Foster Dad John's Critter Room
John Bartlett, a Seattle-area computer programmer, started fostering kittens for Purrfect Pals in 2008. Since then, this life-long cat lover has fostered more than sixty litters! In 2011, John combined his loves of technology and fostering by setting up a webcam in his house that allowed him to monitor his kittens while he was at work. He enjoyed watching them so much that he started to wonder if other people would also like it!
In October of 2011, John launched “the Critter Room” Kitten Cam, featuring “The Lotus Fosters.” The viewer count has steadily climbed ever since, and now over 40,000 cat lovers all over the world follow “Foster Dad John” on Livestream and Facebook! The chat feature on his kitten cam has created a virtual community of “Kitten Cam Fans” who bonded over the adorable antics of his fosters.
Once adopted, many of John’s fosters have created their own Facebook pages so their fans can continue to watch them grow online. Local fans of the cam and adopters of the kitten cam alumni began meeting up at adoption events whenever Foster Dad John’s litters were ready to find forever homes.
Fans outside of the Seattle area decided they wanted to join the party so they organized the first “Kitten Cam Con.” In May of 2014, Foster Dad John and dozens of his fans from all over the United States (and Australia!) came together in Seattle for a four day convention centered around a fundraiser for Purrfect Pals. It is now an annual event with foster parents from several area shelters and rescue organizations participating!
What started as a simple web cam has evolved into an international sensation. Foster Dad John has inspired other foster kitten cams and inspired cat lovers all over the world to begin volunteering and fostering for their local shelters and rescue groups. Lifelong friendships have developed, children are learning about fostering in their classrooms and Purrfect Pals, located in rural Washington State, is now known around the globe!