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Autumn and Summer -- Developing Trust

I lost Tigger Too from cancer in 2007 at age 7 ½ years. I was grieving. Two months later I saw an ad for two lapcats. I wondered why a machine shop was advertising free cats. The shop was alive with loose cats and kittens. Rescued cats. Lynn spent time taking care of them, socializing them, and getting them adopted. I adopted two. Autumn is a tortie with autumn colors. Summer is a long-haired tabby, gray with black stripes. Both were less than a year old. They had had shots and were spayed. I was given a carrier, food, and cat toys for each! I did not know they had never met before. I opened both carriers right inside my door. Autumn was curious and courageous and affectionate from the start. I so admire and love her! She was on my lap in no time. Summer came out of her carrier frantic. She streaked into the living room and hid beneath a recliner where she stayed for more than 2 weeks. I knew she was eating at night, and occasionally I saw one eye watching me around a corner. One day she marched across the floor meowing loudly and stood looking up at me! She was out! It took a while before she would let me touch her. Now she wants to be petted and sometimes goes to strangers in my home – expecting to be petted. She lies upside down constantly – everywhere – including on my table. She takes turns with Autumn on my lap. They both have beds on the bottom of my bed. Summer’s is the best story I know about developing trust. I was sad thinking I would never love her as much as Autumn, but now we couldn’t love each other more.

Janice Beers
Clayton, OH

My Little Winnie

In the summer of 2011, I lived in an apartment complex that had a laundromat. There was a golf cart outside the laundromat. The maintenance people used it to go from apartment to apartment. When I was walking out of the laundromat one night, I noticed a group of kids throwing rocks under the golf cart. I bent down and reached my hand underneath. To my surprise I pulled out a kitten. I took her back with me and gave her some food. She gobbled it up. She then proceeded to make herself at home by falling asleep on the back of my couch. I was instantly in love. However, I already had one cat, Pippa, and she hated the kitten. A few days later, I decided to give the kitten to my friend. I was heartbroken but wanted to do what was best for the kitten. A week later, my friend called and said he could no longer keep the kitten because he was moving to a place that didn't allow pets. I went back to get the kitten. I named her Winnie. I was determined to make Winnie and Pippa get along. Eventually, they became friends. Winnie is almost four now. She is scared of other people for the most part. I attribute that to the incident with the kids. She is definitely a mommy's girl though. She loves snuggling with me under the blankets. Pippa and her pretty much rule the house now. I love them both (and the others that I have found over the years) more than anything in the world.

Melissa
Cleveland, TN

My Itty Bitty Baby

I began fostering in April of 2014. I had several cats come through in a short time. I got my first dog, Holli, over the summer and she was a beautiful pitbull momma who had just weened her pups. She was great. With me, my daughter and my cat. Eventually word got out somehow that I was working with a rescue. I received a call one evening that a woman had two kittens that she couldn't keep. She asked me to take them to the rescue. I called the owner and set up a meet. They came to me one Sunday, scared and confused. Holli was NOT a fan of the new babies. I kept them separated for a couple days. The woman from the rescue was supposed to meet up with me soon to get the kittens vetted but hadn't had time. Before she had the time, one Tuesday afternoon the brothers ran passed me while trying to feed them. They got into the room the dog was in and Holli just snapped. What followed was the worst day of my life. I don't know if she was scared or angry but Holli killed one kitten. One of my itty bitties was gone. I had to get emergency care for the injuries I received trying to save him. Holli left that night. It wasn't her fault, it was mine, but I couldn't look at her anymore. The surviving kitten quickly became lonely and I was desperate to save him. He became the sweetest, most rambunctious little boy. I never stopped calling him Itty Bitty (shortened to Bitty) and it just kinda stuck. He is mine now, and I can't imagine life without him. I hope we have many years together. I love my Itty Bitty Baby...

Hope
YORKTOWN, VA

A cat a dog owner could love

So, I grew up a dog person. Mainly, most of my family is allergic to cats, so they were never really an option. I generally had no opinion of cats, and never dreamed of having one of my own.

Fast forward to early 2014. I moved in with a college friend, and he had an older cat. She passed not to long after we moved in, and he adopted a 3 pawed long haired, aptly named Peg. Around the same time, my girlfriend adopted a super shy tortie named Ember. Being around these cats all the time started to wear on me a little, and eventually, I decided, I wanted to give a shelter cat a good home too.

Enter: Nova. Nova is a one year old calico. She is tiny in comparison to Peg and Ember. When my girlfriend and I went to the shelter to pick out a cat, I had anticipated adopting a boy cat, 3 - 8 months of age. Little did I know, I was about to fall for the cutest little calico.

When we walked into the shelter, there were a handful of cages near the door with cats of varying ages, sizes, and genders. Right in the middle was this little calico, who, when we got near the cage, started purring like a V8 mustang. Not to mention, if you put your hand in sniffing range, you got a nice, wet sloppy kiss. We looked at the other cages and at some of the cats and kittens I had intended on viewing. They took us in a back room, and one by one, we met the potential adoptees, and decided, what the heck, how about that calico by the door? They bring her back, spring the cage open, and right away, she's on my lap, head-butting me, kissing me on the nose, and purring louder and louder.

It was that moment where you just know, she's the keeper. A few days later, she was home, and has been my little buddy ever since. I couldn't be happier, even if she isn't a dog.

Matthew Perkins
Waukesha, WI

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.

Melissa
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!

Holly
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.

Anonymous
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
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