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Gingy, the cat who slote our hearts

One Saturday morning, I casually mentioned to my wife that our two and a half year old rescue kitty Fancy needed a buddy (because three dogs weren't enough). We were running errands and happened upon an adoption event at our local pet food store. We were looking for an older cat, but this little grey five month old tabby caught our eye. She was very mellow and calm, like she already knew we would be taking her home. We actually left the pet store and went to look at other kittens but none had stolen our hearts like little Ginger Bell. After a quick family discussion we returned to the store and signed the adoption papers! A short trip home and a hasty Introduction to our other pets sealed the deal. there was a new boss in town. Little Gingy was in charge! We are so happy that she picked us to be her family!!,

Tamara Matlock
Pooler, GA

Bobble, the stowaway

I never intended to have 3 cats. I had decided I wanted two. I already had a male cat, Lucifur, and I wanted to find a friend for him. I saw many male strays that were close to his age and size that I thought might make a suitable companion for him, but couldn't decide on one. Then one day, this skinny little calico cat showed up on my porch. She was nothing but skin and bones, but she was very friendly. This wasn't the cat I had planned on but of all the cats I had seen, she was the most in need of a home. I took her in and named her Cleopatra. My little family was complete.....

And then 2 weeks later, Cleopatra had kittens! I couldn't believe that this super skinny cat had been pregnant. There were only 2 kittens, 1 was stillborn and the other was so very tiny. I didn't think he would make it. But days went by and then weeks and this tiny little baby hung in there. When he first started attempting to lift his little head and look around, he looked just like one of those Bobblehead dolls people put on their dashboards, his little neck could barely support his head...so he became Bobble. I didn't want a 3rd cat but it didn't take long before I was so in love with this tiny bundle of fur that I couldn't imagine giving him up. I worried and fretted over him for months, afraid he would die and break my heart, but 6 months later he is a happy, healthy bundle of energy. I didn't end up with the furry family I had planned on, but Lucifur got a friend, Cleopatra got a home and I got the joy of bonding with a kitten from his very first day. I can't imagine life without my little stowaway. Best surprise ever.

Jamestown, NY

My Kaia

I was working for the local humane society for several months and was able to successfully resist bringing home a hundred pets. I was living in an apartment that didn't allow dogs. And then one day, a stray was brought in (the shelter named her Meloney.) She was 2-3 years old and so adorable. I knew right away that I wanted her, but with the restrictions in my apartment, I didn't have a lot of hope.

Fast forward 2 weeks, she was still there. So I called my landlord and he agreed to meet her. I went out to get my purse from my car to fill out the adoption paperwork and she jumped into the backseat and laid down. She knew she was going home, and charmed my landlord (and roommate) into letting me keep her. She was my puppy soul-mate and I named her Kaia. We realized shortly after adoption that she was dog aggressive (never bit, but would get very defensive), so I started researching trainers in the area and found one that specialized in training out aggressive behavior.

Unfortunately, I lost her less than a year after adoption to kidney disease. One of the most heartbreaking days in my entire life. But I know the last year of her life was incredibly happy and she knew she was loved. The picture was taken about a month after adoption on her bed (and yes, it's a toddler bed.)

Proctor, MN

The sweetest cat ever

One day we went to our local plaza and while my mom was in one of the stores I wandered into Petco. Immediately I went to the cats that were up for adoption, mainly just to look. That's when I saw the cutest cat ever, she looked like a Reese's cup and she looked so sweet.

I ran over to grab my mom and when I pulled her in the pet store, she was all against it. She didn't want another cat, and she didn't like the cat I picked. However the guy who was working adoptions asked me if I wanted to hold Frauline and I of course said yes. While I was holding her she was purring and I just started bawling. My mom began petting her and once she saw how much I already loved this cat she agreed to adopt her. I kept petting Frauline and hugging her and I couldn't wait to take her home.

To this day Frauline is the sweetest cat we've ever had, she's so loving and good. She never gets into things and she loves cuddling and being petted. Frauline is now the happy adopted cat mommy of our other cat Tabitha which we adopted when we moved. The two are very happy and I could not be happier with my decision to adopt Frauline. She has made a huge difference in our lives and even though at first my mom didn't want her, she loves this cat to death. Frauline always follows my mom and sleeps on her bed and when she's not home she'll follow me around and I have to pet her for hours! But all in all I am very happy we could take her in and that we got her as healthy as she is now. I highly recommend adopting a cat if you are looking to get one, you never know what surprises you'll get from doing it.

