Don’t You Forget About Me

Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t
Don’t you forget about me.

Will you stand above me?
Look my way and never love me?
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling,
Down, down, down…

Sender-Inner Jenny B. says, “let people know there are animals out there that need us desperately. And to always treat them with the same dignity and kindness we would like to receive ourselves.” Photo: Kitten, December, 2007, Hoi An, VietNam flooding disaster; unknown photographer.

Note: We welcome comments from anyone who has source information about this photo. Thank you.



  1. Heart breaking… 😦

  2. Lucy's Mommeh says: heart just broke.

  3. 😥

  4. Auhwr 😦 so poignant. Kitty I hope you are now safe and warm 😦

  5. Mary (the first) says:


  6. Poor kitty. I am so very hoping that immediately after this picture, that person picked up the kitty and took it someplace really warm with tasty food and lots of cuddles. So heartsick.

  7. Poor baby. I hope someone took it home.

  8. Noooooooooooooooooo omg please tell me this heartbreaker is rescued!!

  9. Seriously so sad now…

  10. It would’ve been decent of the person who submitted this photo to know what happened to the cat (hopefully something good, otherwise don’t post it) and let people know. This photo is devastating for me to look at, it breaks my heart, but I come to Cute Overload to find some relief from the ugly world, not this.

  11. Please tell me the poor wet kitten was taken inside, dried off and given a nice meal.

  12. Poor little thing. I hope the poor dear is taken care of. And bless those who take care of unfortunate friends like that.

  13. i’ve been reduced to tears.

  14. 😦

  15. There is salt water running down my face.

  16. This just breaks my heart!!! I want to come rescue the little buddy!

  17. I’m betting we are all now members of the
    C O Broken Heart Club.
    pass the tissues…..

  18. *sniff*

  19. Sad now 😦

  20. Seriously sad now, I had a rotten day and now this… hope kitteh is ok and btw, love that song brings back lots of memories

  21. Third Shift says:

    OMG! NSFL!

  22. *trying to reach through the screen* Oh noes! Must have poor wet little kitteh. Must. Comfort…

  23. tearing up =(

  24. This poor dear kitty. I want to go back in time and pick it up, dry it off and take care of it. I hope so much it’s now okay.

  25. Poor little guy, I also hope he was picked up, cuddled, cleaned, fed and given shelter. *sniffle*

  26. BRB, crying FOREVER.

    Animal victims of disasters always break my heart.

  27. I’ve found you shoe, take me with you.

  28. Poor little mite. Makes me feel very helpless. 😦

  29. Someone please get a towel and some friskies!!! STAT!! The horror of the sads..there should be a warning before you post something like this.

  30. The expression on that poor kitty’s face breaks my heart.

  31. OMG tears are flowing so much right now. This little baby has a home here in Oklahoma.

  32. My sentiments exactly 😦

  33. Crying.
    Although I can only hope that this kitteh was cared for after the photo…I know I can help others by donating my time and money to local shelters and/or rescue programs/funds. Please consider doing the same, if you don’t already.

  34. scarybuttercupp says:

    This picture is breaking my heart! I’m crying right now. I’m going to hug my sweet little dog baby a little tighter tonight, and say a prayer for that little one, and all the other helpless animals.

  35. Anyone who questions whether animals have souls need only look at this photo.

  36. Lotion or non-lotion? Have one…. 😥

  37. sunshinereaper says:

    that is the most heart wrenching ‘cute or sad’ photo in a LOOOOOOOONG time. I just want to give that kitteh a nice warm dray hug!

  38. I really need to believe that this little one’s story has a happy ending.

  39. I second that.

  40. Suddenly I feel an urge to make a donation to the ASPCA, Humane Society and my local shelter.

  41. I agree. Please, for the love of all that is sacred, NO ONE be a Debbie Downer about this if they know something that we don’t. It’s been a long week and like Noelegy, I also need this one to have had a happy ending.

    I will now put on my rose-colored glasses and imagine that this fella was scooped right up and now lives in a oppulent kitty accomodating mansion with all the food, love, toys, and blankies he wants!

  42. earlybird1 says:


  43. earlybird1 says:


  44. earlybird1 says:

    “MITE!” Ahhhh, that word makes me even sadder! Like in the move “Oliver Twist!” Oh, someone PLEASE pick up that wet, desperate kitten and snuggle him NOW!!

  45. Now i haz a sad :(… scoops up kitten in a warm from the dryer towel and cuddles it and gives it some nice warm kitten milks.

  46. earlybird1 says:

    It’s like the image of a lost child clinging to someone’s legs in the supermarket, HOPING BEYOND ALL HOPE that those legs belong to MOM.

