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I want to share the story of my cat Bane and my dear friend who gave him to me. A little over a year ago my friend discovered that the stray manecoon hanging around his barn had kittens! I already had a cat at home that was my fiancee's cat and it was very clear that our cat CC was far more attached to my fiancee than me, and I mean who doesn't want to adopt a stray kitten? So we went and picked up the chunkiest tuxedo kitten we saw. I instantly became obsessed with my kitten when he came home. I talked about Bane to anyone who would listen. My friend who gave Bane to me was the only one who truly enjoyed listening to my constant babble about Bane. He loved how I loved Bane, always told me how grateful he was that I was such a great mommy to this kitten. Just before Bane turned one, my very dear and close friend died. It was very sudden and unexpected. I was devastated and my whole world fell apart. I was lost, more lost than I ever thought I could be. I found true comfort in the unlikely place that was in Bane. Bane and my friend were very much a like, hilarious, spontaneous, full of energy and too smart for their own good. My usually hyper cat would flip a switch. When I was crying and even when I wasn't and just in pain, Bane was there. He would squish his massive body close to my chest and just purred and let me mourn. He always knew when others maybe didn't that I was hurting and calmed down his normally hyper ways to comfort me. I truly feel Bane was given to me by this friend for a reason. Bane is the embodiment of who my friend was in his life. My crazy cat is an everyday reminder of the joy my friend brought into mine and other's lives. My friend lives on in my life through Bane, a friend forever.
In the summer of 2012 my 15 year old cat, Gatti, starting having seizures and eventually had to be put down. At the same time a neighborhood stray started getting friendly with me and brought her three kittens along. Being a sucker, I made sure they were fed and watered. While Sweet Pea liked being petted, her kittens wanted no parts of me. One day after Gatti was gone, Sweet Pea stopped by and I realized one kitten was missing. I then got a good look at the calico and realized that she had no right eye and a hair lip and worried that she may also have a cleft palate. When the heat wave hit, I emptied out a spare bedroom except for cat stuff, and brought Sweet Pea and her two kittens inside.
Sweet Pea turned out to be pregnant and delivered 4 kittens. All seemed fine for about 48 hours when I found her obviously ill, away from her new kittens. Of course it was Sunday, so off to the emergency vet I went. Fetuses had been retained and Sweet Pea was past saving. Luckily the vet techs agreed to take the new kittens since I knew I couldn't care for them properly. Now I had to return home to two kittens that wanted nothing to do with me.
Slowly they began to tolerate me and in September, Monkey let me pet him for the first time. Jasmine, the calico with one eye, is my drama queen. She continued to run and hide from me until Christmas Eve. I was on bed rest due to a back injury and experiencing a considerable amount of pain. As I lay there crying, feeling sorry for myself, Jasmine hopped on the bed, and curled up on my chest purring. Monkey followed behind her and curled up by my side. Molly was up there too. The tears turned from sad ones to joyous ones. I thought I was saving some stray cats, but they saved me.
In the Fall of 1999, I had to put down my cat, Marika, of 15 years. She was my first cat after graduating from college and getting out own my own. She had been there to comfort me through all those stumbling blocks of adulthood. Gatti, the tabby, had come to join our family about three years earlier. She was helping me through the grief that remained five months later. In January of 2000 my pet sitter called me to see if I would consider adopting a six month old kitten from one of clients who discovered she wasn't up to this particular wild kitten. I reluctantly agreed to meet the kitten although I didn't want to "replace" Marika. Molly turned out to be a personable kitten but was solid gray, just like Marika. I remember glaring at my pet sitter - later on she apologized for not telling me ahead of time but "I knew you would say no." was her excuse. Her current owner had rescued her from a dumpster by her apartment and was afraid she wouldn't find a no-kill shelter. Being a sucker for tears, I agreed to adopt Molly. While Gatti warmed to Molly over a few weeks, it took me a bit longer. Today she crawls up under the covers at night and curls up against me to sleep, purring the whole time. Gatti died a year ago, but the story of the two rogues that moved in after her is another story.
