It’s no secret: The constant stream of bad news lately has been heartbreaking. Depressing, even. After three major hurricanes, two major earthquakes, and a horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas this week, our news feeds have become pretty bleak places to go. And yet, we still keep coming back — to stay informed, to try and help others with donations, and to spread the happy stories that manage to crop up amid the sad ones.
Last night, thanks to an accidental Facebook status was posted by NPR, one of those happy stories literally lit up the Internet. And people haven’t been able to get enough.
According to an update by NPR, it all started when the news network’s swing editor, Christopher Dean Hopkins, accidentally posted a status update about his daughter, Ramona, on the official NPR Facebook page.
The post, which was deleted just minutes later, read as follows:
“Ramona is given new toy: Smiles, examines for 20 seconds, discards.
Ramona gets a hug: Acquiesces momentarily, squirms to be put down.
Ramona sees three cats 30 feet away: Immediately possessed by shrieking, spasmodic joy that continues after cats flee for their lives.”
Hopkins realized his mortifying snafu almost immediately, and edited the post to read, “EDIT: This post was intended for a personal account. We apologize for the error,” just minutes later. But that didn’t stop readers from clicking on the “edit history” to see what on earth NPR had mistakenly posted that was meant for a private audience. And what they got was straight-up delightful.
“We don’t generally delete posts, so I tried to do it in a way that would be transparent,” Hopkins later told NPR. “My job is to promote our good work, and I catastrophically failed in that last night.”
At a moment when the country is mourning far too many deaths and still scrambling to help people out of catastrophe thanks to an unexpected chain of natural disasters, this brief moment of levity and humor felt like warm medicine for the soul. Commenters went wild with adoration for Ramona, whom they all immediately assumed was a cat and not in fact a little girl. At once, they called for regular updates, and within hours had created a Change.org petition to keep Ramona stories going.
“NPR, don’t you dare apologize for the one spot of happy news in an otherwise horrible day,” wrote Facebook user Jessica R. “Long live Ramona and her spasmodic shrieking!”
“Of course NPR’s social media manager uses words like ‘acquiesces’ and ‘spasmodic,'” wrote another user. “You go, Ramona’s parent!”
“More on this story, as it develops,” quipped another humorous NPR follower.
But Facebook user Suzanne W. wrote what we were really all thinking: “The NPR employee behind the Ramona post deserves a promotion for boosting the morale of the American people.”
And to all those who were curious about just who (or what) Ramona really is, Hopkins helped clear that up — and even shared a photo.
” … here’s the news everybody really wants to know,” he told NPR. “Ramona is not a cat! But Ramona does have a cat. You’re welcome, Interwebz!”
Well, done, NPR. And please, keep those amazing Ramona stories coming …