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Bat Mitzvah Project Is The Cat’s Meow: An Update



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For her Bat Mitzvah project, Newtown Middle School seventh grader Hanna Reps chose to assist kittens and cats though Sandy Hook-based Kitten Associates and Southbury’s Whiskers Pet Rescue.

Hanna was featured in a recent Newtown Bee story about her project, which continues until mid-June.

She recently visited Kitten Associates with a donation, which the organization’s president was grateful for.

“Hanna and her dad, Steven, were here last week with a donation of cat food, toys, and a check for $400 for our rescue,” Robin A.F. Olson said via e-mail to The Newtown Bee on April 25. “This is only part of the donation they intend to give us but didn’t want to wait since they know we’re going to be getting kittens soon.”

Hanna had the opportunity to meet all of the cats at Kitten Associates during her visit, including Freya, one of the mascots of the rescue program.

Freya was just four weeks old at the time of her rescue, and she had a very rare birth defect that gave her a ten percent chance to survive.

“I shut Kitten Associates down to care for her and for the next 3½ months; it was my goal to just keep her alive until she was physically big enough for surgery,” Ms Olson shared.

Freya had been diagnosed with atresia ani with recto vaginal fistula, which leads to the death of most kittens diagnosed with it, Ms Olson said.

Following a special diet and then a trip to Boston for specialized surgery in December 2014, Freya began living a much healthier life.

“Today, Freya is healthy and well and charms all who meet her,” including the young benefactress currently raising funds and awareness for the Sandy Hook-based organization.

Hanna’s goal is to raise $1,500 through a GoFundMe page. The donations will be divided between Kitten Associates and Whiskers, a cat rescue organization in Southbury. Both are 501(c)(3) organizations.

Donations of food and supplies can also be made through each organization.

Local residents who would like to help Hanna’s ongoing project are invited to visit gofundme.com. As of May 13, Hanna was one-third of her way toward a $1,500 goal. 

Hanna Reps holds Freya, a cat that was rescued and given a second chance at life a few years ago by Kitten Associates in Sandy Hook. Hanna is working on her Bat Mitzvah project, which is raising funds for two local cat shelters. —photo courtesy Robin Olson/Kitten Associates

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