Princess Tea-Tea (formerly named "Trailer Trash", by her previous owners), was delivered to us on Christmas Eve 2012. We had no plans to adopt a pet, although we love "furry babies". I was unemployed, without income, other than that provided by 1 working brother & 1 brother receiving unemployment. An amazing young man (who has become my adopted son), was literally going door-to-door, earlier in December, trying to find a home for her, because allegedly her previous owners where threatening to "put her down", because they wanted another dog, which was the same breed of another dog they owned.
When Tea-Tea (I spelled her name this way, because she is a double dose of "flavor", and healthy for us!) arrived, she was very docile and depressed; she often had nightmares - made saddening sounds and flinched - often, when sleeping. She was very receptive of affection/attention - immediately, so in just a few days, we began to see that she was very intelligent and very affectionate. It did not take long before she turned into a confident, "princess" (sometimes maybe even a little too confident of a princess :~) - she is spoiled rotten!)!
As we approach Dec 24th, I reflect on how blessed our lives have been because we adopted such precious paws! Tea-Tea has been a part of MANY special times & has many "photo shoots". She is family - my precious "little girl"; my 17 yr. old son's "little sissy" and her uncles' niece!
Back in March of 2011, my boyfriend Ryan and I were walking a trail in a Forest Preserve. Out of nowhere, came a black German Shepherd. He was roaming and clearly lost. He came by us, sniffed us and sat right in front of Ryan. We were both stunned. He was gorgeous - but had no tags, collar, nothing. He kept following and we'd ask people along the trail if this was their dog - everyone said no. Well we couldn't let this guy be away from his family (if he had one) so after our walk was over we brought the Shepherd to our truck. He jumped right in. He was the friendliest dog and didn't want to hurt a fly. He was clearly out there in the forest for a while as he was very skinny. We had a lunch packed for after our walk so instead we gave the dog our Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches and water. He was in heaven. We wanted nothing more then to bring his dog home but we knew what we had to do. We drove him over to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, IL which is the local shelter. We wanted to see if he had a chip in him and a home who was missing him. He was chipped to a breeder who was no longer in business so they couldn't get a hold of anyone. We had to leave him for 2 weeks to see if he got claimed. Ryan and I visited him every single day for those 2 weeks and eager awaited bringing him home. Finally we got the call that we could officially adopt him. We rushed to the shelter that evening on March 16th to take our Gunner home. He was 10 months at the time and now is 3.5 years old and a terrific dog. He is loving, caring, kind, protective, and wants nothing more then to be loved. German Shepherds are the best and we were so lucky to have found and rescued Gunner!
You won't believe what happened!! Friday, at the shelter some stranger comes, pets me, talking softly and stuffs me in a BOX FROM HELL. Then right in front everyone I had come to love and respect, she whisked me out the door. Little did I know the horrors to come! After hours, we came to a stop. I think it’s Siberia. They let me out and the first thing I did was hide, hide, and hide again. They always found me!! The woman gently drew me out cooing, whispering, smiling. What IS it with my crazy abductor. No matter how stealthy I was, they always found me, and would you believe chuckled like it was joke. I have never been so humiliated!! I’ll get even by stalking and howling all night and even that just amuses them. And the food is sooooo frightening. Treats, canned, dry, slices of bird meat. I eat little and in secret but the bird meat is irresistible, I am such a fool. And drugs, green stuff they call catnip, makes me all funky – I feel so degraded!!! The hardest adjustment is finding a place to sleep but I have found the top of the frig or in the sunshine best. I have to admit it is a joy to look down on the OTHER who resembles me but the mix is all wrong and sleeping with my head hanging over the edge (risky, worth it). But the cruelest of all is what they call me. I was Cappy at Hope for many years and was fine with that but, I had refused to answer to anything. That backfired and now I’m Trevor. Do I look like a Trevor? Sound, feel like a Trevor? NOT!! Please get word back to Hope. Oh and no hurry, sliced bird meat for dinner. I’ll contact you when I just can't handle it anymore. Trevor - more news latter.
So I was driving home from work and it was pouring rain outside. I opened the car door prepared to make the dash to my home when I heard the cry of a kitten. It was so loud I was sure that it must be in the tree right above me. I proceeded to get thoroughly soaked as I searched high and low for this pathetic sounding creature. Just when I was about to give up, my foot bumped against a small rock on the pavement. My apartment parking lot had a river running through it because of the massive amounts of water coming down. I was going to throw it into the bushes when I realized that THIS was the kitten! He was the exact same color of the pavement because he was soaked too. I immediately tucked him into my shirt and ran inside to warm him up.
