This incredible lady has fostered 37 cats in under two years
You may have noticed a few cat stories circulating the internet to mark international cat day today, but as with many amazing felines, there’s usually an equally amazing person caring for them behind the scenes.
Kathryn Cartwright, 26, from Sutton Coldfield, was left with a debilitating lung disease after receiving a stem cell transplant and subsequently decided that she would use her time to foster abandoned kittens.
Despite the trials of twice battling leukaemia, two stem cell transplant therapies, a liver transplant and further liver surgery, Kathryn has now worked with the re-homing charity Cats Protection to care for 37 cats, and doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon.
She said: “Fostering has been really good in giving me something useful to do with my time and Cats Protection are so good at accommodating my needs, giving me only what I can handle.”
Kathryn now spends her time caring for her temporary housemates, cleaning their litter trays and ensuring they always receive proper medical care.
“If one of them gets ill you have to deal with what comes out – with kittens, just a normal bug can send things downhill very quickly so you have to get them to the vet straight away, especially since almost all of ours come from the street,” she said.
But whatever the challenges, Kathryn wouldn’t have it any other way.
She said: “I’d tell people it isn’t always super easy, but it is worth it for what you get out of it.
“They are all different, each with their own personalities – any thoughts you have about particular genders or colours behaving a certain way get thrown out of the window.
“They make me laugh so much, and when you get one to the point where they want to sit on you when before they would run away, it is so heartwarming. Plus they are just so cute!”
There is, of course, a downside: saying goodbye.
After weeks or months of making sure every kitten or cat has as much as they need, Kathryn eventually has to send them off to their new homes.
“I’m a bit sad to see them go, because it takes a long time, taking it really slow to get some of them used to people,” she said.
“I’ve had them come in, hissing and spitting at me, but when they’ve left they’ve been ideal, lovely kittens.”
Thanks to people like Kathryn, around 200,000 cats are re-homed or cared-for by Cats Protection every year.
Here’s to many more years, and many more adorable fluff-balls to come.