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One Girl, One Goal, One Cat.

My best friend was looking for a kitten and I knew someone that a stray with a litter. I went to see the kittens and send my friend photos to choose one for herself. I noticed immediately all kittens were about 1lb except one kitten. I tried to get my friend to choose the tiny runt but she really liked a different one. I knew then that I couldn't leave the little thing there, winter was starting up and he was too small to survive the cold let alone the other kittens pushing him away from their mother. I drove both kittens to my friends home and knew immediately I could never let this little kitten go to another home, as I spoke to him he would nudge his head into mine. When we took them to the vet, he weighed 2/10ths of a lb. He needed me. I brought him home and hid him from my family for one month before he started making too much noise. One day I got a text message from my mom, "do you have a cat in your room?" I knew the jig was up. I came home and brought him to her and she asked about him. I told her he couldn't survive on his own with how small he was for being 8 weeks old. I told her about how I'd fed him and taken care of him and vetted him. She wasn't happy but she agreed that I could keep him as long as I continued to take care of him. He is the best cat I've ever had. He plays with my Terrier all the time. He kisses me every morning. And we cuddle every night. His name is Squishy (Finding Nemo). I love him!

Anonymous
Columbus, OH

Cute little Mama

When I first saw the ad for Mama, I was just really browsing to look at all the cute little cats and dogs, not really intending to get another animal as I had just gotten a little black kitten. She was being given away for free. I immediately loved her cute little face, but talked myself out of it. I kept seeing the ad for over a month and fell in love a little more each time. Finally I decided my kitten could use a friend. I called the lady in the ad. Apparently Mama had just given birth to kittens only a few weeks before, but she was refusing to feed them. I went and picked her up, and named her Mocha because I thought her colors looked like my favorite coffee drink. At first I regretted my decision as she would hiss at my kitten (Gheera) every time she came near her so I had to keep her secluded in my bedroom. One day I went into my room to give her love and noticed this whitish spot growing on her teat. The next day, it had burst open and was oozing. I immediately took her to the vet and they found she had Mastitis. After her recovery was complete, the first thing she did was run over to Gheera and start cleaning her and following her as if she were her own kitten. That was over a year ago now, and she became renamed Mama as she mothers us all, even her humans.

Amber
Auburn, WA

Foster Failure

A Facebook friend contacted me about a Miniature Pinscher she saw listed "free to a good home" on Craig's List in my area and asked me to call to warn the owner about the dangers of doing this. He was aware and had been demanding home checks of potential adopters, but so far was not having any luck. I left him my number. Three weeks later he called asking if I was willing to foster her for a rescue group and I agreed. After a home check by the owner he brought Sasha, a chocolate and cream Min Pin to us. He shared that she had an old back injury from jumping off a 5 foot high deck (Min Pins think they can fly) and it would flair up every winter.

I sent pictures of Sasha to the rescue group and was informed they already had a potential adopter lined up! I was very pleased since my husband had insisted I assure him she would only be temporarily kept here because he felt two dogs was enough.

The next night I told my husband it looked like the adoption was going to be approved and suddenly his face turned down in a pout. Sasha became ours permanently. She is 11 now, needs stairs to get on the couch, an occasional pain pill during rainy weather and most of her walks are done in a stroller, but she is still just as feisty as the day she arrived. Her name means "defender of man" and she remains fiercely vigilant at the door.

Anonymous
Manchester, MO

Liebchen

Growing up, I was never able to own a dog or cat, as my dad was very allergic. My mom and I both loved cats, and it was tough not being able to have one. Finally, when I moved out, I was able to begin my search for my best non-human friend.

I came across a beautiful black cat on petfinder, and immediately inquired to see if she was still available. She was, so I set up an appointment to see her. She originally came to the shelter as a stray, with two kittens. The kittens were quickly adopted, but no one wanted this little girl. She was not getting adopted, so they had a 'black cat special' at Halloween, and she was available at a huge discount. Still no one adopted her. She finally went to a foster mom, and came out of her shell.

I stopped by this wonderful lady's house, and she held my future cat in her arms when I came in. I sat on her couch, and the cat immediately jumped in my lap, curled up, and began purring. Then and there she was adopted!

I named her Liebchen, which means 'darling' in German. She loves me to death, as I do her. I have never met a more loving animal. And being fostered, she was on special again...free! Somebody sure missed out.

Lauren
Philadelphia, PA

Cinderheart: Answered Prayers

The children saw her first, a kitten all by herself on the church grounds, where I was a preschool teacher. I assumed she was a stray. When I came back to work after a long weekend, she was waiting outside the church doors. My boss said she had been there all weekend, approaching people, looking for a family to call her own. The next day, she was still there, looking a bit dirtier, a bit scrawnier, and I knew something had to be done. When preschool ended, I went outside, looking for her, but she was no where to be found. I had to get home. My boys and I found a prayer for lost pets, which asked for the intercession of St. Francis (patron Saint of animals) and St. Anthony (patron Saint of lost things), and then we headed back to look for her. My oldest son produced his best "MEOW," and then we heard it, a faint meow in response. He meowed again, and this time the response was louder, but where was she? Finally, we saw her, on the roof of the parish hall. She was trying to find a way down. We worried she would fall, but she was a smart kitten. She jumped onto a tree, then ran down it and right to us! She had a small cut on her paw. Her short coat was matted, dirty, and full of fleas. Her ears were full of mites and she had tapeworm. But, how she purred! We took her straight to the vet, who declared her to be a 6 month old "domestic short hair," in good health, despite everything. She had no chip, so we took her home. She has been with us over 2 years now. Surprisingly, she turned into a beautiful long-haired cat, with the silkiest fur. She is happy, loving, and loyal. You can hear her purr from the across the room. She greets my husband at the door every day, and follows us to bed every night. She frequently lays down with her pawpads touching, as though in prayer.