    CURSE the internet world! We can’t reach through the screen and comfort the little guy! Imagine if all the love from Cute Overloaders could suddenly and completely surround this wet, scared baby. What a powerful healing that would be! Send him your loving thoughts, everyone!

  47. I came here to be cheered up and all this site did was make me feel worse. Why would you post this picture without knowing what happened next? It would be fine to post if it said something about how he was taken to a nice home or something but this is just sad. I think that officially killed my mood to look at cute pictures 😦

  48. I was told I should go to sites like this to perk me up when I feel down. This isn’t helping.

  49. earlybird1 says:

    *movie* (GAH)

  50. earlybird1 says:


  51. laurielou2 says:

    Seriously depressed now. Pass the Prozac.

  52. 😦

  53. The photograph is known and this photo was taken during the flooding in Hoi An, Vietnam, and not in Thailand.

    Please don’t make up stories.

  54. Tears are rolling, and I can’t bear to close the window because I feel like I’d be abandoning that poor baby. </3

  55. My soul just died a little

  56. I hope you found yourself a hero, little one.

  57. NurseNoirNursenOIR says:

    Oh my god… you cannot post something like this and leave it at that. Wee baby looks as if it’s on its last legs! Do we know ANYTHING about the circumstances surrounding this? I don’t try to deny that things like this exist, but there’s already so much misery around us every day. I have seen some of my best friends (two *and* four legged) sicken, sometimes linger and waste away, and die. That’s part of life. I guess I just don’t want to see it any more than I have to. If I knew this tiny darling was rescued, I’d feel better. (He reminds me of my oldest cat, who died this summer.)

  58. that’s the spirit!




    DAMN YOU MEEEEEGGGGGG, why must you test me so?!

    a nuffer and a moderator can’t coexist in the same body, it’s a law!!!!

    i can’t hold much longer!

  59. please hook us up with the details!

  60. 3-ply with lotion, please, if you have that kind.

  61. you are all very good, very kind souls.

  62. This is why we can never just assume that someone else will help these poor souls. We need to do our part. If you see an injustice stand up and make it right. Don’t wait for someone else.

  63. This hurts my heart. :~(

  64. Caroleypants says:

    For those of you that want to help, WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) funds teams to fly into situations like this and rescue animals, donate even a few dollars and you’ve given this little one a virtual cuddle

  65. Thanks for posting that information.

  66. NurseNoirNursenOIR says:

    Thank you, In, for reminding us we can- and must- act. That can actually help our own sorrow, too.

  67. I couldn’t agree more… I mean, bad things DO happen to animals and we shouldn’t ignore it but seriously why post something like that on this type of site without at least posting the outcome.. it’s like stepping into the shower expecting a hot stream of water and getting an ice cold splash instead. Sad to say with everything constantly so depressing in the news this site is normally how I cheer myself up at the end of the day and I ended up crying looking at this picture, especially not knowing if it had a good ending.

  68. Well said, Mamabear!!

  69. scarybuttercupp says:

    I’m totally incompetent about posting links, but I found that photo on Flickr taken by someone calling themselves Vertically Inclined. They said it was taken in Vietnam in December 2007. There are comments on the photo, but no answer as to what happened to the poor baby…

  70. I searched the internet but didn’t find info specific to this kitten. This image showed up a couple times but always with no source information. I am happy to tell you, I saw many, many images of pets and livestock being rescued from the Thailand floods.

  71. Sharpy, I Googled it. Found it. Does seem to be Hoi An, VietNam, and not Thailand. Good news is, sounds like the kitten was rescued.

  72. Update – this may be a kitten that was rescued in Vietnam flooding.

  73. Yep.

  74. Well, given the leg and the shoe and so on, I am choosing to believe that the poor desperate thing was rescued. But I agree with the above — this was a tough post to see.

  75. I hate this pic – I’ve seen it off and on on different sites for awhile now. I read that it was some kind of aftermath of a chemical plant disaster of some kind and there were multiple kitties living there during the incident. I read that the kitties were removed but no one knew their exact fate. In order to be able to sleep at nite when this image pops in my head, I HAVE to believe someone helped that poor, helpless, innocent and lost and yearning soul. SOMEONE took this picture and it looks professional. Someone knows, good or bad, or what happened to this small one.

  76. Thank you for commenting. We’re checking into it.

  77. Fird Birfle says:

    admirably described.

  78. Please keep in mind the valid point of this, which is to remember (I know you do), that pets also need help in any disaster. Where ever it may be. ❤

  79. scarybuttercupp says:

    I sent an email to this Vertically Inclined person, inquiring about the kitty. If he responds to me with any info, I’ll post it here.

  80. I found this link, which appears to be from the photographer, but he/she does not answer questions as to what happened to the kitten:

    I personally would not be able to leave a kitten like that, I don’t care where I am! Hopefully the photog didn’t!

