When Hannah received a call about a kitten in a tissue box, she knew the cat wasn’t very big. But when she saw the tiny thing, its true fragility hit her. Hannah was also painfully aware that if she didn’t act quickly, the baby wasn’t long for this world.
Hannah Shaw is no stranger to cats – in fact, she’s made their care her life’s work. Social media users may know her better as the Kitten Lady, the on-screen handle that she’s become famous for. Needless to say, Shaw is a huge feline fanatic.
Not only is the Kitten Lady cuckoo for cats, but she also uses her knowledge to help others. This assistance doesn’t just come in the form of rescuing and fostering stray kitties either. Shaw instructs fellow feline fans on how to nurture them too.
Alongside educating budding animal carers professionally, Shaw’s YouTube channel is a combination of cat how-to’s and rescue videos. However, there was one specific rescue video that went viral after the Kitten Lady uploaded it. And that’s the story of a little ginger kitten called Hanky.
No one knows what happened in Hanky’s early life. If her condition was anything to go by, though, it wasn’t good. The little kitten’s human presumably couldn’t cope with her care and took her into a Petco pet store. Hanky was so small that they transported her in an unconventional way.
On the video, the Kitten Lady recounts how Hanky arrived at Petco in a tissue box. “Petco isn’t set up to care for orphan kittens,” Shaw told Love Meow on November 21, 2017. As a result, it called animal control, who in turn contacted her.
“So they called me, and I came as fast as I could,” Shaw elaborated. She arrived at the store with her partner, fellow animal rescuer and cat photographer Andrew Marttila. On seeing Hanky, the couple couldn’t believe how tiny she was.
“You’re a newborn baby,” Shaw coos to Hanky on the video. She also mentions how the little cat is filthy and infested with fleas. Too many parasites can drain their host of blood, which may result in anemia. Of course, this is more dangerous in smaller or weaker animals such as kittens.
Kittens can’t regulate their own body heat, so Shaw wrapped Hanky up in a heat pad and took her home. Then she weighed the little cat and discovered just how young Hanky was. “81 grams, so [she’s] definitely just a couple of days old,” the Kitten Lady reveals on the video.
The lack of an umbilical cord was an additional indicator that Hanky wasn’t quite newborn. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the first thing Shaw should have done was feed the mewing kitten. However, feeding baby cats prematurely can make them ill.
That’s because it’s possible for formula to get into the kitten’s lungs, which results in pneumonia. With this in mind, Shaw warms Hanky up in a blanket before she fills up her fuzzy tummy. It’s only after Hanky’s temperature stabilizes that the Kitten Lady hand-feeds her.
“Sometimes the first feeding can be a little tricky,” Shaw explains as she prepares the syringe. But Hanky surprises her by having a large meal for such a tiny cat. It’s not the first surprise she had for her human either. Shaw originally took Hanky for a male.
During Hanky’s feeding, the Kitten Lady notices once more how many fleas her new charge has. Thus, her next step is to remove the parasites, initially with a flea comb. Then Shaw gives Hanky a careful bath with anti-flea soap, avoiding her head and quickly drying her afterwards.
Despite Hanky being in the best of hands, though, her recovery wasn’t without its problems. Young kittens are very vulnerable, and Shaw’s new furbaby was no exception. Because of her low immune system, Hanky contracted a disease called panleukopenia, or panleuk for short.
Panleuk is actually caused by the feline parvovirus, sometimes as a result of fleas. It’s often deadly to kittens, but Hanky was in the best of hands. She battled the virus with Shaw’s help, who spent a week opening Hanky’s closed eyes to treat them with ointment.
Sure enough, just as Hanky survived everything else thrown at her, she also successfully defeated panleuk. After that, there was no stopping the little ginger warrior. Under Shaw and Marttila’s expert nurturing, Hanky went from strength to strength.
Not only did Hanky have her human’s guidance, but the kitten had plenty of pals to socialize with. She particularly bonded with a trio of adorable babies Shaw referred to as the Three Little Bears. Their rescuer called them Grizzly, Kodiak and Sun Bear.
Although Hanky got along well with all her furfriends, she grew closest to Kodiak. It’s great news, them, that on January 21, 2018, Shaw uploaded a video update of the pair to YouTube. She revealed that both the kittens had been adopted by the same person.
The lucky woman’s name is Fauna, and she shared the kitten’s adoption party on the same video. But their adventures didn’t end there; their rescuer has an Instagram page called hank_and_kodi to keep fans updated. It’s incredible seeing how much the cat couple have grown.
Hanky didn’t have the best start to life, but, thanks to Shaw, she conquered her adversity. Now the kitten’s a grown cat in a home filled with love and affection. That must be the perfect reward for the Kitten Lady, and it’s definitely the purrfect ending for Hanky.
