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Hex, the cat who never gave up.

The first picture was the first I saw of Hex, from his litter's "free to a good home" ad. I was taken by the zest I saw in those ice blue eyes immediately. When I visited the litter, I explained that he would be a playmate for another kitten, Jinx, who was older, and I'd need a kitten that could keep up. The lady pointed to the same little guy I'd loved on that ad and said "You need HIM!"

"Like fate", I though, as we drove home.

His eyes told the truth. His hobbies were climbing furniture, stealing things, and skittering them across the floor with an upbeat chirp. But even greater than his rambunctiousness was his heart. He developed the habit of putting his front paws up on my knees, like a child asking to be held. I always gave in, and he'd wrap his arms around me like he never wanted to let go, his tail as puffy as a porcupine. He grew so fast, and soon I was daydreaming about the day I'd come home to them in six years with a medical degree and a dream accomplished.

That was nearly taken from us. The second picture is the last taken before the illness. He was puking white foam often and wouldn't eat. I rushed him to the vet to find out that his GI-tract had stopped working. Due to his playfulness, we assumed he'd ingested something. Surgery proved us wrong. Before I knew it, the vet was sending me home with a very sick cat, no answers, and little hope.

But Hex wasn't done.

After weeks of syringe-feeding, I the baby steps began. First was grooming, then drinking, then a little soft food, then purring and snuggling. Soon, he was eating kibble and playing again. I never gave up and neither did he. I cried tears of joy. My spunky boy survived. He's fine now, as if it all never happened, but things like this make you appreciate what you have. Give your cat a hug today. You never know when you might lose them.

Misty Beason
Weaver, AL

Gracie found me and changed my life

Early September 2014, I was heading home from a meeting with colleagues in North Hollywood. I was offered a ride, but on that night I just felt like walking. I was passing some funky apartments on Cahuenga when I heard the unmistakable sound of a kitten crying out. I went toward the sound and found a tiny kitten, under a fence in the driveway of one of the apartments. I approached and she ducked under the fence.

I panicked. Knowing how dangerous and terrifying it is for kittens out on their own, I was desperate to succeed. I went around the fence, thinking I was already too late. But there she was! A tiny, filthy, beautiful kitten. I slowly approached her, hoping against hope that she wouldn't bolt and disappear forever. She didn't. She let me pick her up! She smelled--well, let me just say I've never smelled anything quite like what was wafting off her fur. I held her close and walked off. I knew right away I was taking her home to stay!

As I walked down Magnolia Blvd people kept looking at this little kitten I had. I was so happy to tell them I'd just found her and was going to keep her. We cruised into Ralph's supermarket where I picked up some flea shampoo, food and litter. The check-out guy wasn't pleased, but whatever. We split and went home! I gave her a bath, turning the bathwater into a tepid swamp full of dead fleas. Then she ate a ton of kitten food, had a nice jaunt in her new litterbox and passed out! I named her Gracie after George Burn's wife, Gracie Allen. She needed a good L.A. name! Now we're best pals and I couldn't be happier. Thank you, Gracie, for finding me.

Alexander Prendergast
North Hollywood, CA

Reunited At Last :)

8 years ago, I fell in love with an energetic, teeny-tiny, gray ball of fur at a local kill shelter. She was the runt of her litter but she didn't let that stop her as she repeatedly climbed over her litter mates and quickly scaled the bars of her cage, following my every move while meowing at me loudly, desperate to get my attention. After I played with her at the shelter for at least 30 minutes, the shelter manager told me she was born with only three feet and would likely have a hard time getting adopted. I couldn't believe her... that little kitten was faster than all the other four-legged kittens!!!

I took her home that day and she quickly became my best buddy. She slept on me every night and spent most of the day draped over my shoulder or following me around so closely that I often almost tripped on her. She was the most affectionate cat I've ever met. I named her Bunny because when she wasn't flying around "crazy-kitten style", she hopped like a rabbit due to her missing foot. Two years later, I had to suddenly move out-of-state due to my father's unexpected death. I couldn't take Bunny, so I left her with my ex-boyfriend, thinking he would take good care of her. Unfortunately, several years later, I learned he was leaving her outside during the harsh winters and hadn't taken her to the vet since I left the state. I quickly drove several states to rescue her again. When I arrived, she was sickly, had putrid diarrhea, was terrified of everything, and was severely matted.

After a serious grooming session, several vet visits, lots of medicine, high quality food, and lots of patience and love, Bunny is once again a happy confident cat, is rarely out of my sight, follows me around non-stop while "chirping" at me, sleeps on top of me at night while purring loudly, and is almost always touching me. I wish I could tell her not to worry... she's home for good this time.

