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"Miss Sugar" needed me and I needed her.

Hurricane Katrina had come through southern Mississippi. It had destroyed our home. It had been a few years since I had a cat. When we got our new home about a year after the storm, I went to the local animal rescue league shelter to find a kitten. I knew it would comfort me. There were many there, but then, over to the side I saw this big pure white 6 year old girl. The staff person in charge said that she had belonged to an elderly lady who had passed away during the hurricane, and added how she keeps purposely mislaying "Miss Sugar's" paperwork because she didn't have the heart to have her put to sleep. The poor baby had made sores on her front legs trying to get to people. But alas nobody wanted a 6 year old cat who was profoundly deaf, had one blue eye, one green eye, and seemed so upset and torn up on her legs. Well of course she was upset over being locked in the cage for a whole year!! My tears just flowed. I asked if I could hold her. Miss Sugar purred so loud and just scrubbed those cheeks against my shoulder, and head bopped me. Sugar went home with me that day, and spent the rest of her life never locked up in any cage or room ever again. She and I discovered a sort of sign language between us. She was my constant companion and friend. She passed away a couple of years ago, but I will always remember the bond that I made with her when we both needed so desperately to heal.

Angela C
Macomb, IL

Our rescue kitty, Scuzmuffin

After a year of being married, my husband and I moved into our own house. Three weeks later, while my husband was flooding the lawn, he decided to check some old chicken coops that were on our property. They were full of random stuff and he wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything in them that should get wet. As he neared the door, he could hear something inside. When he went inside, he saw in the back corner of the shed four baby kittens that were standing atop one another, trying desperately to get out of the water. Our Scuzmuffin was on the bottom, completely submerged. He had me get a box and we rescued all of them. They were only a few weeks old - their eyes were just opening. I fed them with an eyedropper and nursed them all to health. When they were old enough, we gave two away, but kept Scuz and her brother, Rusty.

Just a year after that, she suffered a broken leg (never found out what caused it), and I delved into my college funds to get it fixed. She used that cast like a weapon, hitting us often while we were asleep in bed. She also used it as a rudder to take the corners around furniture when playing with Rusty. She healed beautifully and I think she runs faster now! This July, she will be 8 years old. She often lays on her back, legs spread apart. She can't meow, only squeaks, and she is the first to comfort me when I've been crying. I wish I could clone ten more of her. I named her Scuzmuffin because no matter how much she cleans herself, the hair behind her ears are always "scuzzy" looking.

Tremonton, UT

My Sweet Sunny

About a month after losing the cat I had adopted from a friend, the quiet in my house was unbearable. I talked to the folks at my vet's office and they recommended the shelter in town. The place was filled with beautiful kitties all needing homes. As I came around a set of cages, this beautiful white and orange tabby kitty stood up and came to the front of the cage. I asked about him and was told his name was Sunny and that he really needed to be in a single-cat house because he was rather dominant. That was fine with me. I only wanted one.

I reached in to pet him and he fell over himself, wallowing in the attention. That was it. He looked at me with those beautiful golden eyes and I could all but hear him in my head asking, "are you the one? Will you please get me out of this cage." I was a goner. I found out later that he had been abandoned and found with a feral pack. I realized from his behavior that he was probably abused as well. He had lived in the shelter for two years and most of the staff thought he was going to be a "lifer." Most of them considered it the adoption of the year.

Now, he is the king of the house. The formerly contentious kitty is sweet and affectionate. He shows me his tummy and begs for treats. He's mouthy and demanding or silly and playful by turns. He has a huge personality and often scares me with his intelligence. I honestly could not imagine my life without him anymore.

Pompton Lakes, NJ

Rough Start for a Little Kitty

It was a Sept. Saturday when my mom and I returned home from shopping and my mom said, "look out front!" A tiny kitten laying on our front porch. He was in a loaf, face-down on the concrete in the hot sun. He didn't move as we walked up to him. I gently patted him and he picked up his head- looked nearly dead. He was an itsy-bitsy thing, no more than a few weeks old (5 weeks the vet estimated). In the sky, two large birds were circling us. We brought him into the shade of our front porch and my mom gathered cat food and water, I already had a 1 year old cat, Kinko, that I had rescued from a shelter.

