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Dr. Van Thrashenstein

I picked up Dr. Van Thrashenstein, then named 'Spanky" from our local Animal Control office in 2008. "Thrash" was a special cat, he had been a victim of animal testing and we later discovered had both a heart murmur & neurological disorder that prevented him from maturing past the age of a kitten mentally. When I walked passed Thrash's cage at the shelter, he pawed out and grabbed me! Later, when I decided to meet him, he wrapped his paws around my neck and hugged me. I decided to go with the eager older cat because at that moment I knew I had found somebody special, who deserved a forever home.

Thrash was a constant companion to my mother & me. If you were home, Thrash was in your face talking to you. If you were eating, Thrash was on the arm of the chair in your face. If you were using the restroom, Thrash was in your lap. One time he even got in the shower with me! Nothing could keep him away from loving you. Last August, most likely due to complications from his past as a testing animal, we very suddenly & unexpectedly had to put Thrash to sleep. It was heart breaking for our entire family & everyone who ever received one of his trademark hugs. At one point, we were told we'd be lucky if Thrash lived 3 weeks ... Thrash lived 5 happy, healthy, well-loved years with us and I am truly grateful to have been able to had him as my furry companion for even that short period of time. I sometimes think animals who have been rescued have a greater capacity for love because there is a mutual gratitude between pet & owner that bonds them. Some people say animals don't have souls, after experiencing the love of a cat like Thrash, that seems impossible to believe. Take a gamble on the eager, oder cat - believe me, you won't regret the new friend you'll make.

Richmond, VA

My Little Girl

I had just moved into a new apartment. I was out of town visiting some friends when they told me they had a litter of kittens ready to go. She laid in my lap and slept the whole way home. She was so little and sweet and she grew up to be such a little diva! Everyday I came home from work she would just pop her little head out from underneath my dresser and meow for me that I was finally home. She made that little apartment my home, she was there when I was alone and lonely. Maybe I didn't rescue her, maybe she rescued me. She was my little aquatic kitty, she loved being in the sink and playing in the bathtub. She made silly faces and loved laying in the window. Unfortunately, a few months before she would have two years old she fell ill, not being able to eat or keep food down. She went from 12lbs to 7lbs in only a months time. She was sicker than I even knew about. I attempted to save her but was unsuccessful. She died in my arms on a Tuesday in July. It was such a bittersweet moment. I was finally able to remove her from her pain and let her feel some peace. It was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced and I will never forget the last moment I spent with her. Rest in Peace my Darling Little Girl!

Wausau, WI

Gift from my Daddy

On July 10,2014 I was on Facebook a friend posted a picture of a kitten about 6 weeks old,that was looking for a home. My friend found her on the freeway near her house. Without a thought I told her I would take her, I already have two boys at home and really wasn't even thinking about another. Something in her face made me fall in love instantly. I picked her up that night and noticed the sore on her ear looked liked someone had burned her, my thinking someone burned her and threw her out on the freeway.

My father who had been very sick passed away the next evening, I thought to myself you will never get to meet your new grandkitty. My dad use to have me bring the boys to the house for sleepovers because he missed them after we moved out, he loved them so much. On Sunday I took Freeway which is what we named her to the vet because I was worried about her ear. When the vet came back out with Freeway she said there was motor oil in his ears so her thinking was he was in the car engine and jumped or got thrown out of the car. at that moment I realized that my daddy sent him to me to ease the pain in my heart that would come the following day, my dad was a car man he spent his whole life working on cars it was his passion and for Freeway to come from a car like that I know it was a sign. If you realized I also changed the her to a him that was the surprise the vet told me first. I am now still the only girl in the house that consists of 1 human son and 3 furry sons. Thanks dad jokes on me.

As for Freeway he gets along great with his brothers, he's healthy and so lovable, he has lost part of his ear which just makes him more PURFECT.

Dawn Castelvetere
Harrison Township, MI

How i met my kitten....

