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Meet Jordan, whose love of black cats helps her speak.

Black cats are definitely lucky for this girl.

Superstition, according to most people, says black cats are unlucky. But Jordan is not most people.

Jordan is 22 years old and on the autism spectrum. It's rare for her to express herself through speech. Rare, that is, until she's face-to-face with a furry feline, especially if it's a black one.


Jordan meeting a black kitten. All images via PAWsitive/YouTube unless noted.

Jordan gets to be around fluffy black cats regularly thanks to Mychal's Learning Place, a nonprofit organization that helps give adults and children with learning disabilities the tools to build self-esteem and independence.

Through Mychal's Learning Place, Jordan has the opportunity to work with Adopt and Shop, a rescue organization and not-for-profit retail store that's never lacking in cats who need love and attention.

"[Jordan] gets to give love and affection the way she wants to. On her timeline," explained Ed Lynch, founder of Mychal's Learning Place.

Play time.

In many ways, Jordan's relationship with the cats is incredibly reciprocal. Jordan provides the cats with mental and physical stimulation, and they do the same for her, which in turn helps her be more vocal and outgoing in the world.

Her bond with black cats in particular is special.

"We first discovered her love for cats when she began to draw pictures of black kittens," said Alicia Galindo, director of the Culver City branch of Mychal's Learning Place, explaining that Jordan called all the kittens "Gracie" after a black cat she had growing up who passed away.

After starting work at Adopt and Shop, Alicia said Jordan was noticeably happier. Caring for the shelter cats seemed to give her a greater sense of purpose.

Ed said that when Jordan does speak without a cat around, she usually just repeats the last thing someone else said to her. When she's with her favorite black cats, however, he said Jordan speaks much more freely, spouting off a lot of her own phrases.

Jordan eagerly awaits the new black kittens.

"When Jordan is around cats, she just begins to talk to them as if they could understand her," said Alicia. "She always greets them and ask if they are OK."

A 2015 study conducted at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University found that animals can ease social anxiety in people on the autism spectrum.

A little girl nose-to-nose with her kitty. Photo by Patrick/Flickr..

The researchers studied the behavior of children with autism both with and without a guinea pig nearby and noticed the children were significantly less withdrawn in the presence of the animal.

Another study conducted at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine observed 70 families with children with autism, some who had pets and some who didn't. They found that the children of families with pets were much more socially outgoing and interested in bonding with their families than those without.

Because some children with autism don't like loud noises or sudden, large movements (aka dogs), the leader of the study, Gretchen Carlisle, recommends cats as the perfect companion.

Obviously Jordan agrees.

Ed and the rest of the staff at Mychal's Learning Place are thrilled that Jordan has found somewhere she can be productive and feel fulfilled and loved all at the same time.

People with autism are often labeled as "different" by society, but they're just like anyone else trying to figure out what works for them and what doesn't. When you discover something that clicks for you, it can be like a light going on.

Black cats also come with a label — bad luck. It makes people think twice about adopting them.

Looking at what black cats have done for Jordan (and she for them in return), you realize just how meaningless that making assumptions about individuals just because of a certain label truly is.

As Ed said, "Let’s take those labels, throw them out the door, and let them go."

Check out a video about Jordan and her cats here:

A young mom with her kids in the ER.

Sage Pasch’s unique family situation has attracted a lot of attention recently. The 20-something mother of 2 shared a 6-second TikTok video on September 29 that has been viewed over 33 million times because it shows how hard it can be for young moms to be taken seriously.

In the video, the young-looking Pasch took her son Nick to the ER after he injured his leg at school. But when the family got to the hospital, the doctor couldn’t believe Pasch was his mother. “POV, we’re at the ER, and the doctor didn’t believe I was the parent,” she captioned the post.


Pasch and her fiancé , Luke Faircloth, adopted the teen in 2022 after his parents tragically died two years apart. “Nick was already spending so much time with us, so it made sense that we would continue raising him,” Pasch told Today.com.

The couple also has a 17-month-old daughter named Lilith.

@coffee4lifesage

He really thought i was lying😭

Pasch says that people are often taken aback by her family when they are out in public. "Everybody gets a little confused because my fiancé and I are definitely younger to have a teenager," she said. "It can be very frustrating."

