From 'Zombie Cat' to a ball pit for adults: 7 news stories from this week guaranteed to make you smile

'Zombie cat', Dozer the dog and a ball pit for adults are just some of this week's heart-warming stories

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The Independent Online

From the mum who was handed a heart-warming note on a train by a stranger to the overturning of the ‘Friendship Nine’s civil-rights era convictions, here is our pick of the good news stories from this week.

1. Attacked pensioner Alan Barnes crowdfund passes £200,000 in donations

Pensioner Alan Barnes was mugged outside his home in Gateshead last week in an attack that left him with a broken collarbone and too scared to return to his own house. Katie Cutler, who lives nearby to Barnes, set up a crowdfunding page intending to raise £500 to help the disabled pensioner find a new home. Her efforts have led to more than £200,000 in donations being made.

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2. Mystery man who gave heart-warming note to young mum on train to 'put a smile on her face'

The stranger who handed a small piece of paper and a £5 note to a 23-year-old mother just to tell her “what a great mum she is” has been identified, after recipient Sammie Welch was so overwhelmed by his kindness she started a Facebook search just to be able to thank him. Ken Saunders, 50, said he “just wanted to put a smile” on Welch’s face.

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3. Friendship Nine's civil rights-era convictions overturned by South Carolina court

It is 54 years since the ‘Friendship Nine’ walked into McCrory’s in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and sat down at the whites-only lunch counter in a ‘sit-in’ that inspired non-violent protests across the South that were an integral part to the civil rights movement. The nine were arrested and convicted of ignoring a segregation order and sent to jail for 30 days, but this week their convictions were finally overturned.

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4. 'Humans of New York' blog raises over $1 million for Brooklyn school

Humans of New York, the photo blog that aims to capture daily glimpses into the lives of New York inhabitants, has raised over $1 million dollars for a school in one of the most-crime ridden parts of the city this week, all because of the story of 13-year-old ‘Vidal’. The money is for Vidal’s school to be able to make contributions towards its pupils’ college tuition and to fund trips for sixth-graders to tour Harvard University.

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5. Bart the 'zombie cat' set to make full recovery following his unlikely return from the grave

Bart, the Florida cat who was buried after his owner found him lifeless in a pool of blood after being hit by a car, is set to make a full recovery when he returned from the grave five days later. Upon his return owner Ellis Hutson took the cat for surgery to remove his eye and have his jaw re-wired, and Bart is expected to return home as early as next week.

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6. A ball pit for adults to play in has been opened in London

This week it was discovered that ball pits are not just for children to flail around in, after Pearlfisher Gallery opened its own ‘Jump In!’ experience for adults. The gallery filled an entire room with white balls just so adults can play around in it with wild, reckless abandon, and to raise money for Right To Play, the charity that provides millions of disadvantaged children across the globe with quality education, positive health practices conflict resolution skills through specially designed games.

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7. Man reunited with stolen dog during search for new pet

Richard Brower was “heartbroken” after his dog, a German shepherd called Dozer, was stolen from the Yard of his Alberta home 18 months ago, and his endless searching proved fruitless. But he had no idea that when he started searching for a new German shepherd, he would experience “the closest thing to a miracle” in his life – the Claresholm Animal Rescue Society, unbeknownst to its organisers, had Dozer safe and well, and now he’s back at home. 

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