Certain kids just have an affinity with animals that is nothing short of surreal. They can calm a panicked cat or ease a desperate dog without doing much more than cuddling and talking softly to the anxious animal. My daughter was like that with feral cats. Seems this boy, Zack Gross, possesses that empathetic ability, too.
A three-week-old kitten was rescued from a cat colony in California when her mother left her and then taken to MeoowzResQ. Kelli Gross (@kittyfoster_), Zack's sister, is an avid rescuer and fosterer who has taken in over 100 kittens. When she heard about Ariel, as the kitten was called, she and Zack drove to Orange County to pick her up.
When they walked in, they could hear the kitten crying. No one had been able to settle her down, and she was distraught. But when Zack picked her up, everything changed. "She was going crazy and wouldn't settle down," Kelli remembers. Then Zack's quiet voice and gentle touch convinced the little kitten that she was safe and everything was going to be alright.
10-year-old Zack worked his magic on tiny Ariel. "He put a blanket down in his lap and bundled her up. She was sound asleep and didn't make a peep during the whole 30-minute car ride home," Kelli related.
Kelli already had a mama cat with six babies of her own, so they were hoping Twilight would accept little Ariel into the family. Twilight took to her right away, but Ariel wasn't convinced. She kept wandering away from the mama cat.
"Because my coordinator had bottle fed her for a day, the kitten had to learn to nurse from a cat mom again," Kelli explained. When Ariel moved away, Zack simply returned her to her new mama. "He kept putting her back until she learned to nurse again." Finally the little baby was latched onto mama and purring up a storm. She was obviously happy, at last!
Although Ariel has been in foster care for a few days and has taken to Twilight, she still craves her foster mom's attention. "She screams at me to give her milk. She's extremely needy," Kelli laughed.
As for Zack, helping to care for kittens seems to be his calling. His connection with the foster kittens is nothing short of miraculous. "He has a routine of waking up and telling them good morning every day before school and then coming and kissing every single one goodnight before bed. He makes sure that they all feel included. He misses them when he's away and they're the first thing he says 'Hi' to when he gets home from anywhere. He just makes it effortless and you can tell that it's actually ingrained into his heart."
Watch the video below. Have you ever known anyone with such an affinity with animals that it seems like magic? Discuss it with your friends, and leave us a comment below!