Spinach & Chickpea, A Power-Packed Duo Thanks To The Kitten Lady

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on June 10, 2020

Known as the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw rescues and fosters kittens, sharing their stories and their progress on her Instagram page. And with photos of adorable kittens like Chickpea and Spinach, its no wonder Shaw has more than 1 million followers.

And while her fosters are cute enough to make anyone melt, the aim behind every post is raising awareness for kittens in need.

Spinach and Chickpea were both neonatal kittens when they came into Hannah’s care and beyond being young enough to still need a mother’s care, they both had medical issues, making both kittens extra special in their needs.


Spinach and Chickpea, Kitten BFFs

Iron-girl Spinach was a 3-week-old kitten in danger coming into Hannah’s care. On Instagram, Hannah shared the kitten’s medical urgency. “Her breastbone is misshapen and pressing inwards, limiting the space for her heart and lungs to grow.”

But that wasn’t the most pressing of issues. “She also has a detached segment of her sternum that is sharp, freely floating…and pointed towards her vital organs.”


The tiny tabby underwent surgery to save her life. “For the coming weeks, Spinach will wear a plastic chest plate, which is stitched to the outside of her chest through her ribs. This will allow her ribs to expand and grow into a correct shape, and will help the detached bone grow into the right position.”


In spite of her specially-installed hardware, Spinach is thriving under Hannah’s care.


Just like Chickpea, aka Thiccpea.

Chickpea, an adorable tuxedo chunk, found Hannah as “a hot mess kitten” with a respiratory infection and a congenital medical condition, “a class 2 malocclusion (aka severe overbite)”.


Her problem may not be easy to see, but it could have led to severe problems with Chickpea’s ability to nurse. Hannah warned this issue “can lead to complications later on if the teeth grow in and puncture the palate.”

Thanks to Hannah’s constant attention to detail and dedicated medical teams, both girls have grown strong and healthy in their time with the Kitten Lady.


Time to Go Home Forever

Spinach and Chickpea have bonded tightly in their time with Hannah, becoming best buds and sisters. Now that its time for the kittens to find their forever homes, the girls want to go together. And their wish has been granted!

They will go home together forever and all their adventures can be followed at @spinach_and_chickpea.


How Can You Help?

Shaw has made it her mission to save kittens. She does this through fostering, authoring books, giving educational seminars and webinars, and advocacy work. She even founded the Orphan Kitten Club, a charitable organization providing programs which save young feline lives.


How did it all begin though?

On a work outing over a decade ago, Hannah heard a kitten calling for help in a tree and knowing she had to help, scaled the limbs to rescue the fuzzy baby. Trying to help the kitten, she found resources limited. She and Coco were pretty much on their own. Ever since, Hannah and Coco have forged a path for the good of kittens, providing valuable resources on how to save “the most vulnerable felines”.


To cat lovers interested in learning how to care for kittens, Shaw’s book Tiny but Mighty, is the go-to guide. And she encourages anyone with love in their heart, “If you ever wish someone would help animals, my best advice is to recognize that you are someone. You can be the one who saves the day. You truly can!”

Feature Image: @kittenxlady/Instagram