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I adopted a puzzle whiz

I found Ripley through Texas Sweeties Dog Rescue in January 2014 at age 7 months. I drove a couple hours to meet her and immediately fell in love. Her foster mom said Ripley was really smart, but I had no idea how much so.

I first noticed Ripley’s flair for puzzles when she started putting her ball into places where she could not get it back out, mostly under the couches or down the cushions and then try retrieve them. That was fine but after a while we ran out balls, so I figured I better play along. We started by putting toys into boxes that Ripley would have to open or crawl into, in order to fetch them. Then we cut holes into boxes so she had to use just her paws to play. We added plastic and fabric versions, different shapes, sizes, etc. Ripley loves them all and often starts or restarts the games herself.

Mark Reynolds
Austin, TX

The Miracle of Little Bit

It was August 2012, and I was home from my overseas assignment on emergency leave. My oldest brother had passed away while in the service. The rest of my family flocked to Ohio to be with my parents.

My parents had three cats and one dog, all of which had been acquired while my siblings and I were still living in the house. At a sorrowful time like this, my parents were definitely not looking for another animal, even with ‘’empty nest.’’

My sister and I noticed an adorable orange and white female kitten. My parents noticed us holding her and said ‘’you don’t even live here and you still try to bring animals home!’’ with a smile on their face. We weren’t sure if she was someone else’s cat, and didn’t think much else of it, as we had a funeral to plan.

The next day, my other brother went to an airport about 80 miles away. As he parked his vehicle at the airport, a worker approached him. ‘’Excuse me, there’s a cat tail hanging from your car.’’ My brother had shaken his head, wondering if he had somehow hit a cat.

With hesitation, my brother put his hand to where the tail was. To his surprise, that adorable kitten was the culprit. She meowed a greeting, and to my brother’s dismay, she only had some blisters on her paws and some singed whiskers. ‘’Little Bit’’ had climbed under his car and stayed there for the duration of the drive, which is usually about an hour and half's time.

Little Bit came home to my parents that day. Even though everyone went back to their respective locations after the funeral, she remained. She has been nothing but a blessing to my parents. We’re so thankful she held on for that car ride, and held onto our hearts. I can't wait to see her after I get home from deployment!

Anonymous
Deployed!, OH

Bitty Baby

Bitty Baby came to us almost 3 years ago when he was about 7 weeks old.He belong to some neighbors up the street and they left him out in all types of weather and he was always hungry.He would come and sit on the porch railing and look in the window at us.We already had 2 cats and a dog so really didnt need another furbaby.We took him back home about 3 or 4 times.Finally called animal control & explained the situation.Was told if we had fed him this long he was ours.He came to us in Dec and this was March.We got his shots and had him neutered and the neighbors never even ask for him back and I'm so glad.He's the lovingest old thing and stays with me ,everytime I sit down to read,sew,play on the computer or just sit.Right now he's laying here curled against my legs.He had decided he was going to live with us and that was that....We lost our little shitzu 2 years ago after 17 years and he knew I needed comforted and my health is not very good and he knows when I have a relapse and he stays right with me.Everyone that comes here he has to show off and say look at me arent I great fella....He has brought so much joy and comfort to me.I hate to think what would have happened to him if we hadnt taken him in.The neighbors soon moved and never bothered to even find out if we had him.They just dont know all the joy and love they missed out on.We also have another little girl terrier we rescued from the shelter and she is also so loving.We got her on her last day and I think she realizes it and thats why she loves us so good.We now have 6 furbabies and my husband says thats it!!!......OK. I say ....wink wink.....

Linda T
campobello, SC

Bubba

The cat of a student at my school had a litter of two week old kittens. I went to look at them, thinking I would take one when they were old enough, but when I got there, the girl told me they were being taken to the SPCA the next day. There were no adults around to confirm this, but I knew that kittens so young would be euthanized if there were no foster carers available. I grabbed Bubba and put him down my top. I wish I had grabbed all of them.

