Discover the Instagram duo Artemis and Apollo, who have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Artemis and Apollo, based in London with their owners Reka and Peter, have a huge presence on Instagram with over 117,000 followers. Last year, the dynamic duo released their first book, a ‘myowography’ of their lives and adventures, along with a calendar, and embarked on a photo tour of Scotland in preparation for their next book. And, with ‘miowdeling’ jobs and public appearances in the pipeline, they’re showing no signs of slowing down in 2019!

“I think they have plans to take over the world,” says Reka. “My own plan for them is to complete the Scottish book. This is a huge company. It is a photo comic with hundreds of beautiful images related to the story of Artemis and Apollo’s quest for the medieval ‘sacred catnip’. It is a mystical treasure hunting thriller, with some comedic episodes.

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“We are looking forward to a second trip to Scotland in the summer to take many more pictures because we have learned from some mistakes after the first attempt. If it goes well, I would very much like to turn it into a series. The next books are based on Wales, Ireland and England. Despite now being a full-fledged cat mom or ‘hoomum’ to Artemis and Apollo, Reka had never had cats before, growing up with dogs and previously had a ferret, named Clark Snow.

“Clark had been my faithful companion for more than eight years,” says Reka. “Unfortunately he died in 2014; I was devastated.” Around this time, Jonesy ‘the O2 cat’ was appearing in TV campaigns, and Reka was immediately smitten with the Maine Coon’s impressive appearance.

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Says Reka: “I love that Maine Coons are so much bigger than other cats, and I adore their distinctive faces and ear tufts. I wanted a cat companion that was interactive rather than aloof, and Artemis and Apollo are just that, when they’re in the mood to be! We travel a lot for work, so we decided to adopt not one, but two cats, so they can keep each other company while we’re gone.”

Did Artemis and Apollo hit it off right away?

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Artemis and Apollo, named after the Greek gods of the moon and sun (a nod to their fur colors), are foster brothers. Artemis arrived with Reka and Peter a month before his “little redheaded brother”, who is a few weeks younger.

“It took them about three days to get used to each other. Apollo would have been happy to snuggle up to his new sister before long, but Artemis hissed at him at first,” says Reka. “Artemis took on the role of big sister and continued to train Apollo in proper litter box use and show him how to groom himself. Apollo sometimes plays rough, and Artemis doesn’t like that, but they are very close and attached to each other. When we have a ‘meow forward’ job, or we have to take one of them to the vet, people always laugh that the other kitty is coming, but I think they calm down and relax.”

How did Instagram fame start?

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Reka started the couple’s Instagram account as a joke and was surprised at how quickly the account grew.

“The cats reached their first 80,000 in the first year,” Reka explains. “The following have grown a bit more slowly, but steadily, since then. However, more important than the numbers is the warmth and well wishes of our long-term supporters. Some of them have been around for over four years, regularly liking every photo and commenting on them. I love the fun and joy that Artemis and Apollo bring to people; reading comments when people say that our photos make their day, or that we helped them through a very difficult time, makes it all worth it.”

Reka continues: “Artemis and Apollo are not ‘trained’ but have been role models for me since they were little kittens. With a little patience, there was no set-up we couldn’t conquer. They stand still and, for some tuna treats, are happy to pitch in. The only hard part is getting them both to look in roughly the same direction at the same time, but that’s where feather toys help.

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“As far as cats go, posing for photos is just another game. My favorite montages are outdoor photographs. I prefer natural light to anything else because the sun brings out the amazing colors of the kittens’ coats. Artemis’s coat looks pretty plain in indoor photos, but everyone is in awe of the mix of colors in her coat when we take pictures outdoors. Also, both Artemis and Apollo are very well behaved, so I don’t have to worry about them running away from us, even if they’re not on leashes. They know we are the ‘safe places’ so if they feel wary or insecure about anything they always run to ‘hoomum and hoodad’, not run away.

“Maine Coons are very similar to wild cats, so I love photographing them in a more adventurous setting. When I posted an outdoor photograph of Artemis claiming to have seen a lynx in the wild, some people believed it. It has been one of our most popular photos, and Artemis is very proud of herself for being mistaken for a lynx!”

Despite cats’ exciting lifestyles and packed schedules, they remain just adorable companions. “They really like human interaction. They often move into whatever room we’re in and just hang out with us, or hit us over the head for attention,” says Reka. “They also like ‘me’ time, when they go to a quiet corner of the apartment to meditate and just ‘be.’ After a while, they’ll come back to see what we’re doing, and maybe they’ll make fun of us by sitting at the computer keyboard.”

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