If you love cats, it may be hard for you to understand that there are people in this world who just don’t share your affinity for tiny, meowing, four-legged creatures. I mean, what’s not to like about a cat? They’re cute, they clean themselves, and they mostly mind their own business. Hannah Shaw of Philadelphia was one of those people who just didn’t get what all the fuss was about when it came to kittens.
One day, Hannah met a little kitten who was in need of some serious help. That little kitten changed her whole life. Now she’s working at her dream job. Keep reading to find out what Hannah does for a living, and how one little kitten changed everything for her.
Meet Hannah Shaw
Hannah Shaw never thought of herself as a “cat person.” One day, totally by chance, she was walking around her neighborhood in Philadelphia and she looked up in a treetop and saw a tiny kitten.
Hannah knew she wanted to help the kitten because she cared about animals, but she didn’t know the first thing about caring for one so she wasn’t really sure where to start. Hannah spent a moment just pondering her options.
Hannah Climbed A Tree To Rescue The Kitten
Hannah was wearing flip flops that day. If you’ve ever tried climbing a tree in flip flops, you know that is no easy feat. Hannah asked somebody if she could borrow their shoes so that she could climb up the tree to rescue the kitten.
Hannah tied up the laces of those borrowed shoes, scrambled up the tree, and got the kitten down. Once she and the kitten were safely on the ground, she wasn’t sure what to do next.
Learning Kitten Care
Hannah knew she had to do everything in her power to help this helpless little creature. She didn’t know anything about kittens, so she got to work reading everything she could find about how to take care of her new friend. The internet helped a little bit, but Hannah soon realized that she and this kitten were about to embark on a long journey together.
“I discovered that there were very few resources for kittens,” said Hannah. “I really had to make my own path to help this kitten.”
A Lifelong Bond
Hannah fed and took care of this tiny kitten that she named Coco. Pretty soon, it was clear that Coco had found a forever home with Hannah. Coco had completely stolen Hannah’s heart.
Hannah and Coco and now living happily as best friends, but this isn’t where their story ends. Hannah noticed that there were a lot of kittens like Coco around her neighborhood that needed help. She started formulating a plan.
How She Became The Kitten Lady
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 7.6 million animals are brought in to animal shelters each year. More than three million of those animals are cats. Hannah took it upon herself to do something about this problem.
She starting rescuing more kittens, fostering them, nursing them to health, and finding homes for them. Hannah was starting to get a reputation for being the “kitten lady.”
Making A Difference In Her Community
It got to the point where people in Hannah’s community would call her whenever they encountered a kitten in need. It was as though everyone in Philadelphia who cared about animals knew that Hannah was the kitten expert.
She’d learned a lot since adopting Coco and she went from being a person who knew nothing about kittens to a real cat wiz. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 70% of cats in shelters are euthanized each year. Newborn kittens are even more likely to be put down because they require so much care. Hannah’s work was making a real difference.
Reaching Out To Shelters
Hannah wasn’t just helping cats that her neighbors found on the street. Through her research, Hannah realized that there were a lot of cats in shelters that needed extra care. She took it upon herself to reach out to those shelters to ask if they needed any help.
The shelters were glad to accept Hannah’s help and they kept her contact info on file for whenever they had a kitten who needed to be fostered.
How She Says Goodbye
Hannah often gets asked how she manages to give away the kittens she fosters. That’s a valid question considering that Hannah kept Coco after fostering her. It can be hard to part with a tiny animal that you’ve spent so long caring for.
Hannah said, "it’s not getting rid of a kitten. The whole point of fostering is that you’re giving this animal an opportunity to have a life… my personal goal is to save as many lives as possible."
More Kittens Out Means More Kittens In
Hannah knows that she needs to get kittens in and out of her home quickly so she can continue saving as many kittens as possible. If she didn’t give the kittens away at the end, she wouldn’t be able to take in any more kittens.
Hannah said that saying goodbye is actually her favorite part of the process. She loves to watch the kittens she cared for find their own forever homes.
Hannah Doesn’t Say Goodbye To Every Cat
Coco isn’t Hannah’s only cat. Even though she loves to find forever homes for the kittens she fosters, there was one more kitten that Hannah just couldn’t bear to part with.