My Aunt has one cat and that cat gave birth to 8 kittens.My Aunt called me to take one or two from them.I took one cat from my aunt because my neighbour was asking me from many days to bring a cat for her.I gave that little kitten to my neighbour. She tied him with a small thin rope. I was there at that time,that little kitten was continuously screaming. After some time i came to my house. At late night i opened the door because i realized that my neighbour was calling me. I asked her what happened then she told me that kitten was shouting too much and her sleep is getting disturbed. And now she don't want that cat. I took that kitten and put it on bed and i went to kitchen to take some milk for him ,when i returned i saw that baby was sleeping. On Second day i tried to feed him milk but he was not interested to eat anything. This continued for next two to three days.Then i took him to vet .Vet told me that little kitten was infected by intestinal parasites. His treatment continued for 10 days. In that ten days i realized that kitten only wants some love that he could get from his mother. I kept him with me.and now he is 3 years old and very healthy.

Deepali Rane
Kolhapur, India

They Chose Us...

My husband and I moved into our first home on a cold Saturday in February. The very next day, we went to the local animal shelter to adopt our first pets.

All we knew going in was that we wanted cats. One or two, kitten or adult, we didn't care; we just wanted cats. That all changed two minutes after we arrived, when a volunteer introduced us to a brand new litter being brought to the adoption floor. At birth, in the middle of winter, the entire litter had been dumped at the shelter. They'd needed to be fostered for weeks; all of them were still getting over respiratory infections on the day we met them. But two of them stood out--a little grey dude, all claws and teeth and energy underneath his sleek fur, and this tiny little thing with marbled fur, her big ears flopped over on top of her head. She curled up with my husband; he curled up with me. An hour later, the two of them were coming home with us.

We named her Neko right away; it means cat in Japanese, and she still exudes a Zen-like calm (though she purrs like a jackhammer.) Our big guy, however, was a different story. He was an explorer, always on the lookout, but he had a mysterious side to him that came out after dark when he would howl, prowling the condo, chasing those spectres that only he could see. He reminded us of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper from "Twin Peaks" so that's what we named him: Cooper.

We've since added to our brood--a beautiful, feisty cream/ginger female we named Audrey--but Neko & Cooper were our firsts. Four years later, Neko is stll my husband's cat and Cooper is all mine. They sleep at our feet and greet us at the door with chirps and purrs and headbumps. They play fetch (they each have a favourite toy) and sit for treats. They looooove belly rubs. They're wonderful companions, beautiful cats, but more than that...they're family.

Lindsay S
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Marshmallow and Crew

I consider myself a dog person as my husband and I have two dogs. That is, until I met Marshmallow. We are living in an apartment complex that is filled with stray cats. One afternoon I was walking my two dogs and the neighborhood kids came over to pet and play with my pups. They told me about a very sweet stray that was pregnant with her third litter. I put the dogs in the house, locking them away, and I went over to see this sweet cat they were talking about. She was just laying by an air conditioning unit. It was three digit weather in the middle of July in Texas, so she was trying to stay cool. I went near to where she was and made a little sound, she came right up to me, rubbing against my legs. She instantly let me pet her and begged for more when I temporarily stopped. I picked her up very gingerly, as not to upset her or her large belly. She was barely a cat herself - very young. She was infested with fleas and ear mites and she barely weighed anything. I took her in my house and set her up in my closet - so as to keep her away from the dogs, as well as to get her ready for birth. I went to the store and bought supplies, and when I put the litter box in the closet with her, it was obvious that she had been left by previous tenants. I took her to the vet, she got a clean bill of health, and three days later she had five healthy kittens! Even though we have only been together for about three weeks Marshmallow knows I rescued her and trusts me with her kittens. They are only a week old and she is okay with me holding them and petting them... as long as she gets lots of pets and love as well!

Dallas, TX

The Cat Who Knows She's Boss

My mom and I live out in the country and end up with a lot of feral cats on our land and have always fed them and doctored them when and if we can catch them. We have also never had a mouse problem! Two years ago the yearly crop of kittens was growing up and one was being weaned too early, the older ones pushing it away from whichever mama was nursing it. On a rainy afternoon I went out and got the wet little kitten and held it for a while; I had hoped to catch the kittens and tame them enough to find them forever homes but this one was in sad shape. As happens when one holds a napping kitten, I fell into the black hole of kitten-nap and when I woke up my mother had found a box and some old clothes and decided we would adopt this poor teeny beastie. I learned to bottle feed and wash the baby right fast!

