“Kitten Lady” Hannah Shaw Rescues Orphans The Shelters Won’t Take
Hannah Shaw never planned on becoming a professional kitten rescuer. But she also never dreamed she’d stumble across a tiny, mewling orphan stuck in a tree. “I thought surely there was someone who would help this kitten,” Shaw, 29—aka “Kitten Lady”—says of the discovery she made in Philadelphia in 2008. “But I learned that nobody was going to help this kitten unless I helped this kitten.”
Most super-young kittens like the one Shaw saved—who grew up into her healthy adult cat, Coco—are euthanized if they’re taken to shelters. Why? Because caring for them requires way more time and resources than many facilities have available. Referred to as “bottle babies,” very young kittens need to be fed formula every four to six hours until they are at least a month old, and smaller or weaker kittens need to be fed even more often. So with no safe place to leave the tiny cat, Shaw took it home, and within just a couple of days, she was “in love”—both with Coco, and with kitten rescue. Since then, Shaw has taken in hundreds of orphaned kittens, raising them in her home in D.C., getting them spayed and neutered, and adopting them out once they’ve hit the two-month mark. She documents all of this on her painfully adorable Instagram feed, kittenxlady, using her furry babies’ inspiring stories to draw attention to rescue, fostering, and neo-natal kitty care.
Bottle-feeding, litter-training, and keeping kittens warm are a few of the topics Kitten Lady tackles online. And whatever she’s doing, it’s working; Shaw currently has more than 230,000 followers on Instagram and almost 52,000 on Facebook. Her Insta feed features shots of Shaw bottle-feeding kittens while getting her hair highlighted; taking bubble baths with curious kittens perched on the tub; and carrying kittens through the grocery store in her scarf. “I’m on a mission to change the world for orphaned kittens,” says Shaw on her site KittenLady.org. “We can create global change in the way we treat animals.”
By Laura Barcella
Photos: courtesy of @kittenxlady (kitten lady)
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