Rupurt Luxuriates, The Natural Light Cat
If going for a more laid back and intimate image of your pet, probably best to switch off that FLASH. Nothing spoils the mood like a huge burst from your flash gun.
I found Rupert here lying around on the sofa, but he was swamped in darkness. Instead of using flash, I turned on a nearby lamp for illumination. I also adjusted my White Balance for tungsten light.
The other smart bit (thanks to his friendly and wise owner) was letting Rupert sniff or explore the camera a bit. I know it sounds crazy, but if you come in with your face concealed behind a big camera (and clicking off frame after noisy frame), you are bound to scare your poor subject away. I set the camera next to him, he sniffed and then ignored it.
Sitting as he was, I composed him into his full and rich, embroidered couch environment. I noticed that his ears would perk up each time my auto-focus chimed. A welcome way to get an attentive looking tabby.