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Cat with lots of heart.

i was volunteering at a animal shelter in Dallas, Texas four years ago when someone dropped off a cardboard box full of feral cats who all had a 'clipped ear', which means they were TNR (trapped-neutered-released). One of the cats as sweet tempered and affectionate to all the other cats and to the volunteers, BUT she hated to be picked up and rarely left her cage when the door was opened. So she sat for 6 months with no takers. I couldn't stand that this VERY cute 'snowshoe' cat (part Siamese and part white cat) couldn't find a good home, so I adopted her. After getting her home and setting her free to roam, I noticed a real oddity: she had a 4 inch by 4 inch brown heart image on her white chest. So she was named 'Kitty Heart'. Now she lets me pick her up and she licks my hands and arms (like a puppy). Just shows you never know what good things will happen to you when you volunteer to help homeless animals.

Daryl N. Davis
Dallas, TX

Video: Furry Hurricane Maria Refugees Are Smiling, Playing, and Wagging Their Tails for the First Time

Good afternoon,

It's been only a few months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, but the lives of the dogs brought to PETA's hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, by PETA's animal rescue team—which was on the ground (https://www.peta.org/blog/peta-puerto-rico-saving-animals/) after the storm—have changed dramatically. Now, a brand-new PETA video (https://youtu.be/xVqCjJ3Ictg) released today, shows many of the dogs in their new homes, playing with toys, seeing their own reflections (and barking at them!), rolling around in bed, snuggling and smiling big in their new guardians' laps, and more—all things that they're doing for the first time in their lives.

In Puerto Rico, PETA's team provided animals in shelters with food and clean water, took those who were injured to veterinarians, and more. They returned to Norfolk with several of the dogs who were most in need and worked with other local shelters to give the pups a fresh start and the chance to find happy homes.

They include Pedro, whose leg was swollen to three times its normal size and who, after receiving urgent veterinary care, now goes on long walks with his new guardian in Texas. Others include Chiquita, who loves playing in the leaves with her new family and barking at her reflection in the television, and little Stephen, who is soaking up lots of oatmeal baths after suffering from prolonged sun exposure in Puerto Rico.

PETA's motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way." More information about PETA's work to help animals is available here (https://www.peta.org/). More information about the animals rescued during Hurricane Maria can be found on PETA's blog (https://www.peta.org/blog/meet-some-of-the-brave-dogs-who-survived-hurricane-maria/). I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Many thanks.

Anonymous
Washington, DC

Midori with the heterochromatic eyes

On a quick trip to the vet for a nail trim for our Amazon the vet assistant asked how we were doing, as we had recently lost both our cats only a month apart (both in their 20's-for different reasons). I told her we were fine but the house seemed so empty. She said "You know, we just had several cats come in that were surrendered from a breeder/hoarder..." Absolutely not, I told her, we really weren't ready. One of the cats had been my companion since I was 15 years old and I was still crushed over her loss.

She said, she understood, then suggested she bring one in while we were waiting, just to give her some time out of the kennel. I said no, but she knew how this was going to play out; my kids overruled me and she brought her in.

The little white and gold cat was a Japanese Bobtail, just like my 23 year old cat had been and the resemblance was uncanny. We petted her and cradled her, marvellling over the resenblance.

By the time our bird was ready we also had a new cat!

We named her Midori, for green in Japanese, like one of her eyes. She has heterochromia, different colored eyes. We call her Dori for short, and we love her sweet disposition and I know she appreciates being given a loving forever home.

Rhonda
Casselberry, FL

Min-e hidden in the basement

Several years ago my teenage son began acting furtively. Don't all teenagers at some point? I didn't think too much about it. He went to school, had a job, played video games...pretty typical stuff. But after a few days of him disappearing to his basement room for the thousandth time I asked him what was going on. He told me a friend of his had found a kitten but her parents wouldn't let her keep it. Another friend took the kitten home, but those parents objected as well. As it dawned on me that he was hiding a kitten somewhere in the house, I was struck by two conflicting thoughts. I was proud of him that he didn't just leave an animal to fend for itself, and a little dismayed that he had not come to me immediately. Maybe he thought I would take her to a shelter.