Jacy
Austin, TX

The Angry Tabby I Love

In the summer of 2008 my husband found a tiny kitten mewing in our backyard,her eyes weren't open and she still had her umbilical cord attached. We tried to return her to her litter but her mother kicked her out onto the floor of the garage where she had moved the rest of the kittens. The next morning we bought kitten milk and embarked on saving this little kitty, sadly we were not experienced enough and she was so little that she did not make it. After mourning her, we called animal control to see if the rest of the litter had been found. Sadly, it seemed that the mama cat had abandoned her litter and there was only one baby still alive: a ferocious little tabby cat.

We adopted her and named her Lucy. She has grown up to be the best part of my life. She is loving and snuggly and seems to have a sixth sense for her people's sadness. I have never known a cat who wants to be around her family as much as this little girl. Lucy is a very particular lady and she doesn't like strangers at all, our vet says she's the most memorably angry customer that they have, but once she comes around to you she is a friend for life. My love for my grumpy tabby cat is boundless, even after she ruined my computer by dumping a glass of water on it.

I am happy that she has been so healthy, I can't imagine my life without her.

Elizabeth
Laramie, WY

Who rescued who

I got Chloe during the loneliest time of my life. My daughter and I were living in a two bedroom apartment and she was gone all of the time, so I was left to my own devices. I decided that I needed someone to talk to and give me some company. I scoured the ads for the perfect companion for weeks. I finally found Chloe and she was just what I was looking for. After a day or so, she immediately became attached to me. I have had her for over a year and she never fails to know when I am in need of her sweet company. She doesn't "meow" like a normal cat, she "meeps" instead. This is part of what gives her the perfect personality. She follows me around all the time. I literally do not know what I would do without her. She is my saving grace and during a time when I needed it the most, she came and rescued me.

Carrie Westphal
Owosso, MI

Mountain Kitten Dumped

Someone dumped this kitten on the mountain. We got wind of it, dropped everything and we went and got her. Meet Miss Molly. Her first night with us was spent getting a bath and combed for fleas. (she was covered) She has been to the vet and checks out a-ok. She is a sweet kitten, about 10 weeks old, 2 LBS and is getting aquanted with her sister Lola (Chihuahuas) and brother cats, Earl and Stanley. http://youtu.be/quHbhJyrLTE (cameo's Earl (white & black cat), and 35 LB orange Stanley) We have only had her a few days but what a sweet kitten and a wonderful addition to the family. Please don't shop for animals, adopt.

Anonymous
Soddy Daisy, TN

Shadow

It was just after Thanksgiving 2013, when I saw a Facebook post from my daughter. A small grey cat, starving, had come up in their yard. They tried to take it in and take care of it, but their cat didn't want it in the house. I had her bring it over to me, and we named it Shadow. He was skin and bones, and terrified. That night, we got the first snowstorm of what turned out to be our worst winter in many years. I know he would not have made it through the night, if we had not taken him in.

I set him up a place in the bathroom, with food and water, a blanket and a litter box. He only left the bathroom when a person came in; and then he sat right outside the door, and ran right back in as soon as the bathroom was empty. He slept right beside the food bowl for about a month. I didn't try to force him to mix with us. We just let him take it at his own pace.

After a few weeks, I noticed that he was coming into our room during the night and sleeping on our bed. We had a 3 year old cat, Charley Cat, who slept on a pillow at the foot of the bed. He didn't mind Shadow being there, as long as he didn't get on Charley's pillow. As time went by, Shadow got brave enough to come into the kitchen, so I put his food bowl next to Charley's and they began eating side by side. I took the things out of the bathroom, and Shadow adjusted just fine.

Now, Shadow is just a regular member of the family. He and Charley play together, eat together, and Shadow curls up beside Charley's pillow. He has gained weight and his coat has filled in so much. He's still a little shy, and we're pretty sure that he is deaf. But he has a home with us, where he is safe and warm and never hungry.

Suzan Rust
Hammond, IN

He saved me

One day, I decided I wanted a cat, so I went to my local shelter. While looking around, I saw this poor, dirty, flea-infested boy lying in his litter box looking sad. I asked about him and the lady said, "Oh, you don't want THAT cat!" Well, that decided it for me. I took him home, gave him a good bath, got rid of the fleas and matted fur, and named him Nistar.

After a few days, he was still lethargic, so I took him to the vet. He had parasites in his blood from the fleas and they were destroying his red blood cells. He was horribly anemic and the vet wasn't sure he'd live, but with lots of love (and medicine!) he did! He became my best buddy. He would come running when I whistled for him, run to the door to greet me when I came home from work, and jump into my arms when I held them open wide.

Many happy years later, he started losing weight and getting sick. We took him to a special cat hospital where they found a tumor on his thyroid. I don't know how, but we found the money to get the treatment he needed. He was back to his old self in no time. A few years later, he started limping, so we took him to the vet. The x-rays showed he had bone cancer in his front leg. We made the agonizing decision to have his leg amputated. The recovery was hard, but soon he was hopping around the house as if he was born with three legs instead of four.

Then one day, out of nowhere, he had a seizure and died. He was, and always will be, my best buddy. I got to enjoy him for 12 years, and I'm thankful for every moment. He taught me so much, and because of him, I have gone on to rescue three more stray kitties who, like Nistar, just needed some love and a good home. Truly, I didn't save him from the shelter that day...he saved me.

Celeste Lawinger
Platteville, WI
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