Bubba was tiny and one of his eyes was half closed. I was worried that he wouldn't survive, but I gave him round-the-clock food and care, and he is now a strong, healthy 3 year old - and the love of my life! We have an amazing bond, and he even gets upset when I am sad (or singing!) and gets 'all up in my face', looking very concerned. He always greets me with a 'prrrow" when I walk in the room, and he is playful and loves getting into mischief - especially when there is a box or bag nearby, or I am trying to wrap presents!

Bubba has inspired me to work at my local SPCA in the school holidays to help care for the cats that aren't as lucky as him.

Leanne Jacobi
Tokoroa, New Zealand

Black Tail with white tip

I had just moved in my with boyfriend in July 2000 and always grew up with cats. I was going to take one of them with me but decided they would be happier at home where they belonged and I can make my way to the SPCA to adopt and give a cat a second chance. 3 days after we moved in I heard meowing outside, I thought it was the neighbors cat but instead found this gorgeous spotted lady waiting under the tree. I had no litter or food and I called my boyfriend to tell him. He said go to the store and pick up some food and litter, leave her outside and if she's still there then bring her in and feed her. When I came back she was gone, but 10 minutes later I heard meowing again. She walked right into the apartment and stayed the night and was back out the door the next morning. For 3 days this went on and we decided that she was obviously abandoned (Quebec has the highest rate of abandoned pets on moving day). The day we decided to keep her it was a few hours after she would normally come back and I started to worry. A friend was coming over and I said to her to keep an eye out, she was small and looked like a little cow and her tail was all black except for the tip which was white. Our friend came running over and said that she was up the street and walking over, we were so excited when she walked down the path and from that moment on, we had her spayed, named her Monkey and gave her the forever home she deserved. It has been the best 15 years and she is still healthy and amazing. Everything happens for a reason and although we kept her, she found us and has given us many laughs and fun times and she couldn't have picked a better home and I could not have been luckier with this kitty who walked into our life.

Nancy
Montreal, QC, Canada

Virgil's story

One day my boy friend and I are eating dinner about to go to weekly game night with friends. He then gets a call from our really close friend Jimmy. Jimmy asks "do you want a cat?" we asked how old and he says about 4 weeks. We rush to the apartment complex and saw Jimmy with a box. He walks over and reaches in and pulls out a little brown and orange tabby. She had big blue eyes and spots on her gray belly. I melted when I held her in my arms because she fell asleep almost instantly. We asked how he found her and he told us "I was driving down Baymeadows road and saw something fall out of the undercarriage of the care in front of me I stopped traffic and picked her up." He then took her to the near by Banfield at Petsmart and got her checked out to make sure she wasn't hurt and to see how old she was.

When we took her home after one night our female cat Beatrice adopted the kitten and let it nurse off her even thou she had no milk to give. Dante our male cat took a lil bit longer but soon fell in love and became adopted daddy. Our apartment complex has a 2 animal policy so we had to give her away. I started freaking out because it was 4 weeks later and i had fallen totally inlove with this kitten. I called my parents who said "we will take her".

She now has a dog best friend and loves to be on a leash and harness outside. She acts A LOT like a dog and drinks out of the toilet. Yes the toilet.

She also chases her tall growls at people knocking on the door while my dog barks and responds to her name. She also learned how to play fetch.

She is the love of my life and I can't imagine life with out her and I thank Jimmy all the time for saving this poor little babies life.

Katherine Hurst
Jacksonville, FL

Sylbester - The BEST cat ever!

My daughter and I wanted a cat so we went to the local animal shelter. My daughter was busy looking at some kittens when an enormous paw came out of a cage and tapped my daughter's shoulder. She turned around and there he was, a magnificent Maine Coon. He had terribly infected eyes and the cage divider had been removed so there was adequate space for this enormous cat. He weighed almost 20 pounds and was friendly as could be. My daughter had her heart set on a kitten, but this cat had picked us and we connected with him immediately. We knew right away he was ours, or we were his.

Sylbester loves children and people in general. When he hears children he seeks them out and plays with them. Needless to say he is always very popular wherever we live. My Grand-daughter could not say the name the shelter gave him, Sylvester, she said Sylbester, so I felt the name fit because he is the best cat ever. He is very active and strong, and he loves the outdoors. He is so much fun and truly is a part of the family.

