For more than 10 years, Kris Papiernik and Kia Griffin have been caring for homeless cats on the streets of Philadelphia, PA. When their 5-year-old nephew Shon comes to visit on the weekends, his favourite thing to do is help the cats.
In an interview with The Dodo, Papiernik and Griffin explained how they care for more than 40 stray cats around Philadelphia. They find rescue homes, take the cats to be spayed and neutered, and deliver much needed cat food.
Little Shon has always loved to help his aunties care for the cats. “We’ve been a big part of his life ever since he was born,” said Papiernik. “If he was with us, he was around cats. He follows our lead”.
Apparently the cats love Shon right back. “We were a little hesitant at first because they’re feral cats, and we thought they’re going to run from a rambunctious 3-year-old… It was the total opposite — they just gravitated to him,” Papiernik said.
“He’d scratch their bellies and scratch their heads. It was amazing to see these cats who wouldn’t even allow us to touch them, but immediately took to him. He must have this magical effect that the cats can pick up.”
The trio of cat rescuers have given the different cat colonies special names– “Kolony Kats, Backyard Boys, Stray Kitty Crew, Meow Squad, Gas Station Kitties and Indoor Kitties”. Sometimes Shon likes to dress up in costume when they hit the streets. He says it makes him feel like a superhero for cats.
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