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Penny the Smurgler

I had just moved into my first apartment by myself during college and was feeling a little lonely, so my mom suggested going to Free Cat Day at the local animal shelter to pick out the purrfect cat. I picked several, and the first cat that was brought out was adorable but seemed incredibly timid. I wasn't sure about this cat until my mom said out loud "Do you want to go home with Sammi?" and she let out the saddest, most pleading meow I've ever heard. She was the one.

I brought her home and she immediately hid... so well, that I couldn't find her for about 8 hours and thought she must've found a way to escape my apartment! I was so upset and didn't understand why she kept hiding from me. She came with a free vet visit, and when I took her in I got a lot of bad news. The only info the shelter gave me was that they'd had her one day. I had noticed she kept agitating her stomach area, turns out she must've had kittens a day or two before she was taken to the shelter. She was taken away from them so quickly she was actually nursing herself. I also noticed she wasn't really eating, and that's because according to the vet she had Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions. I never thought to look in her mouth and it was devastating. Her gums were bleeding, her teeth were rotten. She had to get 6 teeth pulled, which was not an expense a college student can handle. I loved her so much and knew I'd do anything to take care of her, and fortunately my mom was willing to help with her surgery.

After the surgery, it still took about 2 months for her to let me pet or hold her. Once she started warming up to me, she was kneading on me constantly. I assume she was feral, so I let her outside on my deck to explore. She's the best cat I've ever had and we have an incredibly strong bond.

Sammi
Denver, CO

Coal Shed Cats

I was called one morning at work by my room mate saying they had found a stray cat in our garden coal shed giving birth to kittens. That day at work was one of the longest I have ever been through, amd cycling home I could not contain my glee.

When I returned I found a tabby/bengal mix had given birth to three gorgeous kittens; one black and white, one tabby and one patchwork ginger/tabby. What followed was one of the best summers of my life as we five young professionals/housemates tried to help raise three very mischievous kittens in our back garden, along with looking after mum, and keep our resident 1-year-old black cat (Boo) from going insane with fear/jealousy. Relationships were stretched but we all got through it in the end, and lets just say we had a few more visitors than usual. We managed to re-home two of the kittens with my parents, whom had lost our two family cats over the preceding two years and were in mourning, cats whom my sister and I were given as children and grew up with. When I gave my father a picture of them for his birthday and told him to pick two - words cant describe.

I can still remember the night before the mother and remaining tabby kitten were picked up, they had been staying in the garden all summer, there was a drought so weather was never an issue, but I woke to crashing thunder and lightning. I looked out the window to witness one of the worst torrential rain storms I had for a long time in the UK, and raced outside in my underpants in a panic - I thought the mother may have evacuated her last remaining kitten as the coal shed would have been flooded.

I tore the temporary cover we had propped over the coal chute and saw two very drenched cats clinging to each other, shivering in the cold. They spent their last night at our summer cat house inside with me.

They all now live happy and contented lives.

Sam Crowe
London, United Kingdom

When least expected ,,,,,,,,,,,

WallE was meant to be a part of my family from day 1. It was July of 2009. My son worked at Walgreen's and found this little tiny kitten stuck between the building and a trash can. He really didn't seem underfed, but was scared. I had already had two older cats and really didn't need another, but WallE was too cute to pass up. I told my son we would contact shelters the next day and see what we could do. The shelters all said they were getting 20-30 cats a day because the economy was so bad and individuals were losing their homes and just leaving their pets. Most of those surrendered would be put down. I could not do that to WallE so he became a member of my family. I have to say he has been a lifeline for me.

I was laid off in October of 2008 and WallE brought some joy in the household. He learned to play fetch with a ball, loves to chase red lights, and has decided to adopt me as his mom. I really do believe he thinks I am mom! I have since lost my two older cats (15 and 14 yr olds) to some kind of poisoning from flea meds so I appreciate WallE even more. I have rescued another kitten a year ago who's mother disappeared when he was two weeks old and he has grown into a beautiful long haired cat. He is not as lovable as WallE and would prefer we leave him along unless it is to play, feed, or give treats! As all cat lovers know, each one has their unique personality, but they all bring happiness to those that care for them.

