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In the gutter

I had never planned to ever own a cat, let alone two, that changed the night my daughter asked to save two sick feral kittens. I told her we would nurse them back to health and then take them to the shelter. A few minutes later, she brought in two small kittens (approx 8 weeks) in definite need of medical attention. They both had severe conjunctivitis, respiratory infection, and were underweight. The smallest one seemed to only have one eye, so we named her Uno. We later learned the next day at the vet her eye was just extremely swollen and matted. The second, Squirt, was difficult to look at because all three of her eyelids were swollen and coming out of her eye sockets. She was blind. As soon as I saw them my heart melted and I wanted to help them.

The vet told us they may not survive. The next night we made a trip to the emergency room because Squirt hit Uno in the eye and blood came gushing out. Her eye was so bad they couldn't make a diagnosis - they said they thought her eye exploded and started talked about her getting infection and dying. Her head was so tiny they had to fashion a cone to put on her to protect her eye.

Lots of medication, TLC, and trips to the vet the kittens made a better than expected recovery. Uno has both of her eyes - one a little foggy. Squirt has impaired vision - one eyelid partially covers her right eye and both eyes are foggy, but you wouldn't know by watching that she has vision issues.

Needless to say, we kept them, they kind of grew on us. Now they are 9 months old and doing very well; spoiled rotten.

Rock Island, IL

Stella - the pittie who came to stay.

There are no coincidences. Only destiny.

I would often get into my car and make a 100 mile trip to the country to visit a friend. Usually I'd have dogs in the car, but on this particular day, I didn't. I went alone. It was a perfect, beautiful June day and I wasn't in a particular hurry to get home, so I decided to take a different route and enjoy the scenery. A few miles up the road, I saw brake lights and cars slowing in both directions ahead of me. As I got closer, I saw the reason why. There was a dog, stumbling from exhaustion right in the middle of the road. The cars were avoiding her, but they drove fast on that road. Although I needed another dog like a hole in the head (I already had 8 at the time), I couldn't drive away. The thought of what happened to this dog if I kept going would haunt me for the rest of my life. I pulled over.

She was a pit bull. I got out of my car and knelt by the side of the road and in my sweetest voice, called to her. "Here, baby". She lifted her head, took one look at me, threw her ears back, broke into a huge pittie grin and came running to me as though I was her long lost friend. I thought, "now what? What the heck am I going to do with a pitbull?" Another driver helped me get her into my van. She slept the 2 hour ride home. I was worried. If she didn't like my dogs, things could get ugly.

I got her home. I kept her separated from the other dogs for about 2 weeks. I observed their body language carefully. Two weeks later, she was sleeping side by side with the border collies.

Her name is Stella. I was never a pitbull-type person. It's not that I didn't like them. I like all dogs. I just preferred a different type of dog, but Stella made a believer out of me.

Vicki Anderson
Williamsfield, OH

Marino - from skinny pup to a gentle giant :)

In the spring 2014, Marino was found in the street together with his sisters and brothers. A woman that feeds stray dogs decided to take them all and find them a new forever home.

Marino was sent to a pension for a while, since this lady could not take him home and she already decided to keep his sisters in her apartment.

My boyfriend decided to adopt a dog, but was not sure which one to take home so he visited abovementioned lady and he fell in love with Marino's sister, Marina. The lady said that Marina has already been adopted and she's waiting to be transported abroad. In that moment, he saw 2-month-old Marino and decided to take him home.

In the beginning, Marino was very shy and he would have walked and sniffed every corner of the house cautiously.

After he got all the medical treatments, he was ready to meet the outside world.

And there comes a point where I met my boyfriend and his dog. I saw them walking and I stopped to pet a dog. The rest is history... I fell in love with both of them. ♥♥♥

We are not sure in how terrible conditions Marino lived before he was adopted by my boyfriend. I know that he ate food very fast each time his bowl was filled with it. Over time, he was relaxed and stopped eating food that fast. However, he is very distrustful towards other people. He likes kids, but starts barking when strangers approach him, and he hides behind our legs.

We assume that he is a Doberman mix, since he is very curious and strong, but very gentle to other animals.

Even though we adopted him and changed his life, he changed our lives as well.

He has been our bright star for more than a year and half. This gentle giant loves us unconditionally, no matter what. We do hope that he will be a part of our perfect trio for many, many years...

