If given the sum of $7,000 and told to make a wish, many kids would probably fritter the money away on Pokemon cards or a bedroom full of Furbys or a coterie of talking Teddy Ruxpins. Okay, I’ll admit I might not be too clued in on exactly what kids are obsessed with these days, but I know it would take a pretty special kid to donate that money to a cause for animals.
Annika Glover is that kid: She’s an 11-year-old who, while battling a brain tumor, was offered a $7,000 wish through the Make-A-Wish program and chose to donate the money to the Pets Are Worth Saving organization in her home state of Alabama. Now her deed has been honored by the ASPCA and she has been declared the official Kid of the Year.
Interviewing to Annika through email, I asked her why she chose to donate to an animal-based endeavor. “I decided to grant my wish to P.A.W.S. because I felt like something needed to be done about animals not having homes,” she wrote.
After her donation, P.A.W.S. estimates that hundreds of dogs and cats will now be spayed and neutered, while those lovable critters in foster situations will be provided with food and veterinary care. Annika added that she’s also since met some of the foster-status cats and dogs that she’s helped, and that she volunteers at adoption events whenever she can.
Annika recalled a fond memory of “fostering the mama cat and her three babies.” She explained, “I really enjoyed watching the babies change from little furry blobs to mostly confident kittens. I also enjoyed watching the mama when she would teach her babies how to be a cat.”
While most of the promotional video footage of the P.A.W.S. adoption event involves dogs, Annika’s heart swings to the feline side. “My family and I have four cats,” she revealed before going into a roll-call of her furry friends: “Zenzie is very independent and standoffish, Greystoke is playful with family and skittish around strangers, Fluffles is very laid back and easy to please — he showed up near our house last year and we took him in. Then Momo, a Sphinx, is a monkey-cat-dog-child.”
I did not get to ask exactly what a monkey-cat-dog-child involves, but Annika did explain that Momo came into her life when a kind lady gave him to her when she was going through chemotherapy.
“He is awesome,” Annika told me. “He lay on me when I was cold and acted crazy when I needed cheering up. He got his name from the flying lemur on the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.”
When she grows up, Annika says she is going to be a veterinarian, as if you even needed to ask.
Read abut more Catster Heroes:
- Cats in Paradise: Helping Save the Cats of Old San Juan
- Oreo, Once a Stray, Gets His Own Book to Help Other Cats
- Meet the Cat Lady Who Rescued Buzz the Fuzz From a Hoarder
- Meow Village Finds Permanent Outdoor Homes for Feral Cats
About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.