A Purrfect Match
With the help of his new furry companion, a bullied child spreads a message of kindness and respect.
If there’s such a thing as a perfect match, look no further than Madden and Moon.
Madden Humphreys, age 7, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and total heterochromia (resulting in one green eye and one blue eye).
Because of his unique looks, Madden was often the target of bullies at school. His mother, Christina Humphreys, recalled he had an especially rough time last year. “There were a few kids saying really ugly, mean things to him,” she said, in the blog site Love What Matters. “It really broke his spirit.”
Then this past March, Christina came across an online post of a rescue cat up for adoption in a shelter in Minnesota. She was in shock to learn that the feline was born with the same conditions as her son (blue and green eyes, and a cleft lip).
So the entire Humphreys brood—mom, Christina, dad, Brad, Madden and his two older brothers, Mylor, 11, and Mayson, 9—made the impressive 1,000-mile drive from Oklahoma to Minnesota, determined to adopt the sweet kitty.
“We’re usually not spontaneous people, but we knew that we were meant to love this kitty,” said Christina, in the same blog site. “In a world full of bullies and hateful words, we will choose to chase love. I think it’s safe to say that this kitty is love, and was certainly meant to be part of our journey and Madden’s journey.”
Madden named the cat Moon. They instantly bonded, and since bringing him home, Madden and his friend have been inseparable. Moon has also helped Madden cope with being bullied and is a source of comfort for him.
Not only have the pair captured the hearts of many, but their story is also spreading awareness about bullying and kids with cleft lips.
Madden made an anti-bullying video last year, which has gone viral. “Don’t be mean to other people that are different,” he said. “We have already been through a lot of hard stuff. Show everybody kindness! You’re missing out on a lot of awesome people if you’re being a poophead to them!”
Madden also had this advice for his peers being bullied: “If somebody’s being mean to you, be nice to them. Because the most unlovable people need love the most. You are something magical. You are irreplaceable. You are one of a kind. And you are so loved!”
SGI PRESIDENT IKEDA’S GUIDANCE
“Be True to Who You Are”
I cannot say this too strongly: Do not compare yourselves to others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might. Even if you are ridiculed, even if you suffer disappointments and setbacks, continue to advance and do not be defeated. If you have such a strong determination in your heart, you are already halfway to victory.
When you hold fast to your beliefs and live true to yourself, your true value as a human being shines through. Buddhism teaches the concept of manifesting one’s true nature. This means to reveal your genuine innate self, your true inherent potential, and bring it to shine, illuminating all around you. It refers to your most refined individuality and uniqueness. (Discussions on Youth, p. 8)