Thankfully, like Shaw, there are lots of people out there who just can’t ignore the troubled cries from a helpless animal. When one man found this little bedraggled kitten by the side of the road, he knew he had to stop and help. And the touching story of his attempts to save this innocent fur baby’s life will melt your heart.
In December 2016 YouTube user kalpana Peter uploaded a video of his attempt to save a helpless kitten he found close to death. The social media user, whose real name is Peter, lives in India. In addition, he works for ChinChinku Kids Nursery Rhymes – so perhaps he has an affinity with the younger and more vulnerable in society.
At least, when Peter heard an unusual sound while he was going about his business, the big-hearted man couldn’t help but investigate. The noise sounded like an animal in distress – and, as it turned out, what he heard was loud yowling from a very small kitten.
But it was miraculous that the kitten could make any noise at all: the poor thing was in terrible health and needed help desperately. What’s more, it was alone on a roadside and covered in the filth of a nearby drain. How it had got there, though, was a mystery.
Even more disturbingly, the kitten was terribly thin when Peter found her. “She was very hungry, afraid and sleepless,” the YouTube video captions explained. In fact, the cat was so weak she didn’t have the energy to move when he approached her. She couldn’t even stand.
So Peter gently picked up the kitten. Once he had given the malnourished and dehydrated feline something to drink, though, she perked up a little bit. Then, adorably, the little cat started to purr.
Throughout all of this, Peter held the scrawny kitten close. And perhaps this marked the first time since being separated from her mommy that she felt safe. Certainly her actions suggested so: as she lay exhausted in the crook of Peter’s arm, the little stray fell fast asleep.
Indeed, the little cat seemed taken with Peter, who named her Hetty. But there was only so much that he could do for her by himself, and she needed medical attention if she was going to survive her ordeal. The next stop for the pair, then, was a veterinary hospital.
Fortunately, the animal clinic treated Hetty well and was soon able to release her back into the care of her rescuer. Still, just as Hetty had grown attached to Peter, he too had formed a bond with the little kitten. And, as a result, he decided to adopt her.
Heartwarmingly, then, Hetty now had a home and a loving human to help her recover from her past traumas. When she was safe under Peter’s roof, though, the first step was to get her clean and strong. And the healing process began with a bottle full of nourishing milk.
Unfortunately, Hetty seemed to have gotten a little too close to the drain near where she was found. As a result, her fur was coated in dirt and needed a good wash. That’s just what her adopted daddy gave her, then – and perhaps it was the first lovely bath of her life.
Furthermore, the warm water didn’t just prove to be rejuvenating. Once the dirt was washed away, in fact, the emaciated little kitten revealed the potential to be a beautiful cat. Indeed, Hetty’s fur was soft and fluffy underneath the grime.
And over time Hetty grew stronger and got to experience a side of life she might never have known. After all, if she had remained abandoned on the streets she likely would not have had a chance at joy. Without having to focus on survival, then, she could relax and play.
What’s more, Hetty soon moved on from bottle-feeding. And under the love and care of her new human, she blossomed from a scrawny street cat into a beautiful, healthy furbaby. In fact, she was unrecognizable from the kitten Peter had rescued from the road.
But Hetty seemed to be forever grateful for the love and affection she received. She would snuggle up with Peter and take a nap every day – just like the first time she fell asleep in his arms.
Meanwhile, and understandably, the incredible transformation Hetty went through got a lot of attention on the web. The YouTube video Peter uploaded, for example, received over 56,500 views and 448 upvotes. In addition, several animal news websites covered the abandoned kitten’s story. And internet commenters in particular had nothing but good things to say about the rescue.
“You are a hero. The world is a better place because of the compassion you have. Hugs to your precious kitty,” one YouTube user said. Another wrote, “Bless you! You have such a kind and warm soul! Thank you so much for rescuing this sweet little kitty!”
Indeed, Hetty was a lucky kitty to have found a loving home. Tragically, though, not every kitten is so fortunate. India, for one, has a large population of stray animals – and many of them are suffering on the streets just as baby Hetty did.
“[The] population of cats and dogs on the streets in India is so significant. It is not possible to find loving homes for even a fraction of them,” charity Stray Angels India wrote on its crowdfunding page. “Every day, countless numbers of puppies and kittens are born in drains and underneath cars.”
Meanwhile, Peter wrote on his YouTube channel, “I hope my videos will inspire you, and please share with others too.” And it would certainly be a beautiful thing if more people in the world treated animals like Peter treated Hetty. Let’s hope, then, that many others will follow his example.