Once he was awake, he wouldn't stop meowing! When he tried to walk we could immediately tell that his left rear leg was injured. We assessed him further and he had a very large, oozing sore in the inside of the hurt leg. We later found out it had been broken. He had cuts on the left paw, left ear, and under his tiny tail. We took him inside and cleaned and put antiseptic on his wounds. I set up the cat carrier with blankets, food, water and a mini liter box. We keep him away from Kinko, as she was getting very territorial about our guest. We intended to take him to the humane society once it opened , but after those first few days we fell in love. We named him Toby and he is now 1-and-a-half years old. He completely healed, and now Toby and Kinko are buds who love playing together and ruling the house. Life wouldn't be the same without our Baby Toby (left) & Kink (right).

Tecumseh, MI

black pit bull stray turned therapy dog

I found Bella in Atlantic City as a stray. I brought her to a kill shelter, sorry was out of state and spent a day looking for a no kill. I knew she did not stand a chance when they do not adopt pit bulls to Atlantic City residents because of dog fighting. I was still hoping an owner would come forward and reluctantly left her. I immediately followed up with the manager to verify that I would be able to adopt her if no one came forward. Of course no one did. I brought Bella home and she is now therapy dog certified, has her canine good citizen certificate and participates in agility. She lives with 2 lab brother and a cat. I rescued Bella but she brings joy to everyone who meets her and I feel she rescued me. Bellas story is unique but please spay and neuter! Adopt don't shop! Too many animals are euthanized at kill shelters everyday or abandoned.

Clarks Summit, PA

Chino, Chino, Cappuccino!

I was taking my dog for a late night walk in early February, 2015. There were hard freeze warnings following a lot of rain and it was getting quite cold out. As we were walking home, Toffee stopped to stare at a building dump site just a block from our house. It was muddy from the rain, so I coaxed her to keep moving. As we walked away, I heard a faint "meow". We stopped to listen and heard it again. A good mimic, I answered with my own "meow". With a much louder "meow" a tiny ball of fluff came running out of the dump site. We all barely avoided being struck by a speeding car, so to avoid further calamity, I ran Toffee home and rushed back out to look for the kitten. I meowed and out he came running from under a neighbor's car. No collar and too late for knocking on doors, so he came home with me. He was starving, tummy was empty and he couldn't have weighed more than 2 pounds. We got by with dog food and a make shift litter box that night, got supplies the next day, and posted lost kitten signs. Two weeks later he was still with us. No calls and no one came looking for him. My grandchildren wanted a kitten for Christmas, but mom felt they weren't quite ready, however this little guys need for a home wore her down. I took him to the vet for shots, checked for a chip, no chip, now he's chipped and scheduled his neutering. Vet placed his birthday in August (older than we thought), same as both grandchildren and he now weighed over 5 pounds. He is a cuddling ball of fur with a calm adapting personality (except for baths). He loves to head bump and purr and purr. He is only a few miles away and I get to babysit him from time to time with his two legged siblings.I can't believe no one was missing him or would want to dump him. But their loss is our gain.

Cathy H.
Atascocita, TX

Chakotay the broccoli kitten

One night before bible study, I was walking past the outside garbage cans that litter that area when I saw a blur run behind one. There were some stray and pet cats in this crowded low-income area that I'd seen and petted before. I expected to see one of the adults. Instead, I saw a little 5-6 week old kitten crouching in fear behind the garbage can trying to defend his tiny food stash from the adult cats. Poor little guy was really dirty, had visible respiratory infection, and hungry looking. He was not winning the food battle. It took a couple of darts and I was finally able to scoop the poor little guy up. Once cradled in my arms, he settled down and started purring. I borrowed a laundry basket and blanket from friend's house we were meeting at to carry the kitten home in my car. You could tell the kitten had been trying to fend for himself food wise for a bit. His first poop had undigested broccoli in it from the garbage can! After good amount of kitten wet food and clean water, he curled up on my chest and slept for hours. After a vet visit in the morning and meds, he quickly plumped out into a healthy kitten. I named the little guy after my favorite Star Trek character - Chakotay! However, the little energetic guy was driving my senior kitty Grace nuts wanting to play. So I took in another stray rescue kitten that a friend found in her garage as the only survivor in a stray litter for his playmate. They instantly became best friends. Of course, I had to name the 2nd kitten Riker, to keep it in the Trekkie family.