Anne Kehoe
Warren, OH

My Beautiful Sinbad

One day my husband called me from work, he worked at the county sheriff's department. He said "Honey, I've got something up here you're gonna want to see." So I get there and there in a box was the tiniest black kitten you've ever seen! He knows that black cats are my weakness.Someone had dropped him off there, so he was in an emergency situation. So I scoop him up and take him home. We joked that he had "6 hairs and a little monster face"! He was so little he couldn't even drink from a bottle yet, so I had to feed him with a dropper for a week. Well he graduated to a bottle, then kitten food soaked in a mixture of kitten formula and canned goat milk diluted with water. Those bottle feedings are some very precious memories to me. They will " help" you hold the bottle with their baby paws! He is now my magnificent black and one of the sweetest cats I've ever had and 2 years later he still likes to nuzzle my neck. My husband says its because I'm the only momma he can remember! My beautiful Sinbad is one of the biggest, sleekest cats I've ever seen, and I'm so glad that we have him in our family.

Ramona lee
Laneville, TX

Salem, the Purrmonster

I had no intention of getting a pet as I was unemployed and broke...well, that's not quite how it worked out. I was visiting with family up in the hills of TN when I came across this adorable little kitten sitting on the porch of one of my Grandmother's rental properties. Black as pitch with peridot green eyes and the oddest looong white hairs on his legs. Being a huge fan of MOST things furry and four-legged, I just had to lean over and give him a scritch behind the ears. Well, that was no where near enough in his eyes. He crawled up my jacket sleeve, got into my hood and promptly started purring himself off to sleep. I had just been adopted!

Wait, wasn't I the one to do the adopting? Try though I might, I didn't have the heart to leave him. He knew I needed him and he needed me. I was going through a divorce and although we had no children, I had to leave my dog, Max, with the ex... it broke my heart. I NEEDED a furball in my life. I would find a way to make it work. I needed someone I could talk to with no judgements and he offered none. What he DID offer was cuddles, purrs, and laughs from his kitten antics.

It's been 16 years and we've been on many grand adventures. We've been all over the U. S. and even to Okinawa AB, Japan when my new husband got orders. Funny thing is, we're back in the hills of TN (hubby retired from the military) and Salem is still with me, still listening and offering no judgements, still making me laugh...My purring angel dressed in shadow black.

Mary K
Cookeville, TN

One-Eyed Jack

Jack had been picked up on the street by a friend at the local vet office. He had an infected eye and after unsuccessful treatment had to have it removed. He was about 12 weeks when I saw him and instantly fell in love. He came home with me and slept on my shoulder and met me at the door when I came home from work. He has been my best friend for 16 years. He is the most mild mannered cat and accepts all animals brought into the home and doesn't even have to fight for all to know he is the boss.

Spring of 2013 he was diagnosed with nasal cancer but has lasted longer then the vet thought he would. He is still with me today, though I don't know for how long, and will be in my heart forever. Someday we will cross the rainbow bridge together.

Cheryl Sheff
Wallaceburg, ON, Canada

My little Sagutis :)

My mom and I go to the suburbs of Chicago a few times a week to feed all the strays. So as usual we got all our cat food and set off but little did we know we'd be bringing home the joy of our lives :) We went up to Chicago around 5 pm so it was getting dark. Once we got there we put the container of wet food out and waited for the cats to come running. Once they were done we were ready to go back home. We got into the car and drove off. About 5 minutes into the drive we hear a little squeak coming from the back seat. There was a kitten about 8 or 9 months old shivering behind the front seat of the car. He must have climbed into our car when we put the food out for all the cats. We had no idea what to do, we couldn't go back and leave him there he was so tiny and frail. So we decided to take him home and bring to the vet first thing in the morning. The vet had confirmed that the kitten had bad digestive problems and excessive diarrhea. We hadn't had a cat or any animal in the house really for over 10 years! But this little guy changed it all. For the next year or so we fed him Hill's Prescription diet food with little packets of medicine mixed in. Along with many other medications that year might have the roughest for him. But all that is far behind us and he is now a whopping 5 years old and healthy (and a little chubby I must say (; ). I had never expected this caring, friendly and loving little bundle of joy to become a part of my life. He was determined to have forever home and took it upon himself and all the strength he had to do it, and we have never been any happier :)