But instead he introduced me to Min-e (his spelling) a blue Tortie with enormous eyes, and an enormous attitude to match. The vet has "fiesty" written on her chart (it's an understatement). But we love her, and I'm still proud of my son for being an animal advocate when many would have turned their backs on her and left her to an uncertain fate.

She's pictured "helping" us prepare for hurricane Irma. Eight days without power wasn't fun, but we all made it though just fine.

Rhonda
Casselberry, FL

PORKA-MY-CHOP

I came to look at a horse for sale and there he was tied to a tree. He was wearing a burnt oil soaked rag to help with his mange.It was cold out, getting below freezing at night. All he had was an igloo dog house with some hay in it to keep him warm. My heart broke for him. How could I get him away from those terrible conditions? We already had several rescue dogs. I didn't sleep the next 2 nights just thinking how I could save him. On the 3rd day I was offered Porkchop because he was in the way of the owners child care business as none of the clients could pet him because of his skin condition, an embarrassment I suppose.I snatched him up and took him straight to the vet before they had time to change their minds. I never learned why they named him "Porkchop" , but I don't think it was for a good reason. He has been happy and so grateful ever since. Porkchop has blossomed into a handsome dog who has been with us nearly 14 years. It is a mutual love affair.

Anonymous
Clermont, FL

Phoebe Lee has a forever home

We had lost our beloved Dakota Rio on August 20, 2017 after 18 years of love and loyalty. The house got very quiet so in October we thought we'd go to a rescue shelter and look around. Kody had been a pure bred Tonkinese but we wanted a rescue this time. We saw Phoebe, and one other kitten, and just took one look at her face and knew she was the one. We brought her home and two days later she got very sick. We took her to the vet three times that first week. She had an upper respiratory infection, high fever, wouldn't eat, was sneezing a lot and we didn't think she would survive. We put her in a steamy bathroom, kept her warm, washed her congested nose so she could smell her food and eat and snuggled her as much as possible. She got somewhat better but we decided to get a second opinion. The new vet diagnosed her as having herpes, ordered eye drops and lycine powder to put in her food. She is doing well right now but this isn't curable; just treatable when any symptoms pop up. We love and adore our sassy little girl and would do anything for her. In return, after just six weeks, she is comfy, rules her domain, and makes us laugh. She is our gorgeous, precious sweetie and we hope she'll live a long and happy life with us.

Judith Rubin
Tucson, AZ

Walkabout Taz

I first met Taz as tiny orange flash zipping around the common area of my daughter's first apartment. We couldn't find an owner so when the weather turned in October, which in Colorado means freezing temperatures, she brought him in, and got him his shots and a neuter.

Fast forward two years and she was moving up to a larger apartment across town. By then she had added another cat (Chris) to her little cat family and off they all went to the new apartment. It was snowing quite heavily by the time she got there but finally unloaded the last personals and of course the cats. Then she set about unpacking.

She decided to treat herself to pizza and spent the rest of the evening unpacking. As she settled in for bed she couldn't locate Taz, but assumed he had hidden in a box somewhere. In the morning she still couldn't find Taz and panic descended.

Realizing he must have slipped out when the pizza man came all hands were called to search for Taz. We concentrated on the areas between her new place and her old, thinking of Homeward Bound and his instinct to head back home. Weeks went by and our hopes dwindled. But every morning I scoured the animal shelters websites searching all the sad faces, hoping against hope.

Until one morning...There! It had been exactly 30 days and we really didn't think we'd ever see him again, but the fuzzy picture looked spot on, although it stated he was discovered in the opposite direction we had spent so much time searching.

She went to the Humane Society first thing and, nooooo, the little orange cat in the kennel wasn't him. She turned to her friend sobbing, we thought for sure it was Taz and the stress of another disappointment was devastating.

