Losing a beloved pet, one who’s been in your life for years can be utterly devastating. This family pet has been part of your life and family. Saying goodbye hurts beyond words.
Tonya Andrews was heartbroken when she realized her 16-year-old cat, Blondie, was suddenly sick. As she and her husband were driving their sweet girl to the vet, she died in her arms.
Going to work the next day wasn’t easy for Tonya. She’s a high school math teacher. Her students realized their teacher was having a rough day when they noticed how upset and emotional she was during their periods with her.
“I cried pretty much every period that next day at school,” she said.
It wasn’t long until her students learned of Blondie’s passing. Tonya broke down during one period. Her students knew how much she’d loved Blondie. They wanted to cheer her up. They considered bringing her a cake or flowers.
One student, Rachel Hanhart, told her mom what had happened. Rachel and her friends Ashlei Mahan, Makayla Comer, and Sheridan Swindell came up with something better. When they arrived to class the next day, gift in hand, Tonya was grateful to her kids for the homemade cupcakes and flowers they’d brought her. Little did she know they weren’t finished making her day.
Surprising Mrs. Andrews Part 1 pic.twitter.com/F7qXKuAkDu
— Ashlei (@AshleiMahan) May 6, 2016
Rachel spoke from behind her group of friends. Tonya noticed what she held in her hands and immediately burst into tears.
The high school student held two tiny kittens: “Are those for me?” the teacher asked as the kittens were placed in her hands.
Tonya thought the precious kitties belonged to Rachel. She figured they were in her classroom to lift her spirits. The girls informed her that they were her’s. They’d purchased them with their own money.
Tonya thought something was up when some of her students were missing from class. Rachel posted the bombshell surprise on social media: “We surprised our teacher with kittens because her cat passed away yesterday.”
We surprised our teacher with kittens because her cat passed away yesterday💗 pic.twitter.com/ozzwCJTVmj
— Rachel Nicole🌷 (@rnhanhart) May 6, 2016
“I was smiling so big by then because I could feel the love of the class,” Tonya said. “But then, Rachel walked in holding two precious kittens.
“Then she held them out to me and said they were mine. My heart was filled with joy,” she continued.
The surprise was caught on video that has since gone viral. It wasn’t the clip’s popularity that mattered most to the students. It was seeing their teacher happy once more that brought them the most joy.
Tonya named her new kitties Missy and Girlie. Blondie will always be in her heart. She can start fresh with her two new kittens; all thanks to her students, she can again experience joy with her new cats.