Although Imgur user TakaBaka used to dislike cats, a fluffy white kitten – who he acquired on a whim – ended up changing his life forever.
In a post, TakaBaka says that as a kid, he was never a fan of felines. “I hated cats. I used to get attacked by them as a kid and I was extremely allergic,” he wrote.
Months earlier, the self-proclaimed “cat hater” had been diagnosed with PTSD after working as a paramedic and firefighter. “I couldn’t sleep without nightmares, I couldn’t drive down the road without seeing something horrific that wasn’t real,” he wrote.
The residual trauma began to wreak havoc on the poster’s life. “Me being the young adult I am, turned to drinking and ruining relationships to cope with my mental turmoil.”
Then one late night, TakaBaka was at a party when his buddy said something that would change his life forever.
“‘Hey my friend has kittens, they’re free! You should take one!’” he recalled his pal saying. Despite his dislike for cats, the poster spontaneously agreed to adopt one…
The next morning, TakaBaka woke up to texts on his phone from the “friend of a friend” with the kittens, and he recalled the commitment he’d made the night before. So he went to meet the stranger, and as he took the 8-week-old kitten into his arms, reality hit: “this life is my responsibility now,” he remembered thinking.
With no idea how to care for a kitten, TakaBaka took his new friend to the pet store. “I brought him into PetSmart, and he sat perched on my shoulder as I had an employee help me find everything I needed to raise an 8-week-old cat,” he wrote. “I had no clue what to do, so I told her to buy everything he needs and then some.”
Following their big excursion, the new cat-dad and his kitten, named Shiro, headed home with their gear. He set up Shiro’s “own little room” and Googled some sound advice on kitten care.
Afterward, “we just sat on opposites ends staring at each other until I decided to take a nap. I woke up to him curled around my neck, but no allergic reaction by me?” he wrote.
“So I let him sleep with me, and I taught him basic commands, I watch him learn about the world every day.”
With his new lease on life, thanks to Shiro, TakaBaka wrote an important message on the post:
“If you know anyone struggling with PTSD, or even depression, console them. PTSD is a very real thing and it affects more than just our soldiers. If you know someone in public safety / military, tell them how much they mean to you.”
We’re so glad that he and Shiro found each other, even if it was by accident! And it’s probably safe to say that TakaBaka is actually a “cat person,” after all!