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Merlin brought the magic back

Two years ago, we lost our two cats within two weeks of each other (the 17 yr old to cancer, the 7 yr old to HCM). A month later, we rescued two little kittens from a Long Beach shelter that had great intentions, but no knowledge or means to care for the hoard of animals at their facility. It took awhile, but our Artemis grew up strong and happy. Unfortunately we lost Rasputin to toxoplasmosis after battling it for a year.

A month passed, and Artemis grew more and more depressed. Then one night, my husband texted me from work (The Aquarium of the Pacific). 6 little kittens, all boys, had been found, and security had been given 2 days to find them homes. It was nearing the end of the second day and all but one had been chosen.

For the rest of the night, I was inundated by photos of this tiny little tuxedo, and flooded with texts about how he was crying constantly, so sad about being stuck in a cardboard box alone. I kept answering each text with a resounding, "NO!" - I didn't think I was ready for a new boy yet. Finally after hours of this, I asked, "Do you really want him?" And my husband, of course, said yes.

It was only after I reluctantly agreed that he told me the little boy was due to go to Animal Control in less than an hour, and we'd saved his life.

When they arrived home shortly thereafter, I instantly fell in love. This little ball of energy we eventually named Merlin immediately took over everything. Artemis took a few days to adjust to his arrival, but after the customary 461 hisses they've become inseparable.

Merlin has become a huge, energetic love machine. He'll stand on his hind legs, like a meerkat, to get pets. He chases my husband's remote control helicopter and loves the cat shelves we built for both boys. He and Artemis are the best of friends, though Artemis is a little jealous of any attention Merlin gets! :)

Mindy Grupe
Long Beach, CA

New twin friends

My boyfriend Gabriel loved her cat name Melody. She was a sweet companion to him, but she became an oldie friend with alzheimer also a stroke. When she died he was very sad. A month later, just on his birthday, we came back from celebrate, guess what we found? A couple of kittens in his backyard meowing and hungry. We didnt know from where they came. We assume that entered through a hole in the backyard fence, but in our hearts felt it was a wonderful birthday gift from Melody. It was so lovely to watch them sleep huggging each other every night, that Gabriel made his mind to keep them both.

Prince is a lovely and perfect companion cat, a little bit lazy but try hard to catch squirrells in the roof. Lady is a real hunter, she loved to scape and watch the whole street to fight any intruder. Thats why she's always suffering any war injury. But both are so lovely that receive me at the door each time I came home.

Me who never experienced before cats as animal companions, because I just had a dog before, learned that cats can be great buddies, not as people say that cats are cold and indifferent, nothing truthless.

Dare and adopt a cat!

Clarissa

Panama, Central America

Clarissa Cristina
Panama, Panama

Foster Failures for Blind Cat Rescue

Since you are featuring Blind Cat Rescue this month, I thought I'd share one of my experiences with this fabulous organization. I used to live in Raleigh, NC, and was very involved with BCR: visitor days, repairing cat trees, fostering when needed, etc. Alana, the owner of BCR, got the call in February, 2011 from someone who had 2 one year old sisters with limited vision. Alana's facility was full at the time and asked if I could foster. I met up with the one who had the cats in a nearby city, transferred the cats to my car, and in the hour drive back home, I was entertained with the "kitty chorus" as neither of them enjoyed the ride. They settled in at my home, and warmed up to my 3 other cats quite well, so I contacted Alana a few weeks later to tell her these two were 'foster failures.' She, of course, knew they were going to be spoiled and loved, and enthusiastically agreed. Sammi and Deanna have been such a joy to have in my home, and I'm thankful for their unconditional love.

