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Chancey Gardener, the kitty found by chance in a garden

We live on a street next to a wooded park in a major city. Unfortunately, people abandon unwanted pets there on a regular basis. Fortunately, our neighborhood is full of animal lovers who rescue and find homes for these animals. I've helped find foster and forever homes for several cats found wandering our street, but since we already had 2 kitties at home, we didn't consider ourselves in a position to adopt another cat. Until one summer night a year and a half ago! We were walking home after an evening out when, a block away from our home, we spotted an empty can of cat food on the sidewalk. Half a second later, an adorable, skinny all-black kitten, about 6-8 months old popped out of a garden across the street from the woods. He was very chatty and social, and followed us home, talking to us the whole time. There was no way we could leave him outside, so we brought him into our apartment with the intention of fostering him if we couldn't find his owners, which we didn't. But after a few days, it was hopeless. A neighbor volunteered to adopt him, but we were already in love. Keeping him confined in our bedroom until he got the all clear from the vet was very difficult, as he is extremely determined and didn't want to be confined. Chancey was most likely abandoned with that single can of cat food because he is quite a handful. He will steal food off your plate, jump up on the kitchen counter when you're trying to cook, knock over the garbage, pick fights with our Alpha kitty (who keeps him in his place), you name the mischief. He is one busy boy. But he is also as loving, affectionate, playful and funny as they come. He's wrapped our hearts around his busy little paws. We couldn't imagine our life without him.

Anonymous
New York, NY

Resucing Michelin

4th of July 10 years ago we were on a busy 8 lane highway. As we approached a left turn lane I saw a small kitten in the middle of the lane. My husband passed over it, stopped, I got out and picked it up. Noticed it was a he. He was meowing, shaking. We pulled into a parking lot. I stayed in car, checked out the kitten. He was so tiny, fleas, wanted to crawl under my hair. When my husband returned to car, he said the cashier told him that kitten made his way across the parking lot, the ditch, the 4 lanes and median to where we found him. Knew we had to keep him. We brought him home to join 2 others we had rescued years earlier. Named him "Michelin" as those were the tires on our car. He is the dark one in the photo. He grow to be the largest cat we ever had. Got up to 25 lbs at one point. But is down to 19 with the help of our vet. He was too fat and a bit unhealthy due to it. He loves his brother~Quinn, 15, in the white one in the photo~and Mr. D, our 17 year old. We rescued 4 more since then. I call him "Boo" as on one of his rear paws he has a "ghost" looking marking. As a kitten he carried a fuzzy ball around in his mouth all the time. He would spit it out to eat or drink, pick it up again. Like it was is pacifier. He stopped that when he got bigger. There were a couple others that were rescued that day as well. Sometimes I wonder how they are doing. We know "Boo" is happy and loved in our home.

Anonymous
JACKSONVILLE, FL

Maggie-The Big Guy

This is our big kitty Maggie. My husband and I lost our senior cats and we adopted a Sato dog from Puerto Rico three years ago that is a sweetheart. One of my husbands coworkers who lives in the inner city showed him a picture of a kitten popping its head out of a carrier bag inside a car. She had heard crying in front of her house.The crying was coming from inside a car. She opened the door and took a picture. A man came running out and told her that he had lost his apartment due to some illegal activity he had going on. He told her that he was going to let the female kitten go on the street because he thought it was old enough to live on its own. He jumped in the car and drove off. My husband and I felt so bad for the kitten that the man thought was about 7 months old. Three days passed and no sign of the car again. Her boyfriend called her at work on the fourth day and told her the car was back with the kitten inside and that he had spoken to the man and he was about to let the cat go. My husband asked him to put it in a box and bring it to their work. The man handed over the carrier with the cat. We thought we had the sweetest female cat alive until we took her to the vet to get spayed and found out that Maggie was a one-year-old male. We had him neutered and found out he was part Maine Coon cat. He is the sweetest and biggest cat and out dog loves him. We try calling him Magee but we can’t get away from the Maggie. We don’t know how long he lived in the bag in the car but he doesn’t like to be in the beds we have bought him or in boxes. He doesn’t want to be confined unless it’s snuggling in our arms.

