Deydey and the Mimings: If the name of this Facebook page doesn’t make you smile, then its posts certainly will.
It’s about Luke Dale Rosario, or Deydey for short, an 8-year-old boy based in Dasmariñas, Cavite, whose love and concern for the subdivision’s stray cats (or mimings) has led him to go around the community and feed them—first with the cat food he bought with his own money, then with donations from netizens, businesses, and groups who were touched by the purity of his intentions. (Read: Here Are 3 Things Born To Be Wild Host Dr. Ferds Recio Wants First Time Pet Owners To Know)
Mayanne Santos, who still can’t get over the fact that her son’s simple gesture could result in an outpouring of kindness and generosity from strangers, tells My Pope Philippines five things to know about Deydey.
He was supposed to buy a cellphone.
According to Mayanne, Deydey’s cat-feeding program started just last August when his pet cats didn’t finish the cat food he fed them. Suggesting he give the rest to strays in the neighborhood, he enjoyed himself so much, he decided to use his savings to buy more cat food. His piggy bank contained P110 in coins—money meant for a cellphone, says Mayanne.
Instead, Deydey bought cat food and fed it to the mimings. Mayanne’s posts of him went viral, and today, her son feeds cats daily from the cat food pledged by netizens, businesses like iQor Philippines and Meow Café, and others inspired by Deydey’s compassionate heart.
He is from Quezon Province.
Like many, Mayanne lost her livelihood (an ukay-ukay business and events venture) during the pandemic. “Naranasan ni Deydey magutom, masaraduhan ng pinto nang makikinood ng TV,” she says. Unable to pay for rent and utilities, the single mom moved her family from Calauang, Quezon Province to the house of her best friend in Dasmariñas, Cavite, where their luck would change. “Hindi ka pala dapat bibitaw,” she says of the blessings that have been coming their way from one small act of feeding strays. (Read: 5 Prayers of Thanks for Everyday Blessings)
He is a natural with animals.
At 2, he was already taking care of fish. He then made pets out of a chick and turtle, a dog (which died, affecting him badly), and two ducks. “Kulang nalang ata ipis gawin nyang pet,” says Mayanne. The love for cats came last year when she brought home an orange stray. This was followed by Batman the black and white cat, and Smoky, the all-black cat.
Mayanne reckons her son feeds about 50 cats in the neighborhood—including those who aren’t strays. “Naku may isang pusa po doon na nag-trending,” she says. “’Pag narinig niya boses ni Deydey, umaakyat po sa gate. Kusang lumalapit po ang mga pusa ‘pag andoon na siya.”
He is kind by nature.
The middle of three kids (he has an 18-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother), Deydey, says his mom, is genuinely sweet and puts others’ needs before his own. When an admirer sent him money for candy, he suggested they use it to buy diapers for Mayanne’s grandmother in Calauang. He also shares donated cat food with other pet owners, like the lady with 29 cats and a 57-year-old solo rescuer with over 35 cats and three dogs. (Read: These random acts of kindness by total strangers will make your day)
He inspired a movement of kindness.
Looks like Deydey’s compassion and selflessness are contagious. Besides the bags of cat food he receives from donors, he was gifted with a cat condo, an escooter, food for his birthday, pet shampoos and supplements, and even an all-expenses-paid trip to Calauang Quezon, to visit family.
And like Deydey who gives from the heart, these people want nothing in return. “Iba talaga ang Diyos,” says a still baffled Mayanne of how their lives have changed since her first vlog. “Siguro binabalik kay Deydey ang kabaitan na pinakita niya sa mga pusa.”