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Five-Year-Old Superhero Saves Philadelphia Stray Cats

by Bethany Meissner

Photo Credit: Kia Griffin and Kris Papiernik

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “Superman Shon” – a five-year-old boy who loves cats so much that another one of his nicknames is “Catman.” According to People, Catman’s alias is Shon Griffin, a kindergartener in northeast Philadelphia. His two aunts run Kolony Kats, a foster and rescue group that also does trap, neuter, return (TNR) to care for the many street cats in their area.

Kris told reporters that Shon has been heading out with them to care for cats since he was three. “The first time he wanted to go out with us, we were hesitant, because feral cats are shy and easily scared,” adding that Shon at the time “was so little and rambunctious.” However, Shon and the cats surprised them!

Photo Credit: Kia Griffin and Kris Papiernik

“The cats really took to [Shon], especially one named Bug that had eluded us for a while,” Kris said. Kia told reporters, “As soon as Shon showed up, that cat came right over and started rubbing against his legs.” To illustrate how shocking this was, she explained that Bug “was a cat that we couldn’t even look at for two years without him running away from us. Because of Shon, we were finally able to take Bug to get neutered, then bring him back to his little colony.”

Shon lives with his mom and younger brother, but loves going out with his aunts. Kris explained, “There’s nothing he loves more than hanging out with the cats and making them happy.” However, spending time with cats isn’t the only thing Shon loves. He also loves dressing up as his favorite superheroes. They aren’t limited to just one universe, either. His current costumes include the Flash, Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. When asked if Shon has a catchphrase like some of the more famous superheroes, Shon’s aunts said that his favorite phrase is simple: “Be kind to cats.” That’s certainly a phrase we can get behind! Shon’s phrase even inspired his aunts to write a book, Be Kind to Cats, that teaches kids about feral cat colonies.

Photo Credit: Kia Griffin and Kris Papiernik

Shon enjoys feeding the cats, as well as petting and posing with the friendlier felines. Some cats are lucky enough to experience what Shon calls his “superpower scratch” – a gentle scratching under their chins. At each stop he tries to give every cat equal time and attention. The cats certainly seem to appreciate it!

In the meantime, you can see more of Shon’s adventures on Instagram under his aunts’ Instagram account, @KolonyKats. Kia told reporters, “Shon simply has a magic touch with cats.” Every superhero has a little bit of magic about them, and it looks like Catman is going to keep saving lives no matter what disguise he wears.