Since we have had Sylbester I have been disabled due to a spine condition and lost the love of my life. I was heartbroken over and over and Sylbester never left my side. I was hospitalized 3 times this year, once for was for ten days, and Sylbester cried for me. My brother called me at the hospital everyday and I spoke to Sylbester on the phone to calm his unending cries, that were driving my brother crazy. I thank Sylbester everyday for all his love and attention and helping me through my darkest days. I saved Sylbester once, but he saves me over and over again.

Michele
Lafayette, CO

Precious Memories

Only a few of us are lucky enough to find that one special pet, the one that we call our “Soul Pet.” I found my soul kitty when I was 11. She showed up one day on my parent’s farm scared and hungry. As I coaxed her I said “Come here precious kitty.” She came to me and from then on “Precious” was her name. She was a shy cat and didn’t seem to like too much attention from the family but for some reason she loved me the best. We lived on a farm and she loved to spend all day outdoors. Whenever I walked down the field to feed the chickens, she would always follow me. Sometimes she would climb in the loft of the garage and walk out onto the roof to get my attention. She would pretend to be scared so that I would climb up there and save her. Every night she would come inside and already be waiting for me on my bed. When it was time for me to move out, I wanted to take her with me even though my parents thought it was a bad idea, due to her age. I took her with me anyway knowing that it would be hard living without her. She must have felt the same way because she gave up the outdoors to be with me. She adapted instantly to the apartment and we jokingly called it her retirement home. My boyfriend loved her as much as I did and she helped make the place feel like home. She loved being the only cat and her personality really shined. Even at 14 years old she always seemed so active and happy. We were taken by surprise when we learned that she had lymphoma. We lost her just a few days later in early November. It has been so hard living without my Precious kitty but I am so glad that she chose me to love and spend her life with. She truly was a gift from God.

Diedra
Columbus, OH

Calico Cuddles

I wanted a cat for a while and would torture myself wandering into pet stores, but never felt it was the right time to adopt. I am 25 and recently graduated from university, and had been feeling like my life wasn't quite settled enough to have a pet. But then I met Fiona. She was this teeny little 5-week old, 1 lb calico kitten my best friend's husband found in the parking lot at his work this past May. They took her home, asked if I wanted to meet her, and when I came over I just fell in love. I actually moved into a whole new apartment that weekend so that I could keep her, because where I was staying did not allow pets. She instantly became my little baby and I have been so in love with her ever since. She had a bad case of fleas and worms and her tummy was distended from a bacterial infection. She is now approaching 10 lbs, healthy as can be, has loads of energy and is super loving. We cuddle every night, she purrs in my face every morning, and she lays on her back and relaxes when I play soft music. I am so proud of her and am always so happy to come home from work to her greeting me. Rescuing Fiona has greatly improved my life.

Kelly
Gainesville, FL

A cat named Shoes

My parents rescued Shoes (the big cat in the picture) when he was only a few weeks old. My mom said she found him on the side of the road one day. I was born in May of '73 he was born in June of '73. By the time he was 2 he was a hefty 17 lbs according to a vet record I found.

One of my fondest memories of Shoes is from the day our horse shelter burned down. All the neighbors were over trying to help put it out. I went down to the basement to go outside and shoes was at the screen door looking out. I opened the door and he took off with lightning speed. I watched him as he ran to the dog of one of the neighbors. He launched himself onto the back of the dog, dug his claws in and then jumped off and ran away from the dog-probably with a huge smile on his face! It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen him do.

When he passed away at the age of 17 years, it was very hard for me as at the age of 17 myself I hadn't really ever thought of him not being around. I remember one night a few weeks after he passed hearing him meowing at the front door. I almost jumped up to go let him in, but I also knew that he wouldn't be there, that it was just me hearing him and missing him. Shoes was a great companion and friend for so many years. His last days were filled with the pain from growing old.

Miss and still love you big guy...

Brandi M
Portland, OR
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