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Gracie

I feed several feral cats in my neighborhood. Sometimes they come at odd hours looking for food because they missed out on the night's before feeding. One day early last September I looked out the back window and saw a grey and white cat in the middle of a very hot day. I thought, "Oops, someone missed feeding time last night." However when I got some food and went to put it out, I found to my surprise this was a very small kitten. Where it had come from I had no idea. None of the feral cats had kittens. Actually almost all of them I have caught and had neutered or spayed. There wasn't any other cat around at that time nor any time after. Just this tiny little thing all by itself. I tried to coax the baby to me with some chicken, but it was having none of that. I put out my Havahart trap and later that day I had success. That was a Friday and the following Monday I took it to the local vet. I found out it was a she and only about five weeks old. Vet said she couldn't have been out on her own for more than a couple of days, but she was already skin and bones. The vet also said if she had been out in the heat for much longer she would have been dead. Today, her name is Gracie, because by the Grace of God she found her way to us, and she now has her forever home. She has two feline brothers, a feline sister and a canine brother to harass!

Mary Beth
Wellsburg, WV

They told me "Don't Waste Your Time with This One. She won't last til the morning."

I was volunteering at the city animal shelter when I saw her, curled up into a little ball. A ticked tabby Abyssinian mix, no more than 4 months old. I opened the cage and noticed how emaciated she was. Just fur on bone, no muscle. It was so bad I would touch only her face softly so as not to hurt her. She didn't move at first but then looked up at me with teary eyes and stuffed nose, signs on a bad URI. Her ears and paws were filthy. I talked sweetly to her for a few minutes and, despite the wretched shape she was in, she curled her head into my hand. This girl was so sick yet nothing was being done to help her. I asked the supervisor about her treatment and was told that no treatment was planned; that she would be euthanized the next morning. I had two cats at home in a one bedroom apartment and did not want a third but I had to get her out of there. I just knew in my heart that she wanted to live and would be a loving and affectionate companion. So I decided to foster this little girl. The supervisor tried to discourage me by telling me she wasn't worth the trouble; that she would probably die that night. I was willing to take that chance and left with her in my arms.

I named her Karma. It took 5 months to get her back to health with meds, good food and lots of love. She quickly bonded with my Himalayan girl. Sasha mothered Karma and taught her how to play with toys. Karma has continuing gastrointestinal problems and asthma, but they are minor compared to the love and affection she gives every day. I love all three of my girls, but Karma has become my little love. And I am so grateful that I was in the shelter that day. No case is hopeless.

Here is Karma cuddled with her best buddy, Sasha. Karma is on the right.

Kathryn
New York, NY

Sherman Kitty

I had just moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend at the time. A year before we lost our family dog at my parent’s house. We had him for 14 years and I was devastated. I couldn't look at another dog without crying. I always had this hole in my heart ever since. I worried about money and only had a beta fish, but after the fish committed suicide I decided that I needed to fill that hole. So I looked up cats on petfinder and found a beautiful gray cat named Trinity. That weekend, after my boyfriend convinced me, we went to go see her. When we met her though, we had no connection. I felt terrible and didn’t want to look at other cats, but begrudgingly did. I felt like I was breaking a promise for Trinity but it just didn’t feel right. They took us into another room with a bunch of cats. My boyfriend sat down and up jumped this white and gray cat. He didn’t really catch my attention until I sat down next to my boyfriend and he lay in our laps together. The lady said that was not something he ever did. Sherman came home with us that day.

I am convinced he is the greatest cat in the world. He is so chill and loving and he just lets me smother my face into his furry belly. He has helped me so much with my depression and has filled that void in my heart. I’ve been having lots of downs with few ups ever since moving out on my own and I am sure that if it weren't for him I’d be in a worse state of mind. A few times on my latest move I thought about giving up, but all I had to do was look at his sweet face and remember he needs me as much as I need him.

Bethany Vraa
Minneapolis, MN

My Crochet Buddy

Almost 4 years ago I lost my cat Sweetie to old age. I was heartbroken and didn't want to think about another cat. About a month later on Valentine's Day I wanted to go over to Second Chance a no kill shelter in our city. I felt it was time. I was drawn to this one female. She wasn't very friendly but she really needed me I felt. My dad wanted me to get this 6 month kitten who didn't want to leave my shoulder. We left with both. Chloe was almost 10 yrs. old at the time and had been there over a year cause not many people want an older animal. Cupid was six months and it turned out Chloe had been caring for him for the last 5 months since he came to the shelter.

Once home Chloe wouldn't come close to us for over a year just wanted food. One night sitting in my recliner crocheting she jumped up on the foot for a few minutes. That became a nightly occurrence gradually lasting longer. One night she jumped up on my bed and finally wanted me to pet her. It took over eighteen months to get to that point. Over the next year she started getting closer to my dad also. It's been almost four years since my two Valentine babies came home and I love them so much and can't imagine life without them. They both sleep with me taking more then half of my queen size bed. Every night when I sit in my recliner to crochet within minutes there is Chloe. I never crochet alone anymore and while she is sleeping her paw is touching me to make sure she knows if I leave her side. As for Cupid well where I am he is. I am so glad I took a chance on this older cat who while not friendly at first needed me so much.

Anonymous
Killeen, TX

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
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