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The Cat from the Football Field

One day in September 2004, I was at cross country practice in high school. We were all stretching after practice, when two of the team members approached us, holding a tiny kitten. As team manager, my coach instructed me to carry the cat back to the field so the rest of the team could finish. Gently picking up the small, white and black kitten, I went into the field and reluctantly placed him on the ground. As an animal lover, it was very difficult to leave him there. I started to walk back towards practice when I looked behind me. I saw him struggling to crawl through the tall weeds, attempting to follow me. Teary eyed, I knew I could not bring him back home, so I continued walking, leaving him behind.

Later that evening, I was having dinner with my sister and parents. I told them my story about the kitten, and how bad I felt leaving him behind. My parents, who have only owned a dog while we were growing up, have never owned a cat. My mom, feeling sorry for the kitten, volunteered to drive me back to the football field with my sister. Shortly after dinner, it was completely dark out but we pulled up to the high school football field. I stepped out of the car, calling "here, kitty kitty". Eventually, I heard meowing and found the same kittten I had seen earlier. I brought him into the car, and brought him home. At first, we tried to find out if someone had lost a cat nearby. After hearing no response, to my surprise, my parents decided that we could keep him. He was starving, had fleas, ear mites, and ringworm, and the vet had estimated he had been on his own for two weeks outside. We had him treated, and we spoil him daily. To this day, he has been a very cuddly, loyal cat. I am so lucky to have met him 10 years ago, at the football field. We named him Lucky :).

Amy and Stephanie Branam
Eaton Rapids, MI

Short story about some long little dogs

Living alone can be a challenge. I had given my little dachshund to my son and daughter in law because she had bonded with their Akita/lab mix dog. With everyone working, and being away from home, they were happy together.

Six months down the line my son came over with June and Princess. He saw their ad on Craig's List. Princess had just been fixed, after complications from her last litter. She could not produce anymore, so she was "free to good home" and they threw in June, her daughter, for good measure. June has questionable linage.

Princess is a long haired dachshund. I guess they kept it long as a selling point for the pups. I shaved her and it gave her such freedom. My girls are wonderful, loving, and learning new things out of the cage every day.

They sleep with me at night. They have a ritual. They don't settle down until they lick my feet. I have tried to hide my feet but they rip off the covers. Only time they skip the ritual is if I wear socks to bed.

I have had them for a couple years now, and can't imagine my life without them. /Users/Pamster/Desktop/IMG_4324.jpg

Pamela Jarvis
Anchorage, AK

My ball of Fluff named Ash

This is Ash, and she came to me through a friend of mine. She was one of the many kittens running around at our local community college that my friend went to. She was only 6 weeks old when she spotted him and just followed him around the campus for the entire day he was there to run errands for another friend. As she followed him all day, and he kept on texting me asking me if I wanted a kitten, how he was being stalked by a tiny ball of cute, and I kept on saying that she probably has a mom near by to go to! after a few hours of her following him and me getting texts about bringing her home, he finally sent me a text with a picture of her on his shoulder, looking out as if she had just conquered the world! And my friend is a really big guy, and the look on his face was just too cute not to let him finally take her home to me. Hes also the one who named her Ash, as she looked like a ball of soot following him on a breeze. Now shes home with me, happy as can be, waking me up with nibbles on my nose and demanding to be pet and held when I get home from work nearly every day. Shes my lap kitty and a good guard as she will growl at anything that she hears outside. When winter comes around, she gets so fluffy, that she gets a proper mane going on and can barely groom it its so long! She will even play fetch from time to time with a hair tie being thrown down the hallway, and on her way back with it in her mouth, she practically sachets her way back to me.

Elizabeth Rasco
redding, CA

Ms. Ava Marie

Ms. Ava Marie, came to live with us by a harrowing experience. She was found by a guard at Avon Park Correctional Facility in Florida. She was washed through a drain pipe during a storm and was found floating in a ditch with her brother. The kittens had drowned. The guard tried to save them both but her brother did not make it. My mom worked as a Nurse in the facility and after a few days the guard approached her about the cat. Her Mommy kitty was not taking to the kitten. So, Mom took the carrier to work and brought Ms. Ava home to me.

