Kitten Lady: The Woman Who Saves Hundreds of Cats
Hannah Shaw, better known on social media as Kitten Lady, has dedicated her life to saving orphaned kittens. She has cared for over 100 kittens who have now gone to their forever families.
Hannah collaborates with several animal protection entities, who notify her when they receive a litter. Currently, she lives outside of Washington DC with her boyfriend, a professional cat photographer.
They have three permanent cats (Coco, Eloise and Haroun, who belongs to her partner). Of course, they always have temporary litters of kittens, who she feeds with baby bottles.
But the “Kitten Lady” doesn’t just help the kittens that end up at her house. She also teaches the rest of the world about how to take care of a litter of kittens, should you ever come across one.
Very young kittens are euthanized at one of the highest rates of any group of animals in shelters. They cannot eat on their own until they are a month and a half old. In the absence of staff, litters that arrive without a mother end up dying.
The beautiful work of the Kitten Lady
That’s why Kitten Lady decided to dedicate her life to saving these little ones that no one else could (or would). She started by feeding and taking care of the kittens that came to her house.
Soon enough, though, people were asking for information and training on how to do it themselves. That’s how Hannah began to teach others about how to save orphaned kittens.
Now Hannah teaches the world how to bottle-nurse kittens, how to teach them to use a litter box, how to provide basic veterinary care, and how to make sure they grow up healthy.
She also shows how to make the kittens feel comfortable, happy and safe in their temporary homes. All of these things have to happen before they can become independent enough to be put up for permanent adoption.
Kitten Lady is active on many social media platforms, where the world watches her kittens grow up. However, she now also has a detailed web page that goes step-by-step and describes how we can help save orphaned kittens. As if that weren’t enough, her YouTube channel has tutorial videos on how to take care of these vulnerable little creatures.
Hannah also gives workshops and courses to animal protection organizations throughout North America. Her purpose is to train hundreds of volunteers and professionals so that they can stop euthanizing kittens. One way they do so is by adapting the facilities to what newborn kittens need. She also recruits foster parents in all the cities she visits.
Munay, the Peruvian kitten
In the summer of 2017, Kitten Lady was on vacation in Machu Picchu when she heard the cries of what definitely sounded like a kitten. She followed the sound and came face to face with a tiny kitten some children were playing with.
She convinced them to give her the kittens, and not even 48 hours later Hannah managed to travel back to the US with Munay, as she dubbed her.
Munay, the Peruvian kitten, currently lives in a permanent home with another older cat brother. However, despite having traveled to the US at such a young age, she will never forget her roots. In fact, Munay helped raise thousands of dollars for animal protection organizations, so that other people can continue saving kittens in Peru.
Chloe, the Kitten Who Couldn’t Walk
The star of this final story is a kitten named Chloe. Hannah went to one of the animal protection organizations she works with to pick up an orphaned kitten who had shown up without a litter. When she got there, they handed her the just-rescued kitten, Chloe.
She was a little older than the cats Kitten Lady usually picked up, but Chloe had something unique that made her especially vulnerable to euthanasia: she was paralyzed from the hips down.
Not really knowing what to do, Kitten Lady took Chloe home. After about twenty appointments with veterinarians and specialists and lots of medical tests, they came to the conclusion that the cat would not walk again.
However Chloe and Hannah have taught us just how important it is to love our fellow living beings while accepting their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Chloe may not be able to walk, but she is a very lively, intelligent, independent cat.
Chloe, like Munay, helped raise money to save other cats with the same physical problems she has. In addition to paying for the therapy of a few other paralyzed kittens, Kitten Lady has made videos and training sessions on how to care for cats with paralysis.
Nursing, orphaned cats are a very vulnerable population. Without mothers to take care of them or people who know what they’re doing, they are condemned to die — even if they make it to an animal protection organization.
But Kitten Lady teaches us that it’s possible to save hundreds of kittens by dedicating just a few hours a day. With a lot of hard work and love, she has accomplished what she set out to do — and is still doing so today.
Main image source: Kitten Lady’s Facebook page