Recent catastrophic natural disasters and a grisly mass shooting have left many despairing about what was happening in the world around them.
But amid news of devastation, a sliver of hope arrived in the form of a Facebook message posted to NPR’s official Facebook account on Monday night. This was the first night after the nation was rocked by the killing of 58 innocent people in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on country music festivalgoers.
The message read:Facebook/NPR
The post instantly went viral, sparking a flurry of likes, shares, and comments from followers speculating just who Ramona might be and why National Public Radio posted about the mysterious Ramona’s reaction to her new toy, position on hugs, and fervent love of cats.
— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) October 3, 2017
Minutes later, the post was edited to read:
But Ramona fans were not looking for an apology. Instead, they protested the removal of the post and took to social media to petition NPR for more updates about Ramona. They started a petition on Change.org and created the #bringbackramona and #justiceforramona hashtags.
.@NPR first thing I did this morning was check for Ramona updates. You’ve disappointed me! Did Ramona sleep good last night? I need 2 know!
— A GIRL (@ALovelierGirl) October 3, 2017
The next morning, NPR cleared up its post with an article explaining what happened. Followers learned that Ramona is, indeed, not a cat as some have hypothesized, but a 1-year-old baby.
— Scary Mommy (@ScaryMommy) October 3, 2017
As it turns out, the post was written by Christopher Dean Hopkins, an editor at NPR. Hopkins intended to send this sweet description of the 1-year-old cat lover from his personal account, but erroneously posted it to NPR’s account instead.
What began as a mortifying mistake turned into a comfort and provided a symbol of hope for people to hold onto in dark times.
Will fans hear from Ramona again? Will NPR offer Ramona tote bags with donations?
— Melissa Byrne (@mcbyrne) October 3, 2017
The NPR errant Ramona Facebook post is the only good thing in the world right now pic.twitter.com/QchgLVqChO
— Ellen Stark (@ellenstark) October 3, 2017
Only time will tell. Until then, fans will continue to plea for her return — and continue to look for hope in the darkest spaces.