Anonymous
Tampa, FL

Healed by love

I wasn't looking for another cat. My boyfriend and I already had 2. In August of 2014, someone had dropped off a tiny kitten in my boyfriend's sister's driveway - just dumped it there. I had to see her- I'm not that fond of girl cats but he said she was so tiny and one of her eyes was sort of closed and I just felt like I needed to see her. I did, and we took her home.

She was only 2 months old, if that. She weighed just a little over a pound. She was very under fed and her eye was in bad shape. She was so tiny that I was worried that she would not make it. But she did. She was eating and drinking everyday. I gave her medicine for her eye and made sure I wiped any excess fluid off it. As months went by she got better and better. She is now a heathly little girl - as you can see from the before and after pictures.

She often pestures her 2 brothers and she rules the entire household, including her humans - so I named her Gemma (after my favorite Sons of Anarchy character) and we love her. I am so proud I found her because I am helping her grow into a beautiful cat. I can't imagine my life without her. She fits right in with our little family.

Katrina
Slidell, LA

Leo's Story

I was happily shopping at a small store when a woman ran in and yelled "Who drives the silver Toyota? There's a cat in your engine." It turned out this lady had witnessed a small kitten almost get hit as he ran across a busy road. He took shelter under my car. When the kind woman bent down to try and get the kitten, he climbed up. By the time I popped the hood, the kitten had wedged himself behind the engine. I couldn't see anything but a tuft of dirty grey fur. It was hot out and the car hadn't been off that long. I got him out and immediately took him to the vet. The Dr. guessed that Leo( kitty's new name) was between 5 and 6 weeks old. Little Leo was bleeding, infested with every type of creepy crawly you could think of, had burns and appeared to be missing an eye, but the good news was that he was FIV and FELV negative and, in fact, had both eyes. One was just seriously infected.

After getting Leo healthy,we introduced him to our 2 older cats. They adopted him and showed him the feline ropes. It didn't take long until Leo was the perfect kitty. He was fun, tolerant, affectionate, responsive and he loved watching shows with me. His favorite was "My Cat From Hell". I kept him updated on all of his shots, and aside from his hard beginning, he seemed to be healthy vibrant cat. Then one day everything changed. I sat down with him after dinner and noticed his breathing didn't seem right. I ended up taking him to an emergency vet clinic. Two hours from when I noticed Leo's shallow breathing, the doctor was giving me the bad news. Leo was dying and his feline leukemia test was positive. I was devastated. Leo crossed the rainbow bridge just short of his first birthday.

I didn't know FIV and FELV tests are not completely reliable at 6 weeks. Had I known, I might have been able to help him live a longer life.

Amanda Whyman
Williamsport, PA

My Sweet Angel, My Love, Dexter

I do believe that everything happens for a reason.

It all started January 26th 2015. I wasn't looking to adopt, but, on my weekly trip to our local Petsmart I decided to look at the cats and kittens. I was just looking around when I came across a beautiful 7 month old white kitten named Casper (renamed Dexter). He was fast asleep sprawled out on his back. There was just something about him that drew me to him, I JUST HAD TO HOLD HIM. I scooped him up and nuzzled him close to me.. From that moment on it was pure love. He couldn't get enough rubbies. I knew he was special and that he needed to come home with me. When we first got him out of his cage we noticed that he had a cloudy eye. The adoption agency assured us that he was just born with it. But when I got him home and he started to settle in I noticed he was getting sick, so to the vet we went. They gave us the diagnoses of feline herpes. I was terrified. I didn't know what that meant, and how it would effect my other cats. The vet that we took him to made us feel like we had a sever epidemic on our hands. But with medication, Dexter got better. Throughout his short life with us he was constantly ill. He had skin problems, tummy problems, and the side effects of the herpes virus. And then came the worse of it all............ FIP. My poor baby could never get a break. But through all of this he was the most loving baby, he would grab your face and pull you close just for kisses. He always meowed with a smile.

We had to have him put down Saturday April 18th 2015, just shy of being 10 months. I believe that we rescued him to give him a loving and stress free home for his final days on this earth. Not only did we rescue him, he also rescued us. He was the sweetest little angel ever.

