Caturday felids: The kitten rescuer; a swimming Maine Coon cat; synchronized cat leaping (and lagniappe)

August 31, 2019 • 9:00 am

Here’s a 30-minute NPR “Fresh Air” segment in which Terry Gross interviews Hannah Shaw, a woman who specializes in saving newborn kittens (click on the screenshot).

The interview also has a transcript. Here’s an excerpt:

Well my dream has been to have this nursery in my home. … We have a couple different rooms for kittens of different ages and different needs. So our neonate room is really for those newborn kittens when they first come in. People say my house is like kitten Disneyland, but it’s also kind of like a kitten hospital. We have a very sterile environment for them. Everything is stainless steel, can be sanitized. We have incubators for those babies (0 to 3 weeks) who come in, and they don’t have mom, and they need that constant radiant heat to keep them warm and healthy. I have a refrigerator where all of their formula and medication is capped. We have lots of baby supplies, everything from soft blankets to surrogate mamas that have a little heartbeat inside of them [that] these babies can cuddle up to. Really everything that we need for the tiniest neonates is in that room.

And then we have a room called the socialization room, and the socialization room is for those kittens who are learning how to eat independently. They’re learning all of the skills of becoming a tiny cat. So we have enrichment in there, that they can learn how to climb and pounce and play and burrow and do all of the things that a cat can do. … When I get the kittens in, they typically start out in an incubator, and then we just get to see them through from 0 to 8 weeks all the way to adoption. And we have something for all of them there.

Shaw has a YouTube channel here, which includes this introductory video, as well as an Instagram page.

Here’s her new book (click on the screenshot to go to the Amazon link):

And here’s the empathic Shaw herself. Curiously, I see no kitten tattoos among her inks. All I can say is that Shaw makes the world a much better place, saving one life after another.

Photo: Andrew Marttila/Penguin Random House


Many of us have heard that Maine Coon Cats, unlike other breeds, actually like to be in the water.  Well, here’s at least one that conforms to the breed’s propensities. Click on the screenshot to read about Tissy, a Maine Coon in western Pennsylvania who loves to go swimming:

An excerpt:

The fluffy, orange Maine Coon cools off weekly in the Herr family pool in Brady’s Bend , Armstrong County.

Tissy even has a tiny custom floatie she dons while swimming — a creative use of plastic salvaged from a ring toss game.

“People say it’s crazy, but she’s just a laid-back cat that loves to swim,” said Sonny Herr, who rescued a tiny flea-infested, homeless, Tissy about five years ago from a busy parking lot near the Butler County Fairgrounds.

The Herr family includes 9-year-old Taylee, mom Jennifer, dad Sonny, son Traeh and their sole pet, a “spoiled” Tissy.

Taylee and Tissy are pool pals, always swimming together.

Tissy prefers to swim toward Taylee and enjoys snuggles in the pool and lounging in a fluffy towel on the pool deck after swims.

“She makes me happy,” Taylee said. “She’s like my sister.”

Here’s Tissy in action:


Finally, a lovely synchronized cat jump, but they fail to stick the landing:


Lagniappe: A cat/art tweet found by Matthew Cobb:



h/t: Jon, Ginger K.

10 thoughts on “Caturday felids: The kitten rescuer; a swimming Maine Coon cat; synchronized cat leaping (and lagniappe)

  1. My mother in law lives in Maine. She has owned a Maine Coon (Katie) for many years. Two years ago I was asked to give Katie a bath with the assurances that she, like many Maine coons, was OK with water. Weeks later the last of the scabs from my many wounds fell off. Maine Coons are big cats. My nickname for her was “AL Katie” as she notoriously and continuously ambushed and attacked my sweet Golden Retriever who has countless cat friends in our neighborhood in MA.

  2. My older cat, Isa (who just marked her 15th birthday) is part Maine Coon, and while she shares many of the purebreds’ traits, especially their affectionate and cuddlesome behavior, an affinity for water is not one of them. She tolerated a bath once, but water is something she drinks.

    Kveldulf was a black dsh who died in 2012 at the age of 19. He loved water, and used to join me in the shower. When I took baths, he used to sit on the edge of the tub and dabble his paws in the water (and fell in more than once). At the water dish, instead of lapping, he dipped a paw in the water then licked it off; this meant that I had to change the water at least once a day because any dirt or litter he was tracking on his paws got left behind in the dish. Of course a squirt gun was useless as a disciplinary tool with him.

    A number of breeds are water lovers. If you have an Abyssinian or its longhair counterpart a Somali, keep the toilet lid down or they’ll be in there. The Turkish Van is also known as the Turkish Swimming Cat. Bengals, Manx and American Bobtails are also water-lovers, as is the Norwegian Forest Cat, the European cousin of the Maine Coon.

  3. Great story about the lady who takes care of Kittens. My wife is pretty close to that and if it were not for living with a man (that would be me) she would probably be doing the same. Fortunately we get by with only two cats and lots of cat charities.

  4. Hannah Shaw is a real hero! Living the dream.

    I don’t think I could do that, only because I would have too hard of a time letting go of the kittens after caring for them.

    Go Hannah!

  5. Here are Hannah Shaw’s kitten tats – on the back of her hands:

    These are late additions to her tats around the time of her kitten book publication. She started her tats adventure as a vegan & animal rights activist – which are the themes of her other earlier skin art.

  6. I subscribe to the Kitten Lady’s YouTube channel. The itty bitties are so adorable but so needy. She is a saint, in the non-supernatural sense of the word, of course.

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