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our little snowshoe cat "Lucky"

We live in northern North Dakota and our winters get really cold and this New Years eve was no exception. The weather man said 40+ below with 50-80 below windchills. It was 5 pm and it was starting to get dark, our mama cat had a litter of kittens 3 weeks before and they were getting pretty active. As the weather man was talking I heard the sound of a baby kitty crying. It sounded like it was coming from under the couch so I got up and looked and found nothing yet the crying kitty sounds continued. I got dressed up and went out side and there was a little furball running to the other end of the house. I chased the poor little thing under the car where the motor was still warm. As I came into the house my mama cat came running out to see what all the fuss was about and the little kitty came out. I scooped him up and brought him in the house. poor little guy had frost bite on his ears and on one of his toes, and couldnt have been more then 4 weeks old. He was so skinny, I opened a can of soft catfood and fed him 1/4 of the can. he ate and right away we showed him the litter box. When my fiance came home from work he was not pleased as we had 7 cats running around the house at that time. After finding homes for our baby kittens from mama cat our little lucky grew on my fiance and now we cant see our house without him. poor little guy had a rough few days as our other 2 rescues wanted nothing to do with him, either hitting him or hissing at him, but here it is 4 months later our little lucky has become part of the family.

angela mayberry
Dunseith, ND

The Amazing Finn

I was a doctoral student, living in Indiana, when I met Finn. It was in January, 8 at night, 20 below zero outside and several feet of snow on the ground. While sitting on my couch watching TV, I looked over to the sliders to the patio and saw the most beautiful but terribly emaciated cat looking in at me. I knew this guy needed immediate help. I put on my coat, grabbed some food, and ran outside to see if I could coax him inside. He was very frightened and hid under a car, making odd sounds and unwilling to allow me near to him. I put out food and water and waited for him to eat. Then I refilled his bowl and let him know I would help him in anyway possible. I kept feeding him twice a day over the next few weeks, but he would not allow me to get close to him. Finally, one day we literally bumped into each other on the walkway outside my building. He backed off a few feet but didn't run away. I crouched down, held out my hand and waited. After about 30 minutes of looking at each other, he finally approached me and let me pet him. It was instant bonding and we have been inseparable ever since. He has been the most loving, amazing cat I could ever imagine. It is now 10 years later, my doctorate long-since finished, and Finn and I have moved to a different part of the country. But Finn always sleeps next to me in bed and I tell him every night how lucky I am to have been adopted by such a special kitty.

Katrin W Carlson
Easthampton, MA

Reincarnation?

I was crushed when my wife called me while I was on the road traveling for work to tell me that they were going to have to put my dog Luke, a black and white Dalmatian, Great Dane mix down because his kidneys were failing. We had rescued him when he was a puppy and he was my world, we were inseparable, and I could not get home to be there for him, I knew that it was the best thing for him so he would not suffer, but I was completely heart broken to say the least.

Two weeks later I got a call from my wife telling me that she had discovered a tiny black and white kitten living in the rose bushes in front of our house. I have never been a "cat person" per say, but I love all animals so I was concerned. She said she was leaving food and water for it outside but could not get near it because it was extremely wary and she was worried because it was so young.

I returned home the following week to find the most adorable kitten with the identical body markings and coloration as Luke, still living in the garden. So every morning I began going out with food and water and I would sit there while he ate and drank. I moved a little closer everyday, eventually he allowed me to touch and pet him, and then eventually, to pick him up and bring him inside. We named him Kiki Mow and he is amazing, he gets along great with our 3 other rescue dogs, I think that Kiki thinks that he is really a dog. His coloration and markings are so close to Luke's that I can't help but to believe, just a little bit, in reincarnation.When I look at him I see Luke. We have no idea where he came from, but we are so glad that Kiki chose us.

Chris Brashear
Moreno Valley, CA

He saved me

When I was twelve my mother brought home a pretty female cat all orange and white that we named Pumpkin. She was an outside cat who only came in to sleep with me. Well, after a few months I noticed she was getting a little thick. Lo and behold Pumpkin was pregnant. On July 15th of that year she gave birth to six daughters and a single son: Sammy. His sisters were adopted, but I kept him. I had to. There was just something about my orange ball of cute that I just couldn't put my finger on. When I was sixteen I found out what it was.