  81. Queen of Dork says:

    No, no peeps! Don’t feel sad. Feel so happy. How about this? The kitty loves the person whose foot is in that boot. He/she picks kitty up and they love each other instantly. Kitty gets a soothing bath and then it gets a bunch of food to eat. It gets a soft bed to sleep on. The baby is now cuddled under warm blankets with a full, round belly, purring contentedly.

  82. bob drummond says:

    Even animals need friends in times of need.! I pray to God above that this one found a good friend !

  83. Fird Birfle says:

    I love just about all kittayns.
    I’m hoping this one is as QoD described, above.

    I also *LURVE* the song referenced. Love it. Love it. LOVE IT.

  84. I agree…it’s little face says it all.

  85. in Thailand it’s look like this…

    yes, i’m here in Bangkok and yes it’s still flooding while i typing…

  86. Very sad, not cute. Poor baby.

    I hope the person the foot belonged to picked it up, dried it, cuddled it, and gave it a good home….

  87. Awwww. I love you Queen of Dork. You should be a counsellor (if you aren´t already).

  88. Why…thankyou….thankyou very much.:D

  89. Like most of the other comments, it is my fervent hope that the foot inside that shoe was attached to someone who has a heart as big as the posters regarding this photo. I choose to think that the photo was taken, the kitten was scooped up and now has a new forever home. To think otherwise is unbearable.

  90. It always break my heart whenever I see this….

    Poor kitteh………………………………………. 😦

    Kitteh, please grow up & be a beautiful white furball :’)

  91. I did an image search too, to paraphrase a website which knows the context:

    The photo was taken after an aluminum factory spill in Devescer, Hungary October (2010 I think). There doesn’t seem to be any confirmation the kitteh was rescued but a lot of animals were saved, I think kitteh most likely was saved too.

  92. HRH QueenCat says:

    pleez pass me the whole box of Kleenex or a bath towel – I can’t stop crying 😦

    the kitteh’s desperation and clinging to hope hurt my heart; its little paw on the giant boot shattered it

  93. phred's mom says:

    matters not WHERE, heartbreaking is heartbreaking.

  94. 😦

    Is there an emoticon for “bawling like a baby”?

  95. Yup…..just use a thumbnail of John Boehner. Might scare the kitties and puppies but it works. ;P.

  96. Very much agreed! I too was expecting something quite else than “please tell us if you know what happened to the kitten” as caption. I agree that people (all of them!) should know how animals are treated, especially if you actually have the nerve to eat them afterwards, but THIS…

    I don’t think I could feel more helpless.

  97. Wish you could “sticky” a post!

    You know what? I’m gonna make it ‘sticky’ myself. I’m going to write down this elloquent quote and stick it up on my fridge. Just SO great, In!

    I can’t tell you how many times I come across little things hit by cars that are still alive(addled birds, injured cats, crushed rabbits, chicken truck chickens…) so much so that I keep a thick blanket and pillowcase in the back of my car. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed them. My best friend is a vet whom teched for (and now I have a groom shop next to him) for 12 years. I am lucky to be able to bring him whatever creature I some across on my journeys; he’s such a kind and patient man!

    My hubby frequently wonders aloud how I even see the tiny rabbit at the edge of the weeds on the interstate while flying by at 60 MPH, and cry out, “Oooh baby, baby! Go back! Go back! There’s a turtle on the yellow line trying to cross!”

    God love my patient husband, he always goes, even if it might make us late, even if it means he has to go up an exit and turn around, even if it means he has to wade through swampy tall grass to help a turtle acoss the road (in his dress shoes).

    We no longer wonder why I see those things, when no one else does. It’s because the powers that be know that we HAVE to see them because we will do whatever we can to assist. The longer I visit here at CO, I suspect that I’m not the only one. I’m betting that a great deal of you fine folks are charged with being the ones to see those who need help.

    Am I right? Are you one of the see-ers? I’d love to know there are more of us out there.

  98. I third that.

  99. EGG the original poster has been located as was noted above. I looked at their stuff too as there are more than one photo and it is in series of photos I believe it is the original photographer due to another photo of the same kitten tucked in to a different group of his photos. anyway the kitten was photographed in 2007 during some flooding in Vietnam. As some one else noted there are only some notes on the kitten. IT does not say if the kitten was rescued or not. I Like to think it was but as he was visiting in a foreign country no telling if he was able to rescue it. Hopefully he was able to get it to some one who could care for it.

  100. As much as I love animals November 11 is about remembering the soldiers who fight and who died fighting for us to have freedom enough to be/do/go/say what we want. And they also helped to give us the society we live in today where we realize the importance of animal companionship and that all critters great and small deserve love and protection. So lets remember the soldiers people.