Anonymous
Hull, MA

My sweet kitty

July 7, 1993: My husband, step-daughter and I were going into our church. Outside was a sealed box that was screaming. The Deacon stated that animal control was due Monday morning. I had a fit stating that they would be dead by then (it was 98 degrees). After my step-daughter and I gave my husband the "look" he opened the box to find 4 baby kittens. He scooped up the box and took them home to clean them up (the bowl of spoiled milk was all over them). We called the cat clinic, took them by to get checked out. We were told they were maybe 10 days old. We bottle fed them and had them fixed. We found homes for two and we kept the other two. We lost Pisces two years ago. My Virgo is a dream and full of life and kisses at 21 years of age. I can't imagine our life without her.

Kevin and DeeDee Tschirhart
Peculiar, MO

California to Hawaii

Kiko is much more than my cat, he is my friend, and the star of my family. I got him while battling depression after the end of a long relationship, and he saved my whole family during my dad's passing, shortly after I had turned 23.

I wanted a cat since I was a little girl, but I was afraid because I never had a pet before, I'd be inadequate or unprepared. But I realized I had the love, and the means to provide a forever home, and my fear only meant one less cat in a loving home, and one less space in a shelter for a cat in need. Kiko was born to a stray litter in my friends back yard. She was trying to get them adopted out instead of taken to a shelter were they might be put down, especially since they were all black. Kiko was the only male, he was much larger than the other kittens, and very poofy. I loved him instantly.

When I moved from California back home to Hawaii, I flew Kiko with me. Within a month of my move home, my father started to get sick. Within weeks he was diagnosed with cancer, and within 4 months of my move home, and 3 months after my 23rd birthday, he passed away. Kiko brought a little comedic relief and definitely a calm to us during that time. He is the silliest cat I know and I'm almost certain sometimes that he's doing it on purpose to make us laugh.

If you have the love and means to provide a forever home, there is no limit to the amount of joy and love that you can welcome into your life by adopting a friend to stay through the ups and downs.

Kimiko
Honolulu, HI

Tyrion

My husband and I had a party Labor Day weekend. During clean up, we put a full trash bag on the side of our house. A little while later, our 4 cats were looking out the window in awe trying to see something. We could hear rustling of the bag so we went out to check and low and behold, there was a little cat ripping through the bag trying to get food. He was very skiddish and thin. I brought down a bowl of food for him, and then another, and another. He slowly started getting used to me being near him. Eventually, after three days of slowing working my way up to him, he finally let me pet him. It was all over after that. He was climbing on my lap and running up to me when I called for him. I named him Tyrion after my favorite Game of Thrones character. After a week of coming to us, I brought him to the vet to get a check up. He needed his shots, to be neutered, dewormed, flea treatment and have teeth pulled. The vet thought he was between 5-8 years old, maybe even 10. Didn't stop us though. We kept him on our porch until he was healthy. Once we got a clean bill of health (minus the neutering/tooth extraction), he was welcomed into our home to meet the other cats. Tyrion was more than happy to be in the house and have access to unlimited amounts of food and friends. We could always tell when he was happy because his tongue would stick out and stay out. A month later, he was neutered and had three teeth extracted. It didn't stop him from being a chow hound though. He gained 1 pound in that month and his overall health is much improved. Needless to say, that toungue sticks out 95% of the time! We love our new addition and look forward to many years with him.

Jessica P.
Danielson, CT

Stowaways

I have lived in Phoenix for 6 years now with my daughter and my fiance' About 3 and a half years ago we were doing some work in the garage, it was unusually warm for being early may and even hotter in our garage. Suddenly, my other half hears small mewing and went to investigate. Inside a stack of tires he found 6 small newly born kittens. One had passed away but the other 5 were full of pep and very hungry. We went looking for their mother but we could not find any cats around. So we went in the house and waited a bit but as the day got warmer we became more concerned for the little ones in the very hot garage. So we made the decision so bring them inside the house and I would bottle feed them. So we had 5 small fluffballs in a box, our 1 year old female cat would clean them and cuddle them but she could not nurse so I was the milk half of our duo. Over the next few months 3 passed away from failure to thrive but in the end I ended up with Runt and Piggie. We had told our daughter of the 5 she could keep one but the rest would have to be given away but in the end how could you choose between the 2? So we kept them both and they are the most amazing cats with huge personalities. I believe everything happens for a reason and these furbabies for some reason were meant to be with us, I can't imagine my world without them in it.

