FOR PHOTOGRAPHER Francesca Luk Wing-shan, raising her cats, Potato and Peanut, is more than just an act of love - it is also a personal learning experience. 'I have learned to be tolerant and observant. I now solve problems, instead of just moaning and complaining,' says 28-year-old Luk. As a result, Luk now wants to share her experience in her first book, Peanut + Potato = Cats, a diary about her affinity with cats. 'I want to show people that pets have a life, like human beings. You have to be patient and determined if you want to keep them,' she says. Luk adopted her first cat, Potato, from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in mid-1998, and Peanut six months later. Luk says cats suit her better than dogs. 'Dogs and humans are like servants and masters, but cats and humans are on an equal basis. Cats are independent. They don't rely on you taking them for walks or keeping them company. This is perfect as my work schedule is unstable. Plus Hong Kong's congested environment is not good for dogs. They need space,' says Luk. Luk has been a photojournalist and a freelance photographer for more than five years. She decided to use her skills to keep a record of her cats. 'It was like a documentary, an exercise for myself,' she says. And it is through spending time with Potato and Peanut that she has become much more patient. 'I'm very bad-tempered, and my interests in things die quickly' she says. 'But they have changed me. I'm now more patient, and look at things in an objective way.' She cites an example: 'Before they turned three, they were hyperactive, and always broke my stuff. 'I was very angry at the beginning, but then I tried to understand, and find out the reasons why. Sometimes they were just trying to notify me of a problem,' says Luk. One day she showed the bound photo album of Potato and Peanut to friends, and they suggested she publish them. Although Luk has had a few photo exhibitions, she had never thought of publishing the cats' diary. The opportunity arrived in July last year, when she met a local publisher who was also a cat lover. Luk hopes that through her book - published in Chinese and Japanese - more people will understand that keeping pets is no laughing matter. 'They do have a soul, and they do feel grateful for the way you treat them,' she says. 'I have many friends who abandoned their pets before. This is cruel.' She adds they should have thought long and hard before getting pets in the first place. And Luk's attitude is: 'I hope I'm the only person who will take care of Peanut and Potato - they live and will die only in my house.' Francesca would love to hear what you think about pets. E-mail her at email@example.com We have 50 posters of Peanuts and Potato to give away. Tell us your favourite cat story and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include your name and contact details.