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Woman Says She Cares More About Homeless Man's Cat Than Him Because He's 'On Something'

Photo: @kirby_j/TikTok
TikToker @kirby_j

Many of us have an adoration for animals, and when it comes to dogs and cats, that love can go into overdrive. 

But can that love go too far? A woman on TikTok's recent video has many people saying yes.

Her story about "saving" an unhoused man's cat but not intervening to help the man himself has left many people angry, and calling her callous and "gross."

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A woman outraged many with her story of helping a homeless man's cat but not the man himself.

TikToker Kirby Johnson, known as @kirby_j on the app, shared her story in a recent video that has gone viral on both TikTok and Twitter. 

Johnson said she cares more about animals than people. 

"Call me a devil or say I lack empathy if you want, but if there's a choice between helping a human and helping an animal, 110% of the time I'm helping that animal," Johnson said.

The homeless man and his cat have been living in her Dallas neighborhood for ages, and Johnson has frequently tried to help him care for his cat.



"When I see people with animals who don't have houses, I immediately go into panic mode," she said, "like, are you taking good care of them?"

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The TikToker says she 'borderline stalks' the unhoused man to make sure his cat is 'having a good life' because he's 'on something.'

Johnson says she knows all the places the man sleeps and the details of his daily routine so that she can keep an eye on his cat, and regularly brings him cat food and other supplies.

During a recent rainstorm, her concern escalated.

"It's been raining cats and dogs" in Dallas lately, Johnson says, "and all I can think of is, 'how is this man's cat? How is this man's cat?"

When she noticed the homeless man had left his usual location to seek shelter from the rain, she went to find him to make sure his cat was okay but seemed unconcerned with the man himself.

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When people criticized her, she said she doesn't help the unhoused man because his addiction makes it unsafe for her to do so.

"There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cases of homelessness in this city," she said. "I cannot save the world...but when I saw this man with a cat, yeah I was concerned."

She then said the man is "so far gone into his addiction" that it is not safe for her to try to help him and that she endangers herself every time she helps his cat.

That hesitance is certainly understandable. But it has not stopped her from intervening where the cat is concerned, and it did little to quell the anger towards her.



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Many people on Twitter found her comments and approach callous and offensive. 

"This is so fu-king gross but so common," one user wrote. "How have you lost all sense of empathy where you will give a cat a blanket but not a person?"

"People truly just don’t understand how easy it is to end up without a home," another tweeter said, "so they feel superior to those who are homeless and [assume they] are being cruel to their pets..."

Others pointed out that not only are cats perfectly capable of living outside, but many unhoused people take very good care of their pets. 

As one tweeter put it, "I’ve worked w/the houseless before & they often take better care of their pets than themselves."

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Johnson says that helping the man's cat is helping him, and that he has declined all other assistance she has offered. 

"I can just simply give this man cat food," she said, "and in turn, that helps him so that he doesn't have to spend money or worry about feeding his cat."

And in a second follow-up video, she clarified that she has offered to buy the man food and supplies like blankets before, but he has always declined and asked for cat food instead. 

One Twitter user boiled the uproar down not so much to Johnson's actions, but a misunderstanding rather borne of her choice of words.

"I think there’s nothing wrong with her actions," she wrote, "but the way she told the story...warranted criticism."

For her part, Johnson agreed. "Could I have worded things a little better? Yes," she said. "But I had good intentions, I really did."

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.