Brie P.
Phoenix, AZ

Silver Linings

Maya is my little miracle, my "silver lining." Looking back, she's the one that rescued me - not the other way around. I adopted Maya from our local SPCA. She was found on the streets downtown at just 10 weeks old. As soon as her photo was posted to the SPCA's facebook page, a friend of mine sent me the link.

I broke my hip January 2013 when I was just 22, and was on bed rest for months after. I was in a very bad place mentally, finding no point to get up in the mornings. I thought I hit an all time low, and that's where Maya came in. After a few days of convincing my parents, we came to the decision that we would bring Maya home with us. The adoption paperwork went through, and in May 2013 I had adopted my first shelter puppy.

The reason I say Maya is the one that rescued me is simply that she gave me a reason to wake up every morning, and a reason to get myself better. She had me up at the crack of dawn in the mornings, and was a big part of my rehab in getting my hip back into shape. We started walking, and as time went on we started running. In June 2013, I had to get hip surgery. Maya was still small at this time, so she was allowed to make the anxiety filled 4 hour drive and stay at the hotel with us. She helped keep me calm and she was there waiting for me when I woke up. As days went on, and we had to do the rehab process again, Maya was there by my side through it all. She was my silver lining, and to this day she helps me see the light in the darkest days. She may be a rescue dog, but to me.. that's the greatest dog there is. Giving little Maya a chance and adopting her into our family, she turned around and saved me. She is and always will be my best friend.

Deanna
St. Stephen, NB, Canada

Chewy

3 years ago we set off to a local rescue charity to find our new friend.

There were a lot of cats waiting for homes but having asked which were good with children, two were pointed out to us; a big fluffy ginger boy and a skinny, dirty, cross eyed tuxedo with an unusually large nose and dull, thin fur.

The tuxedo was sitting high up, away from all the other cats and watching my young son Jasper, purring and smiling with his eyes. He was, quite frankly, the least attractive cat there. We showed both to Jasper and allowed him to choose. It was love at first sight, they only had eyes for each other and we took the skinny, purring fella home that day.

At age 2 years, my son had only recently started talking, we told him on the way home "His name is Domino", Jasper said "Hi Chewy!" into the cat carrier, and no matter how many times we corrected him, he always called him Chewy, a word he had never heard before, a special name he had made up for his new best friend and he's been Chewy ever since.

After getting him home it was quickly discovered that he had an allergy to regular cat food, which the shelter had been unaware of. He always had diarrhoea with blood in it, which was the result of inflammatory bowel syndrome. He now eats a special cat food, consisting of 100% pure meat and as you can see, his fur has grown in, he is a good weight and is very comfortable in his forever home!

He was just 1 year old when we rescued him 3 years ago. He's the most loving, silly, cuddly cat we have ever met, inseparable from Jasper from day 1, adores all children, however sticky, loud or grabby they are, he loves them dearly. We can only guess he was abandoned so young due to his dietary issues, and while this is very sad, we feel very lucky that we have been given the opportunity to love him.

Jasmine
Brighton, United Kingdom

Sometimes fate just intervenes...

My boyfriend and I are like magnets for rescue animals. We have chosen to open up or hearts and home to helping out animals that don't have anywhere else to be. About 6 months ago we fostered a kitten. I found her a great forever home with a friend from work and on a Saturday morning and made the hour long trip. We had made plans to go to an auction afterwards and set off to spend the rest of the day doing whatever we wanted. After changing our minds about the auction we ended up by my boyfriend's parents house. A spur of the moment decision by my boyfriend we detoured even further stopping off for iced coffee at a busy gas station. As fate would have it we were almost ready to leave when he leaned on the counter knocking over a display full of menus catching the attention of a store employee. She recognized him from when he used to work at the pet store nearby. It turns out just minutes before we got there, someone had shown up and thrown a kitten out of the car right there in the parking lot. It was near very hot out and they had just put him outside. Myself and the store employee could not find him immediately and I began to worry. Moments later I looked down and in the bushes was the most beautiful Russian Blue I'd ever seen. He was about 8 months old and very calm. After taking him home without a carrier he rode all the way home on my lap and never made a sound. I initially intended to find him another home.. but too many things happened to have us find him and he fit right in. I named him Sergei.

Christa Mann
Spring Hill, FL
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