  101. This is not from the Thailand flooding disaster… this photo is a few years old. I don’t think anyone knows what happened to the kitten.


    Witness: The photo is actually from the aluminum factory spill that happened back in October in Hungary. Very toxic.

    This article explains

    My father received an email from a friend living just outside Budapest with the exact photo about 2 days after the spill. This kitten was photographed in Devecser.

    No happy ending. Just source.

    Edit: Lots of animals were saved. This one was most likely saved right after said photo

    — I don’t know if that is actually true… but i so deeply hope that it isn’t…

  103. mamabear, thank you.

    i can’t bear to stop for animals still suffering. last winter i was the first responder to a car crash and the driver, a woman, was unconscious. i thought she was dead. i turned around and ran. thank goodness there were already 4 or 5 people running down the embankment and, miraculously, she survived with bruises.

    my husband–also a good, good man–knows to warn me if he sees something before i do so i can cover my eyes.

    can i borrow your rose-colored glasses?

  104. these nice people were there for hurricane katrina:

  105. rose-colored virtual reality goggles!

  106. super sad picture, but lovely follow-up and call to action, peeps. please help out.

  107. pyrit let me know that this is the likely explanation to this horrible mystery. she also says DO NOT OPEN THE LINK IF YOU AREN’T PREPARED FOR MORE.

    thanks, meg (from another north american hungarian daughter) 🙂

  108. Thailand. Vietnam. Hungary. The human race domesticated these creatures. It’s up to us to make they are well cared for no matter where they are.

  109. LunaChickFringe says:

    My sentiments exactly!

  110. Thanks for the 411, Sharpy. Red Rover does amazing work. I love that in addition to animal shelter and rescue, they teach kids about being compassionate toward animals.

  111. Please, dear person with the foot. Pick this baby up and love him and take him home. Please….then write me at and I will send you a check to help care for him. He has bored his way into my soul. PS: the person who says kitten have souls, I love you and agree with you.

  112. Oh, please let us know! I didn’t realize the picture was from 2007. God willing, that desperate kitty is now fat and very contented.

  113. wannadance says:

    i can’t look at that pic. am pretty depressed and weepy (have had a serious pneumonia).

    i am sorry. cannot look again. kills my soul an clouds up my eyes.

  114. Queen of Dork says:

    *sigh* I wish we could have new post now. All kinds of bad things happen in the world and the sooner we accept it the more we’re able to deal with it and appreciate the good things. Here’s a quote from a book. This is something Ma Ingalls said to Laura Ingalls when Laura remarked about how hard life is on the prairie:

    “This earthly life is a battle,” said Ma. “If it isn’t one thing to contend with, it’s another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures.”

  115. Feel better, sweetie. We have to have faith that this picture wouldn’t have been taken if the kitten had been shaken off and ultimately ignored. I think he must have been cared for. Hope & pray so.

  116. Exactly. That photo makes me want to curl up and sob. Poor little kitten.

  117. 1. poor kitty

    2. it’s not meant for us to obsess over this one kitty. it’s meant for us to realize he’s not the only poor kitty – or people – in the world.

    3. can’t imagine either the person with the camera or the person with the boot and sock and ankle just walked away after getting their viral photo.

    4. wet kitty, cold kitty, little ball of stress. saved kitty, cleaned kitty, no longer a mess. (that’s the little-known first verse of that song. you know the rest.)

  118. Queen of Dork says:

    You guys. Come on. The people involved in this picture must have cared about the kitty. I mean, why else would the person-in-shoe let the cat rest on his foot? The person taking the picture obviously cared or he/she would not have gotten down in the mud and taken such a touching shot.

  119. Oh right! You’re better at researching than me 😉

  120. Mamabear, I am a see’er. I live in the desert so the tortoises, bunnies, burros, etc. are all around and, unfortunately, love to cross any road. I have turned around several times but the most heartbreaking time was a rather large desert turtle that was having a hard time getting across to the other side to get in that desert. I stopped and turned around but I was too late. This turtle was so large, there was no missing him but someone took it upon themselves to smash him. So angry. I pray this kitten was rescued. It’s little face speaks volumes. I saw it at the flickr site and someone made a comment about the people in the floods of Viet Nam were not giving priorities to the animals. That this kitten’s mother was dead and probably wouldn’t survive. I don’t understand how this belongs on CO. To me, it was a subject of my dreams, nightmares actually, last night. I just have to believe that the man, Charlie, reached down, scooped that baby up, and made her/him a home.

  121. kimmaroo – I feel the same way: I chose you, you chose me, I am now responsible for you for the rest of your life. You eat before I do.

  122. that’s what got me too. little paw on big boot. ded. done.

