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Simka, my new baby

For all my life I have been a dog person. I grew up with them and when I got married my husband had a male Chihuahua named Cujo and he and I got a female Chihuahua whom we named Dandy. When he and I divorced I took Dandy with me because she was always more my dog than his. Dandy lived to be almost 13 before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and it absolutely devastated me when I lost her. A part of my heart was gone. After a month my apartment felt so lonely without her there that I knew I needed to find a new baby to give my love. They no longer accepted dogs at my apartment complex so my choice would be a cat. I had never owned a cat myself but liked them so I knew that a cat would be good for me. I finally decided it was time for me to find my new baby and went to the Humane Society.

They took me to the kitten room and I started looking around. There were a lot of kittens in that room and my heart went out to them all and I wished I could take them all home. I stopped now and then and tried to interact with the different kittens in the kennels but they stayed away from me. That is until I came to the kennel with Simka in it. Her name was Adabelle at the time but to me it just didn't fit. When I put my finger through the wires on her cage she came over and wrapped her little paw around my finger and that was it. I was hooked. I knew she was the one I wanted right there. I signed all the papers and took home my new baby and gave her a new name.

That first evening Simka climbed up on my desk and insisted I hold her, it was then that she stole my heart. I'll never forget Dandy but now the hole she left in my heart is full again.

Carla A. Moore
Salem, OR

Was that a Cat I heard??

My family pulled into a large parking lot near the edge, where the pavement ends and the drainage ditches are. We walked about 100 ft when my daughter stopped and said "Was that a cat I heard or a bird?". We investigated and began looking in the tall, dense weeds that surrounded the drainage ditch. As I parted the weeds, I saw two tiny blue eyes looking back at me. The eyes belonged to a beautiful, fluffy gray and white kitten that appeared wild and feral...she swatted at my daughter when she tried to pick her up. The kitten was 6 weeks old max and I didn't think she would be suitable and thought her mom was probably around. 10 minutes later my daughter deposited this little furball into my hand and proclaimed her name was Salome. Sal (for short) was tiny and had tons of fleas...the water turned red when she was first bathed. She went from a scrawny kitten to the most enchanting and loving cat ever, and fit into the family immediately. Her meow was more of a whimper (and still is!) and she loved to curl up under your neck when she was sleeping. Sal is still a small little cat but makes up for it with her exploits and friendship. She has learned to bob her head and let out a chirp when she wants to play and loves to jump onto your shoulder for a ride around the house. From the tiny stray cat that probably would have died to the wonderful girl she is today is a remarkable tale, but she seems to realize that she was rescued and does her best to repay the love...although I don't think she could love us as much as we love her!!

Jim
Greensburg, PA

A little pepper to spice things up

While in a vet clinic one day a good friend of mine encountered a women trying desperately to find a home for a very friendly stray. When no room at the clinic was available the only remaining option became a high kill-rate shelter. Not wanting to see this cat put down my friend volunteered to foster her until they could get her in better shape and ready for a home. At only 4 lbs this stray needed some serious TLC. About two days into fostering my friend woke up to find that the 4 lbs cat had somehow managed to pop out four kittens.

I went out to see them out of curiosity since I had never seen newborn kittens before. The mama cat was very trusting of us and had no problem with us hanging out by her babies. Out of the pile I immediately noticed the little girl, who had a deformed tail. I scooped her up in my hand and she let out the tinniest meow I had ever heard. My heart began to melt right there. However I kept telling myself that I could not commit to having a cat at this time in my life.

None the less I continued to visit her and soon picked out the name Pepper. As time passed I realized that Pepper was my cat weather I liked it or not. Finally the day came for me to take her home and it was the best choice I've ever made. I look forward to her coo's when I ever the door and her purring as my alarm clock and of course I've become one of those people who has way to many cat pictures. She's rambunctious and her cork-screw tail makes her a bit off balance so she is constantly keeping me on my toes haha but I wouldn't trade her for the world.

In the end all four kittens and the mom were found their forever homes.