The area I live in has a ton of feral cats and I'm sure that this was the off-spring of one of them. His mom must have been moving her kittens to a drier place and this little guy got left behind! He was so tiny, probably only a day or two old according to the vet. He even still had his umbilical cord stump still attached. He also had a frozen joint in the right front leg (which I didn't realize til he started walking) so I think mom had to prioritize and this little one was the weakest of her bunch. Lucky for me because he has been the light of my life ever since. His gimpy front paw doesn't slow him down at all! I may have rescued him, but the love he gives has saved me!
Cha Cha came to us in 2007. She was approximately 2 years old and had been surrendered by her owner the day before she gave birth to 6 pups. As soon as the pups were weaned and all spoken for - I inquired about Cha Cha. She had a case of mange but it was quickly managed. She was very skiddish at first and it took some time to win her trust. When she realized she was in a safe and loving environment, she quickly calmed down. She instantly went into mother my other dog Molly who was a year old at the time and took her on as her baby. The two are still inseparable. She's a loving dog that gives many kisses just because and enjoys plenty of "mama" time which includes naps together just the 3 of us. She's just been such a blessing to me. I've had some very long term serious health issues during the past year. Cha Cha seems to sense when I'm not well and sleeps extra close to me. She keeps me nice and warm. I can't imagine not having her as part of our family.
In Spring 2002, I came across an urgent posting in the Pets section of my local Craigslist. The post was asking for donations to help save the life of a dog who had been hit by a train. Apparently they needed $1000 to amputate one of his legs. Well, I wasn't going to get sucked in. No way, no how. But I wanted to see the picture of the dog included with the post, so I scrolled down.
I was wholly unprepared for what I saw. There was a terrified looking young shepherd mix muzzled and laying on a veterinarian's table missing the bottom half of one of his hind legs - it was just broken bone and ligaments and muscles all exposed and shredded. His remaining hind foot was also a mess, looking like a bloody stump.
Needless to say, I donated $50 immediately to the vet hospital where he was at (through the great rescue group Home At Last). An hour later I called to find out if enough money had been donated to save his life. Thankfully, they assured me that the vet had successfully amputated his leg and stitched up his remaining back foot and that the people of Craigslist had come through, donating over $1400 towards his care! Now, he was quietly recovering and awaiting a foster family to be chosen for him. Then I was asked the fateful question: "Do you want to apply to foster Trigger?"
"Sure," I replied. And you know how that turned out, right?
Trigger turned 11 this July and is finally slowing down after living a full life of adventure as our only child. People are surprised to learn he's a tripod as he's never acted any different than any other dog. Only recently have his favorite activities (chasing after tennis balls, going jogging with my husband, and swimming) become challenging for him. He's inspired so many over the years and is the best pet I've ever had. I'm so lucky I've gotten to provide him a loving home for life.
Momma loves you Trigger!
I moved into a new house, sight unseen. The day I opened the door ,my Life changed forever. In this house was 119 cats and kittens, 22 pregnant female cats, 3 dogs and 27 dead animals. Now I have been here 3 years and still havent moved myself in! I found homes for ALL but 9 of the orignial cats/kittens. Some are special need and will remain with me for life. My cats were much older when I arrived ,sadly Momma Cass passed away last summer at age 28. I still have Rocky Bockins who is now 26 years old and he loves the little ones! Together we find warm,loving caring furever homes for these precious little lives! Every day I get feral cats and kittens dropped off and regardless of my income I get them vet care, feed them and take great care of them. They have given me a reason to get up each day. I do this on my own without donations except for a dear friend who sends us 75$ each month for food. Will I ever get too move in? Will I ever get this house fixed to where its a home? Will I ever get the damage fixed? Who knows. Taking care of these precious wee ones is my main goal. I give every single kitty love and one on one attention each day and night. I have 37 here right now and 13 are permanent residents. You can see their pictures on facebook at MicroCatManor. The love they give and the love I get and give makes it al lworth it to me. and If I never get a chance to move in then thats ok too . Love and life is precious and these sweeties need me as much as I need them. Even my german shepherd dog adores ALL her kitties and would protect them with her life.. We have love, we have food,we have a roof, we have each other. We are good.