The five-year-old superhero helping stray cats

Shon dresses up to help street cats.
Shon dresses up to help street cats. Photo: @DaliKwesha

There's a reason super hero stories are so incredibly popular. We all want someone to come along and save us, don't we?

Now the stray cats of Philadelphia in the US have their own superhero: a 5-year-old boy named Shon.

Along with his aunt and uncle, Shon helps care for the stray cats in his city. Kris Papiernik and Kia Griffin have been rescuing cats for 40 years – and now they have the ultimate helper in their adorable nephew.

'It makes him feel like a superhero for animals.'
'It makes him feel like a superhero for animals.' Photo: @DaliKwesha

But Shon likes to do things in style – he feeds and pats the cats dressed in his various superhero costumes. "He said it makes him feel like a superhero for animals," aunt Kris told The Dodo.

"We were a little hesitant at first because they're feral cats, and we thought they're going to run from a rambunctious 3-year-old," Kris said. But, "it was the total opposite – they just gravitated to him."

Being only five, Shon is limited to just filling the cats' bowls with food and water, but he loves being around the cats and is proud of his contribution to their welfare.

"If it's raining or cold or he can't go, he gets really upset," said Kris. "He cries, and it really hurts him hard."

Kris also says Shon has impressive cat whispering skills. In their 40 years of helping cats, Kris and Kia have often not been able to get close enough to the cats to do more than just feed and water them. Their aim is to get each cat spayed or neutered, but that's not always possible when the cats don't allow them to get close.

But the cats like Shon. "He'd scratch their bellies and scratch their heads," said Kris. "It was amazing to see these cats who wouldn't even allow us to touch them, but immediately took to him. He must have this magical effect that the cats can pick up."