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Moments Away

June of 2005, my husband received orders to Washington state. We were stationed in Hawaii at the time and upon our move back to the mainland I found out I was pregnant with our first child. We came to Arizona for a few weeks to visit family before making the move to WA. While in AZ we decided to adopt a kitten. While at the shelter, I noticed a very sick kitten, sneezing blood clots. I alerted one of the shelter workers. I was saddened by the response I got, which was they were overloaded and lacked the staff to provide medical treatment for the animals with advanced upper respiratory infections and would just take this kitten in the back to be destroyed that day. After signing a waiver assuming all medical responsibility, that little sick kitten came home with us. Many days and nights were spent force feeding with a syringe every hour and medication 3xs per day. My vet gave him a 50/50 chance to recover. 9 years later, Hemi is a happy healthy kitty. Hemi cuddled my belly when I was pregnant with my son, and once born, I would catch him sneaking in his crib to snuggle with him in the middle of the night. Hemi has lived in WA, TN, and back to AZ in the past 9years and has remained attached to my son as if they were brothers. He makes his rounds around the house, popping in everyone's room to say hello and get in a few cuddles each morning and night. Always at the door to greet us, and always has a spot on the couch with the family on movie nights. A sense of appreciation along with love can always be seen in his eyes, and every night my two boys cuddle in bed...9 years of a brotherly bond. To think that he was moments away from being destroyed, I could not imagine our family without him. Hemi is a permanent family member and will always have a happy forever home with this family.

Melissa H.
Waddell, AZ

My two furry sons

I started volunteering with an animal rescue that specializes in cats. When my parents-in-law heard about us volunteering, they predicted we were going to get a house full of cats. They were right.

We'd wanted to adopt a persian-mix named Moonie, but she didn't do well with the family dog. On our way to returning Moonie to her cage, a foster asked us if we'd like to meet Spanky. "He loves dogs!" she said. "He acts like one, too." We said yes, why not? We were introduced to a cow-patterned fluff-ball that rubbed against our legs and chased after a ribbon string toy like there was no tomorrow. Also, he played with our family dog. The moment we gazed into his huge eyes adorned with permanent eyeliner, we knew he was it.

Spanky is very active, playful and social. He'll follow us from room to room, especially if we're the only ones in the house (apart from my in-laws). We knew he would love to have a kitty friend. My in-laws were reluctant, but I knew, deep down, that there was room for another. Social cats need to be in pairs, right?

A few months later, we met the sweetest, cuddliest lovebug ever while breaking down an adoption event. He is a beautiful orange tabby-bengal mix with white shoes and underside. He is a purr machine and loves belly rubs, nuzzles and cuddles. Karl, the beautiful orange kitty, nudged and snuggled his way into our hearts. We knew he was the (second) one.

For weeks my husband and I slowly introduced the idea of a second kitty in the house. The in-laws were adamant at first. They were worried the dog wouldn't get along with a second cat. Their worries were dispelled when we brought Karl into our home one day for a "test-run". The test-run turned into a forever adoption.

Karl and Spanky are the best of friends. We find them snuggled in a couch together, necking, grooming each other, rough housing. We love them to bits and our life wouldn't be complete without them!

Lydia Pflieger
Lake Forest, CA

My little hobo cat

One Christmas, my mom called me over to her boyfriend's house. It turns out his neighbor had a female cat who had given birth to a litter of kittens about 8 months previous. All of the kittens were disappearing (the neighbor was dumping them off in the mountains), except for one little attention starved long hair tuxedo. My mom had seen her left out sopping wet in the pouring rain, and so we decided I would catch her and bring her home. I ended up having to take her to the vet almost right away because she had gotten ear mites so badly that the infection had spread down to her eye, I also had to get her spayed, treated for worms, and she was terribly emaciated, poor thing.

A year and a half later, Shasta is big and healthy, gets all the love she could ever want, and is best friends with my other cat (whom I had previously adopted form a shelter 2 years before) Stormy. Although we had to make a few changes, like getting a lid for our garbage can in the kitchen, and putting the cat food in a plastic container so she wouldn't rip into the bag, and getting a triangular litter box so she wouldn't scratch on the walls, I am so thankful we saved my little hobo cat's life that Christmas. She's the best gift I could have ever gotten, and I love watching her sleep completely knocked out lying on her back with her entire belly showing, stretched out across my bed.

