"When I first arrived at JCPenney, people thought I was downright crazy," Alex tells us. "I remember that I first had to carry Winslow though JCPenney to even get to their photo studio… needless to say, carrying around a 6-week-old kitten around the aisles of JCPenney, I was certainly getting a lot of confused looks. Then I waited for a good hour as I sat around with the other families."
"Everyone had their newborns and cranky husbands and toddlers. Winslow was by far the cutest one there," he says.
The photo shoot was a success, but Alex and Winslow soon got some bad news a few months later. Winslow was diagnosed with Lucating Patellas.
"It all began with a simple limp in his left leg," says Alex. "At first I thought maybe he just had something stuck in his foot, but when the vet told me the real diagnosis and how much it would cost ($3,000 per leg), my heart sank!"
Alex is 22 and a recent college graduate with thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off. "The savings process would take at least a year to save for the first leg," he tells us. "I had to watch as Winslow limped around in pain, and there was nothing I could do. It was truly one of the hardest times of my life, a living nightmare."
A few weeks ago, Alex decided to share the cat photo shoot on Reddit, and it quickly went viral. That's when Alex decided to he use his pet's newfound fame to help him walk again.
He started a GoFundMe page asking those who were entertained by the photos - or were just animal lovers in general - to donate. In two days, Alex and Winslow reached their goal of $3,000. As of this posting, over $6,000 has been donated to fund Winslow's surgery for both legs.
"I was filled with relief! Just knowing that I could schedule the surgery so soon, I was blown away," he said. "I knew that Winslow's pain was now only temporary, and the feeling brought tears to my eyes."
"What began as a simple attempt to get my kitten walking again, ended in something that I would have never even thought possible," he says. "Just having so many people reach out to you, people that I had never even met, was indescribable. It was like the world had suddenly adopted me!"
"The power of human generosity is unbreakable," he continues. "I can never thank everyone enough for not only saving my best friend, but also a member of my family."