Pasadena, CA

32 Rescued Cats

When I was 16, we moved to the countryside in northwest Ohio. We moved my grandparents next door to help my grandfather care for my grandmother. During this time, an orange and white stray appeared and struck up a friendship with my grandpa. We named her Angel. She kept him going while he cared for my ailing grandmother. During the ensuing years, more cats appeared. Grandpa cut a hole in the garage door for the cats to go in and kept a warm fire in the wood stove for their warmth. My mother began catching them to get them spayed or neutered, but the population seemed to climb anyways. Additional cats began to appear in the night; it seemed that they were being dropped off by folks who did not want to keep them. Eventually both my grandparents passed away and my mother moved into their home, continuing my grandfather's initial care for these animals. She went further, though, by addressing the health needs of many, including feline leukemia, feline lupus, cancer, missing legs, missing eyes, hearing and sight impairments, and more. Several have lived beyond what was ever expected because of the care she has provided. She's been called upon by the vet to advise others on how to handle behavioral issues, and has helped the local animal rescue agency rescue other cats. I am now 44 and my mother is nearly 67. She has had lumbar surgery that was supposed to put her back on her feet after 2 weeks. It has now been 9 weeks, the pain remains excruciating, one of her feet is not responding properly, she cannot lift anything, she cannot even tolerate sitting up. It is very likely that she will require a second surgery very soon. We've solicited help from many avenues all with no luck. She is very afraid these cats will suffer due to her ailing health. We need help finding safe, caring homes for these well-loved cats. Many even know their names. If you can help, or you're with this website and can help, please let me know.

Bebe Makena
El Prado, NM

A scaredy cat named Pumpkin

One day while working, a customer struck up a conversation about a cat that she was looking to adopt out. I was looking to add a new bundle of fluff into my family and so when she showed me the pictures I was immediately interested. At the end of the day we visited her home and met Pumpkin the cat. He was terrified of everything, but had already caught our hearts. By days end, we were bringing Pumpkin home.

The night went normal enough. We were isolating Pumpkin in our bathroom to properly introduce him to our other cat, Peaches. However, somehow during the night, Pumpkin managed to pull off a panel under our bathtub and promptly hid in this small space. We were so worried, but we just couldn't get to him. After some careful examination we noticed he was sneaking out during the day to eat and use the litter box, but wouldn't come out at all when we were home or awake.

But I didn't give up on our new friend. Every night, for a few hours I would sit outside of the bathroom, reading or talking quietly to Pumpkin. It took two weeks, but after that time I was able to coax the scaredy cat out. We were able to recover the hole and give Pumpkin more appropriate hiding places.

Two years later and Pumpkin is a giant love bug! He loves affection and loves to play with his other cat friends. He is still scared of new people and new things, but nothing calms him down more than just being with his human companions!

Lacey O'Connor
Syracuse, NY

Simply "Boo" Tiful

A few years ago I was really looking to adopt another kitty. I went onto the local humane society page and fell in love with one particular kitty "Ghost" but when I went to adopt her, she was gone. I was devastated. I visited other rescues but unfortunately no other kitties seemed to capture my eye and my heart like this one I hadn't even met yet. However, my gut told me to go back to the humane society one more time. As soon as I walked in the room I knew why-Ghost was sitting in the cage just staring at me with her big blue eyes begging to come home. The moment I opened the cage she approached me and brushed up against my hand as though claiming me as her human! It was a little challenging to try to adopt her as she had just been spayed (hence why she wasn't there the day before!) but I was so persistent that I wanted her they let BooBerry as I renamed her, come home. Since then she barely ever leaves my side when I am at home. She sleeps often curled up in my arm with her paws resting on my cheek and if heaven forbid I try to change that, I get friendly "Boo-Bites" as we call them. She commands attention from her human! I have never met such a loveable and beautiful (yet super finicky!) kitty. When I come home, Boo is waiting patiently at my bedroom door for me and immediately wants cuddles. She also seems to know me and when I am sick or in pain as her paws do miraculous work on achy shoulders! I couldn't ask for a happier ending to my rescue story. Definitely listen to your instincts when looking for a fur-ever friend! You may never know when the purr-fect companion is just waiting for you to come back and rescue them!

Massillon, OH
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