For years, cat enthusiasts have battled against horrible misconceptions that they are all eccentric weirdos in puff-painted sweatshirts who occasionally tongue bathe all 46 of their feline friends.
While some of us them might fit the mold, there are plenty of cool cat people who do amazing things to help change the world for kittens. One of the most famous is Hannah Shaw, better known to her hundreds of thousands of social media followers at “The Kitten Lady.”
This weekend, you’ll have two chances to meet the Kitten Lady IRL, as she’ll be a featured guest at the Paw-Purr-Azzi Glitter Ball on Friday night to benefit Feline Rescue, and she’ll host two workshops on Saturday at the U of M’s St. Paul Student Center to share tips on raising kittens, as well as caring for community cats.
“You can be a cool cat person who is also totally stable,” Shaw laughs. “Volunteering and adopting cats doesn’t make you a crazy cat lady. Cats are really cool, and you’re also helping to find a happy solution for a sad problem.”
Having been active in animal rescue since she was a teen, Shaw initially focused on the most vulnerable and at-risk populations of animals. What she didn’t realize, however, was that some of the animals that needed her most were also the most common.
“I didn’t know that there were so few resources for kittens under eight weeks old,” she says of her early entry into kitten rescue. “I started learning about how big the gap in resources really was, and shifted my attention to learning about how to care for and rescue kittens.”
Since then, she has appeared on Animal Planet and in other media outlets for her efforts. She has amassed a monster social media following, posting videos and resources on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channels about kitten care and, naturally, the crazy-cute things kittens do every day. While she appreciates the attention she’s been able to put on kitten rescue, she hopes that she can convert some of that online love into real-life action.
“It’s one thing to like a photo; it’s another to get involved,” she says.
The Glitter Ball this Friday celebrates 20 years of whiskers, purrs, and volunteers, and the Feline Rescue is rolling out the whole ball of yarn. From a red carpet entrance and a kitten fashion show, to a silent auction, kitty cocktails, music, and a book signing by author Kristy Abbott of her Feline Rescue-approved book Finding Home, you’re basically guaranteed to overdose on cuteness and cat puns while supporting a great cause.
“I hope that people who follow me on social media see that cat people aren’t just introverted loners,” she says. “We can put on party dresses for an evening. Even if you feel weird coming alone, you’ll meet people!”
IF YOU GO:
Paw-Purr-Azzi Glitter Ball
DoubleTree Park Place, St. Louis Park (West End)
Friday, Nov. 3
Click here for details