While You Were Sleeping: Rescuer’s Daily Mission for Street Cats


Written by Harmony Fund Volunteer Laura Hearn

The term ‘cat lady’ unnerves even the most devout animal lovers; its reference evoking images of feline-hoarding spinsters. But Auburn, Massachusetts native Kris King is redefining what it means to devote a life to saving cats.

Starving, injured and frightened is often how Kris discovers her rescues. For the past four years, she’s invested her spare time and personal savings working with local animal shelters, caring for strays and educating anyone who will listen about the importance of humane education and funded TNR (trap, neuter, and release) programs.

A Hero in Everyday Clothes

In a town just 40 minutes west of Boston, Kris starts each week day while most of us are still fast asleep. At 4:30 a.m., she rises to care for her six cats (all rescues) and prepare food for the two feral cat colonies she cares for. Despite the significant danger of moving about the city before dawn, Kris quickly dresses and heads out to feed and check on the colonies before going into work. Often, during her lunch break, she can be found getting abandoned friendly cats (cats that were once pets) into carriers and calling local shelters like Broken Tail Rescue trying to find placements for them, handing out flyers for a local TNR group called Spay Worcester, or humanely trapping feral cats. TNR continues to be the most effective and humane way of addressing the population problem, and its subsequent challenges.

Lost and Forgotten

Sadly, Kris has noticed more and more abandoned pets. “People just leave their cats in parking lots or near businesses and never come back. It’s  heartbreaking,” she says. “I see declawed cats with no way of defending themselves. When I find them, they’re terrified…desperate for food, shelter, love.

I often find little ones plagued with ear mites, broken bones, wounds, and other treatable illnesses. Many of them have suffered abuse. It’s not uncommon for kids in some pretty tough neighborhoods to throw things at them…or worse.”

Since 2008, Kris has helped place more than 35 domestic cats in forever-homes, and she continues to care for 19 feral cats in two neighboring towns.

Going the Extra Step

“It’s not even about going the extra mile,” Kris explains. “It’s about going the extra small step. If you see a cat in distress or abandoned, if you cannot do anything directly, you can always call your local no-kill animal shelters and seek help for the cat. If you see some cats that are not friendly, but feral, try and see if any local agencies do TNR. (USA Readers, Click here to find a low-cost spay or neuter clinic near you.)

Kris is not only a rescuer, but also an advocate. In March, she presented research to the public school committee in the nearby city of Worcester on the benefits of humane education in public schools, modeled after similar programs in Maine and New York. The decision is still pending before the Standing Committee, however, Kris is thrilled the local afterschool program, “This is Your City” will add a section about how to treat and deal with stray and abandoned animals.

The World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals has made a contribution toward Kris’ work and to help dozens of rescue squads across the planet.  Come on over to meet the babies!


Related Stories:

Stop the Cruel Trapping of Cats at Loews Hotels

Dances With Tabby: Woman’s Journey to Save Battered Street Cat

Boys Secret Rendezvous Saved Starving Street Cat



Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

YOU can help homeless cats and dogs!
ADOPT one (or two) pets from your local shelter or rescue group... or save them straight from the street.
FOSTER abandoned fur babies, and help them find loving families.
FEED stray cats and dogs, and form a group of alleys to protect them.
NEUTER your pets and beg your relatives, friends, neighbours to do the same.
DONATE or VOLOUNTEER to a no-kill shelter.
CREATE a web page to help homeless pets be more visible and find a home.
DEMAND your municipality to do more about pet adoption and spay/neuter programs.
ASK your friends and families to adopt a puppy or kitten, instead of buying one.
BOYCOTT puppy mills, pet shops, and backyard breeders, and invite everyone you know to do the same.


I wish everyone was caring & giving like her, if so the world would be a much better & safer place for our animals!!!! Thank you.

Marion Friedl
Marion Friedl2 years ago

Thanks to Kris and to all the other "humane angels" out there, without them many kitties wouldn´t be rescued at all, and TNR´s the only humane way to control a cat population!!!

Past Member 2 years ago


Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Wonder woman, beautiful photo, thank you Kris for caring for these abandoned cats, just so much appreciated from all the people at Care2, thank you for sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

You are a wonderful lady Kris, such a caring and loving story, thank you for sharing

Angie P.
Angie P2 years ago

Anyone who helps animals like this person is wonderful. Thanks Kris.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G3 years ago

Thank you Kris, for everything you do for animals.

Sally S.
Sally S3 years ago

An example to us all. Thank you Kris for all that you do and the author for bringing her work to our attention.

Tanya Selth
Tanya Selth4 years ago

Good on you Kris, cats angel.