When news of the shooting in Newtown started breaking, Robin Olson watched, along with the rest of the world, horrified at what was happening in her community: the shooter lived only a few streets away from her Sandy Hook home. Robin shared her emotions in a gripping series of blog posts titled The Saddest Place on Earth: Sandy Hook, CT. But writing about it wasn’t enough. Robin wanted to help her community heal.
Out of the sadness, pain and horror, Robin created something beautiful: her program, Kitties for Kits, offers playtime, pets and purrs with the kittens she fosters for her rescue group, Kitten Associates. “I saw what happened to this town, and like everybody else, I wanted to do something,” said Robin in an interview with NBC News New York.
Robin opened her home to the children, first responders, and anyone else in Newtown who needed to find a way to smile again. The foster kittens, including tortie kitten Latte shown in the photo above, were up to the task. Who could not feel at least a little better at the sight of that cute little face?
As of last Sunday, 26 Newtown residents have taken advantage of the kitten therapy offered by Robin’s feline residents. “This is not a professional therapy situation,” says Robin. “It’s a good heart, with good intentions. The only way we can help is through our love and compassion for each other. This is our offering to the town of Sandy Hook and Newtown.” In addition to getting to spend time with the kittens, visitors are sent home with a plush cat toy, suitable for hugging.
Those of us whose cats have helped us through dark times know the healing the mere presence of a cat can provide. In the wake of so much tragedy, Kitties for Kids brings some much needed smiles to the Newtown community.
Kitten Associates is dedicated to saving the lives of cats, supporting animal rescue organizations with powerful online marketing tools, and championing legislation for spay/neuter programs to end pet overpopulation. Founded in 2009 by Robin Olson, the group has rescued the lives of hundreds of kittens, many of them pulled from high-kill shelters in the Southern United States. For more information, and to support Kitten Associates, please visit KittenAssociates. org.
All photos ©Robin Olson, used with permission.