Rescuing cats and dogs (and the occasional ferret) has been a part of the Lanotte family for as long as I can remember.
However, our true rescue work came two years ago when my two sons, daughter, and I finally made our schedules work to volunteer at Wild Blue. My kids always went to seek out the cats up for adoption at PetSmart and one day they chatted with one of the great Wild Blue volunteers who happened to be there taking care of some of the cats. My kids were too young to volunteer at the time, then COVID hit, the kids turned into teens, and before we knew it we were a part of the Kaylene’s Kradle crew helping feral mommas and their kittens and helping at the sanctuary (in true kid form, they all wanted to help somewhere different!). My sons are now working and their schedules conflict with Wild Blue duties, but my daughter Naomi and I are coming up on two years in Kaylene’s Kradle.
Like many volunteers at Wild Blue, we have a small gang of cats we’ve adopted along the way. We converted my husband into a cat lover, too! Along with our rescued stray cat Wednesday, we added three Wild Blue cats to the family after our 23 year old cat decided she just had enough.
When I’m not at Wild Blue, my job at NASA takes me around the country working with students and educators, teaching them about aviation and STEM. While I love what I do for my day job, wrangling sometimes spicey cats and working with kittens—at times just hours after they are born—is a highlight of my day. I also love watching my daughter grow in her skills and learn so much as we battle to cinch down tarps in cold weather, weight kittens who may or may not be ok with it, and to be a part of something larger than ourselves. We also love working with the amazing Kaylene’s Kradle team who must be half crazy like we are to battle the weather and other challenges associated with working in an outdoor space.