Aubrey
Kathleen, GA

Hiding in a Cinder Block

I was bringing groceries to a family in need. When I pulled up, I noticed two kittens walking around the front yard, but no mother cat. One kitten was gray and white and investigated everything. The other was a brown tabby, and tried to make itself smaller by hiding in a cinder block. I'm drawn to anyone who needs help, so I commented to the dad as we unloaded the groceries from my car. "Your kittens are so cute!" His face appeared sad and he said, "They showed up a week ago. There was a mother cat but she left." Uh oh. I said, "If you like, I'll take the kittens to our vet and find homes for them." He jumped on my offer because had no way to care for the kittens. So, I left with the two flea-infested, mewling kittens, each one no bigger than my hand. Arriving at our vet, the staff immediately jumped in to help. I later brought the kittens home, intending to foster them until they could be adopted. I knew that my husband wouldn't want a third cat, but I simply couldn't leave the kittens there, likely to die. So, they lived in our bathroom, and I bathed them twice a day for two weeks to keep the fleas at bay and away from our other cats. I promised that I would find homes for the kittens and I meant it. Just as I found a home for the 2nd kitten, my husband stopped me, "We can keep the brown tabby one, if you want." My husband had a special fondness for brown tabbies and this one was full of spirit. The vet told us initially that the kitten was a boy. Then a few weeks later, the vet told us during Buster's check up, "Turns out, this brown tabby is a girl." I laughed out loud because she sure doesn't act like it! Buster still loves wrestling with and chasing her two big brothers-- she certainly isn't the dainty type, and almost three years later, she still makes us laugh!

Sherry F.
Holly Springs, NC

Oliver

Oliver was found wandering around a construction site in late January of 2015. He was so dirty his coat looked grey in color and he was so afraid. Animal services was called to try to catch him and bring him to the vet hospital that was near by because no one else could catch him. He was very mean and guarded when first brought to the vet due to a shoe lace being tied so tightly around his neck that it had dug into his skin. Once the vet was able to put him under and remove the string, which required surgery and stitches all around his neck, he became a sweet cat. He lost his ability to meow because of the string. He also lost the fur on his ears, the vet believes it is due to frostbite. My mom called the vet every day as he was recovering to check on him and let them know that we wanted him. And my sister went to visit him during that time also. A week later we brought him home.

For the first few weeks he hid in a room in the basement and would only come out for my mom. We found out he was really a white and orange cat after awhile. He eventually grew to love and trust all of his humans and he absolutely adores his kitty siblings. He has found his furrever home and is much loved.

Melissa
otsego, MN

My 3.8 Pound Savior

2012 and 2013 were hard years for me. There was a divorce I didn't see coming and the loss of my job. I was very depressed. I have always taken comfort in my furr babies. One Saturday, my daughter and I were headed into a PetSmart for cat food. They were having adoption day. I didn't even make it in the door. There was this tiny, scared teacup Chihuahua sitting in a barrier fence. I noticed she was off by herself and she wasn't interacting with anyone. She then put her little paws up to stand against the fence "asking" to be let out. Her foster mother, an older woman, immediately let her out. Something inside me told me to go talk to this lady. I did. I took this little dog home and discovered she was malnourished, sick with a parasite, had lost many of her teeth, and was abused. It became my mission to heal this little being. Two years later, that little dog is my love and life. Because of her, I rejoined living. I have a great job and have even taken the plunge into a new relationship. Mia goes with me everywhere I can possibly take her. She is full of personality and spunk! What a transformation!

K Sojourner
Goodyear, AZ

Just in time

My husband and I both knew we wanted a cat - and not even 12 hours after we talked about it a little white cat about 5 weeks old showed up on our street - crying so loud for such a tiny body. We had no cat food so we put out water and milk and put "cat food" on the grocery list for that afternoon. Later that day as I pulled into our lot I saw he made himself a comfy spot right on one of our patio chairs. I slipped food outside and left him to eat alone without me pestering him to come in. It poured that night and he stayed on our porch all night (We spent the night staring at him from the bedroom window!)

Morning came and we had high hopes of seeing him again. We heard that hurricane irene was coming in less than 48 hours . We included cat supplies on our supply list - in hopes of getting him just in time. We were really worried that if we didn't get him he wouldn't make it - he was too little to survive.

Later, we waited patiently with the patio door cracked and tuna inside. After 4 long hours - he finally popped in. Within just a few hours of being inside - he was a purring machine! Less than a day later - hurricane irene left our building surrounded by flood waters and down trees. I guess we can never know if he would've made it but I'm glad we didn't have to wonder. Now he is your average everyday roly poly kitty, loving windows, laps, ribbons and salmon snacks - except he isn't so average. We love him very much and life wouldn't be the same without him!

Anonymous
Eagleville, PA
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