Tina M.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The silent meow and fluffy one

I volunteered at the SPCA with the cats, where I would come in once a week to help feed them, clean their cages, and play with them. I always looked forward to it, as I became so close with them all. One week, I entered a new room that was off limits to the public as they were sick with a cold. As I continued my morning routine, I noticed one cat would rub against the cage and "meow", but no sound came out. After I left, I felt so heartbroken because she wanted so much love, but nobody could hear her meow. Each week, I would take her out and she would jump on my lap and rub against my arms, face and sometimes nip my chin. Each time I placed her back in her cage, a sadness swept over me. I desperately tried to convince myself that she would get adopted soon and everything be okay. I returned the following week, and noticed on her charts that she wasn't eating much. I went to get her the tastiest food I could find, and she would lick a bit, but not much. That I day, I decided that I had to adopt her. Since she was quarantined,I had to wait until she was healthy. I put in my application and checked every day to see if she was put on the adoption list.

Finally, she was. I came in immediately with my mom at the time. One of the other cats in that room had caught my attention as well, but I had to put my Naddy (calico) first. Unknowingly, she was Naddy's sister and they wondered if we were willing to put them together - as both had stopped eating recently. My mom fell in love with her sister (white calico) and we decided to take them both. They are so loving, loyal, silly, sweet and spontaneous, and everyone who visits gets a cat on their lap or a show of them playing. Shelter cats truly make the best pets!

Fredericton, NB, Canada

My Missy chooses me from the shelter

I had been caretaker for my mother and mother in law who lived with us, for many years. They had the downstairs apartment and got along so well. But first my mother in law passed away, and the my mum. I was heart broken. At the same time, my Mario, born Mar 10, developed jaw cancer at 19, and passed away too. My husband and I were, more than heart broken. Our little boy had to be put down to save him from pain. I cried like a baby. We went two years with no mothers, and no cats. We always had cats. Mario "put up with" Jack, the black cat we had. He passed from a seizure.

The house was so quiet, I couldn't take it! I go to our local shelter, Putnam Humane Society, and do what I can. Take special food to kittens, visit with the adult cats and so on.One day I visited to talk to all the cats and one, a gray kitty with big green eyes, reached out to me repeatedly, talking a blue streak. She was saying, choose me!! I need you, and you need me". Her sign said they named her Missy. Seems she was there only less than a month. She managed to make it through super storm Sandy as a young kitten. They found her wandering in a yard, and no one knew her.

I was hooked. I couldn't leave her there. And now years later, she is just a doll. She greets us every time we come home. Talks to us at 3am, and although the hour is crazy to chat with her, she is so sweet, you can't resist.

My little Russian Blue with those green eyes, are all my husband and I need to complete our happy home.

Hopewell Jct, NY

Saving the Little Fawn from the Big Bad Wolf

On a spring night at about 10pm, I went outside to take the trash out. At the time we had an orange cat that slept outside. So when I heard this awful screech from the field, my first thought was my cat was in trouble. I stood there and listened for another screech to get a better idea where my cat was, and when I heard it, I wasn't too sure it was my cat anymore. I called to the house for my dad to come out quick. He came out of the porch and also waited for a noise. This time when we heard it, it sounded almost like a child screaming. My dad quickly jumped in the house to grab the rifle in case something terrible was happening.

We ran through the muddy field for about 150 meters, and by then we could see some movement in the puddles. There was tons of splashing, but the screaming was no longer there. When we got closer, we caught a glimpse of two deer running away, and what we think was a wolf pacing back and forth by the bush before also leaving. As we search the field, my dad almost trips on something. It was a little baby deer. It was covered in mud, it's nose and mouth were clogged up, and the poor thing had been hurt and was bleeding. My dad handed me the rifle and carried the deer back to the house, getting attacked by hundreds of mosquitos the whole way. When we got there we put the deer in the bathtub, and washed it. It's heart was beating fast, but it trusted us enough to sit still.

We decided the best thing to do with the deer was to release it back outside. We hoped the parents would still be around to rescue it.

I am fairly positive the deer was saved. In the next few years, we had many more deer in our yard. And from the way they would trust us to watch them eat, I'm sure one of them was our fawn.

