Slice of Kitten Heaven on New York's Upper West Side
There's a little slice of kitten heaven in Tammy Cross' 450-sq-ft Beaux-Arts apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Tammy is the force behind Kitten Little Rescue, an organization that rescues sick, abused or abandoned kittens and showcases them on summer weekends at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue, in the hope of finding adoptive or foster families for the wee ones.
Tammy often fields calls from the Center for Animal Care and Control, the citys shelter, seeking to place strays that might otherwise face certain death. In her tiny apartment, 6 to 18 baby kittens and once as many as 22 are bottle fed and nursed back to health. An army of volunteers, along with contributions from the public, help sustain her rescue work.
Tammy has been living a life defined by cats ever since she came to New York about 30 years ago. Her cheery apartment hardly looks like a crazy cat lady's habitat, but cats are indeed in residence. There's a pile of cat toys beneath the sofas, whose white slipcovers are washable in case of accidents. Grey industrial carpet wraps a door frame, providing an ideal scratching post without sacrificing floor space. The bathroom functions as a nursery for kittens who are ill or very young or cannot eat on their own. Tammy pads around her apartment barefoot to avoid injuring the kittens who are constantly scampering everywhere.
Tammy has been rescuing, bottle feeding and tending to sick and injured kittens for over 18 years. A recognized expert in this field, she has taught classes on critical kitten care and bottle feeding at the ASPCA. In 2005, she received the Companion Animal Guardian Award and was recognized for her humanitarian help to animals by the animal welfare group 'In Defense of Animals'. She has rescued and adopted out over 2000 kittens and cats.
[SOURCE: The New York Times]