Remembering Mittens

The Story and Legacy of Mittens, AARF Spokescat and Honorary Board Member

On a cold night in Baltimore, January 2011, two teenage boys trapped a young mother cat in a milk crate while she was nursing her kittens, doused her in lighter fluid, and struck a match. The brave feline escaped from the crate with her kittens and was rescued by local police as well as Baltimore City Animal Control officers and rushed to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS). With expert, loving care she slowly recovered from third- and fourth-degree burns covering 70-percent of her body, as well as the loss of her ears, all the while continuing to care for her kittens. The primary perpetrator in her case pled guilty to felony animal cruelty and served jail time.

Mittens’ inspiring story led her to become the unofficial face for animal abuse laws in the state of Maryland, and she spent her life as an anti-cruelty advocate by the side of her adoptive family, Cindy and Bosley Wright. Due in part to Mittens’ inspiring story, the 2011 Maryland Congressional Session achieved unprecedented success as new laws were passed that had previously failed. She was honored as the ASPCA Cat of the Year 2011 and was featured on the “Today Show.”

Mittens became a certified therapy cat, visiting the Ronald McDonald House and the Childrens Home of York; spent time in Baltimore City Schools teaching the importance of kindness and empathy to animals by participating in Project Mickey and Teachers for Tails programs; and lent a paw to the Show Your Soft Side anti-cruelty campaign. Mittens served not only as our AARF Spokescat, but was an esteemed, Honorary Board Member of our organization. 

On September 17, 2023, Mittens passed peacefully in the arms of her family after a brief battle with aggressive, large cell lymphoma. She leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire people of all ages to choose empathy and kindness for other living beings, to be brave in the face of adversity, and to fight for neglected and abused animals and human children.

You can help us keep Mittens’ legacy alive. 

Abused, neglected and abandoned animals just like Mittens are in desperate need of lifesaving medical care to give them a chance at a happy life and forever family. AARF’s veterinary bills top over $200k annually. Our ability to intake homeless animals depends entirely on our ability to fund their medical needs. 

By making a donation in Mittens’ name you are helping us stand up and show up for homeless animals.

Please mark your donations “Mittens Memorial”. All donations are tax-deductible.