The video posted from the TikTok account @eli_theoneeye was shared with a caption that read: “The long awaited Harper rescue story [red and pink heart emojis].” The footage showed a montage of the cat’s journey from its discovery to its current home.
The clip began with a shot of the cat encountering a woman on the side of what appeared to be a motorway, before being held in her arms, wrapped in a blanket.
The video went on to show the tiny cat being active and playful in various ways, from gently nibbling on fingers and climbing onto the legs of a person’s trousers to lounging on laps and befriending another cat in the house.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are reported to be an estimated 30 to 40 million community cats (strays or other homeless cats) in the country and “overpopulation is a serious concern.”
The nonprofit said: “Since a female cat can become pregnant as early as five months of age and have multiple litters each year, the number of cats in a neighborhood can rapidly increase if cats aren’t spayed or neutered.”
A 12-year study, published in April 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), stated that domestic cats “pose numerous problems when free-roaming, including predation of wildlife, hazards to humans, impaired sanitation, and a decrease in their welfare. Thus, managing their populations is essential.”
The study found that “neutering over 70 percent of the cats caused population decline when applied over contiguous areas.”
As tempting as it may be to want to bring an adorable stray cat home following the heartwarming story in the latest viral video, caution needs to be taken when approaching unknown cats, veterinarian Dr. Jose Arce, the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, told Newsweek back in May.
The cat could potentially be fearful and trying to capture it could see either you or the cat, or both, be injured if it attempts to run away or defend itself.
Arce said that stray kittens can be “especially tempting to bring home,” but “this may not always be best for the kitten,” as it may be still nursing and its mother may still be nearby but hiding or looking for food.
The Humane Society agreed, advising that some stray cats might be friendly and approach you for food or attention, while others may be too scared to let you get close. “But they will usually eat immediately if you put food down for them.”
Arce said it’s also important to check whether a cat truly is a stray, because “many owned cats do not wear collars when outside and should be left alone.” Such cats are typically not lost and will find their own way home, he added.
The latest viral video has melted the hearts of several TikTok users.
In a comment that got over 800 likes, user Timothy Christoph411 simply said: “Those eyes,” while Jennifer said: “This makes me so happy.”
Goth Wolf wrote “Dawwww this is beautiful [floating hearts smiling emoji],” and Katarina Friss said: “Harper—the luckiest kitty alive [red heart emoji].”
Kittyknight716 said: ” Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, you knew you were gonna get an adorable ginger kitty! [multiple floating hearts smiling emojis].”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment. The latest video has not been independently verified.
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