Family turns viral Facebook photos into fundraiser for Save a Stray organization

When Kitty Schaub and her family responded to an ad for a free kitten, they had no idea the journey they were about to embark upon.

Kitty’s daughter Amelie had been begging her parents for a cat for years, when Kitty finally decided to grant her daughter’s request and pick up little Luna.

Kitty is a professional photographer, specializing in baby and family photos. Since Luna is a professional kitty, it only seemed natural that she would photograph the newest member of their family in typical “newborn photo session” style.

“I was getting props out, getting ready for an upcoming shoot, and thought it would be really funny to take some newborn pics of the cat all wrapped up like a newborn baby,” Kitty says. 

Photo by Ann Reiff

Kitty snapped a few photos — three to be exact — posted them to her Facebook page and went about the rest of her day. She had no idea the adventure she was in for.

As thousands of shares and likes poured in to her Facebook feed, the Schaub family was overwhelmed with the response.

The hype prompted Kitty and David to turn the love for Luna into love for other animals, who, like Luna was, are looking for families of their own. They decided to make the calendar and donate all proceeds to a charity close to their heart, the Save a Stray organization.

“Save a Stray of Southwest Michigan does more than housing animals. They help train them, rehabilitate them, put them in foster homes,” Kitty says. “They get medical and training.”

Kitty set up the photo shoot for Luna like she would any other newborn. She swaddled the baby kitten, used props in the photos and captured those tender moments while Luna slept through most of the session.

New to the newborn kitten photo shoots, Kitty says this shoot was much different from her usual appointments that take anywhere from two to four hours.

“The kitten shoot took about five minutes,” Kitty says. “It was just a quick shoot. She didn’t mind being swaddled and sleeping.”

With a $20 price tag, the Schaubs quickly sold out of their first shipment of calendars and ordered another supply. Kitty says the family has mailed calendars to customers in every one of the 50 states and as far away as Japan, Australia and Great Britain.

Photo by Ann Reiff

After all costs were covered, the Schaub family has donated more than $5,000 to the organization. Kitty is sure the organization will put the money to good use.

“They have so many needs, food, medical supplies and all sorts of stuff,” she says. “This $5,000 is going to go a long way.”

As for Luna, she is busy preparing for her next photo shoot. You can join Luna’s nearly 2,000 followers on Facebook by searching for “Luna the little black kitten.”

Kitty is kicking round the idea of putting together another calendar staging the first year of Luna’s life, complete with a grand finale of Luna and a smash-cake, like families often photograph for a toddler’s first birthday.

“I’ve been getting an email like once a day, saying, ‘please tell me you’re going to do another one,’” Kitty says.

Any profits from another calendar would again be donated.

As for the Schaubs expanding their family by four legs again, for now they are content with little Luna, but Kitty admits there is no telling what pets might be in their future — or their calendars.