Joan
STEVENS POINT, WI

My Boys Axel and Thomas

Thomas was up for adoption and was visiting a local pet store where I worked. He had to be caged at night but was allowed to be loose during the day. He was a beautiful orange tabby who absolutely despised being caged. So much so that he destroyed his cage. Such a mess every morning. Litter in food, food in litter, water spilled. I'm sure this cat was a Hoodini in his own right. He often managed to somehow get out of his cage. Getting me into deep trouble and causing me to almost lose my job. Large cat and dog food bags torn open, toys everywhere. I saw how he desperately wanted out of that cage. I fell in love with Thomas. I couldn't stand seeing him so upset and so angry. I talked to the right people and got paperwork taken care of to foster. Came in for work the next evening and to my surprise Thomas has a brother, Axel. Two beautiful orange tabbys that loved each other as hard as they fought. Couldn't just take one and ended up with both of them. They were still up for adoption so the day came that someone wanted them. I was in a panic. I had no money and nowhere to get any money. I talked to the adoption agency they helped me. It took me forever to pay and thought I might still lose them with having so little money. Finally, the fee was paid and they were my boys. Axel has been a pretty sick kitty from day one. Better and more expensive foods help his problems some. We take it day by day. They were in cages for pretty much 18 mths. before they came to live with me. Now they kindly let me live in their home. Axels is a lap cat and Thomas runs crazily at night just like in the pet store. But in his home he's allowed to do pretty much whatever he wants. I love my Thomas and Axel.

Anonymous
Richmond, KY

She came into my life when I didn't realize I needed her

The weekend after 9/11 was tough. I was still in the dumps over what had happened less than 50 miles from my home. Soon my friend pulled up in her car and was taking something out of the back seat - a tiny gray kitten. The kitten had crossed a busy road and went under my friend's car and crawled up into the car engine. My friend had seen the kitten go in the engine and had a struggle to get the little ball of fur out. The kitten hissed and clawed and gave my friend a hard time. Since her kids were allergic to cats, my friend couldn't keep the kitten. So on her way to the shelter, she passed my house.

At that time, my husband did not want a cat - he was not a cat lover. My friend put the little gray kitten into my hands and asked me if I would keep her. My husband was not happy, but he agreed that we could keep her long enough to get checked out by the vet. Since he agreed to keep her for a little while, I went to the store to pick up supplies - litter box, litter and food. When I returned from shopping, there was my husband in the kitchen, leaning back in the swivel chair with the kitten curled up asleep on his chest.

Our two sons weren't home at the time and when they came home we told them we needed them to help us with something. They grumbled and complained until I opened the door to our bathroom and they saw the kitten in a bed I had made for her. I told them I needed their help naming the newest member of our family. They were so excited and they named her Misty. She has been my constant companion for the last 13 years.

Anonymous
Bound Brook, NJ

Rejected Kitten

My husband and I were at my mother-in-laws house for the holiday's. When we got to her house we noticed that she had a new fluff ball of a kitten. She told us that she found this little guy on her way home. Later that night she told us how she actually found him.

On her way home she noticed the car in front of her seeming suspicious. She slowed down to allow then to get way ahead of her. She noticed that they stopped on the side of the road, near one of the creaks that connects to the lake. Then noticed them throwing something out the window and then speed off. She stopped to see what they threw out. When she got out of her car, she heard little meows and saw little white head popping up from the tall grass. She took this kitten, that was just tossed out, home with her.

As we were leaving to go home she asked us if we would like to take the kitten, because she already had to many animals to take care of. We agreed, and we've had little FizGig ever since then. He's a big lap cat and loves belly rubs. I can't see why someone would want to get rid of such a loveable little cat like that. But then again because of that he was able to find his forever home.

Anonymous
Avon, IN

Buddy Bud

My little guy was brought into the local shelter only weighing three (3) pounds in the late fall of 2009. He was from a litter of four (4) pups who had been abandoned by their mom. These little ones were creeping onto a neighbor's property; since he had hunting dogs, he thought it would be best to take them to the local shelter with the hopes they'd find a 'forever' home. I frequently visit our local shelter and since my two (2) dogs were seniors with failing health, I was looking to see if I could find another friend who would need a new,loving home. We met on a cold December day - the little guy's name was Elvis and he was very playful. The attendant told me to 'take him', but with two (2) ailing seniors, I knew I'd never be able to incorporate caring for a puppy- my hands were definitely full with feedings and administering medications. Months passed, as did my senior babies, and Elvis was still there at the shelter, only by the time April came, he was 25 lbs. and still very shy.....wouldn't make eye contact. I knew his days were numbered. My husband wasn't in favor of adopting, but I was completely, as I firmly believe that all of God's precious creatures deserve a chance in life.....all deserve to be loved and cared for. Elvis became a member of our family on April 15, 2010 and his name was changed to "Buddy", because he is definitely my "Buddy!" The years have passed and our bond is very strong....there's love everyday and when he sees me, those legs run, that tail wags, and there's the biggest grin from ear to ear. I thank God every day for bringing us together, and most of all, I pray that He blessed us with many years to come.