Coraopolis, PA

Meant to Be

Having recently lost my mother and having no siblings, I moved to my hometown in late July to take care of things. The people across the street seemed to have a couple of dogs and cats meandering around with them when they were outside. By November, their house was empty and I began to see a little cat sitting on that driveway and eventually roaming the neighborhood. While talking to a friend on the phone one day, I said in passing: “I think I may have found my Henry James,” a name I'd originally picked out for the Siamese I wanted to get as a companion for Chaucer my resident cat. I began putting food out for Henry and eventually he would wait for me but not allow me close enough to pet or examine him. When I was able, I found out that Henry was a Henryetta.

By late March, I suspected that Henryetta was pregnant. I needed to do something but I wasn't sure I could trap her. Fate forced my hand on April 1st when I found her lying on my doormat and barely moving. Fearing she'd lost her kittens and needed help, I took a chance and brought out the cat carrier and a little food. She roused herself and walked in the carrier, easy as could be. The vet pronounced her healthy, about two, free of FIV and FeLV and about 4-5 weeks pregnant. On May 1st, Henryetta gave birth to five healthy kittens in a warm, dry, safe and loving home. She completely trusted me with her babies from the moment they were born. All kittens were adopted over the next five months to friends and a spayed microchipped Henryetta has settled happily into her forever home with Chaucer, who has accepted her, and me. She is affectionate, sweet-natured and won't have to worry about being left behind again.

Henryetta came at a time when I needed a focus and happiness, and when she needed a home. It was meant to be.

Clarksville, AR

Sisi, the senior dwarf kitty

Sisi´s 12 now, my mum had adopted her from our local shelter when she´s been 4, but unfortunately my mum had to move to an old people´s home in August because she couldn´t care for herself anymore, and I´m 60 % handicapped and couldn´t help her either. When it was clear that this would happen, I already had 2 tomcats, the Norwegian Forest Cat mix Gizzy (10) and the short-haired Maine Coon mix Thori (7), but I didn´t want little Sisi who´s as small as a 5-6 years old teenie kitty to have to go back to the shelter after 8 long years with my mum. So I told my mum I´ll adopt sweet Sisi, my Gizzy who´d been living as a single cat for 9 long years had already adopted Thori who´d been living with another tomcat and a black, mixed breed dog immediatel in May last year. So little Sisi whom I call "Prinzessle" which´s dialect and means as much as little Princess came to Gizzy, Thori and me on July, the 4th of this year, and my two furry boys adopted her as their "little sister" immediately, too!

Sisi´s still very playful and loves to be brushed and cuddled, just like Gizzy and Thori, they´re all three happy together and even got their own Facebook page "Gizzy, Thori and Sisi, the second hand kitties" in the meantime, and my mum´s happy that I adopted Sisi and that she´s settled so well, too. I don´t wanna miss one of my 3 cats for a single day, so I wouldn´t even go on vacations or so, my attitude´s: adopt, don´t buy, and please give older cats a chance, too, they deserve it!!!

Marion Friedl
Singen, Germany

How Charlie chose us.

Most of the time we pick out our pets, We typically go to a shelter but not this time. This is the story of how Charlie chose to love and trust a little boy who isn't always the most lovable.

In early July my 7 year old son came home with a super skinny orange and white intact male cat with beautiful amber eyes. He said the kitty was across the street at the church they had been playing at and was following him everywhere he went including home. We have quite a few feral cats in our neighborhood but it was clear this kitty wasn't one of them. We already had a female cat and a dog and I wasn't so sure how they would take to having another animal in the house and also wasn't sure if he already had a home. We have a screened in porch so we decided to keep him there. We got him food dishes, a litter box, and a little kitty bed then treated him for flees and intestinal parasites. It soon very clear he was the most loving little guy I had ever met and he had a very special bond with my little guy. The first day or 2 he was very content on our porch. He felt safe but soon he started begging to come inside with us. He desperately wanted to be loved all the time. Of course we couldn't resist. My son has adhd and behavior issues and there are many times Charlie is the only thing that will calm him. After a rough day at school, he comes home and immediately grabs his Charlie cat and goes to hide with him under the kitchen table. Charlie loves every second of it. He licks Jacob's face as soon as he picks him up and nestles right into his arms and when my son isn't home he will howl for him. I'm not sure how old Charlie is but I sure hope he is around for a long long long time.

