Santa Surprises Boy With Black Cat For Christmas After His Beloved Feline Passes Away <3 (With Video!)

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“All of a sudden, the world seems to be a happier place.”

This has been the general consensus after watching a recent Christmas video flooding the internet.

Flooding it with happy tears that is.

If you can watch the sweet moment of a young man being gifted a cat from Santa, WITHOUT crying, you may not be human.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks ~ The special moment Austin learns Gizzard will be joining the family

At the Humane Society of Genesee County in Michigan, one woman created a Christmas miracle for her son.

Mari Brooks is the Humane Educator at the shelter and has worked there for the last 8 years.

Her son Austin, now 12, has been an animal lover since birth.

He’d been counting down the days until his 10th birthday, when he’d be old enough to volunteer with him mom.

Austin now helps with the events that the shelter hosts throughout the year.

From the photos, he certainly seems to add a fun-loving and humorous element!

This is him with the families pup, Taco, also adopted from the Humane Society back in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks

He doesn’t just come for the fun though, he fully understands the responsibilities of caring for animals.

This is clearly something his mother has successfully instilled in him.

The world is certainly better with kids like him in it.

Mari’s favorite thing about working at the non-profit Humane Society is clearly evident in her son.

“We make a difference in not only the animals lives, but also the adopters. I also enjoy educating children on the proper way to treat, and care for a pet. This is a great place to work, and we are one big family.”

Austin comes in to walk the dogs, hang out with the kitties and even helps clean.

And he does this all while keeping up with his school work, numerous sports, boy scouts and through life’s ups and downs.

Screenshot of video from Holiday of Hope video – Facebook Humane Society of Genesee County

One of those “down’s” recently hit the family.

Their families beloved black cat, Diddle, passed away on November 14th, leaving a gaping hole in their hearts.

That same day, a sweet 7-month-old, stray black cat named Gizzard was brought into the shelter.

They fully know the plight of shelter animals, and see first hand the difficulties black cats have getting adopted.

Photo: Facebook Humane Society of Genesee County

To help spread the word to “Adopt, Don’t Shop”, Mari is constantly working on her “Think PAWsitive” program.

She even spoke at The Great Lakes Animal Welfare Conference, receiving their “Bright Ideas” award in October.

So on November 25th, the shelter held a Cat Yoga event. These have proven a hit at shelters and cat cafes all over the world.

Here, Gizzard and other kitties helped show humans the proper way to stretch their muscles.

Or at the very least, how to relax! 

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks ~ Their first meeting

Like two hearts sharing one soul, Gizzard and Austin gravitated towards each other.

It was the first time they’d met and the two boys bonded instantly.

The family proudly proclaims, “Black cats are our favorite!”

When Mari saw what was happening, she knew what she had to do.

Without Austin knowing, Mari put Gizzard on hold.

He would be joining their family and help fill the void in their hearts.

The next week went by with no mention of the surprise that lay in store for Austin.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks

On December 1st, the shelter held its annual Holiday of Hope event.

Vendors sold wares to benefit the donation based organization.

Volunteers, including Austin and Mari, readied themselves with the hope of helping animals find their fur-ever homes.

Gizzard and many of the shelters felines were ready to share purrs with the guests.

Even Santa was in attendance, eagerly waiting to hear the dreams and wishes of the children visiting.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks

As the day’s events played out, it came time for Austin to have his picture taken with Santa and his favorite cat, Gizzard.

Mari grabbed her camera, her heart anxiously pounding like the “Little Drummer Boy”.

Austin smiled for the camera and then Santa turned to him with a sparkle in his eye.

He whispered to Austin that Gizzard would be going home with him that day.

The sweet black cat was handed to his new human…

Who immediately broke down into tears…along with EVERYONE witnessing the blessing.


Posted by Mari Brooks on Saturday, December 1, 2018


The gift of love Austin and Gizzard have been given, is now growing stronger each day.

They drift off to sleep together every night.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks

The two were simply meant to be.

Now, the family is in happy shock seeing how their touching moment has garnered the attention of the world.

Austin’s reaction to his story on Good Morning America, a favorite show of his, is heartwarming.

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks ~ Austins reaction to watching Good Morning America

For young Gizzard, or “Gizz” as Mari affectionately calls him, he’s happy to be in the arms of his favorite humans.

No one knows what Gizzard’s life was like as a stray, but this holiday miracle changed all their lives for the better.

REMEMBER: Animals aren’t just gifts – they are a lifelong commitment!

If you are opening your home to a fur-baby this year, be sure to visit your local shelter to save a life!

If you can’t adopt, consider opening your home to foster animals who would thrive better than in a shelter environment.

Meowy Catmas to all, and to all a good night! <3

Photo courtesy of Mari Brooks


Related Story: Chicago’s Inspiring 13-Year-Old “Cat Lady” Spends Her Time Fostering Neonatal and Feral Kittens; Never Gives Up Despite Heartache

Related Story: Former Feral Torti Waits 772 Days To Be Adopted! Coaxed Out Of Hiding By Friendly Sight-Challenged Cat

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Leave a Reply
  1. Nice mom, nice kid, nice cat, and a nice story!

    That being said, I have a black cat, love him to bits, he is such a mellow little dude. Black cats and orange tabbies are the nicest breeds as they are mellow in deposition and very lovable. Good luck to this family.

    • Well the fact that I’m Cole and Marm’s mom, NOT a professional writer and just love to share happy cat stories means you’ll likely not get your wish =( Try focusing on the content =)

    • I’m a professional web editor. Until recently, I co-managed the website of a major international organization.

      This article is good, because it draws you in, makes you want to read on and tells you everything you need to know about what happened. And unlike 99% of the Internet, it is not chock-full of typos and grammatical errors.

      May you find catshit in your stocking this Christmas.

    • Why? Making a statement like that without backing it up with a solid argument is unfair. And, anyway, this blog is not about the writing. Go, JessiCAT, high five! #CatLoversUnited

  2. A great ending for both boys. Black cats are awesome. I have 2 wonderful boys that I love dearly. One was adopted from a local shelter and the other was also a stray like Gizzard. I also happen to think that black cats are more intelligent than others.Congrats on your new best friend Austin. May you have many years of happiness and enjoyment with Gizzatd

  3. As a high school teacher, I understand the importance of instilling strong values in young kids—especially the need to help boys find strength in tenderness. Here is a not just a “feel good story” for a holiday season; this is instruction on how to raise a strong young man. (I’m going to bet this kid’s teachers and coaches love working with him.) Great job raising a great kid.

    And by the way, I teach writing and have a few writing credits on my CV, and I thought the prose style reflected the gentleness of the narrative. And even if it didn’t, who cares—I still cried even before seeing the video.

  4. Oh my gosh, I agree! Cole & Marm’s mom is great at providing all the details of this story – I was tearing up even without the video at first. What a great story, thanks for sharing, Jess.

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Written by JessiCAT

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