An estimated 500,000 unowned, free-roaming community cats lurk within the margins of the New York City landscape, living, breeding, and dying in basements, parking lots, subway tunnels, backyards, parks, and wherever else can sustain their fragile existences. The roots of this cat crisis trace back to pressing issues of human inequity: gentrification, rising costs of living, housing insecurity, and inaccessible veterinary and healthcare services. This body of work documents engagement with these cats, their environments, and the humans who, despite limited resources, dedicate enormous amounts of time, money, and physical and emotional labor to fight for their survival. In collaboration with Cats of Meow York, a trap-neuter-return- based rescue group, and local cat colony caretakers, these images consider how community cats defy simple classifications of wild or domestic, protected or neglected, displaced or sovereign.
Will Landis-Croft is a photographer and videographer from Portland, Oregon, currently based in New York City.