My Junior year of high school was a rough one. Life at home wasn't all that great. The highlight of my day was coming home from a bully-filled school to my Sammy Boy. He made everything ok. One day, though, I was in the bathroom, door locked, and it felt like the world was coming to an end. I seriously contemplated suicide. I even had my razor in my hand. I thought there was no other choice, that is, until I heard him. Sammy was at the door, screaming and crying. When I opened the door he jumped onto the counter and begged me to hold him. I realized then that no matter how bad things were or would get, I always had him. He was the one person in the world that actually needed me. I sat on the bathroom floor for a couple hours just holding him and crying.

This year Sammy turns eight. It's strange to think he's only been with me for so short a time when it feels like I've been his and he's been mine for much, much longer. I owe my life to Sammy. He saved me.

Brittney Ann Bonnizzio
Indianapolis, IN

My Lil' Man

November 2010, I was living in Colorado. Having recently moved from Iowa with 6 fur babies, I was not looking to acquire anymore. In the morning on one of my days off from work, I opened my front door to find an orange male tabby with an expensive yellow collar on sitting on my porch. I said "well good morning beautiful" and he stood up and meowed as if to say "good morning" back to me. He couldn't have been more than about 9 months or so old. He decided to walk right into my house like he owned it, which didn't really bother me, except I was a bit nervous of how my other cats would react. They really didn't seem to mind, just the normal curiosity behavior. After exploring my house for about an hour, he laid down and napped. I just kinda shook my head, and didn't really know what to think, but I had decided that when he asked to go out , I would let him as I figured by the collar that he belonged to someone in the neighborhood. This went on until June of 2012 when I decided to move to Wyoming to be closer to family. By this time, he was family, so he moved with us. In 2013, I took a job in Nebraska, so we all moved there. He didn't like that he couldn't go outside, so I took him back to my dads house in Wyoming where he disappeared 3 days later. I moved back about a month later, and about 5 weeks later, he showed up, skin and bones, and almost dead. I was heartbroken when he disappeared, but SO happy he found his way back to me. No more outside for my Lil" Man. Love him FUREVER!!!

Kathie
Yoder, WY

A Scared Little Boy

In July of 1999, I worked at a Humane Society in Ohio. One day, I went to the back kennel area and was informed there was a 'feral' kitten in a cage. They said he was so vicious and not one could touch him. So I went to see the poor thing. There he was, a ball of orange a white fluff, maybe 5 weeks old at the most. He was terrified. I talked to him softly and he came to the front of the cage....I opened it and he purred away. I took him home that day and he has been my constant companion ever since. I had a 2 year old chihuahua mix, Gracie at the time (she passed last year at the age of 16) and the orange and white fluff, who I named Jason, bonded to her almost instantly. He grew up acting very much like a dog and still does. He follows me around and greets me whenever I come home. He has seen me through 2 divorces and sat on my lap to help me through the heartache.Jason will be 16 in June, a little slower because of his old bones but still my faithful companion. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I investigate that cage that day in 1999. He is an amazing boy and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Beth
Browns Mills, NJ

We Rescued Each Other!

I'd told a friend I wanted a black kitten. I figured I'd find one at the shelter - and I knew the right one would "speak" to me. That weekend, she called to say a tiny, very sick, black kitten had showed up on her in-laws' porch. They couldn't keep her, so was I interested? Of course! She was covered in tree sap, had been skunked, was malnourished, and had a cleft lip- but within a few weeks of lots of love and care, she started to turn into the beautiful, cat she is today. I named her Daisy Serendipity - because she didn't originally look or smell much like a flower, but I felt like we were meant to be!

I didn't know then how aptly I'd named her! Seven years later, I'd just had surgery for a kidney stone. I thought I had the flu and was feeling lousy. I came home from work, put an ice pack under my neck and fell asleep early, Daisy in her usual spot, in my lap. I woke up a few hours later with Daisy making "biscuits" on my cheekbone! She did that often, but always on my squishy parts - never on my cheek! And that hurt! So I groggily opened my eyes to tell her to stop. I noticed her mouth, going a mile a minute. But I couldn't hear her. Strange. I sat up quickly and almost passed out. I called 911.

Later, as I recuperated in the ICU, the ER doctor came to visit me. My BP had been 30/20. I had sepsis from surgery! He said if Daisy hadn't woken me, I would have died in my sleep. She saved my life. She's my hero. And my best friend.

