Two headless cats were deemed the winners of the 2022 Comedy Pet Photography Awards. Well, sort of… The two cats weren’t actually headless.
They just looked that way in the photo that Japanese photographer Kenichi Morinaga took of them.
Still, the photo was absolutely hilarious and took home the top prize out of more than 2,000 photo submissions.
Morgina was awarded £2,000 in cash, £5,000 to donate to an animal charity of his choice, and a nice bespoke trophy.
He also won the title for “Best Cat Photo” and “Highly Rated.” The winning image, titled “Boom Boom,” shows a white cat and a ginger tabby standing on a wooden fence while nuzzling necks from behind which makes them appear headless.
Moringa started photographing cats after seeing many strays on the islands around Japan. He fell completely in love with them when he finally got a cat of his own.
“Suddenly, I became fascinated by the antics of cats out in the street and had to photograph them,” Moringa told Digital Camera World. “When I returned to Japan, I continued to seek them out, they really cheer me up, especially after the last two years of the pandemic – they are so funny, even when they are doing something serious.”
The international competition was started by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam and sponsored by Animal Friends Pet Insurance.
The contest raised £10,000 each for three different charities, including Dean Farm Trust, London Inner City Kitties, and Wild at Heart Foundation.
“This amazing competition reminded me that such gestures from all animals are recognized as being hilarious, cute, and heartwarming – not only in Japan but all over the world,” Moringa said.
The 2022 category winners hailed from seven different countries. The competition was the stiffest it had ever been, with just 10 points separating the top six places.
“Neck and neck, some might say,” the contest’s website said.
Moringa beat out photos of an alpaca that looked like it was smoking a stick, a dog head and human legs sticking out of a hammock, a pig sniffing a flower, and a horse with a giant toothy grin.
“I was truly honored to receive the overall victory and the cat category award (since I was also awarded the highly rated category, I won all three crowns). Thank you! I’m so happy! I finally got this crown in my second year! Thank you for your encouragement!” Moringa wrote on Facebook.
Another cat photo that placed was a picture of a cat named Jack that got stuck in a hedge that was taken by 9-year-old Freya Sharpe, who won the “Junior” category.
Learn more about the contest at comedypetphoto.com and follow Moringa on Instagram @morikencatphoto.