From Web Exclusives
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My name is Susan Spaulding—for 25-plus years I have fostered neonatal orphaned kittens, as well as kittens needing specialized medical care. Neonates, ill and underage kittens are one of the most at-risk groups within the animal welfare system; as little as 10 years ago, the vast majority were euthanized because rescue groups and shelters had little knowledge of how to care for them.
In 2007, after being inundated with requests for foster help—far more than we could care for—Rosemarie Crawford and I co-founded The National Kitten Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to educating others on how to care for these fragile and at-risk kittens. For several years, we were the only organization specifically advocating for these often forgotten babies.
There’s no real “start” to the day when you foster orphaned neonates, so I decided to begin my day at midnight. There’s also no “typical” day for fosters; keeping a diary of my days has been an eye-opening experience for me … and more difficult than I ever anticipated!
Co-founder of the National Kitten Coalition, Susan Spaulding is something of a legend in the cat community. Known as “the kitten mom,” she’s fostered anywhere from 100-400 kittens a year for 25 years and shows no signs of slowing down (her tiny wards come from shelters and rescues and when well enough, return to the groups for adoptions).
In short, Spaulding is a force for animals—and she needs to give us all tips on achieving her boundless energy (caffeine is key, apparently). “It sounds daunting,” she says, “but just one look in those tiny faces makes every minute worth it!”
Click through the gallery above for an edited day (and night!) in her life.