Rapper. Superhero. Cat caretaker. Shon Griffin is many things, and he got his start early.

Shon was just three when he begged his aunts to let him accompany them on their cat-caretaking rounds. His aunts run a group called Kolony Kats that cares for stray and feral cats around the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Feral cats are those who are afraid of people and live outside in groups known as colonies.

Shon’s aunts thought a rambunctious three-year-old may be too much for the skittish cats they were trying to help. But he convinced them to let him tag along, and that’s how he discovered his superpower.

One particularly scared cat was Bug. He would run from Shon’s aunts, Kris Papiernik and Kia Griffin. But when Shon arrived, Bug came out and rubbed against his legs. Kolony Kats was then able to give Bug his shots and other care he needed.

Now at age five, Shon considers cat caretaking a regular extracurricular activity, and one that makes him feel like a superhero. “I like to make them happy!” he says. “When they are happy, I’m happy! I make them happy by giving them treats and chin scratches!” Shon even created a rap song in which he sings about his superpower, the chin scratch.

His message to other kids who want to help feral cats in their community? “Be kind to them. Don’t scare them or touch them, and ask your parents to help you find ways to care for [them].”

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This story appears in the May/June 2018 issue of Kind News magazine. Learn more about subscribing to Kind News and order by March 15 to receive the May/June issue: www.KindNews.org.