Joni Mitchell tells us about her kitten calling!

Actualizado: 15 de feb de 2019

Dallas, TX native Joni Mitchell’s first encounter with the feline population of Cozumel started in 1980. For the last 10 years she has been a full time resident and full time animal advocate for the Humane Society of Cozumel Island. During this time she has taken under her care, through personal rescues and HSCI causes, over 500 orphaned cat babies and new born kittens. Joni feeds them, keeps them safe and finds responsible owners to adopt.  In many cases some kittens were found at the brink of death. Joni seems to have that magical touch that lets these babies know they are in good hands and she seems to give them the will to thrive and want to survive.    

Joni discovered her Cat Lady calling when she was just 4 years old. She took care of babies from a cat of hers that had given birth. That’s when everything started for her and her world opened up to the lives of cats. 

Young Joni with the cat mommy that started it all!

Joni came to Cozumel and got involved with the HSCI about ten years ago. “Kittens are my calling and they needed someone who would take care of the very small orphans that needed bottle feeding, so I did it!” She takes home babies as young as a day old, wins them over, feeds them, raises them and finds responsible owners for them.

“It’s engaging, it’s rewarding, it’s my heart, but it’s for very few people. You have to make a commitment every two hours , continuous 24 hours a day. Monitoring, feeding and taking care. You have to make it a critical part of your life. It’s what I do and what I love.”

“All the babies that come to me have a very sad or tragic story attached to them.” Joni tells us of a particular case, a cat now named Snow, who was found by Andrea, another constant supporter. Snow was seconds away from being drowned by some teenagers. Andrea stopped them and immediately took the cat over to Joni. “That was a very difficult kitten, I wasn’t sure she had ever had any of her own mothers milk which is critical for survival. Without mom’s milk it is  almost impossible to save them.” Fortunately, Snow survived and now has a fantastic home with 3 more rescued fur friends!

Snow on day 1, stil wet from the puddle where she was to be drowned

Snow, 7 days old accepting the bottle

Snow ready for adoption!

Joni has a 8 cats of her own, a dog named Bambi and two garden turtles. Two of her cats she brought down from Dallas and the other six “were kind of foster failures”. Her own cats are also part of her orphan kitten calling. “They already accept the baby kitties, blend them in, and miraculously teach them the things cats need to know”!

“Although diving brought me to Cozumel in 1980,  as many of you know, that's just the beginning  of what brings us back  time and time again. After years of trips  ,   and a fast-paced career  in Dallas as a Real Estate Broker and Scuba Instructor, 2009  was the jumping off moment  for me to make Cozumel  my full  time home.    Soon after arrival, I   became friends  with  Sheryl on the island,  & we found a kindred friendship of feline love.  She introduced  me to the  HSCI  initially  learning how to trap feral  street  cats for  the TNR program.   We'd set up our lawn  chairs on a quiet  street corner late at night, pour a glass of wine and  before we knew  it,  the evening  usually resulted in  10 or so  kitties  for spay/neuter.  It was not  long  later that the HSCI called  with  a plea for  newborn kittens  to bottle  feed.  My heart  was all  in, but I was terrified  at the same  time  with the lives  of these  100 gram babies  in my  hands.   There was no time to think; I jumped in  , gathered supplies,  self-taught  myself, prayed for  a lot  of  help above and pretty soon  kitten after kitten,  litter after litter,  I  became a newborn  caregiver and voice  for  these  tiny orphaned angels  with  no Momcat.    Since then I've had the privilege of  raising , loving  and finding homes for hundreds  of  wee ones.  Each of them  has taught me so much & given me strength & courage  thru some difficult times in these past 10 years.  I am, and will be forever  grateful  for  having touched  their  young lives.”

-Personal message from Joni!

Everyone at the Humane Society of Cozumel Island and literally hundreds of baby kitties thank you, Ms. Joni Mitchell for all the love you put in to your efforts! We need more people like Joni to make our world a better place :)

Follow Joni’s example and come volunteer with us of or make a donation today to #LendUsAPaw!

You can make a donation in Joni’s name to the HSCI, click on the Donatebutton!


¡Joni Mitchell nos platica sobre su vocación felina!

Originaria de Dallas, Texas, Joni Mitchell tuvo su primer encuentro con la población felina de Cozumel en 1980. Los últimos 10 años ha residido en la Isla de Cozumel y ha sido defensora de los animales y ha brindado apoyo a la Sociedad Humanitaria de Cozumel. Durante todo este tiempo ha cuidado a más de 500 gatitos bebé que han quedado huérfanos, ya sea en rescates independientes o a través de la SHC. Joni los alimenta, los mantiene a salvo y les encuentra adoptantes responsables. En muchas ocasiones, los gatitos fueron hallados a punto de morir. Joni parece tener ese toque mágico que les hace saber a los gatitos que están en buenas manos, y les transmite fuerza y voluntad para vivir.

Joni descubrió su vocación de Cat Lady cuando tan sólo tenía 4 años mientras cuidaba a los bebés de una gatita que tenía en su hogar. Ahí fue cuando todo comenzó para ella y su mundo se abrió a las vidas de los gatos.

¡Pequeña Joni con la gatita que comenzó todo!

Joni vino a Cozumel hace 10 años y ahí fue cuando se involucró con la Sociedad Humanitaria. “Los gatitos son mi vocación y en SHC necesitaban a alguien que cuidara de los huérfanos muy jóvenes que necesitaban ser alimentados con mamila, ¡así que yo lo hice!” Ella cuida y acoge a bebés de apenas un día de nacidos, los alimenta, se gana su confianza, los cría y les encuentra adoptantes responsables.

“Es apasionante, es gratificante, es mi corazón, pero es para muy pocas personas. Tienes que estar dispuesto a tomar el compromiso de atenderlos cada 2 horas y cuidarlos las 24 horas del día. Monitorearlos, alimentarlos y cuidarlos. Debes volverlo una parte crítica de tu vida. Es lo que hago y es lo que amo hacer.”

“Todos los bebés que me llegan tienen una historia muy triste detrás.” Joni nos cuenta de un caso particular, una gata ahora llamada Snow, quien fue rescatada a sólo unos segundos de ser ahogada por una adolescente y sus hermanos. Andrea, una voluntaria constante en SHC, los detuvo e inmediatamente le llevó la gatita a Joni. “Esa fue una gatita muy difícil, no estaba segura de que haya podido amamantar aunque sea una vez. Sin leche materna, es casi imposible salvarlos.” Afortunadamente, Snow sobrevivió y ahora vive en un hermoso hogar con otros tres peludos rescatados.

Snow el día 1, aún mojada del charco donde sería ahogada