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Fish Food (NOT US)!

One of my co-workers keeps a large aquarium in his office with some pretty big fish in it. Occasionally he buys minnows at the pet store to feed them, but once he had to get small goldfish instead. When I came in to work on the following Monday morning, some of the goldfish were still alive and avoiding the huge monsters who were trying to eat them. I went and bought a bowl and some supplies and 'rescued' two of the goldfish I could catch. I wasn't sure how to take care of them, but put them in the bowl beside my desk and they're still alive and kickin'. I named them Rocky and Diver from one of my favorite books. I like to think that they know I rescued them from "a fate worse than death"; that they are grateful and call me "Mommy" in their hearts.

Pam Green
Princeton, KS

Baba - The Blackest Gift

We found him one summer night in June 2014 and he had me twisted round his little broken tail within seconds. We figured someone had dumped him next to our place. We took him in and it was like he always belonged. We already had 2 other cats and were not keen on adding a third but he obviously had other plans and within days he was a member of our family.

From a scrawny little kitten he grew into a beautiful cat with a black velvety coat. He was the happiest cat ever, purring even if we called his name. He loved his food and was a glutton for roast chicken. He would be waiting for us when we come back from work, and constantly at our side, playing, purring, seeking our attention or simply sleeping contentedly somewhere close. He loved being made a fuss of. I would tell him the story of the night we found him, and he would listen attentively, with the story becoming outrageously exaggerated as time went by. We would play fetch and then he would cuddle up, stretch like there is no tomorrow and sleep with no care in this world...

In September we discovered he had FeLV but he was such a strong cat and I wanted to hope. We thought we would at least have more time with him, but it was not to be. It took the best of him too quickly and in the end we had to make the ultimate decision and let him rest. We had the vet come over to our place and Bobsie went purring over the rainbow bridge, ending the suffering.

He took part of us with him and the loss is so painful. My wife and I are both shattered and yet, we would do it all over again without batting an eyelid. We gave him the best life he could have hoped for but really and truly he was the one who gave us so much joy and unconditional love.

Rest little one. You are forever in our hearts.

C & M
Marsascala, Malta

Carl Steven

Around the time my husband and I got engaged, a skinny orange cat started hanging around my in-law's house. As she didn't want a pet, my mother in law would spray him with the hose in the front yard. Of course in the back yard my husband and father in law were feeding him food scraps. Despite being able to see his ribs and his fur was coarse and wiry, he was the sweetest cat I'd ever met. Since we were going to be looking at apartment's anyway, my husband asked if the cat could stick around his parent's house until we could find a place that took cats. Fortunately she said yes, and after fattening him up and getting him fixed, he moved in with us!

8 years later, Carl is still the sweetest and most loving cat I've ever met. He sleeps with me every night, and I'm so happy he wandered into my in-law's yard.

Darla M
Brentwood, CA

Lil Sammy

Behind bars, forgotten; Behind bars to live; Behind bars to watch the world walk by. Behind bars.

This was my world, seeing everything with the view of bars, laying on the hard cold floor, waiting ...watching...

Who I lived with didn't want me, didn't want to help me, didn't want me to live. A plea went out..."rescue or he will be PTS!"

Ok, to know more of why this was to be, you see,I cannot walk, and I need diapers... That would be a huge endeavor to some, but for one, who thought nothing of that.

The village gathered, hearts on a single mission, to get me to my new home.. and before I knew what was happening, I was flying on a jet plane, droopy diapers and all to arrive to open waiting arms and the first of many kisses.

I am free now to roam the entire home, I go on car rides, I play with toys, I play with my fur brothers and sisters, I sleep on a soft bed, I run in my wheels, I am tucked in each night with kisses and told, I am loved.

One thing my humans have noticed though since discovering my freedom, I am very vocal to ensure I am not left home, I fear being alone...I love to ride in cars, I sit and watch people in my stroller, I go to stores and places I never dreamed about.

I roll on the grass in summer, stay warm during winter, lounge on the dog sofa with my blanket and greet dad when he comes home, I do not see myself as disabled, I see myself as.. loved and wanted and free.

susan davia
colorado springs, CO

Naconi's Journey

it started in a far away land,in a parking lot..I was let to die. My body riddled with so many injuries,my spine injured,my back legs paralyzed. I dragged my self about, bravely searching for food and water.I survived neglect,starvation and abuse always hoping,the next face I see will rescue me. ... In that parking lot I was rescued,taken inside,fed and spent months in recovery and surgeries. But my best journey was about to begin. Unknown to me I had a follower,someone who waited and watched all my daily achievements and progress ..someone who wanted me.

