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Buddy

When our dog Jack passed, he left behind his partner Floppy. It was summer, I was home, so Floppy and I helped each other deal with the loss. Since I was going back to work at the end of summer I decided Floppy needed company and we needed another furry body in the house so I started looking for a cat. I went to all the shelters but I just didn't connect with any of the cats I met and it was beginning to seem like the only way I was going to find a cat is if the heavens opened up and one dropped in my lap.

In December I took Floppy to the vet and they had kittens. Someone had literally dropped them at the front of the office and drove away. I took Floppy over to their cage and said, "look Floppy, kittens!" and one reached out with both paws and grabbed Floppy's face. I turned to the receptionist and said, "this one's mine". I named him Buddy right then. His spine was cracked as a result of the "drop off" at the vets but it healed well and he just walks a little crooked now.

Buddy was Floppy's "go to" guy. When her sight dimmed, he guided her along. When people came to the house, he stayed closed by her side. When she passed, he stayed by her side until it was time to lay her to rest. Buddy now rules the house. He loves to ride in the car, play with his toy mouse, and snuggle. We'd be lost without him.

Leslie
Yakima, WA

Blinkin the Blind Wondercat

Some of the happiest stories have sad beginnings. In the summer of ‘13 (days before my birthday, no less) my cat, whom I’d had for 18 years - more than half my life - and whom I loved more than anything, got severely ill with no warning, and I had to let her go. Devastating isn’t even the word.

I’d never in my life been without a furry friend, so it was less than a month before I caved and found myself at a fantastic local shelter, thinking maybe I’d find a dog this time. And there were many awesome dogs, to be sure. But you CAN’T go to a shelter and not check out the kittens; impossible! In one cage, all by her lonesome, was a little black fluffball who was obviously upset, unaccustomed to her surroundings, and crying fit to break your heart. A sign on the cage requested quiet around her, as she was blind, and a newcomer there. I had to pick her up and see if I could cheer her up, at the very least. And of course she just curled right up against my chest and started purring. And that, of course, was that.

I named her Blinkin after the awesome blind character in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, because I’m awful like that, but it really suits her. Of all the animals I’ve had, she has the most personality. Popcorn is a favorite treat and toy; she goes nuts when she hears it popping in the microwave. Likewise, candy wrappers (OMG mini Reese’s peanut butter cups) are a favorite for playing fetch with. And yes she plays fetch! For being completely sightless, she is amazingly talented at locating things. She even hunts bugs by hearing! Never a dull moment with her around. Rescue babies are the best.

Lindsey
Glendale, AZ

Chance Michael

Chance Michael came into our lives one morning on April 24,2014 at 9:14 am.We stopped of at a city dumpster to drop our trash in a small town in New Mexico.As I went to throw the trash I looked down and there was a tiny baby sitting helplessly crying she couldn't see her baby eyes were so full of infection she was blinded her nose and mouth had so much dirt in them I don't see how she could breath she was so tiny barley 3 weeks old as to our guess.I picked that baby up and yelled to my husband OH my god I ran to the truck as I held that baby close to my chest so she could fell my warmth and my heart beat.I immediately started giving her warm water from my mouth to hers cause she was very weak and dehiderated.my husband drove as fast as he could to the nearest tractor supply on the way I cleaned that baby up all the dirt out of her nose and mouth and cleaned her baby eyes the best I could (as I'm writing this it still makes me cry).got to tractor supply got her the milk replacement and a nurser and immediately started feeding her she drank about a tablespoon her belly was nice and fat I cleaned her little potty and snuggled her in my husband coat where she slept all the way home she was so tired..when we got home we introduced her to her new big brothers and sister at first they were like no way mom what is this cause she was very tiny and freal we didn't think she was gonna make it through the night she slept the whole night didn't move a muscle kinda freaked me out but that next morning this baby was a little ball of energy.it took about 2 weeks to heal the infection in her eyes with antibiotics with love and care this baby thrived she's 6 months now and a happy healthy little girl and very special to our family..

