Courtesy of eatdrinkcat / Instagram
Cat mom Amber Maureen Lu and her long-haired Scottish folds, 6-year-old Harley and 1-year-old Lola, are an adorable trio making people smile all year long with their campy costumes on their Instagram account, @eatdrinkcat.
When Harley was still a kitten, Lu was invited to a Christmas photoshoot with her friends, who asked if Harley could tag along and pose for a few photos. And while most cats won't tolerate staying in a costume for more than a minute, Harley—on a busy set with more than 15 people—instantly turned into a tiny, fluffy model.
"She was lying in her little Santa outfit and posing on her back like she just fell down the chimney. That was sort of the beginning of her dressing up," Lu tells Daily Paws.
Years later, Lu estimates Harley and Lola have worn almost 300 unique costumes and outfits. While some of these are simple cat sweaters that Harley likes to wear around the house, most come from Lu's annual Halloween project, called "#31DaysOfHarleyween," where she dresses Harley (and sometimes herself and Lola) in a unique costume every day in October.
After the first year, which Lu says was mostly thrown together with what she had in the house, Lu started a list of costume inspirations to craft herself, from Katy Perry and Bob Ross to Squid Game and Bride of Frankenstein. Because some of these costumes were more complicated, Lu began dressing up with Harley to help convey the costume and make Harley more comfortable in front of the camera.
"If there's something she really doesn't want to wear, obviously I don't make her wear it," Lu tells Daily Paws. "I care way more about her happiness than any stupid picture."
Because Harley was such a natural in front of the camera, Lu continued to dress up, travel, and stage photoshoots with her year-round. And with a charmingly grumpy face like Harley's, it's no surprise all the photos turn out adorable.
While Harley's feline sister, Lola, doesn't enjoy the spotlight as much as Harley, Lu is hopeful her newly adopted bunny, George Michael, will join in on the costume fun this year after he successfully posed for a few photos in a Santa hat.
At the end of the day, Lu's main goal is to put a smile on someone's face. A few years ago, when she considered stopping #31DaysOfHarleyween, many of her followers messaged her to say they look forward to the posts, especially when they're going through a tough time.
"I just want people to be happy," Lu tells Daily Paws. "So many times people are like, 'Oh my gosh, this is so ridiculous. This is so funny. This made my day.' It's all just meant to hopefully cheer somebody up that's having a bad day."