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Life can come at you really fast.

Sometimes you're just moseying along, smelling the flowers (or getting your usual morning coffee; I don't know your routine) — and then BAM! Your existence has entered a new and exciting stage you weren't at all prepared for.


We've all been there. And that's probably why so many on the internet are relating to a man named Paris Zarcilla, or as the internet has dubbed him, #CatDad.

All Zarcilla wanted was to grab a sweater. He found a litter of kittens under his bed instead.

On May 29, Zarcilla rolled up to his bedroom to get himself a change of clothes. Then, I assume, he heard some kind of strange noise. And because this isn't that type of horror movie, he decided to check under his bed.

Where he found this:  

That tweet went viral almost instantly, with the entire internet dissolving into what I imagine to be a puddle of mewling goo. At least, that's where I was when I started favoriting these tweets.

But while the rest of us were enjoying the delight that a surprise pack of kittens and their mama can bring to an otherwise dull day, Zarcilla was struggling with an important question:

Hello and welcome to the world's most adorable existential crisis.

I mean, what else are you going to do, right? You find a couple of kittens just hanging out in your home, clear your schedule, and start partying with them. (Safely and from a few feet away, maybe, so as not to spook them.)

If there's one thing that this story proves, it's how important animals are in our lives.

I'll spare you every one of the adorable cat pictures in the thread (and there are a lot), but many people have joined in on the love, and Zarcilla's story has become even more epic as he continued live-tweeting his experience.

Sure, he's doing a lot for the kittens — he can't separate them from the mom for six weeks, so everyone's staying under his bed indefinitely — but he's also recognizing the power our furry friends (or, you know, furry strangers who quickly become friends) have to impact our mood and change our outlook on life.

Zarcilla even pointed out the fact that being with the cats and the responsibility of becoming #CatDad may really be helping his mental health.  

According to research, being the dad (or mom or parent) to a cat — or dog, if you're so inclined — is beneficial for us humans. Dog owners experience less stress, and those who own cats are less likely to have heart problems.

And it's therapeutic to spend time with an animal, because, unlike other humans, they're not going to expect anything from you except that you feed and love them. That's why so many of us may feel more comfortable being ourselves around our pets.  

Of course, not all of us will be blessed with the discovery of a whole group of cats in our own homes.

Although strange kitties wandering in and just doing their thing in someone's dining room aren't unheard of.

So if you're considering a pet, don't wait for a family of felines to take up in your room. Consider rescuing an animal (like Chris Evans did!) to become your companion.

As for #CatDad? He's doing just fine.

You're doing amazing, dude.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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