Where would our lives be without cats? While cats are America’s favorite pet, there is a stigma that shames the love of felines. You probably know her as “the crazy cat lady,” a woman, typically single, who has an unhealthy obsession with all things feline. In The Simpsons, she’s a rambling madwoman who constantly has cats draped over her shoulder. In Bob’s Burgers, it’s Gale, the sister of the titular character’s wife, Linda. And in the Harry Potter universe, there are some questionable connections drawn between Dolores Umbridge’s evil tendencies and her love of kittens. One woman, Hannah Shaw, also known as The Kitten Lady, is aiming to break down those negative stereotypes while raising awareness for the plight faced by orphaned kittens.
Like any baby, animal or human, orphan newborn kittens (aged eight weeks and under), are an extremely vulnerable population. They cannot generate their own body heat, they cannot go to the bathroom on their own, they cannot groom themselves, and require specialized knowledge and overnight care that most shelters are not equipped to handle. Unless a foster parent who is experienced in handling newborns steps in, most orphan newborn kittens are euthanized before close of business the day that they are brought in to shelters.
Through multiple platforms, such as Instagram and her YouTube channel, Shaw seeks to raise awareness for kittens everywhere by sharing stories of rescued kittens and providing educational videos.
Hannah Shaw, creator of multi-media platform The Kitten Lady, explains why it is so important to help newborn kittens grow.
From tips on how to feed newborn kittens and keep them warm to reasons why she does not allow herself to become a “foster failure,” Shaw’s channel is a fantastic learning tool for cat lovers and fosters everywhere.
She also aims to smash the negative stereotypes assigned to the “crazy cat lady” trope, which is harmful to both people who love cats and women.
Not only has her platform reached thousands, it has lead to speaking opportunities at shelters that previously were not equipped to care for newborns.
Shaw’s end goal is something we all can get behind: to end the unnecessary euthanization of kittens everywhere. Even if you cannot foster or adopt, you can still help kittens. Participate in your local trap-neuter-release program to ensure that no unwanted kittens are born or use your social media accounts to raise awareness about the importance of adoption and spaying or neutering your pets.
Image source: The Kitten Lady/Facebook