She was tiny, she fit in the palm of my hand. I wasn't sure she would live or not. She took to using the litter box right away and pestered old Tomtat, My Moms neutered male. (He has passed on, he lived to 18) She loved to play with him. Him not so much. But he accepted her as a"Roomie" He never was mean to her and put up with her kittenish ways. I used to make up funny stories about the two of them and the trips they would take, the problems and craziness they would get into or the situations she would get him into.

She has become my Best Buddy and she and I have many adventures together. Mostly me making them up and her looking at me as if to say, "Dad, be quiet I am resting". She loves me to read to her and she likes to beat me up. (She plays rough.) Mostly she runs the house and loves to play. She is 4 going on 5 years old now and is in great health and she love to rule her Kitty Palace. She is a wonderful friend. I love my Ava Marie.

In the picture I included, you can see her personality as she blows me a raspberry. That is My Ava, my special kitty. My kitty that saved me from being bored all the time and gave me happiness.

Karl Schulz
Winter Haven, FL

Acheron - The Cat Who Saved Me.

This isn't your usual rescue story about how I found my cat Acheron and rescued him. Our story is a little different so here it goes . . . I have always been a cat lover ever since I can remember so it was a shock when I couldn't have any cats at the first flat that I lived in when I moved out of home. I tried but found that I couldn't go for even a year without a cat; so a couple of years and a couple of cats came into my life and left thanks to a property manager and owners who didn't care. The owner of the units that I was living in sold them and as a result the real estate agency changed. This is when my life changed as well because the new owner allowed me to have a cat. It wasn't all that long afterwards that I went to the local RSPCA looking for a Silver Tabby thinking that that was the cat that I wanted. I never adopted the Silver Tabby because Acheron made it known that I would be his mama by escaping from the kitten cage and being a little character, so I took him home. That was around five years ago and in that time he has provided me a reason to live as I was suicidally depressed as well as suffering from undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder. He makes me smile with his kitty kisses and head butts when it comes to dinner time. He also protects me from my partner's cat when I hang the washing out. Acheron may not have been what I was looking for originally but God knew that he was what I needed and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

Kelly Proellocks
Toowoomba, Australia

Snarfle – A Kindred Spirit

My friend had noticed that one of the feral cats she had been feeding in her backyard over some months was pregnant, so she set a trap for the expecting mother. Once captured, my friend put the mom with her round swollen tummy under the bathroom sink so that she could properly care for her and the incoming kittens. After the litter was born and weaned, she let me have first pick by releasing the six kittens onto a bed where we would watch for signs that a kitten was picking me as their new family companion. The five or six times we went through this process, we noticed that this little grey and white fluff ball named Snarfle, would come over to me, curl up next to my tummy and fall asleep nearly every time. We concluded that Snarfle had chosen me as her new mom and she went home with me that day. My friend was able to adopt out the other five kittens through a networked group that had been watching the pregnant-feral-mama saga unfold via a Facebook page she had set up for the newborns. She then took the feral mama to be spayed and then released to her backyard where a very large orange and white striped tom cat (whom we always assumed was the litters’ father) was expecting her safe return. Snarfle is 6 this upcoming year and she is truly a kindred spirit. Her kind, gentle, immensely patient and loving nature is amazing and I am thankful and privileged that she chose me as her family.

Janelle Schaffer
Seattle, WA

Porch Kitty

On Sunday 2 weeks ago, I came home from walking with my 2 year old daughter to find this tiny little ball of fur on my porch with a container of kitty litter. I took the kitten inside where I could warm her up and make sure she was alright.

I estimated that she was about 8 weeks old and my daughter just loved her. She would pet her and give her kisses while I cleaned her up.

My husband doesn't really like cats and I was anxious for him to get home from work. He saw the kitten and told me to get rid of it. He said I ha a few days to find her a home. He listened to how the day had gone with her and how much our daughter just adored the kitten and decided to let her stay with a few conditions. She is now about 10 weeks old and is very happy to curl up in my daughters car seat and sleep all day.

And my husband named her Gato.