  123. I’m one of you Mamabear. I’ve always volunteered for dog walking, humane society events, etc. but one of ‘those things that changed me’ was driving in a not so good part of town and I saw an emaciated black dog who looked lost and scared to death. Something said to me loud and clear ‘go get that dog’.
    So long story short, I took her off the street, pulled over 200 ticks off of her, vetted with heartworm treatment, put about 40 pounds on her, and trained her for 4 months. She turned out to be a gorgeous, athletic Black Lab that could not only swim for sticks in the lake but she could DIVE underwater to find it if lost.
    The first time she figured out she could swim was like seeing someone walk for the first time. I’M A LAB!! She went to live with a fabulous woman with a male black Lab that needed a friend.

  124. When you say that, what specifically do you mean? Were we NOT to have discussed the picture and instead said, “Oh no, it’s Veteran’s Day, I simply cannot speak about things not pertaining to veterans, lest I be admonished anonymously on the interwebz!”? As you say, “…November 11 is about remembering the soldiers…” Presumably, that is all we are to do? Otherwise, you would not have posted the friendly reminder. ‘It’s nice and all that you’re thinking about the kitteh, but you really should be discussing soldiers on this day.’

    Yes, by all means we should remember our veterans. I already do that and not just on Veteran’s Day (which was yesterday, BTW). Seeing as how this is a post about a kitten, I didn’t mention soldiers in my post. Not everything said and done on Veteran’s Day weekend MUST be about veterans.

    I also didn’t mention the 1001 other things that we need to remember, again, since this is a post about a kitten on a site about cute animals (and, occasionally, the humans in their lives): monthly self breast exams, the victims of 9-11, the Alamo, the Holocaust, to bring an umbrella if it’s gonna rain, our heritage, to drink 8 glasses of water each day, to always say please and thank you, to vote…

  125. Yikes! What a horrible disaster! Three people killed, including a 3 year old. The whole town covered in toxic red sludge. This kitten looks like she’s in better shape than a lot of the animals I saw, so hopefully she was able to be saved. 😦

  126. Me too, jen, me too.

  127. Oh yes they have souls, often more worthy of love than some humans.

  128. Mamabear, yes, there are others… when I was 11 years old I lived in an apartment with a courtyard — there was a flood and I could hear a kitten crying down there. It was late at night and still raining, but I ran downstairs and found the kitten clinging to a plant. Brought it upstais, fdried it and fedit warm milk. The people I lived with would not let me keep her which broke my heart, but Iat least they let me keep her wam and safe until the day after. Had to return it to the courtyard (dry by then) but never forgot her, and that was the first thing I thought about when I saw THIS kitty wet and scared. Cried for both of them. Rescued many kitties and puppies since adulthood…. I feed birds in the backyard, squirrels come up to the doorwall munching the sunflower seeds and nuts I leave for them, raccoons visit too. Love them all.

  129. {:’-(“

  130. (Says nothing. Just weeps.)

  131. I am from Hungary, fortunately not from Devecser… As far as I know there were lot of people going to help the animals and I am almost sure that this kitten have been saved. Lot of TV programs dealt with this and they said that all the animals who could be saved were saved. Its good that not everyone was only caring about humans. I think we don’t have to worry, probably this little one is living somewhere happiliy now and forever. 🙂

  132. *cries while commando cuddling own kitties*

  133. Think of it this way: the expression is gratitude and relief at being saved.

  134. I think the photo is a few years old, but it serves as a symbol and a reminder that there is *always* a need for kindness, compassion, and tangible help for the helpless and innocent creatures, all over the world.

  135. Yes, it really is. 😦

  136. Mamabear…I’m blessed with a husband like yours. He and I sometimes go miles out of the way to try and help. It’s always worth the effort, even if it ends badly. At least we tried and that is the most important thing. Too many times people look the other way or assume someone else will stop and help. We think “What if the circumstances were reversed?” If it was one of us, or one of our companion animals, we hope some caring & compassionate person would stop or turn around and come back.

    This little kitten broke my heart, especially knowing that there are millions of other animals in similar situations. While we can only reach out to the ones nearby, if only people the world over felt the same way, imagine what a collective difference we could make!

  137. Each time I see this photograph, I feel sick and desperately sad… I guess heartsick is the word I was needing. I just want to scoop that kitten up and make everything better.

  138. Queen of Dork says:

    Well. Um. This might just be me but…(this is why Princess of Dork says I’m morbid) ahem. This picture really, actually reminded me of this rash of feet in shoes washing up on the beaches in Canada.


  139. Yesterday, in addition to our servicemen and women, I remembered all the dogs that work with the military in times of war, and in times of peace – few and far between though they may be. There are organizations and websites where these animals are honored and remembered every day, not just on a specific holiday. Many of our wounded soldiers, including those with PTSD, are being comforted and healed by therapy animals, as well. There is time and room to remember all of these, and time to be thankful.