Anonymous
Darien, IL

An unexpected find in a Mercedes Benz

My fiancé and I were visiting my parent's for the weekend when we met Benzie, she was about 3 months old. We were about to leave for breakfast when I walked outside and heard a tiny meow from somewhere in the garage. My parents do not have cats and we've never seen any around the yard. I recruited my family to look, made my dad open the car's hood, and we found nothing until she finally spoke up again. She was in the wheel well of my mother's car (the one we almost drove!), and we have no idea how she made it there. She was tiny and scared, so we left a can of tuna out and left in another car. When we came home she was sitting by the front of the garage, having eaten 1/2 a can already, but quickly climbed back into the car again. We finally got a hold of her and she started purring in my hands. She was in rough shape, grimy and too skinny, and something was clearly wrong with her right eye. It was partially closed and seeping. We took her to a friend of the family's who rehabs stray cats and he got her cleaned up and eating.

We went home to Pittsburgh but couldn't stop thinking about her. The family friend couldn't take her to a shelter, she was just too sweet and her eye certainly needed some sort of medical care. We already had two cats, brothers we adopted from the local humane society, and a dog, but something told me we needed to take her. We met halfway and brought her home. She did end up needing to have her eye removed, requiring two surgeries, but she has never let it get her down! She rules the roost and our hearts, never have a I met a sweeter animal. She likes to chirp and boop your face with hers (sometimes a little too hard!). She sure knows how to improve a bad day and I thank god every day we decided to bring her home.

Melissa
Allison Park, PA

My youngest Angels

February 7th of 2013, just a week after have to putting my oldest cat down, three little angels wondered into my yard. They needed to be fed but there was no way you could touch them. My Dad and I would feed them every day up behind the one shed but couldn't touch. In fact they wouldn't get close enough to be touched.

We eventually discovered that they were living under the house. Going in and out underneath the air conditioner unit. So we move dishes down by the back porch close to the air conditioner. My Dad even made a cover to keep the dishes under so the food wouldn't get wet in the rain. The new location wasn't a problem. They would allow us to get closer as we continued to feed them. It was late April they finally left us pet them.

We decided we needed to get the female spayed so there wouldn't be more kittens. I took her to the vet to have her checked out and get her ready for her surgery. The visit didn't go quite as planned. She was so little and may have already been pregnant, but she was also very sick with several infections that needed treated. After a week of meds she had surgery. Moving her in was not in the plan since we already had 5 and Dad wasn't sure he wanted more in the house. Dad became very attached and said she could move in.

After moving her in I so wanted her brothers to move in too. Finally after a week or so Dad agreed to let the boys move in. The one had no problem but the other wasn't sure. When he came in his heart raced so fast. I went to get his sister to hopefully help him calm down. She wasn't much help. She went up and smacked him across the face.

A year later they have become the most loving inside cats anyone could ask for. They are such joys. The little yellow is Amber and white ones are Snowball and Snowflake.

Rebecca Dunkle
Mifflinburg, PA

The love of my life!

When Ceaser came into my life, I already had a female cat and a female dog. For some reason I had the idea that I wanted all females in my home. When my co worker brought this sweet, yet dirty little cat into work, I asked if the cat was a female. When I found out that the baby was in fact female. I jumped at the chance of having another pet. A few days later I took my kitty to the vet to find out that she was very much a male who was so young that his male parts hadn't showed up earlier. Initially I was crushed, but he was so sweet I knew he belonged with me. Throughout the next 9 years Ceaser has proven to be a total sweetheart and the love of my life. He is the nicest, gentlest, most lovable cat I have ever met. I thank God for fooling me into bringing him home. He seamlessly blended in with my other pets and we became one big happy family. Ceaser is never very far from me in fact in the picture above he is laying next to me. Every night he spend time kneading on me. and everyday I realize how much I need him too.

Darla
Canton, OH
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