My name is Kat Newquist, and I am the creator behind Indoor Outdoor Kat.
Our story begins in a rather unlikely location: specifically, in an old parking lot in Liberia, Costa Rica. It was there that—in November of 2020—my partner Jackson and I met a friendly stray cat who would irrevocably alter the trajectory of our lives.
That sweet little stray was pregnant, and we fell head over heels in love with her. Jackson and I rescued her, named her Natilla, and ended up bringing her and all five of her kittens back to the US with us, four months after our first meeting. Natilla, along with two of her babies (Gandalf and Dave) then embarked on a cross-country road trip to start a beautiful new life in Colorado with Jackson and I.
I’ve been documenting and sharing our adventures since that very first meeting, and over the past year and a half we’ve built a vibrant online community of animal lovers that—as of just two weeks ago—is now over a million people strong. To celebrate this milestone, I am setting out to raise $100,000 for New Earth Sanctuary: a nonprofit that has captured my heart and that has truly made Colorado my home.
A bold, interdisciplinary initiative addressing the intersection of so many of the planet’s most urgent needs, New Earth Sanctuary challenges us to reimagine how we interact with animals, the planet, and each other. The enormous compassion, breathtaking drive, and unbridled optimism of its founder Daniel Sweig has inspired me beyond measure, and has given me community and purpose I couldn’t previously have dreamed of.
New Earth Sanctuary is a bold young non-profit with enormous dreams, and $100,000 will set many of those dreams into immediate motion, giving us the ability to take on projects and create opportunities within our community that would otherwise be many years away.
One of these projects is especially personal for me. This is to be the Indoor Outdoor Kat Rescue: a unique cat shelter specifically designed for pregnant stray cats. The inception of this rescue represents the realization of so many dreams: together with New Earth Sanctuary, we will be able to provide desperately needed care for at-risk animals, to use this platform I’ve built for a greater good, to educate with compassion, and to save the lives of cats like the one that changed mine.
Read on to learn more about New Earth Sanctuary, the incredible man who founded it, and how we plan to change the world.
On November 12th, 2017, Daniel Sweig was in a car accident that nearly cost him his life. Critically injured and having lost one of his eyes, the aftermath of the accident presented a grim new reality for Daniel: one of chronic pain, depression, and trauma. A year and eleven days later, Daniel was hit by a drunk driver, compounding his injuries, inflicting new ones, and extending the long road of recovery.
In the years that followed, Dan found himself looking at life through a different lens, thinking long and hard about what was important to him, what mattered to the world, and who he wanted to be within it. It was from this place of introspection that—on July 10th, 2020—New Earth Sanctuary was born.
“It’s going to take a village to build a New Earth.”
It begins with the animals. At New Earth Sanctuary, we rescue, rehabilitate, and provide forever homes for animals who have been neglected, abused, or who are bound for slaughter. Through sharing their stories, we initiate conversations about the ways in which we treat these wonderful creatures, and about how they can positively impact our lives just as much as we do theirs.
It is in the caretaking of these animals and our shared love for them that we build community, with an emphasis on healing. Grief, addiction support, and the empowerment of marginalized and overlooked populations are the pillars of our ethos. We are building a community where everyone is welcome, and everyone is wanted.
As we empower our people, so too do we give back to our earth. Permaculture, regenerative agriculture, alternative energy and innovative use of reclaimed materials all inform the decisions we make and the projects we take on. We are striving to be not only a stand-alone organization, but a prototype that others can learn and draw inspiration from. We are catalyzing our own potential to not only coexist with nature, but to create a future in which both the earth and its inhabitants can thrive.
This brings us to this fundraiser, and how we are committed to utilizing the money we raise…
The Earthship Barn - The First of its Kind
“Earthships” are innovative dwellings that draw heavily on the concept of sustainable architecture. Built almost exclusively with natural resources and reclaimed materials, these spaces are designed to exist in harmony with the earth while generating very little waste and a radically low carbon footprint.
Our Earthship Barn starts with a reclaimed trailer. After excavating land within one of our pastures, this trailer will be lowered into the earth, after which construction in and around it will begin. By building this barn into the earth, we are taking advantage of the earth’s natural temperature-regulating properties. Organically insulated, our barn will remain cool in the heat of summer, and cozy during even the most frigid of nights. The in-ground nature of the barn will also fortify it, providing exceptional protection against Colorado predators such as coyotes, mountain lions, and bears.
This Earthship Barn will be the first of its kind; in building, experimenting with, and refining our design, we will be able to create a prototype that can be replicated around the world.
Indoor Outdoor Kat Rescue
The idea for this rescue was conceptualized almost exactly one year ago. At that time, my online following was less than a quarter of what it is now, but even then I knew that I wanted to use my platform for something bigger. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunities that the international Indoor Outdoor Kat community has given me. Now, it is time to give back.
Pregnant cats are at an exponentially higher risk of euthanization due to the associated costs of medical care and caring for the kittens. Our aim is to not only provide a safe haven for this at-risk demographic, but to also play our part in reducing the stray animal crisis by using my online presence to compassionately educate a global community about the realities of animal homelessness, the importance of spaying and neutering, and the ways in which all of us can make a difference.
We will be outfitting this shelter to uniquely suit the needs of a pregnant cat (commonly referred to as a “queen”) and her kittens. We will provide our charges with safety, companionship, medical care and so much love throughout the entirety of the pregnancy and weaning processes. When the kittens are of an appropriate age, we will use my wonderful Indoor Outdoor Kat community to find loving forever homes for mother and kittens.
In the first iteration, our hope is to transform a trailer into the rescue, outfitting it to also serve as mobile rescue unit to help evacuate animals from dangerous situations; whether that is saving an animal set to be euthanized or helping Coloradoans evacuate their pets during the fires that are all too common in our state.
The creation of this rescue on the sanctuary will create opportunities for volunteers who may not be able or willing to work with our larger animals. We will outfit the rescue to make it accessible to volunteers of all ages and abilities, thus furthering our mission to make New Earth Sanctuary as inclusive a space as possible.
Fencing, Pastures, and Fortification
We have recently suffered two consecutive bear attacks at the sanctuary, both of which left us heartbroken and shaken. Immediately after these attacks, we began installing all manner of defensive measures to humanely keep predators at bay, such as motion-controlled lights and sound systems to serve as deterrents and early warning systems. This fundraiser will allow us to go even further, upgrading our fences and infrastructure to protect our current animals and create even safer areas for the animals to come.
Additionally, we are using this restructuring time to create new pastures and rejuvenate our old ones, implementing the principles of regenerative agriculture to revitalize the land we use and prevent contributing to the process of desertification.
Our four retired senior horses enjoy several dozen acres of land to explore. We have been building an extension off of our pole barn to provide shelter from the rain, snow, and sun. This fundraiser will allow us to finish the shelter well in advance of the unforgiving Colorado winter, providing a safe haven for them and any future horses we welcome home to the sanctuary.
This fundraiser will allow us to cover costs for materials, labor, and equipment for the projects above. Our commitment to utilizing reclaimed materials means that each dollar donated stretches even further, and helps to keep usable resources out of landfills.
From all of us here at New Earth Sanctuary, thank you. We are endlessly grateful for your support.
With Love and Hope,