To all those who adopt, God bless you; to all who donate to local shelters and/or animal welfare organizations, please continue. We are their voice. Blessings to all.

Jacqueline
Brightwood, VA

For the love of Liberty Belle

On the day of 9/11 a friend knew I was looking for a 4 legged friend. Some one had dumped her off on the road at a busy hwy intersection, so she picked her up and asked if I would like to have her. It was love at first sight. I could not believe that someone could just drop her off. She was only a puppy and beautiful blue eyes. She was my constant companion. We would hike, swim, fish, camp etc. always by my side. We spent many years together. She was my "Baby". When she became ill, I tried everything to save her, but it was her time to go. We tried for over a month to no avail. Then on May 1, 2014 I had to let her go, so I had written this in her memory. (she would have been 13yrs around July 4th)

" Today was one of the hardest days of my life. Had to say goodbye to my constant companion and best friend of almost 13 years. My Liberty Belle has always been there for me through thick and thin with the devotion and unconditional Love that only a Dog can bring into ones life. I got to be with her for the last 3 1/2 hours before final kisses and goodbyes just after 6:00pm this evening. I know she is not in pain any more, and has gone to be with our Creator

Much Love to you my Blessed Baby Girl. May the Great Spirit always walk beside you in the other world. You will be greatly missed and always, always in my heart and memories forever."

Connie Kelley
Selma, OR

Sickly bottle baby

I work in a shelter - in May 2008 a litter of kittens was found abandoned in a basket and brought to us. The kittens' eyes were just opening and they needed a bottle and a foster home. Back then we didn't have any staff members who were able to take on bottle babies and while I had never done it before, I decided to give it a try. All of the kittens in the litter were clean, fat and healthy - except one, who was much smaller and barely had any hair. This was my Scrawny.

I got some advice about bottle babies and took them home. I did so many things wrong - remember, I didn't know what I was doing!! But they all made it and reached their milestones. Except Scrawny. He was plagued with constant health problems including URI, inappetence, severe constipation and then diarrhea and slow growth and while his siblings all returned to the shelter, were altered and then adopted, Scrawny stayed with me.

Despite his health problems he had the most amazing will to live, to persevere and he was so loving to everyone that he met - other cats, dogs (BIG dogs too, which he didn't know anything about) and all people. He came with me to work often and to multiple vets as we were trying to figure out his tummy issues. It took a very long time to figure out the winning combination of medication and LID food that cured his issue. He was finally neutered and I adopted him. While he was a very funny looking baby, he grew into an exceedingly handsome cat. I always told him that he had Paul Newman eyes.

I lost my Scrawny very suddenly when he was 3 from a heart attack. I miss him everyday but I am thankful for the time we had even though it was far too short. I still foster bottle babies regularly and have adopted a few :) But he was my first, very special and brave little guy.

Brittany Gardner
Albany, OR

PLEASE MEET MY BEST FRIENDS

In 2002, I went the the local shelter to find a friend. After having several dogs brought out to me, they brought out a puppy who immediately rolled on her back and peed. The Officer said "someone has been mean to her". From that moment on, Reagan (the larger dog close in picture) adopted me, and has been my best friend since.

In 2012, Reagan and I went to a local Vet for an "open house" carnival day. As we walked around, a nurse from the clinic (she knew us because Reagan has been there through the years) walked up and said "Sir, meet this baby, she only has use of 3 legs". She continued, "she was found crying in a field after being hit by a car and left to suffer". She continued, "we are having trouble adopting her out because she can't go on long walks and families want that". I said "if she does not find a home in a couple of days, call me". Well the next day, I went in to pick up meds for Reagan, and as I turned around, there the puppy was. I said "no luck" , and the nurse responded "no Sir". Well, after her checkup was complete, Nancy decided to adopt Reagan and I, and our world has never been better.

These puppies changed my life, loved me more than anything else, and look at me like I am perfect. As I type this, the idea of not having either of these puppies in my life, brings tears to my eyes. If you have never loved a puppy, try it. The unconditional love YOU will receive every single day, makes the day you met that puppy a great moment in life.

Please allow yourself this joy in life, and head to your nearest SPCA as soon as possible, YOUR best friend is waiting.

Thank You

John Harrist

John Harrist
Pearland, TX
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