Students Comfort Teacher with Two Sweet Gifts after Age 16 Cat Passes Away


Tonya Andrews was devastated when she realized her 16-year-old cat, Blondie, was suddenly sick.

Sadly, she and her husband were on the way to the vet ER when Blondie passed away in her arms.

Andrews, a high school math teacher, was understandably upset the following day at school. “I cried pretty much every period that next day at school,” she said.

Andrews’ students learned of Blondie’s passing after she broke down in class and told them. Later that night, they knew they had to find a way to cheer her up.

One student, Rachel Hanhart, told her mom what had happened. She and friends Ashlei Mahan, Makayla Comer, and Sheridan Swindell had thought about bringing their teacher a cake or flowers.

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But then they had a better idea. The next day, the girls walked into class with their gifts. Andrews was initially grateful to her students as they presented her with flowers and homemade cupcakes.

But then Hanhart called her name from behind her friends. And that’s when Andrews burst into tears.

In Hanhart’s hands were two tiny kittens. “Are those for me?” the teacher asked as the kittens were placed in her hands.

At first, Andrews thought the kittens were Hanhart’s, and that they were just to cheer her up. But the girls told her that they bought them for her with their own money.

The girls planned the sweet surprise after learning that Andrews was going to go to the animal shelter and get two new kittens that weekend.

With help from Hanhart’s mom, the girls were able to beat her to the punch and give her the perfect gift.

Andrews said she knew something was going on when some of her class was missing. But she had no idea how big of a surprise she was in for.

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“I was smiling so big by then because I could feel the love of the class,” she said. “But then, Rachel walked in holding two precious kittens.”

“Then she held them out to me and said they were mine. My heart was filled with joy,” she continued.

The girls caught the entire surprise on a now-viral video, but they said that Andrew’s happiness was “the most amazing part.”

Andrews has since named her kittens Missy and Girlie. She said she will never forget her beloved Blondie, but her “heart can now experience happiness again,” thanks to the kindness of her students.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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