Kate Porter
Las Vegas, NV

Coco Chanel

I always check rescue sites on facebook and that's when I came across this poor kitten. She had been found near a steel plant, covered in oil, and bot flies had burrowed under her skin. When she was dropped off at the Hamilton Animal Services, Ontario, they were not sure she would make it. After I saw this little one's picture I could not stop thinking about her and even though we already had 3 cats, I contacted a rescue group I know and asked them to get her out. We had to wait a week to see her because she was so sick and when she was ready to come home we were so excited However she was not eating and was very lethargic, so we took her to our vet the next day and she was running a fever and had an infection. We spend 3 weeks medicating and force feeding our little girl and I decided she would be named Coco Chanel, a classy name for a baby who had such a rough start. Coco is now healthy and happy, racing around like crazy doing kitten things, she has no fear and plays with both the cats and dogs alike. She just fits right into our family perfectly. We are so happy she came into our lives. I am sending you a before picture of Coco Chanel. I would like to include an updated picture so you can see how far she has come but your site is not allowing me to do so. And through all of her sickness she still purred, she knew we were there to help her!

Linda Carpenter
Milton, ON, Canada

My Georgie

When the first snow came, I stood outside to watch it and heard a cat meowing at me from under a nearby car. I talked to her, and she talked back, but she wouldn't come out. Over the next week, I tried more conversation and treats, and finally, she came out and let me pet her. The cold weather set in hard about then, and so, I went and got a litter box, food and water bowls, a collar, flea shampoo, and a brush. The next time I saw her, I brought her inside with me. She explored the whole apartment, then settled in the bathroom where the litter box and pet bowls had been set up. She pretty much stayed there for a few days. We got to know eachother enough for me to give her a bath, and free range of the apartment since she was using the litterbox like she should. She's been with me almost 2 years, she is talkative at times, always good for a snuggle, never bites or is mean, but has stayed shy. She disappears when visitors come over. I named her georgie, and she tolerates our 3 dogs very well. Favorite pastime is sitting in windows "chirping" at birds. I love her very much and am glad she came into my life!

sharon
marion, OH

Little Pirate

In 1997 I was at my workshop when 2 teen agers came in with a little very black hairy dog. They was seeking someone willing to adopt her. They pulled out her from hands of young children "playing "at hang her. It was 3 hours they tried to find someone wanting her, "if you don't take her we leave her in the street right now".

I did not want another dog after my wonderful German shepherd died at the age of 14 few months ago.

I took her at home. Half poodle, she was around 8 months, I could put a whole phalanx between her ribs, full of worms and very dirty. She gobbled every food I gave her. The first few weeks little Pirate scared me ! She was so wild, so suspicious, so famished, so agressive. She had the most dark and tough eyes I ever seen on a dog. Then I forced myself to start to interact with her. She did not like to be petted, did not like I approach her, did not like humans. She did not want to have something to do with humans. After one week and several bites later, it was no question to give her to someone.

Hopefully she had a big weakness : cookies !! She loved cookies, all her life she was crazy for cookies. Little by little, with the help of cookies I earned her confidence and she became the most funny, smart and faithfull dog ever.

She was my shadow, following me everywhere, stuck on me, giving me a huge and unconditional love. This determinated dog never gave up on something she wanted. Never had a problem only solutions.

After 18 years spent together I had to put her down. she had a cancer. And tumors pressed her lungs so hard she barely breathed. In few hours her condition suddenly deteriorated. Sadly it was time.

Little Pirate was a wonderful dog. It was an honor to live with you and to take care of you Little Pirate. I miss you so much.

Christine
Paris, France

My Lap Cat

When I was just about to turn 18 and move out on my own, I wanted a cat to take with me, so I went to the shelter in search of a kitten. I'm Wiccan, and I loved the idea of having the cliche black cat...so when I saw the little black kitten with the raspy meow, I fell right in love. It turned out that he had a respiratory infection, and was scheduled to be euthanized that day. I nursed him back to health, and named him Talvi (Finnish for "winter"). He has been my constant companion for 13 years now, sitting in my lap while I knit or read, and never more than 10 feet away from me when I'm home.

