As I woke up this morning with my rescue kitty at my side, I got to thinking about how crazy it is that I can love a four-legged furball so much. According to science, and what’s perhaps more compelling—my personal experience—having a cat can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by one-third.
Being around animals, whether you’re visiting your nephew and his gecko or out to lunch with your friend and her Chihuahua, helps reduce stress and anxiety. Today, give your furry friends some extra cuddles or visit your nearest animal shelter and consider adopting your next BFF.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 56 Percent
Women are all about animals, often even when it comes to our chosen professions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that in 2014, 56 percent of veterinarians in the United States were women, and 70 percent of nonfarm animal caretakers were women too.
According to ASPCA, women have long been vocal advocates for animals, even as far back as the 19th century. But surprise, surprise: Women veterinarians still make less than their male counterparts.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Hannah Shaw, Director of The Kitten Lady
Today’s Woman to Watch is truly the cat’s meow. When it comes to advocating for the weak, the tiny, the disadvantaged, Hannah Shaw is the champion of the most vulnerable and defenseless: orphaned kittens.
Self-admittedly not a cat person in her youth, Hannah met her first orphaned kitten when she was 20 years old, and it completely changed her life. She’s now a staunch animal advocate who has long been working to protect animals and has saved more than 100 neonatal felines.
When kittens on the street are left without their mother, their likelihood of surviving is slim. But thanks to Hannah and her advocacy project, change is afoot (or should we say “a-paw”?). Her nonprofit is called The Kitten Lady, and it’s saving lives, one kitten at a time. The group’s website highlights important information—including video instructions—about caring for these kittens, such as the specifics of bottle feeding, weighing and bathing them.
A woman on a mission, Hannah excels at vocalizing her advocacy. She has an Instagram account with followers in the six-digit range, and she’s in near constant communication with other kitten rescuers in search of info about how they can help save these little munchkins.
Her generosity of time and spirit don’t stop there. Hannah also runs a charitable project called Rock to the Rescue, a music-focused organization co-founded by her father, a member of the band Styx.
An article Hannah wrote about the term “cat lady,” discusses how, in 2016, a cat lady isn’t some stereotype of a sad woman living a lonely life with her dozen or so cats. Instead, a cat lady is a socially conscious advocate who is a fierce protector of animals’ well-being.
So, are you ready to be a cat lady? Check with your local animal shelter to start fostering kittens (Hello! Best volunteer gig ever!), or if you want to make an impact right this moment, make a donation on The Kitten Lady site, or purchase something from Hannah’s shop. My favorite is the T-shirt that says, “Kitten Lady. When it rains it purrs.”
QUITE THE QUOTE
Poet laureate Robert Southey was clearly a kitten lover. He said:
“A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us!