Alex S
Arborg, MB, Canada

Puck and Piccolo, together for good!

I was talking to a friend who worked at my local SPCA about her need to find people to foster newborn kittens and I heard myself say "Sure, I'll try that." Soon my friend's phone rang and someone had found two 2-day old kittens under a trailer with a mother who couldn't nurse due to an infection. So I said after work I'd stop by the SPCA to pick them up. When I came to pick up the kittens, my friend came out with 5 kittens as three more had been found! I gulped and said I'd do my best with these little needy ones who were sickly themselves. Within 10 days, three had died, leaving just a brother and sister and me, who was worried sick about them!

After a few anxious weeks, an acquaintance said she'd adopt the little tabby boy after he was ready for adoption and by then I had decided to adopt the little grey girl and name her Piccolo. Shortly after the tabby was neutered, micro-chipped and given his first shots, it was time to introduce him to his forever mom, or so I thought. I reached out to her several times unsuccessfully and then realized it would be best for all involved if he stayed with me and his sister since they were so bonded by this time. And I was sure bonded with them! I named the tabby Puck and together, Piccolo and Puck have made good friends with my other rescue cats and have brought so much joy into my life!

Kristen Harrell
Norfolk, VA

Two Times the Fun

We were on our way home from the grocery store, driving down a farm-to-market road. I glanced out the side window and I thought I saw the outline of a kitten in the tall grass on the side of the highway. We pulled over, and I expected to see some feral cats scatter. Instead, two tiny kittens ran full speed into our arms. They were starving and covered in ticks and fleas. We were very sad to see that 3 of their litter mates had been run over on the road. We took them home and bathed them and took them to the vet for a check up the next day. They were so emaciated, that the doctor said they probably wouldn't have lasted even a day or two longer if we hadn't come along. We already had 3 cats we had rescued, but we took them in anyway, and they were immediately accepted by the other kitties and now we can't imagine not having them! The tabby boy we named Taz, and the orange girl we named Roadie (we originally thought she was a boy). These two are inseparable, and now they are just part of our 5 cat family. I can't imagine why someone would dump a litter of tiny kittens on the side of a highway to fend for themselves, but we consider ourselves very lucky to have found these two!

Leah Blakely
Alvord, TX

Scaredy Cat

After I moving back to Florida with my almost 2 year old male tabby Sammy whom I rescued as a kitten, I decided to adopt a friend for him. I went to the local SPCA and was looking for a kitten or young cat when I came across Margarita. She was crouched up against the back of the cage and looked petrified. Gray striped with the biggest gold eyes my heart melted. Though she was feral and not the loving mush cat I wanted I could not leave her there knowing no one would take her. She came home with me that day in August and after a few days I introduced her to Sammy. They are inseparable now. Margarita would not let me touch her, ran away every time I got close. Slowly she has come around. It's January and now she will sleep on my bed, eat from my hand, and come when I call. She still runs from me most of the time and touching her is a process in the works but I think my Lil Girl will let me all the way in. Most people ask me why I keep an animal I cannot pet, and my answer is simple. She was supposed to be mine and love given needs no repayment.

Gina Calogero
Fernandina Beach, FL

My Jasper, the friendly cat...

This past Sunday I had a home visit from a rescue to see two of their cats, Jackson and January. The first cat I met was January, she was very lovable but hyper. Then we brought out Jackson who wasn't even my first choice. He came out of his carrier and nestled on my bookcase a little shy and afraid. He eventually came down and went to the rescue lady and she petted him and he began to purr and cuddle with her then she handed him to me and he continued to purr and began to cuddle with me. He went back and forth a couple of times and was sold when he put his head on the lady's arm and looked at me. He looked so content and I knew he was a good match. Although he hid and didn't use the litter box for the first couple of days he was here eventually through the rescues advice and constant bonding and petting he felt secure enough to come out and explore. The picture is him sitting on my kitchen window on the other side of my sink letting me know that this is HIS house and he just lets me be his administrative assistant. I changed his name to Jasper as he didn't really seem like a Jackson to me although I do call him Handsome Jack occasionally. I also deal with depression issues and with him here they have lifted to be bearable. I now have a warm, friendly, cuddly love bug to come home to who shows me how he loves me in every way a cat can.

Joshua D
Central, NY
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