Grandparents are pretty awesome. Hopefully, those lucky enough to have them can appreciate this firsthand.
True, a grandparent’s most active and energetic years are often behind them. But that’s actually what makes their impact so invaluable.
A loving grandparent shares unconditional encouragement, support and hard-won life wisdom. This tends to have a positive effect on any youngster within their sphere of influence.
Technically, you might also call it a “paws”-itive effect. Some grandparents have four legs and a tail, after all.
Take Grandpa Mason, for example. He started out as a grumpy, battle-scarred cat on the streets — but that’s certainly not where he wound up.
Mason was given a second chance by TinyKittens Society, based in Fort Langley, British Columbia. This non-profit rescue is spearheaded by Shelly Roche, a computer programmer who uses technology to share heartwarming feline rescue stories online.
Mason’s own harrowing rescue video has already gone viral. TinyKittens specializes in caring for ailing feral cats, and Mason was in pretty bad shape when they found him.
Rescue workers explained that Mason had a huge growth on the bottom of his paw. His tail was also broken in numerous places — and tragically, he was eventually found to have a terminal illness.
But once Mason settled in for treatment and TLC, Roche told The Dodo she was amazed he was so sweet. “You think a feral cat’s gonna, like, attack you if you bandage their paw,” she said, “but he was really good.”
And then came the orphaned kittens.
After such a rough-and-tumble life, there was some doubt that Mason would calmly adapt to his final months in caring captivity. But Roche began introducing this elderly chap to an adorable succession of tiny foster felines.
She described how these kittens “just sort of swarmed into his lair.” And clearly, each new batch of inquisitive young ones warmed Mason’s jaded and weary heart.
“He knows they’re there, and he observes them for a while from a distance,” Roche explained. But eventually, Mason begins bathing the kittens and tenderly toting them around.
He also teaches them valuable manners, like bite inhibition. Roche told The Dodo that Mason pats particularly overzealous kittens with a stern parental paw, until they gradually settle down.
At the time Mason was first brought in, rescue workers estimated he only had a few short months to live. But thanks to his bond with this fluffy young brood, he’s already outlived his initial prognosis. And now, he’s even the star of his very own Facebook page.
Roche thinks Mason is learning what it feels like to be young again. “I don’t think he ever got a chance to be a kitten,” she said, “and he’s having so much fun.”
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