Instagram account features Madison's photogenic felines - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Instagram account features Madison's photogenic felines

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MADISON (WKOW) -- There's a new Instagram account taking over Madison, and it features some of the city's most camera-shy residents.

You have to love cats to be Jason Nolen, UW-Madison lecturer and the founder/curator of Instagram's Cats of Madison. "It makes me seem... maybe a little bit of a cat maniac,” laughs Nolen.

In the warmer weather, he spent three to four hours a week searching for felines to photograph on Madison's east side. “It takes more time than I should be spending on something I'm not getting paid for,” admits Nolen. He's never been much of a hobbyist. “I told someone recently this is basically the first hobby I've ever had.”

Nolen has improved his photography skills too. “I always thought of myself as someone who's not very good at taking pictures ... but I've found that taking pictures of cats is the one area where I feel confident."

In the six months it's been active, Madison's Instagrammers are taking notice. “It started to get a lot of followers," Nolen says. In fact, it's got more than 4,000 followers.

Making sure he posts photos every day, and gets great shots has almost turned into a second job for Nolen. “I have this whole spreadsheet of cats that I've taken pictures of,” he says.

Although a hard day's work looks like cats on their backs, on their feet, and on trees... Nolen says the project brings out the humanity in all of us. “If I have the name of the cat I put the name, but I also put the street that I found it on. People, I think, like seeing cats pictured in their neighborhood and their community."

Now that it's getting cold out, Nolen will rely more on user submissions for his daily photos. To send them in, just post your cat photos to Instagram and tag @cats_of_madison.

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