On June 13th, 2012, 135 people were logged into LiveStream.com watching a sign. Not a sign from above, nor a sign of the apocalypse, but a simple sign printed on plain white paper and attached to a cat tower. The sign was there to provide an update on the adoption status of four kittens and their young mother, Miranda. Viewers had fallen in love with the furry family that had been featured on the live Kitten Cam ran by Washington State resident John Bartlett and were now anxiously awaiting good news.
Bartlett first began fostering cats through the Purrfect Pals Cat Shelter in Arlington, WA in 2008. Since then, he has fostered more than 30 sets of kittens. In October, 2011, he had a novel idea, to broadcast kitteny antics across the web; and, thus, the Kitten Cam was born. Five sets of fosters had already been featured on the cam before Miranda and her brood came along. Miranda's kittens, born on March 16th, 2012, were named in honor of St. Patrick’s Day: Three girls, Corey, Casey and Cagney; and one boy, Cassidy. A fifth kitten, Runty, was too ill to stay with her mother and was hand raised by another Purrfect Pals volunteer.
Miranda and her kittens: (left to right) Cassidy, Cagney, Corey and Casey
The family became international celebrities when the cam went viral in May 2012. According to a LiveStream representative, during the 69 days they were fostered by Bartlett, Miranda and her kittens brought in over a million unique visitors with more than 40 years of combined viewing time. People around the world watched as the kittens played, ate, slept and, of course, grew. Eventually, the kittens reached the appropriate age and weight to be altered and adopted; and, the viewers who had fallen in love with them were forced to say goodbye. Miranda and the kittens were loaded up and moved to the Everett PetSmart, where adoptable kittens from Purrfect Pals are cared for while they await adoption. That’s when the sign watching began.
As each kitten found its forever home, the sign was updated. First Corey went, then Cassidy and Casey, and finally Cagney. All the kittens had found someone to love and care for them, and that left just one behind, Miranda. Alone in her bed at the Everett PetSmart, her babies gone forever, Miranda continues to wait to be adopted. That’s why more than 100 people tune in to LiveStream every day to watch a sign, waiting to hear that Miranda, like her kittens, has found someone to love her forever.
Purrfect Pals is an organization that provides fostering, adoption and medical care to homeless cats. All Purrfect Pals cats are spayed or neuter, microchipped, vaccinated and viral tested before they are adopted. If you would like to help them, they accept cash donations and also have an Amazon WishList from which you can send supplies.
John Bartlett is currently injured and unable to take in new fosters. He promises to heal quickly and resume his fostering as soon as possible. In the mean time, you can find past video footage and the current sign watch at LiveStream.com channel Miranda's Kittens.
Photos by John Bartlett
Corey, Adopted June 10th, 2012
Cassidy, Adopted June 10th, 2012
Casey, Adopted June 11th, 2012
Cagney, Adopted June 11th, 2012
Tribute Video by Cassie Packard
Miranda, still waiting