Peoria, IL

I'm your cat

One warm November day, we drove up at our beach house to be greeted by an unknown longhaired tortie, who really wanted to talk to us, to come inside, to be petted. She kept asking to come in all day and all night, so we emailed the neighborhood list to see whom she belonged to. We got answers, all negative. Around midday, a neighbor knocked and explained that she'd found the cat abandoned in another neighborhood and brought her home because her dog was dying, but the dog recovered and the cat was afraid to stay with him, and had run away into the woods. Another neighbor had been feeding the cat.

The cat kept following us, asking to come in, and clearly explaining that she was an inside cat who by some error had been left outside. She sat on the porch, the dock, the sofa, and finally in the bed. I could tell she wasn't in the best of health. Hardening our hearts, we left her there and drove back to the city, but called the neighbor who'd brought her to the beach neighborhood. The neighbor said she couldn't keep the cat, but offered to let the cat stay in our house and she'd feed her! Since it's a rental house, that wasn't a likely arrangement. With a little nudging, my husband agreed to drive back and pick her up, and bring her back to our house in the city.

I took her straight to the vet, who said she had horribly infected teeth, most of which needed to be pulled. When I took her home, after an hour or so I couldn't find her. We were convinced she'd slipped out and run away, and spent the evening searching the neighborhood. About 5 AM, she came stumbling out of the back of the closet and climbed in to bed. She's been pretty much there for ten years (with occasional forays to the food dish and back yard, and lots of time in laps while watching TV).

Columbia, SC

My little Delilah

This little bit is Delilah, a 4 year old DSH. I had just arrived at graduate school in NC and found myself all alone in a new place. I realized I really needed a companion, but did not have the time or money to take care of a dog. A lifelong dog person, I decided to adopt my first cat, and started looking on Craigslist for kittens. I became enamored with a tiny gray tabby and made arrangements to meet him at the house of a woman who was fostering. Upon arriving, the kitten wasn't that interested in me (and was not yet litter box trained...). About to leave empty handed, I heard a meow at my feet. A teenage black and white kitten was looking up at me as if to say "I pick you!". The woman told me that no one wanted this kitten, and she might have to go back to the shelter. Well, that was it! I put the kitten in a box and promptly drove back to my apartment, where she hopped out and patrolled like she owned the place. The first night, she curled up in my arms and sucked on herself (a typical behavior for kittens weaned too young) until she fell asleep. To this day, she still loves snuggle with me while sucking on herself. I have also trained her to give high fives, and she has trained me to promptly deliver wet food every night and hold her like a baby on demand. Her first few months were fraught with vet visits for fleas and parasites but every icky thing was worth it -- I love this cat and she is mine forever. Now that I am a converted cat lady, I have adopted Delilah a friend named Jezebel (adopted through the shelter that I now volunteer at), whom she loves to snuggle, clean, and chase around the apartment at odd hours.

Durham, NC

Chani, our rescue cat

My husband and I lost our lovely, practically blind Somali named Sierra (she had cataracts) due to liver failure in October 2012. She was 16 but we'd only had her for about 5 years. It broke my heart because she was such a wonderful friend but 3 months later, we missed having a cat around and decide to go to the local cat shelter to give a homeless cat a loving home. We saw a number of sweet and loving cats and when we couldn't decide, the lady there told us she had more cats in another room. There we saw a small blue & white female age about 1 year and she looked sad and like she had given up. She was almost hiding in her little cave. The lady told us she believes that she was abused by her former owner who had hit her. The woman had threatened the shelter by saying either the shelter took her or she'd end up on the streets. When we tried to pet her, she bit us both but not hard. We felt she needed our love the most and decided to take her home.

At first she was afraid every time we tried to pet her and would shy away. She also hid a lot under our bed the first few weeks. We named her Chani after a character from the "Dune" books because of her small size and that we knew she'd show strength by eventually getting over her sad past. Patience and lots of love have truely helped and now she's a very happy, loving cat who's getting braver and more confident every day. She shows us every day how much she loves us and we feel truely blessed to have her in our lives. She does have a minor heart issue but we're hoping to enjoy many years of love with her. We will love her the rest of her life and hope we're giving her as much as she is giving us.

Katrine Onesima Hansen
Copenhagen, Denmark
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