Brandi Milam
Tucson, AZ

Tiki Monster

Tiki came to us from a friend. My friend had called me and told me that she found a mama cat and one of her kittens under a porch (the siblings went to the shelter, but she couldn't seem to let this one go). He was three weeks old when we got him. She had been bottle feeding the little one because mama was malnourished and not producing milk. So Tiki was malnourished, too. He couldn't see well. He only went by smell and would bump into things. His back legs weren't strong enough to hold him up for long. But my friend was allergic to cats and couldn't take care of them anymore. So I found the mama a home (feeding Tiki was not easy when she was around, which is to be expected) and I took Tiki on. He slept on a towel, in a hat, under a light blanket between the pillows on our bed. He would let me know when he was hungry. It was a challenge taking care of him because he has actual thumbs and his claws have always been like fish hooks, much more curve to them than a normal cat.

He grew up happy and healthy (aside from his poor vision, he can't see well but he sure can HEAR everything). He is fiesty and unpredictable at times. And when he gets into something and we say "No Tiki," he talks back! He is like one of our children. All of our cats are.

He got the nickname Tiki Monster because he used to hide under beds and then chase people across them. He would get yelps and screams out of people and he loved it. We eventually eliminated bed frames because while he loves it, we don't like the scars on our legs. But he is a wonderful personality and addition to our family, even almost 6 years later.

Joy Jeffries
Shellsburg, IA

Milo and Murphy

A couple of years ago, my brother went out to his car one morning and saw something underneath it, huddled next to one of the tires. He came closer and saw that it was a tiny gray tabby kitten. He scooped it up, and, figuring it was lost, asked around the area to see if anyone had lost a kitten. No one had. So, he took a trip to the closest pet store and picked up some kitty supplies. My brother asked me if I would be willing to take care of the kitty for a few days until we could find him a permanent home, as he lived in a building that didn’t allow pets. I had never considered getting a cat, mostly because I am quite allergic to them – but how could I say no? Over the next week, I tried not to get too attached, because I knew that I wasn’t going to keep him. I asked all of my extended family members, co-workers, and friends, but no one wanted a kitten. One day, he used his tiny claws to crawl up my pant leg and jump into my arms to snuggle. At that moment, I knew I was keeping him for sure. I named him Milo (pictured on the left). I loved him so much that I wanted to adopt a friend for him so that he would have company while I was at work. I got in touch with a rescue and found a sweet brown and white tabby (pictured on the right). I named him Murphy. Milo is a loving, snuggly, and sometimes feisty boy who likes to be the boss. Murphy is the mellowest, gentlest, most polite kitty that I have ever encountered. The two complement each other perfectly and are true friends. I love my boys more than I ever thought possible. I have gotten married since adopting them, and they have won over my husband’s heart as well. I am still allergic to cats, but wouldn’t give them up for anything. That’s what allergy medications are for!

Minneapolis, MN

The dog who rescued me

I was going through a really rough time a few years ago. I had just graduated college, but had a really difficult time finding a job and my living situation was an absolute mess. I was depressed a lot - even before I graduated.

One day one my best friends, who was working an animal clinic and going to school to be a vet, sent me a picture of this really pretty dog, with a text reading, "Meet your new puppy! Hehe!" I knew she was trying to entice me, as any good rescue helper does, to adopt the puppy. Normally, I'd face 'reality' and know I can't keep a dog - I already have a "diva" for a cat, but as soon as I saw her, I had to have her. We worked out some details and my friend sent me information.

Her name was Isabella - she was about nine months old, updated and fixed. She was adopted at one point, but the family patriarch had developed a heart condition and could no longer care for her, so she was brought back to the shelter. Made me sad - she is such a beautiful girl; German shepherd and collie mix.

I finally got her and it was a rough start because of her little 'accidents' around the house and she evidently had some very bad anxiety. I lost so many shoes...

I later learned she basically had 'separation anxiety disorder.' I guess she was afraid she was going to be left again, but I wouldn't ever leave her. She was mine.

Bella is now four years old. She's very protective and dotes on me. I could feel myself being happier and more at ease. My husband of two years has a rescue as well and they really are like sisters.

I know I rescued Bella, but I always say she really rescued me. I really don't know where I would be without my sweet girl.

Houston, TX
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