  140. I keep coming back to look at this knowing how heavy my heart will feel.
    I think this pic should always be available…..
    For those times when you think you have no heart, no soul
    and no emotions left….Look….and know that
    that heaviness means that you are still able to love
    after all.

  141. The kitten was rescued (according to a reply from a Cuteporter in this thread), as well, perhaps the person did not know where it was from and wanted to use Cuteoverload to raise awareness and ensure the kitten was taken care of (which seems to be the case). It is sad, but surely raising awareness and identifying the kitten in question is more important than a simple temporary “awww”. Though I do come to this site for those as well.

  142. Such sweet stories, all of you. It’s good to know we’re not alone.

    I love you CO for this forum; for providing a place for all of us squishy hearted folks to come together and alternately squee in unison on one post then go on to cry on each others shoulders on another post!

  143. Yay another tech!! 🙂 I started volunteering for shelters and doing rescues when I was 11 years old and have never looked back. it’s been 15 years and it never stops being so rewarding it makes me cry sometimes. People are so grateful and so kind. I have rescued 3 dogs from busy streets now by removing my shoelaces to use as a lasso/leash/collar, and running around in bare feet. x) You gotta do what you gotta do, and I’m thrilled to read about so many others who do the same.

  144. Want to wrap in a warm towel and cuddle and coo till it’s all better.

  145. I third that.

  146. Nonsense, everyone can have an opinion. You may have to couch it in subtle tones but even an admin can have feelings.

  147. This image is so poignant…I couldn’t rest until I knew a little bit more about the source. I still haven’t found out whether the kitten was taken and sheltered or not, but here are the details about about the photographers.

    Hoi An, Vietnam, December 12, 2007
    Photographer of this photo: Graham Lavery
    Foot belongs to Charles Shaw (also a photographer).

    Additional shots: (these are all by Graham Lavery)
    by Charles Shaw: (select Vietnam and then 04)

  148. I hope the owner of that foot was able to help little puss ‘n’ boots. 😦

  149. 4th-ing that. Please don’t post stuff like this without being able to relate exactly what happened next. It’s cute to see healthy happy loved fuzzies tugging on heartstrings. At the moment the photo was taken, the kitten was neither healthy happy nor loved. That’s not decidedly not cute. And taking pleasure in the picture is equivalent to enjoying someone else’s pain and suffering. There’s a word for that and lots of site for it, too, if you’re into it and it’s so not what I come here for. The only cute or heartwarming thing in this entry would be the story relating how the kitten found a loving home.

    Seriously not impressed, CO.

  150. Snowpea..ditto. 😦

  151. Me too. 😦
    That photo will haunt me. Glad to know though he/she was rescued.

  152. Erling Jacobsen says:

    My thoughts exactly. Kitty is clearly doing the “You belong to me now”-thing with its head, and how could person-in-boot possibly argue with that ?

  153. How do we become ‘a forgotten one’,
    With no home, no kin, no voice?
    Upon whom do we lean when wet and scared,
    Exhaustion pervading our soul.

    How do we see ‘a forgotten one’,
    And not awash ourselves in tears?
    How do we not scoop them up,
    To cradle them forever more?

    I was ‘a forgotten one’,
    Helpless, lost, afraid.
    Then love arrived on which I leaned,
    And carried me ashore.

    You are never ‘a forgotten one’,
    I remember you this day.
    My home is yours, my heart and hearth,
    Safe passage through your storm.

  154. weird. that’s exactly how i feel when i read your comment. except in this case, i know what happens next.

  155. i wonder if charles shaw realizes he’s in the middle of what’s fast becoming an urban legend.

  156. Auntie meme says:

    Gutpunchingly Awful.

  157. Fird Birfle says:

    **Big Bang Theory song reference !!!**

  158. Fird Birfle says:

    “Elvis has left the bldg” 🙂

  159. So i am not sure if any one is still looking at this thread anymore but i went to Charles Shaws web site and he is a paramedic… so I have decidede that a paramedic would never leave a poor defensless motherless kitten to fend for itself. I think he found someone to take the kitten in.
    That is the story i chose to believe and I am sticking to it.

  160. chasinglight2 says:

    My heart is broken
    A lot of people are praying for you little one
    I wish I could take you home with me.

  161. I applaud CO for bringing us the sad along with the “warm and fuzzy” It is good to be made aware of suffering in the animal world as well as the human race. If all we looked at were cute cuddly things our perspective would be distorted.

  162. I am a longtime C.O. visitor. I found this image yesterday while I was on-line on a public computer at my school (I’m a graduate student). I decided to leave the computer window open to make people stop and think…and hopefully help. Even if no one else saw it or was motivated to do anything, I know I was motivated and I know I will try to help animals like this sweet creature. How can you not? Sending love, little one.