Recently, he went missing when I was out of town. My husband didn't tell me until I returned...he sat me down on the steps to our house, and told me that Talvi had been missing for 3 days. To say I was devastated is a massive understatement...I couldn't eat or sleep for days, and I cried constantly. I went out every night between 2-4 am to look for him, since the internet said that was the best thing to do. Finally, almost 2 weeks after he went missing, I spotted what I thought was him in a neighbor's yard. He disappeared under the deck, but we managed to trap him the next day. He turned out to have a kidney stone a few days later, and had to have major surgery for that. But he's better now, and is even more attached to me than ever before. Where he used to sleep at my feet, he now sleeps curled up against my belly. He's very talkative, and his raspy meow is still the welcome accompaniment to my daily activities. :)

Megan
Stone Mountain, GA

Felix The Cat

A few months ago I started fostering a Great Pyrenees from a local rescue group. I had no idea that she had somehow managed to bring a pal with her when I brought her home and to this day I have no idea how she did it. You see, two days after she became a member of the household, a sweet grey and white cat showed up on my deck. He was cautiously friendly and I started feeding him after he stayed around for a couple of days without much encouragement. He and the dog acted like they had been best buds for years. Soon he started going on walks with us and made it clear that he was here to stay. When he developed a hematoma on his ear, I took him to my vet and discovered that he had a microchip and had been adopted from the local Humane Society about 6 months earlier. Since I got no answer when I tried to reach the adopter, and the address he was supposed to reside at was abandoned, I decided that Felix had found his permanent home with me. He is a delight to have as a member of our family.

Anonymous
Stuart, FL

Finding Pepper

When my daughter was 3, we knew it was time to adopt a dog. My best friend growing up was my Cocker spaniel, and I wanted my daughter to have the same type of special bond. My only requirement was that the dog be a rescue, and the rest I left up to my husband who was set on getting a big dog.

We started visiting a bunch of local shelters and met numerous wonderful dogs, but none seemed like the perfect match for our family. One Saturday morning we stopped by a local shelter called Last Hope Animal Rescue. A volunteer told us that they were expecting an arrival of rescues from West Virginia and that we should stick around to meet them. About 20 minutes later walked in a beautiful Lab mix named Princess. My husband and I immediately fell in love. Our 3 year old did not.

We decided to put an application in for Princess, although the volunteers could sense our hesitation. It was then when a volunteer named Phyllis offered to work with our daughter to help her adjust to a dog which, although was adorable, was also much bigger than her and quite intimidating. Phyllis really spent quality time with our daughter and Princess, and within just 3 visits, our daughter became so comfortable with Princess that we were able to adopt her, rename her Pepper, and she is now one of the best best-friends a family could ever ask for.

While this is a story about the rescue of our dog, Pepper; it’s also a tribute to all of the wonderful shelter volunteers who dedicate their time and hearts to helping homeless animals. Thank you for all that you do-we would not have our Pepper girl if it weren’t for your magic!

Allison
Massapequa, NY

Ugly duckling to beautiful cat

One day on my way to work I was turning the corner in my neighborhood and I almost hit this poor little kitten. I thought it was blind in one eye. I stopped in the middle of the road and got out and the kitten was crying for its mommy. I could tell the cat was in bad health and very young but I had to get to work. So I picked the cat up put it on my lap and drove it back to my house and dropped it on my husbands lap while he was sleeping and said I almost hit it and if I leave it there someone will hit the cat. I thought it was blind and it was so tiny. He got up and took care of it while I was at work. We tried to nurse the cat ourselves but realized it needed vet care. So we took it to our vet and named it Diesel because we thought it was a boy. Even the vet thought it was a boy and come to find out, it was a girl! She needed eye drops for her eye, not blind, thank goodness and she had to have antibiotics for infections but no shots because she was too weak. So we had to name her a girl name so we call her Snookie. She recovered remarkably! She is full of energy and is so sweet! Rescue cats are the best!

Sherree
Oklahoma City, OK
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