Rodney is a baby doll, he will let you do whatever you want he just loves love. He usually greets us with a head-butt and lots of purrs. We call him the “Master Pastry Chef” because he’s always kneading.

Sunny likes to roam the house with a rubber band in his mouth, and he even has a battle cry. His howls are well known in this house and when he is displeased, he’ll let you know by pooping in the tub (we’re working on this) but its earned him the nickname “Stinker”. He does suffer from a lot of anxiety and definitely has some trust issues, but he’s getting better and it makes the love he gives us all the more rewarding.

They are kind of opposite of their default expressions. Even though Rodney has a flat grumpy face, he is a gentle lover. Despite Sunny’s angelic booboo eyes, he’s a total troublemaker. They couldn’t be more opposite.

I usually wake up to Rodney making biscuits out of my arm and Sunny is usually at his spot in the window snoring. Before I feed them, I give them each a grooming session. Rodney suffers from some pretty gnarly ocular herpes so I usually clean his eye goop and do a warm press for him first thing. I give them both Lysine—as instructed by the vet—even though Sunny has never shown symptoms. It helps their immune system so the chance of a herpes outbreak is lessened. They both require extensive brushing, which Sunny HATES. Sometimes it’s like having a teenage son—you will often hear me shouting “THIS IS FOR YOU”, to which he just turns his head. When Sunny first arrived, he was shaved—it’s amazing how much fluff has grown in such little time. But since he hates the comb, he will be sporting a lion cut this spring. Sometimes when I work, they model for me. Both boys are regulars in my photos. Having them around really brightens my days, especially being home alone most of the time. I feel like in the city it’s really hard to have anything permanent, but knowing I always have them to look forward to makes it a little easier. I hope they feel the same about us.


Jessica Portillo is a Freelance Photographer and Art Director based out of Brooklyn. She also Art Directs Berriez, a size inclusive vintage store and is a Content Creator for the Purseblog. Her passions are clothes, cats, and bags.

Author: girlsandtheircats

Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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