“Any small act of kindness you need to take advantage of, because maybe that person will reciprocate it.”
These are the profound words spoken to WAFF by a kindhearted police officer from Florence, Alabama.
Officer Justin Whitten with the Florence Alabama Police Department only wanted to help when he saw a little girl crying hysterically outside her home.
When Whitten asked the girl — 9-year-old Makayla Hogue — what was wrong, he soon learned that her beloved cat had been killed by a hit-and-run driver.
“The cat got nervous and ran out in the road and got hit,” Makayla told WZDX. “I ran into the road and picked her up…”
Sadly, the cat passed away soon after being hit.
Not only did Whitten take burying Makayla’s cat into his own hands, he also went above and beyond to comfort her and make things right.
“With it being a little girl, I wanted to help her because she was crying,” Whitten told WAFF. Though he surely had bigger duties on his schedule, this compassionate officer took the time to make Makayla his priority.
So he let her mom comfort her from there and buried the cat — Alice — for them. “I just told her one way or another if the cat was going to be here or not that I was going to take care of it,” Whitten told WZDX.
What the mom and daughter didn’t expect was that Officer Whitten would return after his shift was over with a friendly and furry surprise.
“Officer Whitten with the Florence Alabama Police Department seriously saved the day,” Toni Mercaldi, Makayla’s mom, wrote on Facebook. “…he went and got her a cat and brought him to us!”
The new cat has been named “Jerry” and it seems Makayla is already in love. This officer certainly went the extra mile to make a little girl’s sad day so much brighter.
“He took charge of the more responsible side of it and let me tend to her and what she was going through in the moment,” Mercaldi said. “He gave her a hug and told her he was going to make everything okay. I was not expecting him to come back but he came back over and brought Jerry.”
Mercaldi added that Officer Whitten told her, “I’m just doing what everyone should do, there’s not enough love in the world.”
“We really want this to be an inspiration for people to go that extra step to help people and create a more positive mindset,” Mercaldi told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal.
“This is one of those things where I had every bit of power to decide how it went and it wasn’t a cop helping a little girl, it was a human helping a human,” Whitten told WZDX.
And this is clearly humanity at its finest. Thank you, Officer Whitten. You’ve reminded us all what true kindness looks like.
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