Tracy swift
mayhill, NM

Chancey Gardener, the kitty found by chance in a garden

We live on a street next to a wooded park in a major city. Unfortunately, people abandon unwanted pets there on a regular basis. Fortunately, our neighborhood is full of animal lovers who rescue and find homes for these animals. I've helped find foster and forever homes for several cats found wandering our street, but since we already had 2 kitties at home, we didn't consider ourselves in a position to adopt another cat. Until one summer night a year and a half ago! We were walking home after an evening out when, a block away from our home, we spotted an empty can of cat food on the sidewalk. Half a second later, an adorable, skinny all-black kitten, about 6-8 months old popped out of a garden across the street from the woods. He was very chatty and social, and followed us home, talking to us the whole time. There was no way we could leave him outside, so we brought him into our apartment with the intention of fostering him if we couldn't find his owners, which we didn't. But after a few days, it was hopeless. A neighbor volunteered to adopt him, but we were already in love. Keeping him confined in our bedroom until he got the all clear from the vet was very difficult, as he is extremely determined and didn't want to be confined. Chancey was most likely abandoned with that single can of cat food because he is quite a handful. He will steal food off your plate, jump up on the kitchen counter when you're trying to cook, knock over the garbage, pick fights with our Alpha kitty (who keeps him in his place), you name the mischief. He is one busy boy. But he is also as loving, affectionate, playful and funny as they come. He's wrapped our hearts around his busy little paws. We couldn't imagine our life without him.

Anonymous
New York, NY

Resucing Michelin

4th of July 10 years ago we were on a busy 8 lane highway. As we approached a left turn lane I saw a small kitten in the middle of the lane. My husband passed over it, stopped, I got out and picked it up. Noticed it was a he. He was meowing, shaking. We pulled into a parking lot. I stayed in car, checked out the kitten. He was so tiny, fleas, wanted to crawl under my hair. When my husband returned to car, he said the cashier told him that kitten made his way across the parking lot, the ditch, the 4 lanes and median to where we found him. Knew we had to keep him. We brought him home to join 2 others we had rescued years earlier. Named him "Michelin" as those were the tires on our car. He is the dark one in the photo. He grow to be the largest cat we ever had. Got up to 25 lbs at one point. But is down to 19 with the help of our vet. He was too fat and a bit unhealthy due to it. He loves his brother~Quinn, 15, in the white one in the photo~and Mr. D, our 17 year old. We rescued 4 more since then. I call him "Boo" as on one of his rear paws he has a "ghost" looking marking. As a kitten he carried a fuzzy ball around in his mouth all the time. He would spit it out to eat or drink, pick it up again. Like it was is pacifier. He stopped that when he got bigger. There were a couple others that were rescued that day as well. Sometimes I wonder how they are doing. We know "Boo" is happy and loved in our home.

Anonymous
JACKSONVILLE, FL

Maggie-The Big Guy

This is our big kitty Maggie. My husband and I lost our senior cats and we adopted a Sato dog from Puerto Rico three years ago that is a sweetheart. One of my husbands coworkers who lives in the inner city showed him a picture of a kitten popping its head out of a carrier bag inside a car. She had heard crying in front of her house.The crying was coming from inside a car. She opened the door and took a picture. A man came running out and told her that he had lost his apartment due to some illegal activity he had going on. He told her that he was going to let the female kitten go on the street because he thought it was old enough to live on its own. He jumped in the car and drove off. My husband and I felt so bad for the kitten that the man thought was about 7 months old. Three days passed and no sign of the car again. Her boyfriend called her at work on the fourth day and told her the car was back with the kitten inside and that he had spoken to the man and he was about to let the cat go. My husband asked him to put it in a box and bring it to their work. The man handed over the carrier with the cat. We thought we had the sweetest female cat alive until we took her to the vet to get spayed and found out that Maggie was a one-year-old male. We had him neutered and found out he was part Maine Coon cat. He is the sweetest and biggest cat and out dog loves him. We try calling him Magee but we can’t get away from the Maggie. We don’t know how long he lived in the bag in the car but he doesn’t like to be in the beds we have bought him or in boxes. He doesn’t want to be confined unless it’s snuggling in our arms.