  163. LittleBritishKitten says:

    I agree with Krum in that pointing out animal suffering every once in awhile keeps us animal-lovers alert and reminds us to remind others that there are animals in need. But I agree, the person who submitted it should have posted the full story with it. I look at CO every day to help with my depression, it is my home page, and it really upset me to see that today and not see an explanation. I hope the comment above mine that says it was on google and it looks like the kitten survived is true. I pray for the suffering animals every day.

  164. MEEE THREE!

  165. what the heck are you talking about? This is an animal website.

  166. thank you.

  167. AWW 😥 I would say “Oh, kitty!” and then pick up said kitty and tuck the little sweetie under my shirt for warmth before I would run as fast as I could to get to the nearest vet or bus to get to our vet or an animal emergency hospital. It would not bother me if I had a wet and dirty shirt afterward as long as that kitty was warm and safe and he/she knew that I would take care of them for the rest of their life. (Hopefully it would be a long 20 year life for that dear sweet kitty.)

  168. Ha! It is weird tho’ about those feet just washing ashore. There’s something about the Pacific NW that just invites weird X-Files stuff like that (I live up here).

  169. Hey guys. If this touched you (and it did me!) go to your local animal control and RESCUE A KITTEN. There are kittens just as cute and just as in need of help as this dying EVERY DAY in your local shelter. I am close to Miami and the MDAS shelter kills about 80% of kittens under 4 mos old. Please go help, just one! Pick it up, take a picture, send it out to your friends and put it on Facebook and advocate for that one cat. If you get a 2 mos old kitten you WILL find her a home and you WILL save her life. 🙂

  170. *snerk*


  171. debluvscats says:

    what better place to see a sad kitten than with this great CO community? sometimes we need reminders that the world isn’t cute- jars us out of our comfort zone to make us want to do something.

    all of you people saddened by this photo- how many of you are going to do something to help– like volunteer somewhere to try to make the world better?

  172. Graham Lavery says:


    I have received several emails from users of this site about my photo and its posting on your site. This picture has managed to find its way all over the Internet, in some cases with hundreds of thousands of views, and I realize it is a very provocative shot that touches people deeply.

    Normally I do not respond to these types of comment threads as they are often degenerative in nature and can get very nasty, one only needs to reference any news site to see how these things generally play out. After reading all the comments here however, and receiving several polite emails I have decided to write a comment.

    First of all, I think it is very important to understand context, and while many request the “story” behind this shot generally to learn the final outcome, it is not that simple and context is critical. I have spent a good bit of time in Vietnam as my wife used to work there a few months each year, and have shot the war in Afghanistan several times, as well as disasters such as the quake zone in Port-au-Prince, Haiti very shortly after that event. When discussing any of these places, or subjects, the context is a most important and often overlooked part of the equation – especially by North Americans.

    This shot, as you seem to have ascertained, was taken in Hoi An, Vietnam during the worst flooding in almost half a century. My wife was there for the worst of it – flooding into the second story of buildings – and the loss of homes, personal property, and life, was pretty significant as you can imagine. It should however be remembered that societies like the Vietnamese have been at this for the better part of 5000 years and have seen it all before, a great many times.

    In my travels all over the world there is a common theme that makes itself known and very obvious to me: we in North America are an extremely young culture and society, with a great deal left to learn. How does this help understand this photo and its story? Well it goes to follow that perspectives on many issues differ from ours, priorities are placed in different areas, and that there are very salient reasons for this.

    One such area is animals, and how they are viewed.

    In Vietnam, the phenomenon of “pet” ownership is a very new development, prior to the American War this was a practically unheard of concept in many areas. Dogs, as a prime example, are a food source much like cattle, sheep, or pigs are here. Since the development of the “pet” concept, there has been an explosion in numbers with a great many feral and stray dogs and cats roaming the country in various states of health, which is becoming a large problem in and of itself.

    Given the general cultural attitude toward animals like cats, the massive property damage during the floods, and the great deal of human hardship that was experienced at the time this photo was captured, it can be seen how a kitten such as this one would pass well under the radar and slip pretty far down the priority lists of most people who were literally striving to survive.

    When my very good friend and I came upon this kitten, it was pretty obvious what its fate would be given the described circumstances, a situation that brings with it several ethical questions that have no really simple answer, mainly: “What to do?”

    As essentially tourists in the area who were in Vietnam temporarily (barely two weeks in Charles’s case), the practicalities of helping an animal such as this become a little more cloudy. If you take it in, how do you care for it? Where do you care for it? What do you do when you leave? Does rescuing it jive with the ethics and practices of the local people (it is their country after all)?

