Gwen, Head Counselor Pet Tech CPR Certified
Gwen jokingly calls herself the Jane Goodall of cats. Although she didn’t have a cat of her own until her late 20’s, she has learned a lot through reading, observation and firsthand experience. Her love of cats began soon after she adopted her third dog. As a compromise, she promised her husband that three was enough, so no more dogs. They didn’t say anything about cats, though, so, one day Gwen brought home a foster cat – a diluted tortie named Clea. After Clea found her forever home, Gwen fostered more cats. In the summer of 2007, she brought home a 2-year-old black cat named Birdie, who Gwen loving calls her third “foster fail”. Birdie, you may remember, inspired the beginning of Camp Kitty.
Gwen has always had a love for animals. Growing up, she had a canary, a duck, turtles and dogs. Unhappy in the corporate world, Gwen discovered her true passion when she got involved in animal rescue. For four years, she served as the Animal Services Director for Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends. And through that organization she has fostered five dogs and more than 40 cats. Currently, Gwen actively volunteers at Alaqua Animal Refuge usually as a Goat Getter, Cat Companion, or, her favorite, Pig Pal. And she also fosters kittens through Save Our Cat & Kittens (SOCKs). She is a member of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association.
Gwen splits her time between Atlanta and her home in Florida where she lives with her husband, their two human children, two precocious cats (Birdie & Lucas), and two senior dogs (Madison & Tiggy). In her spare time, Gwen enjoys kayaking, cycling, drinking lots of cheap wine, swimming with her kids at the beach and bird watching.
Myra, Assistant Head Counselor Pet Tech CPR & First Aid Certified
Myra’s love of cats started at birth, literally. The family’s tom, Sylvester, almost immediately decided that baby Myra’s crib was the best place to sleep and that baby Myra was the best cuddle companion ever. Sylvester ended up being the first of many cats she has loved over the years.
Myra seriously thought about becoming a veterinarian until she remembered that she doesn’t really like dogs all that much. Or blood. Instead, she opted for a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. After nearly two decades of social work, Myra was left wondering what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thanks to her volunteer work with Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF), she discovered Camp Kitty and began working there part-time. Myra was quickly promoted to Assistant Manager.
In her free time, she enjoys cycling, hiking, letterboxing, reading, building jigsaw puzzles, and all types of arts and crafts. (You can often purchase her crocheted catnip mice at camp.) She dedicates a lot of time to raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through both Bike MS and Walk MS. She and her husband share a home with their (spoiled rotten) cat, Calvin, and their foster cat, Caesar. Myra has also fostered other AARF cats and kittens, and frequently takes home a foster cat or two from work when Camp gets busy and cabin space is at a premium.
Jayne, Camp Counselor Pet Tech CPR Certified
Ever since her parents let her pick three kittens to adopt when she was five, Jayne says that cats have been a big part of her life. She’s come a long way since dressing her cats up in doll clothes and carrying them around the house. Before she began volunteering with Furkids, Jayne only knew about feeding cats, giving them love, and cleaning up after them. There she learned techniques to work with shy and untrusting cats. She learned a lot about the shy ones, and spent a year working with one cat in particular to help make her more adoptable. And since she started working at Camp Kitty she has developed an affinity seniors.
When Jayne isn’t loving on cats at work, she’s probably loving on them at home. Jayne and her husband have four felines: Layla, Reesie, Monty, and their most recent addition, a senior named Capers.
Grace, Camp Counselor
After leaving a job that was not feeding her soul, Grace found her way to Camp Kitty where she could direct her love for cats into something more productive. Not long after, she also became a barista at Java Cats Cafe, whose lounge cats are adoptable through Paws Atlanta. Even after a day of working, Grace often finds herself sticking around to play with the cats. She admits that she can no longer deny her "cat lady" status.
Grace grew up having several animals such as dogs, hamsters and fish; yet she deeply yearned for a cat but was unable to get one until she had a place of her own due to her father being allergic. So she was left to live vicariously through friends who had cats until her current furbaby named Puck came into her life. Although he is still an only "child," it's only a matter of time before he gains a new sibling...or two.
Besides loving on cats, Grace also enjoys sewing clothing and other items for herself and cats alike, doing DIY home decor projects and other crafts, hiking, practicing yoga and reading.
Adam, Camp Counselor
Even growing up in a house where cats were typically outnumbered by dogs three-to-two, Adam knew at an early age he was more of a cat person than a dog person; cats enjoyed naps and alone time, both of which really resonated with Adam.
When not looking after the kitties boarding at Camp, Adam can probably be found looking after Reesie, Layla, Montego, and Capers, the four kitties good enough to share their space with him and his wife, Jayne.