Candace Richards
Concord, CA

Soul Mates

6 years ago my mother and I went to our local shelter, my sister recently moved away and took our dog, since she was moving to the country and could give her a lot of room to run and play. We lived in an apartment at the time so I thought it would be better for us to get a cat. On the day we went we asked if there were any kittens available for adoption. The kind man behind the counter told us that there would be a litter of adorable little long haired angora mix kittens available the next day.

The following day we went to look at the kittens, but they had all been adopted quite quickly (he said there was a line waiting when they opened!) so, disappointed we were ready to turn and go to the next shelter to try and find a companion. Luckily for me he convinced us to go look at the adult cats, saying we would be doing them a huge favor if we adopted an adult cat since hardly anyone was interested in adopting them. When I opened the door I had to nudge a scraggly looking grey female out of the way,(the Mama of the kittens) she had a nub of a tail and her hair was course from malnutrition. She pawed me till I picked her up and she fell asleep in my arms. From that moment on we've been inseparable, she's my comforter when I'm sad, and my cuddle buddy at bed time. I can honestly say that she is my soul mate and will remain in my heart and home for the rest of her life.

Jessica F.
Garland, TX

Found a family

My dad was visiting my grandfather at the nursing home & when he came out, he found a surprise in his truck, a pretty white cat. As she couldn't possibly have climbed inside on her own, we figured someone must have put her there. He brought her home where my youngest fell immediately in love with her, so we ended up keeping her. One month later we had a litter of kittens to go with our dear Suzette (perhaps the reason she ended up with us). We found homes for 2 of the 5 kittens when they were old enough though we ended up keeping the 3 girls. So now we're a little more even in a house with 3 boys and 1 girl. We are now one big happy family.

Anonymous
Olathe, KS

Moose

My significant other and I decided it was time for us to expand our little family, so we went to the local SPCA to adopt a cat. I was looking from cage to cage at all of the cats in the shelter, paying little mind to the grey shorthair at my heals. Finally, after many paws to the legs, my boyfriend and I started playing with this kitty- instant love! We didn't even notice for the first 5 minutes that he had only one eye. His previous owners named him Cy (for Cyclops), but we decided we ought to give him a more fitting name - Moose. We figured this kitty is miles closer to a Moose than a monster!

We took him home, and he's been at our heels ever since- he sleeps with us, eats with us, greets us when we come home. He's the best! He had been at the shelter for over a year before we adopted him, which shocks me! He's such a loving kitty, my guess is that people looked past him because of his eye. We've already taken him to the vet many times as a result of his eye, but in my mind, it's worth it! The unconditional love he shows us every day is worth any vet bill!

Julia
Wellsville, NY

My very lucky day.

About 7 years ago, I was on my way to see my boyfriend at work. While driving, I saw a woman walking with her young son. Behind them ran a tiny ball of fluff, struggling with all his might to keep up. I pulled over and said, "Excuse me, is that your kitten?". She glanced back at this tiny kitten making the most pleading meows, and looked at him with disgust. "No", she said, and continued walking. As she left, he darted towards the street, straight in front of a pickup truck. I dashed into the street and scooped him up as the truck blared it's horn. We were both okay, but his gums were pale from a terrible flea infestation, he was malnourished and very weak. As soon as I held him, he stopped his pleading meows. It was like he knew he was safe.

I took him home, fed him, bathed him 3 times to get rid of his fleas and he napped in my arms. The next day I took him to the humane society. They told me they didn't have room for anymore cats, and I honestly felt such relief. To me, it was a sign that he was meant to be with me. He came back home with me, and we named him Schrödinger. He was about 4 weeks old when we found him, and wasn't even fully weaned. I bought kitten formula, and my boyfriend and I took turns taking him to work so he'd never go without eating. Every night at 3am, he'd poo in his box and then inevitably roll in it. He'd cry until we got up and bathed him. It was like having a newborn, but we loved every minute of it.

