Hannah Shaw, also known as “The Kitten Lady,” has made it her life’s calling to rescue and educate others about neonatal kittens. In fact, the felines have a way of finding her.
“Pretty much everywhere I go, I end up coming home with a kitten,” she said in a story by Travel + Leisure.
So when she heard a familiar cry of help, she knew right away that it was from a young kitten in need.
Shaw and her cat photographer boyfriend, Andrew Marttila, were on vacation in Machu Picchu – and they had a train to catch. But that didn’t stop her from searching for the stray who had given the desperate cry.
When the couple located the kitten, she was being passed around by a young group of kids. The terrified baby was shaking, and Shaw was able to get the kitten into her careful hands.
Although there was no help to be found and they were about to board a train that prohibited animals, Shaw didn’t let the challenges ahead deter her.
“There [was] no animal shelter,” she told Travel + Leisure. “There was nowhere to take her. It was just not a good situation.”
However, there’s always one thing that The Kitten Lady prepares for. “I had cat food in my bag because — of course I did,” she said in the story.
With little time to spare, they smuggled the kitty onto the train. Shaw was able to sneak off to the bathroom to give her some more food, help her eliminate, and examine her a bit more closely. She determined that with some love and care the kitten would be alright, and gave her the name Munay Michi (pronounced moon-eye). According to Travel + Leisure, it translates to “pretty cat” in Quechua, the Incan language.
They arrived at the hotel late that night and had to be at the airport by 10:00 the next morning. But they still didn’t give up on bringing Munay home.
“I’ve done all sorts of really crazy rescues before. I will always figure it out,” Shaw said in the story.
The couple worked tirelessly to make arrangements for the kittens’ overseas travel, and first thing the next morning, they headed to the vet before rushing to the airport.
Shaw said Munay was a trooper during the long flights, sleeping most of the way. And luckily, she was able to get the purring passenger past customs.
The beautiful kitten is now being cared for in Washington, DC where she awaits finding a forever home. She’ll be able to live a long, healthy life filled with love, thanks to the efforts of Shaw and Marttila. Just look at her now!
The feature in Travel + Leisure closes with some sound advice from The Kitten Lady:
“If you find an animal in a very sad situation, or even if you just fall in love with an animal and want to bring them back, you can do that.”
But, she added that healthy feral animals may be better left in their environment.
“Assess the situation. Any small act of kindness is a fantastic thing to do, even if all you do is provide some food.”
The cat-loving couple is selling Munay T-shirts to help fund Shaw’s advocacy work as well as rescue work in Peru. You can check them out here. You can also keep up with Shaw on social media @kittenxlady.
Watch a video on Munay’s rescue story:
(h/t: Travel + Leisure)