Categories: good cat news

Texas Students Present Grieving Teacher with a Pair of Kittens

In an internet environment filled with animal cruelty and school violence, I found it nice to come across an article about the love a group of students in Texas felt for their teacher.

According to a May 9 report by ABC News, four students at Joshua High School learned their College Statistics class teacher Tonya Andrews was grieving following the death of her 16-year-old cat. Tonya had been crying in class and the students were concerned about their beloved teacher. That’s when Ashlei Mahan, Makala Comer, Sheridan Swindell and Rachel Hanhart decided to cheer Tonya up by surprising her with two kittens.

Photo credit: Rachel Hanhart

At first the ladies planned a simple party, with Makayla bringing flowers and Sheridan bringing cupcakes. Sheridan made the suggestion to add to the party by presenting Tonya with two kittens. While looking online, Rachel’s mom found an advertisement in the Fort World area for two kittens who needed a good home.

The kittens were brought in during math class the following day, where the surprise brought Tonya to tears. Rachel and Ashlei took videos of Tonya being presented the kittens, which have gone viral after being posted to Twitter. Through her tears she can be heard asking:

“Are they mine?”

Here’s a short video of the tender moment from Inside Edition, who picked up the story

I believe these beautiful kittens are in good hands with Tonya. It may have been a bit soon after the death of her own cat, but judging by her expression, she’s already in love with her new family members. And since she’s a teacher putting in long hours at school, the kittens can entertain each other while she’s away.

Thank you ladies, for caring enough about your teacher to want to ease her pain. The video is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

View Comments

  • Watched the video over and over and am convinced, now, that this generous gift was right.

    Tonya is, genuinely, overjoyed.

    It looks like she has a little calico girl and, maybe, a little black boy. Hopefully, they were spayed/neutered, just to sweeten the pot.

    Such a gift may not suited for every grieving person; but, this situation feels right to me.

  • The kittens will be a definite distraction! It's going to be hard to laugh and cry at the same time. Timing of events isn't usually something we consciously choose. Most of us do try, but life has it's own way with us. So, resistance is usually futile. Grief and joy come in and out the same door.

  • Thanks, Elisa.
    It's not always wise to replace a cat quickly. Grieving is important. But, in this case, it worked out well.
    Tears for this teach and kits!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Needed this happiness today.

  • Super story. This lady is charming. She must have had a very close relationship with her cat. She also must have been deeply upset to be tearful in class. I'm sure the kittens will be extremely happy with her. The only question I have is whether the gift was too early after the passing of her cat but that would seem not to be the case because she is delighted with her gift.

    All of us who are cat advocates will understand her emotional distress and grieving on the passing of her cat. It can take a very long time to get over it.

    • Agree.
      Kids know no better. No nothing about grief.
      It looks like it will work out though.

      • I got two kittens a couple of weeks after the death of my 14.5 year old cat. I was grieving and missed her, but the place was so empty, and the cat tree was there too. I missed having a cat too. The kittens helped a lot. They didn't replace my cat, I still cry for her occasionally, but they did provide distraction and some consolation too. It's really personal how soon you should do it, but there are so many homeless cats out there, and if you lost your cat you have a home all ready, you can help other cats and they help you.

        • I agree, well said Kitty. It does depend on the circumstances and the person. It seems to have worked out well in this instance.

          I love this teacher. She must be a very kind person.

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