It often seems like homeless animals have a way of choosing their humans instead of the other way around.
Josh Sep of Los Angeles, California, never pictured himself as a pet owner, but fate clearly had other plans! One day, he was visiting his aunt’s house when he heard the cries of a tiny kitten coming from a nearby alley.
The abandoned feline was so young that his eyes weren’t even open yet, and Josh knew he couldn’t leave without trying to help. So the photographer began sharing pictures and videos on social media and asking what he should do.
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His friends encouraged him to leave the kitten where he found him, in hopes that the mama cat would return to care for him. Reluctantly, Josh followed their instructions and put the mewling baby back in the alley. Then he went home to spend a sleepless night.
The next day, he woke up determined to return for the poor cat. When he made it to the alley, he quickly discovered the little one’s mother hadn’t come. Plus, he seemed hungrier than ever.
Josh quickly asked the Pasadena Humane Society for some advice and was set up as an official foster dad!
“I’d never had the thought in my head that I was gonna have a cat,” he told The Dodo. “Waking up every three hours and having to give him milk and everything like that, I didn’t think I could do that. Then once I started doing it, it was something bigger than myself.”
It didn’t take long for Josh and his partner Nicole to bond with the kitty, whom they named Smokey Mezcal. A veterinarian warned them not to get too attached because abandoned kittens often don’t make it, but with their love and care, Smokey began to thrive!
The couple didn’t realize just how much they loved having Smokey around until people started asking to adopt him. Suddenly, Josh felt strongly that this was their cat and Smokey wasn’t going anywhere!
“They kind of get a bad rap, I think, because they’re not like dogs,” the proud pet parent explained. “They kind of show their love in their own way. And I don’t think I realized that until this. Now I think cats fit my personality better than a dog does.”
These days, Josh says finding Smokey was one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to him. After all, it has made Josh feel incredibly fulfilled, and he hopes more people will take the opportunity to bring animals into their homes.
“If you ever find yourself in a position where you can help an animal and actually be a big part of their life, you can see that they know that,” he said. “It’s just really great to get home and bond with them again and just know that you guys kind of get each other in that way.”
One year later, Josh and Smokey’s bromance is still going strong! It’s almost as if their sweet family was meant to be!
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