Looking at Jean Paul, people would never guess that this fluffy orange cat in Utah is more or less a walking miracle.
Jean Paul, adopted from the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City location by a woman named Emily, serves as an emotional support animal for one of Emily’s daughters, who is living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But Jean Paul is a survivor himself. When he arrived at Best Friends, he was nearly dead.
“A little ginger kitten named Jean Paul arrived at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City cold and unresponsive,” the Best Friends Animal Society, which operates the Lifesaving Center and a host of other animal shelters throughout the country, told Fox News Digital.
The veterinary team jumped into action, and the within three days, Jean Paul was transformed from “cold and unresponsive” to “a bouncing young kitten full of life.”
After he was no longer in immediate danger, Jean Paul spent some time in a foster home before he was adopted just before Christmas 2022.
In addition to becoming close to Emily and her daughters, Jean Paul is now the “brother” of a Shih-tzu named Knox.
“He loves to bounce around and cuddle with his new canine sibling,” Best Friends Animal Society told Fox News Digital.
Emily, Jean Paul’s adopter, told Fox News Digital that when he first arrived at her house, he was “timid” and “kind of got pushed around a lot” by Knox.
Emily took in Jean Paul in part because of the cat’s background, explaining, “We did want a kitten who had also been through some trauma, like us.”
“It’s hard to pick just one or two things that we love about Jean Paul,” Emily told Fox News Digital. “He’s incredibly smart. He can open doors, which when I saw it for the first time I couldn’t believe it!”
Jean Paul has also been a source of comfort to her daughters.
“My kids will spill their hearts out to him when they need to and he will sit and listen, and he sleeps with them every night,” she said.
“It’s amazing how different life would be when I think of life without Jean Paul today.”
“Jean Paul has taught my daughters responsibility, as they are in charge of the litter box and any other messes he makes, as well as feeding him,” she said.
“It’s amazing how different life would be when I think of life without Jean Paul today. He has brought something I can’t quite name to our family,” she said.
In addition to his inspiring survival story, Jean Paul’s care and recovery represent “a great example of what no-kill shelters do best,” the Best Friends Animal Society said.
“No-kill means saving every dog or cat in a shelter who can be saved,” she said, even if they arrive at the shelter in extremely rough shape, like Jean Paul did.
“Had Jean Paul ended up in another shelter, he may have been killed simply for ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the Best Friends Animal Society.
The Best Friends Animal Society is working to end “kill shelters” in the United States by 2025.
“Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to encourage every shelter to make a clear commitment to lifesaving and transparency while working to achieve and sustain no-kill in philosophy and practice, rather than simply working to obtain a no-kill designation,” the organization said.