There’s nothing that breaks our hearts more than thinking about abandoned kittens and puppies. It’s hard enough for adult animals to survive out on the streets, and we will never understand how people could leave a poor, defenceless baby animal out to fend for itself.
But we also like to think that if most people came across a baby animal out on the streets, they would go out of their way to help it. So when a picture of a man bottle-feeding a rescued kitten first emerged on the internet, our faith in humanity was instantly restored.
The whole story behind the photo was revealed by The Dodo, who secured an interview with Gillian Rogers, the woman who had taken the photo. Gillian had just got on the New York City subway when a man across from her in the carriage caught her eye.
He was holding a baby’s bottle in his hand, and snuggled in his arms was the tiniest looking kitten, wrapped in a towel.
“He was bottle-feeding her,” Gillian told The Dodo. “You could see the caring. My heart felt like it was going to explode to see someone with that much caring. He was so in the moment.”
Gillian watched the man in silence for a while, before curiosity got the better of her, and she decided to strike up a conversation. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to leave the train before she found out how the kitten had ended up being cared for in the man’s arms.
“We had a chat,” she said. “He told me he’d found the kitten alone between two buildings.”
The man knew that the kitten wouldn’t be able to survive by herself, so he decided to pick her up and take her home, making sure she was warm and fed on the way.
“The kitten was looking up at him as he fed her,” Gillian said. “It was so heartwarming. I told him, ‘Thank you.'”
After only a few minutes of chatting, Gillian reached her stop and had to get off the train. Despite not having the chance to get the man’s name, those few minutes she had watched him care for the kitten had left a special imprint on her heart.
“It was truly a special moment. When I got off the train, I felt like I was walking on air,” Gillian said. “I felt joyful — like, it renewed my faith in humanity. There are still decent people out there.”
Gillian is actually a founder of Pet Rescue Squad Inc, and she dedicates her life to saving animals – so it was lovely for her to see others doing the same thing. After sharing the post online, it instantly became viral, and Gillian reflected on how seeing a random act of kindness can have a positive effect on people all over the world.
“I had no idea the photo was going to resonate as it has. It makes me happy,” she said. “I think we all need something to cheer us up.”
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