Kristin Ingersoll
Indianapolis, IN

Last Minute Rescue

I had been talking about getting ferrets for quite some time, and I was in talks with the local ferret rescue to get approved to be allowed to adopt. But one day, I was at a local pet store where they sell ferrets and keep them in horrible conditions, and on a whim, I decided to ask one of the workers if I could see the two ferrets that were in the display. They warned me that one of the ferrets was notoriously nasty and no one could handle her without her biting to draw blood. I kept that in mind but I decided to hold her anyway. Contrary to what the worker had said, she just laid in my arms and didn't try to bite me at all. I talked to the worker and she told me that she had been re-homed at least three times, each time being brought back in less than two weeks. It broke my heart to know that no one gave her a chance, or the baby male who was bonded to her in the store. I went home and thought about it and decided I was going to return to get them, but when I did, they were gone. I was devastated. A few weeks later, I went back to that store and there they were, the two ferrets I had fallen in love with. I immediately took action and adopted them, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Helix (the male) has been such a joy. He's loving and playful and follows me everywhere, and he shows me what it means to love unconditionally. Chimera has shown me how to be patient, that even when it seems bleak, there is always hope. Even though she's still scared, she improves every day and she's started to trust again. She's started eating treats out of my hand, playing hard with Helix, and even sleeping on me. Her improvement means so much to me, and even though she was abused, she has it in her to love. Both of them are so special.

Steph P.
Pittsburgh, PA

Challenging friend, but a great adventure so far!

It was during a summer in 2009 when my brother came back from a Pet Store that was going bankrupt, they were giving in adoption the animals they had, so my brother took this tiny hairball, barely 3 weeks old, he called and told me he had a surprise for me, but the surprise was impatient and introduced himself on the phone with a sweet "meow". Originally I was looking for a dog, but the moment I saw him plans changed and welcomed my new friend. Oh... also I had to pick a name... Makalu! Which is the name of a mountain in the Himalayas.

He was a very active kitten, he loved toys and his scratching pole, but as he grew he became aggressive, every day I'd get a scratch or bite, just didn't know how to interact with him. I tried to correct him, but based on my experience with dogs, so obviously nothing worked. Even the vet was afraid of him!

One day I discovered this TV show named "My Cat from Hell", the cases I saw made Makalu look like an angel so I thought... there's hope! I started following some of the recommendations in the show... is amazing that 20min of chasing a feather toy can calm down a cat. I learned to get along with Makalu and today he's a sweet and loving cat, he still has his "rainy days", but now I know how to handle him.

Later on I received an offer to work in Canada, it was a great opportunity, but a big concern was... what about Makalu?? I didn't know what to do, I was afraid the change would traumatize him, since he already had an aggressive history who knows what could happen, but hey! He's part of my family so we stay together, then took the risk and moved. For the first months he was scared and meowed really loud at night but now I'm glad to say that he's a happy cat that loves summer sunbaths in the balcony but definitely not a fan of snow! :)

Gloria
Montreal, AB, Canada

I'll take one small, very loud kitten and a large iced tea, please.

I was on my way to work a week before Thanksgiving in 2009 and stopped at the Chick-fil-a by my house to get my morning iced tea fix. It was cold and drizzling and generally miserable outside. While I was in my car, I kept hearing something that sounded like meowing. I looked to my right, and in the landscaping between the two drive-thru lanes was the tiniest kitten I'd ever seen. She was black and white, and filthy and wet...not to mention terrified. The drive-thru was right off a service road of a super busy highway and both lanes were full of cars. I have no idea how long she'd been there and how many folks either didn't hear her or just ignored her, but once I saw her, I hopped out to grab her. I took her to my vet on the way to work and she came through with a clean bill of health. Their best guess was that she was 5 months old but she only weighed 3 lbs. For the first few months I had her, she would inhale her food as fast as I poured it into her bowl. The first few weeks I had to pour it over her head because she wouldn't get out of her bowl. After a couple of days of that routine, I decided to name her Scarlett O'Hara. Every time she would go nuts for her food, all I could think of was Scarlett, in Gone with the Wind, holding a fistful of soil and declaring "As God as my witness, I'll never be hungry again!"

She now weighs all of six pounds but though she's small, she is mighty. She sounds like a herd of elephants running through the house (she goes everywhere at about 60 mph) and she can move the dining room table and chairs if they get in the way of her catnip toy time. She and her "brother" Tebow (another rescue) have been around for almost 5 years now and are a true joy every day.

Chandra
Dallas, TX
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