Then out of the corner of his eye her friend spotted somthing, he said "Abby, look!" as she turned she saw two orange paws several cages down frantically reaching for her.

And there he was!! In all his glory. Our Walkabout Taz.

Rhonda
Casselberry, FL

SHE CHOSE ME!

WENT TO A LOCAL CAT RESCUE' TO LOOK FOR A 'KITTY FRIEND' FOR OUR OTHER 'KITTY', AND WAS TAKEN TO A ROOM, WHERE THERE WERE MANY TO CHOOSE FROM~I WAS LOOKING FOR A 'RUSSIAN GRAY' AND SAW ONE~~SO I SAT DOWN TO PLAY WITH HIM~~HOWEVER, A LITTLE 'BLACK & WHITE', CRAWLED ON TO MY LAP AND STARTED TO PLAY WITH ME~~THEN SHE WOULD RUN OFF AND PLAY WITH THE OTHER CATS~~THIS WENT ON FOR ABOUT 45MINS. TO AN HOUR~SHE KEPT COMING BACK TO ME AND FINALLY, JUST SAT ON MY LAP~~~WHEN WOMAN ASKED~~'WELL, HAVE YOU CHOSEN YOUR 'KITTY YET?'~~~I LOOKED AT HER AND SAID~~'I THINK I'VE ALREADY BEEN CHOSEN'~~AND WE HAD MY BABY~'MINZY' FOR 15+YEARS, BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY~~15 BEAUTIFUL, MEMORY FILLED,LOVING YEARS WITH HER!~~NO WONDER THEY CALL IT A CAT RESCUE!

LOPAKA
PORTLAND, OR

Best Rescue Pals

Mr. Troubles was a semi-feral neighborhood kitten I caught and got neutered. He ended up being my $1000 cat with hip surgery. About six months later Belle showed up in my yard 7+ weeks pregnant. 11 days later she delivered 12 puppies, 11 of whom survived. 8 weeks later all of the puppies were rehomed and Belle seemed to gravitate toward the cats....she picked Mr. Troubles as he had picked her. They've been best buds for the past 5 years.

Belle has since also adopted 3 more semi-feral rescues who seem to know she's there to hang with them when she's outside. She's also adopted another young male tuxedo cat name The Zoid who follows her everywhere she goes and she actually plays with him. I get a little concerned since she weighs 58 pounds and he weighs 6 but it's all good for them and she's never hurt any of them even by accident.

Vicki Perizzolo
Riverside, CA

Rufus Gets Into Trouble

Since I told you about Pip, I think I should share a story about Rufus. Rufus is my constant companion. I work out of my home and at least 80% of the day while I am at my computer, he sits on my lap. If I get up to do something, he jumps down, hops in my chair; when I return, he jumps back on my lap. I can switch my legs around, he doesn’t care.

So, Rufus is very sweet. He is adventurous, but he’s not especially bright. He gets himself into troubles he can’t get himself out of. I have open kitchen cabinets and when he was younger, he would jump up into them and nestle himself among my big spaghetti pot or my gravy boat. Then he would meow for me to get him down because he was afraid to jump down himself. He would often get himself into situations and not know how to get out of the problem he had caused himself.

The best situation that Rufus got into was one I was able to catch here on camera. I know a lot of cats love to get into Christmas trees, and I’ve heard stories, but I didn’t have any firsthand experience until I had Rufus. I had decorated the tree; (by the way, after I brought these cats home, I switched from my expensive glass ornaments to plastic ornaments. I didn’t trust my cats when they were kittens, and after 12 years, I still don’t trust them with the tree) I was in my office and I heard an odd sound from the living room where the tree was. I went over and looked at the tree and there was Rufus, perched on the top, holding on for his life. Oh My! Luckily, I remembered to grab the camera and take this shot before I got the step ladder to pick him off the tree. Fortunately he hasn’t done this prank again. He’s getting a little old and sore now. But he still loves sitting on my lap, he’s in on it right now.

Laura Batzer
Milwaukee, WI
Paws to Cuddle Sheets
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