This guy went viral for becoming an unexpected #CatDad, and the internet melted.

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.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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