Today, Schrodey is 7, and shows me everyday how grateful he is. He chose me, and I can't imagine life without him. Last year, we got a little polydactyl girl from a local rescue. We named her Hemingway, and they're wonderful together. They are my life, and their love keeps me sane. I'm so lucky. :)

Teresa Phipps
Corning, CA

My Amazing and Wonderful Son

A year ago, my son moved to San Jose in order to earn his degree in materials engineering at San Jose State. I knew that the hardest part of his leaving home was going to be the absence of a pet. Kyle was leaving a home where the pets outnumbered the people and going to a home where he would have plenty of roommates, but none of them four-legged and furry. Shortly after moving in, he discovered a stray cat that hung around the area. As he tried to befriend her, he soon discovered she had given birth to kittens. He searched for where she had hid them, found them and took them to a local no-kill shelter where they were soon adopted. He eventually captured the momma cat and with help from a neighbor had her spayed. She is still feral, but she does appreciate the food, water and love that he lavishes on her.

Earlier today, one of his roommates discovered two kittens, pictured, in their recyclable bin. Kyle and his roommates gave these little kittens food and water as well as a flea and tick bath. He contacted the same no-kill shelter who agreed to take these two new additions. In a world where so many people are cruel to each other and to innocent animals, I'm so proud of my son, who I know loves animals as much as I do. I can't imagine my life without my rescues, it makes me very happy to know this is something we have common.

Jennifer Alwood
Rancho Murieta, CA

Together We Made It

My dog Bonita originally belonged to my grandmother, she was meant to be companionship for her. Sadly not long after getting the dog she fell ill and was kept in the hospital. My uncle told her he would take care of her and another dog that was supposedly his, turns out that meant he would leave some food and then ignore the animals for the next few weeks my grandmother would remain in the hospital. Upon her return she found two skeletal dogs on the verge of death. Being bigger Bonita was not as sick as her younger companion Rocky, who later died despite our efforts. Bonita had a bad skin condition and my grandmother couldnt take care of her so we took her in. Over 300 hundred dollars in vet bills later she was finally getting better, but as a pitbull it was growing harder and harder to find a home for her. As finding a home fore her seemed less and less likely the bond between me and this amazingly compassionate dog grew. When we finally found her a home they had to give her back because she refused to eat and became lethargic. When they brought her back she practically killed me with kisses and I knew I could never let her go like that againn. Now she is a well fed chunky happy mutt with a loving family that includes my mother and step father. I only wish every dog could find a happy ending like this. Bonita is my closest and greatest friend and I like to believe she feels the same. We make each other better.

Erika
Ocala, FL

Why Rescue Matters - Bonnie's Story

It was late summer in 2000. One of California Siamese Rescue’s volunteers, who monitored a high kill shelter in Downey, sent out a note about a 3-month old “sweet and slightly cross-eyed lynx point” who was there and red ticketed. She wasn’t even being shown to the public. For some reason, she was just slated to be euthanized. The Rescue decided to pull her and transport her to San Diego to be fostered.

I volunteered to help transport her to San Diego. That Saturday, I met the volunteer with this little lynx point, who reached her little white paw as far as she could out of the carrier to me. I fell in love immediately. I decided to keep her and name her Bonnie. She would be my first rescue, my first baby girl kitty and my first new cat, since moving to California.

That first night home, she purred as loudly as I’ve heard a cat purr. She knew she was safe, loved and home. We quickly found out that there just wasn’t a mean or confrontational bone in her body. She was quiet, sweet, and polite. She loved flowers, bathrooms and carne asada. She was always with us, that is, until this past Tuesday. She passed away at the age of 14, which was in our belief, years too early.

It is hard to really put into words what she meant to our family. Our thoughts go back to the fact that we were able to give her a life that was 14 years longer than she was going to have had she stayed at that shelter. It was a beautiful and meaningful life for all of us. As my first rescue, I wanted to protect her from everything bad and make up for her first three months of life. I know that the way I can honor her is to take some time, let that huge hole in my heart heal just a little bit, and then go right back out there and save another life that is slated to end way too soon.

Sandra Thompson
Foothill Ranch, CA
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