It may be hard for the young parents to be taken seriously, but their story has made a lot of people in a similar situation feel seen. "Omg, I feel this. I took my son to the ER, and they asked for the guardian. Yes, hi, that's me," Brittany wrote in the comments. "Meee with my teenager at a parent-teacher conference. They think I’m her older sister and say we need to talk with your parents," KatMonroy added.


This article originally appeared on 10.24.23

Motherhood

Newly postpartum wife nervously shows off dress. Her fiancé's reaction has people gushing.

"He’s an amazing man who does nothing but lift you up. Hold tight to him, he’s a keeper!"

Sarah Chai and Vlada Karpovich|Canva

Man has sweetest reaction to postpartum fiancé wearing dress

Having a baby changes your body and while it may seem that some people pop right back to their pre-pregnancy size, not every one does. The expectation for people to be able to wear their old clothes mere weeks after birthing a tiny human is practically impossible for the vast majority of the human population. But it doesn't stop us from comparing and grieving the body that was once so familiar.

These drastic changes can leave people feeling self-conscious and defeated. Sophia Bullis was feeling a bit less confident about her new body after giving birth to a son she shares with fiancé Jeff. The new mom hasn't worn a dress since the baby was born due to these insecurities so she wanted to surprise Jeff with sporting an adorable white summer dress. In order to catch his genuine reaction, she set up her camera and it's giving everyone the feels.


Jeff is clearly the ultimate hype man. He comes around the corner carrying their baby and stops in the doorway staring in awe at Sophia. Pointing to the baby, he asks if the baby sees "that" before looking back up at his fiancé.

"I did not realize we were in the presence of royalty, let me try this again," Jeff says as he leaves and comes back only to pretend to faint.

Really, you couldn't ask for a better confidence boost than having your fiancé fawn over you in the most wholesome way possible. Commenters agree that Jeff is definitely a keeper.

"Men don’t know how much this means to women in general but especially after a baby," someone writes.

"If your man doesn’t make you giggle to the point where your cheeks hurt telling you how stunning you are what are you even doing," another says.

"I love how much he adores you! You deserve it mama," someone else shares.

"Men will never understand how much this means to women post pregnancy can be tough," one person gushes.

Jeff's support for his fiancé is a beautiful reflection of love that Sophia admits is one of the things she loves most about him in the caption.

"One of many things i love about him, his reactions and how he makes me feel so loved, pretty, wanted, and confident. Ive been struggling a lot lately with postpartum effects, and confidence with my body, and Jeff has been there for every step of it. It truly is hard, and if you are going through it, you got this," she shares.

See the sweet video below:

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?


As they so often do, Penn and Kim Holderness from The Holderness Family have captured the Gen X existential crisis in a video that has us both nodding a long and laughing out loud. Salt-n-Pepa in the waiting room at the doctor's office? Uh, no. That's a line we are not ready to cross yet. Nirvana being played on the Classic Rock station? Nope, not prepared for that, either.

Watch:

Hoo boy, the denial is real, isn't it? We grew up on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, for goodness sake, and it's starting to feel like we made a wrong choice a chapter or two back and suddenly landed our entire generation in a time warp. This isn't real, is it? Thirty years ago was the 1970s. That's just a Gen X fact. So what if we've lived long enough for our high school fashions to go out of style and then back into style and then back out of style again?

Seriously, though, we can either lament our age and stage in life or we can laugh about it, and people are grateful to the Holdernesses for assisting with the latter. Gen X fans are also thrilled to see their own experiences being validated, because at this point, we've all had that moment in the grocery store or the waiting room when one of our jams came on and we immediately went into a panic.

"They were playing The Cure in the grocery store and I almost started crying," wrote one commenter. "I mean, how 'alternative' can you be if you're being played in Krogers? You guys are great! Thanks for making us laugh."

"I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody being played in Walmart," shared another. "That was edgy in my day."

"I know!!! Bon Jovi at the grocery store!!! That was my clue in!!" added another.

"Long live Gen Xers! We have to be strong!! We can get through this together!! #NKOTBmeetsAARP" wrote on commenter.You can find more from the Holderness Family on their Facebook page, their podcast and their website, theholdernessfamily.com.