It has been 3 years now that I made that long flight to America..and saw the face of my rescuer,the person who will love me and show me so many new experiences and adventures and my home and love.

Each day is filled with something new,from playing with toys,touching snow for the first time,laying on the lawn and soaking up the sun,to playing with other dogs and even cats,to running in my wheelchair to explore the world I have before me and I know the joy of sleeping in peace,never being hungry again and knowing I am loved and wanted.

Never under estimate the joy a disabled dog can give....We love more then you know...We run in our hearts even though our legs may make us slow,We may need help with basic needs,but if we move close to you,does the love in our eyes not says,Thank you!

Give a special need a dog a chance, I bet we will surprise you and also think about supporting rescue that do so much for special needs animals.

susan davia
colorado springs, CO

Princess P

My mom told me about a 6 month old kitten someone had dumped on our farm. I went to see her and fell instantly in love as she snuggled right up to me. I took her home that night, she had obviously been somebodys pet as she was extremely comfortable in a house and knew how to use a litter box. My three older cats let her rule the roost. I named her Pia which stands for Pain in Ass... as the first week I had her she woke me up every few hours to just check to see if this was real. She became Princess P as her personality came out.

She was the brightest most loving cat I have ever met. If I said give mom a kiss she would lick my lips. She sat next to me and ate off of my fork. She sat on the back of a chair to watch me cook or do dishes. She did everything with me. She wore a pink bad to the bone coat in the winter to go outside and a witch hat for Halloween to greet trick or treaters. She would drag her favorite toy to my feet and sit there and meow at me and bat at the toy until I would play with her. She loved chocolate (esp. Hersheys) and she would steal it just to have some. I even found a secret stash she had hidden behind a desk.

6 years after I brought her home, she was diagnosed with FIV... we fought it for many months thru many medications and very sadly she waited for me to come home from work to tell me goodbye and pass away as I held her. It has been 4 years since my Princess has left me and I still cry buckets of tears when I think of her. She was loved by many as she was so sweet and loveable. Sending loads of love to you Princess P... you are in my heart forever and your mommy misses you so much.

Theresa
Pierpont, SD

Vita's "Life"

As many of these stories begin, in 2006 I lost my beloved cat Voce, who was a long-hair domestic, at age of 13 to heart failure. Devastated, I made an immediate decision to find a new companion for Angelica (her sister and litter mate) and myself. Long-hair was mandatory. My searches via Petfinder keep producing one eight week old kitten named Peggy, who had three legs. She was actually saved by my vet. I couldn't get a three-legged cat, could I? After calling my vet to inquire if they had any other long-haired kittens, they asked why I wouldn't take Peggy. My reply “she only has three legs”, their retort “so?” I went the next day to meet her. She was a little ball of tan, gold and white fluff with a big wound where her leg was very recently amputated.

Peggy’s tale: She was found by a nice woman on her front porch during a rain storm. The woman gathered her and noticed that her leg was “injured” (let’s just say it wasn't good). She called Dr. Cameron who even though it was after hours and storming out he agreed to meet her, and she rushed the wet kitten in to be seen immediately. The leg was too far gone to save, but taking one look at her adorable little face Dr. Cameron opted to save her rather than put her down. They named her Peggy.

After I meet this little furry angel and decide to bring her home (wounds and all). It was a rough road. Some minor complications with her healing (it’s hard to keep a kitten from moving around after a big surgery). She ended up back in the vet’s more than once for follow-up stitches but once she healed you would never have known that this girl (now 7 years old) was missing a limb. She is the most wonderful, gorgeous, sweet little girl. Life with a three-legged cat is wonderful, I'm lucky to have her.

Oh, she is no longer named Peggy. Her name is now Vita, which means “life”. I thought it appropriate.