Chessie Houdini is a beautiful and ornery tabby who rules the roost and she knows she is Queen of all she surveys. (Chessie because first we thought she was a boy and had been calling her Chester until we caught her, also Chessie for the Chesapeake Line that used to have a napping kitten for a logo. Houdini because she can get out of ANY box or carrier in which we put her.)

Her Grammies and I don’t know now how we went so long without her, she makes us laugh and keeps us company and she helps us feel less lonely for my dad who died a few years ago. Chessie rules our hearts. She rescued us as much as we did her and made moving home my best life choice ever.

Douglas, WY

Little cat, bad attitude and he took my heart

I remember when I got him. I was only about 6. I had been walking down the road i heard a crying finally after looking around for a few mins i seen him. a little cat with striking blue eyes under an empty house. he was so skinny& looked sick. i ran home grabbed some cat food& my favorite blanket. after an hour of coaxing him out with food i finally caught him. he was feral& it showed i had scratches all over me but i had him in my arms he was safe for the moment. i took him home& my mom flipped out but i wasn't giving up on him. after an hour he was mine. wanting me to hold him but no body else could touch him. mom said i could keep him but only outside. it was getting colder at night& finally he could come inside I named him Kloud Mathew. after that my brother got a cat a month later named Bear. i loved them dearly. Kloud had an attitude. he also would climb into my lap when id do schoolwork but he was my baby. i have severe depression and anxiety and there were so many times Kloud saved me. i wouldn't be here without that cat. almost two years ago Bear got hit by a car and died and a month later Kloud had to be put down. it was awful i had to make the choice he was sick& couldn't walk or anything. but i was there with him the whole time holding him. i feel horrible about not saving him as i had promised him the very first time i had seen him. im 16 now and he was my best friend. i promised him id protect him even after death. even though i was 6 at the time i took it to heart. even after the heart break of losing Kloud id do it all over again.aug. 6th will be 2 years since i lost him. it still hurts. He was my heart and always will be.

fortwayne, IN

Barn kitten to house cat

Last year I decided to start fostering and finding homes for kitties who needed them. I already had one cat of my own, Pipp- an only-cat type of guy. He was very unfriendly and aggressive towards other cats. One day I heard that a woman living in a remote mountainside farm had a barn cat that had a large litter of kittens. This woman kept a pack of feral dogs on her property who hunted for their food and they (plus one or two hawks) had already killed most of the litter. I made the drive out to the farm, about an hour and a half outside of town to see if I could take the remaining kittens and find them homes. When I got there there was only one kitten left, surprisingly he was the runt of the litter. She let me take him, and we made the long drive home, him howling all the way. When I got him home he was very fearful but seemed to take to Pipp right away, almost like Pipp was his mom. At first I was terrified of how Pippin would bully him but much to my surprise it never happened.The little guy stole our hearts quickly as well, sleeping in bed with us, always napping on my lap, following me around the house, and at the door to greet me when I came home. And so we named him Merry and decided his forever home was with us. It`s now one year later and I couldn't imagine not having Merry around. He and Pippin sleep together, play together and groom each other, and are the best of friends.

Kamloops, BC, Canada

My Little Buddy

My daughter was driving home from High School about 4 years ago and saw an object just laying in the middle of a busy 2 lane road. It turned out to be a kitten no more than 4 weeks old. His right eye was crusted over and he was wheezing and crying. Our regular Vet was out-of -town, fortunately my niece is a vet tech so we called her and she told us what we needed to do. After a good cleaning, some food and attention, he slept right through the night. Took him to the vet a few days later and he was in good shape except for an allergy that he still today takes a paste for - he loves to lick it off your finger! My daughter decided to name him Orly. Our 3 other cats (also all rescued) adjusted to him ok. Orly has turned out to be my best buddy. He sits on the sink when I shave, lays in my window when I work in my home office, and sleeps with us at night. Probably thinking of his rough beginnings, he will not go outside, Just loves to lounge around the house. Four years later, he is just one big happy furball and the most affectionate cat I have known.

Dennis Highsmith
Follansbee, WV
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