Anonymous
Hull, MA

My sweet kitty

July 7, 1993: My husband, step-daughter and I were going into our church. Outside was a sealed box that was screaming. The Deacon stated that animal control was due Monday morning. I had a fit stating that they would be dead by then (it was 98 degrees). After my step-daughter and I gave my husband the "look" he opened the box to find 4 baby kittens. He scooped up the box and took them home to clean them up (the bowl of spoiled milk was all over them). We called the cat clinic, took them by to get checked out. We were told they were maybe 10 days old. We bottle fed them and had them fixed. We found homes for two and we kept the other two. We lost Pisces two years ago. My Virgo is a dream and full of life and kisses at 21 years of age. I can't imagine our life without her.

Kevin and DeeDee Tschirhart
Peculiar, MO

California to Hawaii

Kiko is much more than my cat, he is my friend, and the star of my family. I got him while battling depression after the end of a long relationship, and he saved my whole family during my dad's passing, shortly after I had turned 23.

I wanted a cat since I was a little girl, but I was afraid because I never had a pet before, I'd be inadequate or unprepared. But I realized I had the love, and the means to provide a forever home, and my fear only meant one less cat in a loving home, and one less space in a shelter for a cat in need. Kiko was born to a stray litter in my friends back yard. She was trying to get them adopted out instead of taken to a shelter were they might be put down, especially since they were all black. Kiko was the only male, he was much larger than the other kittens, and very poofy. I loved him instantly.

When I moved from California back home to Hawaii, I flew Kiko with me. Within a month of my move home, my father started to get sick. Within weeks he was diagnosed with cancer, and within 4 months of my move home, and 3 months after my 23rd birthday, he passed away. Kiko brought a little comedic relief and definitely a calm to us during that time. He is the silliest cat I know and I'm almost certain sometimes that he's doing it on purpose to make us laugh.

If you have the love and means to provide a forever home, there is no limit to the amount of joy and love that you can welcome into your life by adopting a friend to stay through the ups and downs.

Kimiko
Honolulu, HI

Tyrion

My husband and I had a party Labor Day weekend. During clean up, we put a full trash bag on the side of our house. A little while later, our 4 cats were looking out the window in awe trying to see something. We could hear rustling of the bag so we went out to check and low and behold, there was a little cat ripping through the bag trying to get food. He was very skiddish and thin. I brought down a bowl of food for him, and then another, and another. He slowly started getting used to me being near him. Eventually, after three days of slowing working my way up to him, he finally let me pet him. It was all over after that. He was climbing on my lap and running up to me when I called for him. I named him Tyrion after my favorite Game of Thrones character. After a week of coming to us, I brought him to the vet to get a check up. He needed his shots, to be neutered, dewormed, flea treatment and have teeth pulled. The vet thought he was between 5-8 years old, maybe even 10. Didn't stop us though. We kept him on our porch until he was healthy. Once we got a clean bill of health (minus the neutering/tooth extraction), he was welcomed into our home to meet the other cats. Tyrion was more than happy to be in the house and have access to unlimited amounts of food and friends. We could always tell when he was happy because his tongue would stick out and stay out. A month later, he was neutered and had three teeth extracted. It didn't stop him from being a chow hound though. He gained 1 pound in that month and his overall health is much improved. Needless to say, that toungue sticks out 95% of the time! We love our new addition and look forward to many years with him.

Jessica P.
Danielson, CT

Stowaways

I have lived in Phoenix for 6 years now with my daughter and my fiance' About 3 and a half years ago we were doing some work in the garage, it was unusually warm for being early may and even hotter in our garage. Suddenly, my other half hears small mewing and went to investigate. Inside a stack of tires he found 6 small newly born kittens. One had passed away but the other 5 were full of pep and very hungry. We went looking for their mother but we could not find any cats around. So we went in the house and waited a bit but as the day got warmer we became more concerned for the little ones in the very hot garage. So we made the decision so bring them inside the house and I would bottle feed them. So we had 5 small fluffballs in a box, our 1 year old female cat would clean them and cuddle them but she could not nurse so I was the milk half of our duo. Over the next few months 3 passed away from failure to thrive but in the end I ended up with Runt and Piggie. We had told our daughter of the 5 she could keep one but the rest would have to be given away but in the end how could you choose between the 2? So we kept them both and they are the most amazing cats with huge personalities. I believe everything happens for a reason and these furbabies for some reason were meant to be with us, I can't imagine my world without them in it.

Brie P.
Phoenix, AZ
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