Question for everyone: how closely have you ever really looked into your cat’s eyes?
In the instant before that ancient-Egyptian-god mojo slithers around your cerebellum and you can no longer escape the compulsion to dispense a case of Fancy Feast at Chairman Meow’s feet, does anyone else ever wet themselves in shock and fear at the realization, “I am harboring the Dark Lord Sauron?”
C’mon, look at Philadelphia photographer Andrew Marttila’s photo set of extreme close-ups and tell us you don’t feel a compulsion to scare the Lembas bread out of any tiny person sporting a sweet ring.
(Look, humor us, OK? We went to, and got kicked out of, Jared.)
Funny story: this enchanting study of when feline eyes are smiling stemmed from Marttila surrounding himself with cats at 22 years old under the premise that prolonged contact with them would fortify an immunity to his then-allergy. Quite the ironic weakness for a shutterbug who has photographed the beloved dour likeness of the legendary Grumpy Cat.
After a few months, not only were his allergies gone, but the furry, precocious assholes so endeared themselves that he became the proud papa of two Bengal cats to share his affections with two dogs.
We have to admit, the eyes themselves are legitimately stunning. When we aren’t fearfully convinced they’ll make servants to The One Ring of us all, it is impossible to ignore how Martilla’s incredible high-resolution focus and detail amplifies each eye’s dazzling richness and depth.