This article originally appeared on 1.28.24

Georgia sorority sisters risk lives to save family trapped in sinking car

Sometimes people with the right skills just happen to end up in the right place at the right time. These are the moments we find out what reaction we would have if faced with an emergency situation. Five sorority sisters in Georgia were on their way out of town when they had a miraculous twist of fate on their detour to get lunch.

While heading off course to find something to eat, one of the girls spotted something out of the corner of her eye. Instincts kicked in when it registered what they saw. A car had lost control and veered off the road into a creek below. The girls called out to ask if they were okay and that's when the five sorority sisters kicked into automatic action.

Cori Craft, yells to the girls that her two small children are still trapped in the car, one of them just 4-years-old, strapped into his carseat.


All five girls quickly jumped into the water, working together to force the door open. Molly McCollum, Jane McArdle, Eleanor Cart, Clarke Jones and Kaitlyn lannace, were able to get the older child out but the youngest remained strapped into the completely submerged car. Time was not on their side as the girls explain, the little boy had been under the water for four to five minutes. By the time they were able to get him out, the boy was unconscious with blue lips.

Thankfully, Jones worked as a lifeguard in high school which allowed her training to kick in. The college student put the child on the car, performing CPR until he began breathing again.

"I was a lifeguard in high school for one summer, so I just remembered it from then," Jones tells GMA. "We had no clue if he was going to survive at all. And so I'm like, 'This is the one thing I know how to do that I can help. And so I'm just going to give it my best try.'"

After some time in the hospital, the boys have recovered from the terrifying ordeal. As for the sorority sisters, they were awarded with a badge of honor from the Burke County Sheriff's Department.

Representative image by Chino Rocha on Unsplash

Lasting relationships include a lot of shared joy.

Few couples make it to 60 years of marriage, as either divorce or death usually hit before that milestone. So it's a rare treat to get to see a couple who's been married that long interact with one another.

That's one reason a video shared by a woman named Jennifer (@jennjensc) on TikTok has so many people talking. The other reason is that it's a just hilariously delightful.

"My parents have been married 63 years. My mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She’s doing chemo and radiation and smiling all she can!” Jennifer wrote in the caption.

In the video, Jennifer tells her dad, "Papa," that "Nana" is trying on her new wig. "So be encouraging," Jennifer says, to which he responds, "She's trying on wigs? That's good."


To his credit, he tried to be encouraging…which lasted about two seconds once he saw her. When Nana came through the doorway with a long, braided black wig parted down the middle, her husband said, "Well, look at that…" And then honesty hit, followed by peals of laughter.

Watch:

When you've been together with someone for over six decades, there's not a lot that you can hide from one another, and this entire interaction proof. The sheer honesty of "I don't believe I like that," and "You look like Willie Nelson!" are so real, and the fact that they busted out laughing together speaks to the power of humor in a lasting relationship.

"He was really ready in his heart to try and be encouraging 😂😂😂," wrote one commenter.

"They are the cutest! I love how he started “ohhh, look at that!” And then couldn’t even handle lying to her 😂😂😂," wrote another.

"He made her LAUGH, which is way better than lying ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️" shared another.

"I love this. You can tell there’s a lot of love with all the laughter," shared another.

And it doesn't end there. Nana took the Willie Nelson bit even further in a follow-up video that showcases just how much humor plays a role in their lives.

@jennjensc

Today nan finshed the halfway mark of chemo and radiation. She is feeling great. She so enjoys akl tge comments prayers and good vibes ! #nana #papa #willie #journey #chemo #radation #lungcancer #faith #laughter#love

Nana and Papa, who are 81 and 83 respectively, were high school sweethearts. They met at a roller rink, "and we've been going 'round together ever since," Nana said in another video. "Sometimes we've been goin' 'round and 'round," she added with a giggle. The two really are an adorable couple, and as people have shared in the comments, they're an inspiration for what a relationship can be even after over 60 years together.

The most common wedding vow includes the phrase "in sickness and in health," and the fact that these two are still having so many laughs together as Nana goes through radiation and chemotherapy exemplifies that phrase. They've been a team for almost their entire lives, and a cancer diagnosis isn't going to get in the way of that.

You can follow more of Nana's and Papa's love story on Jennifer's TIkTok here.