Meghan Bereza
West Orange, NJ

Hudson Montgomery Lanes

I have always had pets, so when I moved out into my own place i decided i needed a cat buddy to keep me company. The pet-smart near me, runs adoption clinics, so i went for a look. There was a tortoise female. She had a sad story and I felt sorry for her so I agreed to adopt her, I renamed her Meeks. Unfortunately, only after couple months she became increasing ill. I tried several vets looking for an answer. It was finally determined that she had a brain tumor, and wouldn't last much longer. I was heartbroken. I took her home that day and sat with her until I knew I had to let her go peacefully and not suffer.

A month later, still mourning I found a picture of an orange male cat named "Hudson" (i wasn't sure if I was ready to adopt again, but I couldn't help myself from looking). One look and I knew he was meant to be my cat. I immediately called and asked about him. He was still available to adopt. As soon as I could I went to the shelter to see if we would be a good match. When I got there, the poor boy was terrified,(turns out he came from a horrible hording situation, where the woman had over 60 cats in a one bedroom apartment). but even though he was scared and hiding in a cubby, the moment i pet him he purred non stop. Yup This was my boy.

Hes the most wonderful and affection cat I have ever had. He constantly makes me laugh and as been the best cat buddy ever. Everyday a new facet of his personality comes through. in fact its so big, he ended up with his own full name. (Lanes his last name was giving to him because hes round like a bowling ball). To this day he still purrs continuously. I to this day like to think that it was Meeks who somehow brought us together, as a thanks for making her last days filled with love. Thanks Meeks.

Anonymous
Albany, NY

She wasn't supposed to be there

I've fostered a LOT of animals over the years and I've found large litters of kittens are, without question, the easiest. I went to the high-kill shelter to pick up a litter of 8 kittens who were 4 weeks old. When I got home and opened the kennel, out poured 9 kittens! Somehow a little 3-week old kitten, who had been slated for euthanasia, had made her way into the kennel. I didn't ask questions, she was just one of the bunch. Being younger, she was a little behind the other kittens and had to learn to play and wrestle at their level. She didn't eat much at first and I had to feed her individually, force-feeding her for a few days. After 7 wonderful weeks, she was big enough to go back to the shelter to be spayed and put up for adoption. It was the hardest good-bye I'd had and I cried for days. She spent 2 days on the adoption floor while I fretted. Her siblings were adopted around her and every time, I panicked about what kind of home she would end up in. On the third day, I went and got her. She was mine and Thankfully the fates had kept her for me. She's absolutely the most perfect cat ever. She's my baby. She loves to cuddle, sleeps by my pillow all night, is friendly with everyone (people say she could make cat-haters love cats!), plays with the dogs, snuggles with my older cats, talks all the time and welcomes all the new foster kittens, showing them the ropes and teaching the feral cats that it's OK to trust and play. My wonderful Baby Jayd!

Anonymous
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Beloved Ripley, RIP, August 5, 1996 to February 25, 2015

Ripley and her sister, Ursula, were born near Chickasha, OK, on August 5, 1996, the day I left Missouri for a new job in Oklahoma. I named Ripley after the character Ripley in the movie Alien. The day I brought them home, when I picked them up one in each hand, their little hearts were beating fast, yet they did not fight or struggle. Ripley took up a position at the wall, assessing me, wondering who I was. The next morning two little kitten voices were mewing outside my bedroom door wanting breakfast. I carried them into the kitchen where I tried to convince them that the dry food in their bowl was food.

I was Ripley's soul mate, and she was mine. She bonded with me fiercely and totally. When Alice joined us in 2003, Ripley was consumed with jealousy and terrorized the new kitten. Later as our cat household continued to grow, Ripley plagued them as well, to no avail. As she grew older, she spent most of her time in the kitchen. Whenever she saw me, she cried out and ran to me, even when arthritis began to bother her. She would rear up on her hind legs and flail the air with her front paws for me to pet her, or pick her up.

Ripley and I had nearly eighteen and a half wonderful years together. On February 19, she felt bad, so I took her to the veterinarian who gave her antibiotics for a bacterial infection. She stopped eating. When I took her back in the following Monday, she was in renal failure. Although she was put on IVs to attempt to get her kidneys to function again, it was too late. She died in her sleep at the veterinarian's around 10 am on Wednesday, February 25.

Ripley was a devoted, loving cat. I was the love of her life, and she was mine. Rest in peace, beloved Ripley. You will always be in my heart. One day our ashes will be buried together. I will see you again on the Rainbow Bridge.

Kenneth Andrews
Jackson, TN
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