Coco is now an adult black cat, and Eloise, Hannah’s second rescue cat, is an adult white cat. These two really are like yin and yang. Hannah was living in North Carolina when she got a call from one of her friends about a kitten who was in really rough shape.
An Immediate Bond
Eloise had been found in the middle of the road. She was totally blind and missing one of her eyes. She was emaciated and she was struggling to breathe due to a severe upper respiratory infection.
Even though this kitten was in really rough shape, she immediately trusted Hannah and Hannah’s friends. She started purring as soon as Hannah picked her up. This cat seemed to be truly happy in Hannah’s presence.
Finding The Blind Kitten A Forever Home
Unfortunately, just a few weeks after this kitten was adopted, the adopters called Hannah and said that the cat was too hyper for them. They wanted to return her. These people apparently didn’t know that kittens can be a little bit hyper when they’re young.
When the kitten returned to Hannah, she was slightly bigger, but she was still the same sweet girl that she remembered. Coco greeted her right away.
A Forever Home For Eloise
When Coco (pictured) walked right up to the kitten and accepted her as part of the family right away, Hannah knew that she had to adopt this kitten. Hannah doesn’t want to become a crazy cat lady and she has no problem sending cats to loving adoptive homes, but she knew this cat, in particular, had returned to her for a reason.
Hannah named the white kitten Eloise and from that moment on, Eloise was a part of her forever family.
All About Coco And Eloise
Hannah felt like the original adopters of this kitten had let her down, and she didn’t want anybody to make this kitten feel let down or abandoned ever again. Eloise and Coco are now the best of friends.
Some of Coco’s favorite things are stuffed frogs, snuggling, hanging out with Hannah’s human friends, and hard scratches. Eloise loves looking at birds through the window and climbing to high up areas.
Hannah’s YouTube Channel
So you might be wondering, how does Hannah actually make a living from all of this kitten rescuing? Saving cats is noble work, but it doesn’t exactly come with a huge paycheck, plus all of that formula and medical care for the kittens can be expensive.
Hannah Shaw started a YouTube channel so people who were interested in caring for kittens could learn about what it takes to be a kitten foster mom.
Kitten Lady Now Has Close To 800,000 Subscribers
“The lack of good information and resources is what inspired me to start my project Kitten Lady,” said Hannah. “I wanted to give people a resource when they find a kitten in need.” Whether you need more information about caring for a lost or injured kitten, or you just want to see Hannah Shaw bottle feed some adorable baby cats, Kitten Lady is the YouTube channel for you.
Hannah now has over 175 videos on her popular channel.
A Good Day’s Work
Hannah now spends her time organizing, providing resources for adoption, and educating the public about caring for kittens. She travels to schools and education centers to teach people about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, and what to do if you find a stray cat on the street.
The Philadelphia area is a little bit safer for cats and kittens thanks to the work that Hannah Shaw does every day.
Making A Difference In The Lives Of Animals
“There’s no end to the work that needs to be done, so I try to make it fun for people, and make it feel like something people can do and be proud of what they’re doing,” said Hannah.
Hannah’s YouTube channel has been getting a ton of attention lately. All of those views translate into money that helps Hannah do what she does best: save cats and kittens. Every time you watch one of Hannah’s videos, you’re contributing to her cause.
DIY Cat Toys
Recently, Hannah posted a video about how to make your own cat toys for your pets. Why spend a ton of money at a big box pet store when cats are perfectly happy playing with toys that you made out of recycled materials?
You’ll save money, you’ll save the planet, and you’ll have happy cats. Head over to Hannah’s channel for lots of helpful tips about how you can raise happy, healthy cats.
What She’s Doing Now
Hannah is publishing a book about her experience rescuing kittens. Her book Tiny But Mighty is coming out in 2019, and her children’s book, Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens is also coming out this year.
Hannah has been featured on the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, and she’s been profiled in People magazine, Cosmopolitan, and other media outlets. In 2017, she was awarded the Advocate of the Year award by CatCon Worldwide. Clearly, Hannah Shaw has made an impact.