    These are tough questions to answer, and I would submit they become exponentially more difficult when you are in combat zones or disaster areas and instead of a kitten the faces staring at you are those of children or women, either in extreme poverty, or wounded… It can rip one’s guts out, I assure you, and there are no easy answers. Given the ability I’m sure I’d have adopted half of Afghanistan by now. Charles is a Paramedic who has traveled the world through his career, so between us we tend to see things similarly in this regard.

    After a brief discussion, it was decided to let nature take its course and leave the kitten to its own devices, whatever the outcome. Some will agree, some will not, but that was our decision based on our collective experiences of this planet over the years. What became of it ultimately? I can’t answer that with certainty, but I can guess.

    In the end we are all faced with choices, some more difficult than others. In photography – particularly in war, or in other difficult circumstances – there are some major ethical implications of even taking a photo: Questions of dignity, intent, and moral imperative. If you do take the shot, do you “put it out there?” I have a hard drives full of photos that will never see the light of day because of this, and countless more that I never took at all given the circumstances.

    This photo has been taken off my website and Flickr without my permission and used all over the world now, and I am fine with that as I think it is critical for people to engage with life in whatever form. I see the members of this site have been affected by it in one way or another, and I am happy to see some thoughtful responses to it.

    I hope that helps answer your questions.

  173. bob drummond says:


  174. bob drummond says:

    I am glad that someone finally located the photographer who took this and related pictures . Praise the LORD !!

  175. hey,

    i sent this pic into CO. i didnt realise it was an old photo and obviously the information I got about the origins of the pic was wrong.

    Im sorry if people were expecting to see cuteness and were shocked by this. This is my favourite website and I also look forward to new posts every day. I guess i only ever expect to see ‘cute’ too…

    I sent this through because i could not stop thinking about that poor kitten. I needed to know that it survived to live a happier life. I would fly there to rescue it if i thought it was still alone. I guess by sending this in I wanted some other people to ‘feel’ this with. I didnt stop to think that other people might not want to see this. For this I apologise.

    Thanks to the posters who are tracking down the photographer to give credit where its due. And thanks to CO for posting this pic, as hard as it is to see.

  176. Janet in NYC says:

    This picture is an excellent reminder that the world is not cute for all kitties and is the reason why I make monthly donations to my local animal shelter and do some hands-on volunteering when I can. Thanks for posting, CO

  177. I’ve been coming to Cute Overload since its very beginning, and the Cute or Sad category has always been the one that I react the most to. Yes, it makes me sad, but instead of saying “This doesn’t feel nice, take it away, let’s live in a make-believe world of rainbows and unicorns,” I choose to see these posts as reminders that 1) my furry kids (all rescues) and I are very lucky, and 2) I can do my part to make a difference in the world. You may not be able to help this particular kitty, but you can help one closer to you. Rescue a wounded/abandoned cat or dog in your neighborhood, love it and heal it and find it a loving home. 🙂

  178. HRH QueenCat says:

    musicalnote, m’dear – I don’t have as much courage as I do faith; since this photo was posted 3 days ago, it’s haunted me & I’ve been weeping ever since – but, having read the “ending” of this kitty’s story, and after talking to God tonight, there’s an uncanny peace, which I like to think means this kitty is a survivor & is alive and doing ok, somewhere …

  179. KittyMarthaPoo says:

    Me too. I feel sick inside.

  180. So true, Mimi. Empathy hurts sometimes, but without it we are lost.

  181. Dr. Emile Schoeffhausen says:

    “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

    — St. Augustine

  182. I think it was brave and kind of Vertically inclined to post this information about the kitten, To explain what was going on there in Vietnam at the time and how difficult it was a decision for them. I thank him for posting it and I hope that all of us would look on that kitten as a reminder that life is fragile and often times difficult, and happy endings aren’t always available for everyone.Everyones sadness at looking at that picture to me speaks to the greatest atttribute of humankind, empathy and recognizing a fellow creature in great need. Please do what you can to help the people and animals that you can and know that you are incredibly blessed and lucky.
    And I am again reminded of what a wonderful community of posters you all are here on Cute Overload.

    For me this was one of the most poignant and thoughtful posts we have had on CO and sometimes cute needs to be balanced with pictures like this.

    Thanks for posting this picture. It has deeply touched me not just the picture but what i have learned form the photographer. i am moved beyond just the original sadness I felt upon seeing it.

  183. I asked Graham to take a look at our site and give us his thoughts. If I hadn’t, I might not post such a long explanation. I’m proud that CO can provide an end to the speculation, regardless of the kitten’s fate. Thank you, Graham.

  184. beautiful.

  185. comments are now closed.

  186. thank you, kitty adventures. i’m proud of us for handling our emotions and dialogue the way we have. i think you summed it up quite nicely.