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The Alley Cat

I first met my Alley in the alley behind my building (hence his name). He was one of the stray cats in that alley. Instead of running away and hiding as all other stray cats would do when they see humans, Alley rolled on his back and showed me his belly and opened his arms. I played with him a bit. He followed me till the end of the alley and wouldn't let me leave.

I was worried about him because he's too friendly to humans, which is very dangerous in this city. The lady who cleans the garbage at the back alley told me that he was new here, apparently abandoned by somebody.

I started to go to the back alley every day to visit him. Every time he'd jump out from wherever he was hiding to play with me, and he'd follow me, stand in my way, scratch my pants, step on my feet, and scream loud to try to stop me from leaving. This continued for a couple of weeks.

Finally, I decided to take him home. One day, I went to the back alley with a cat carrier. He jumped inside right away...

Yu Yu
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dinah stole our hearts

My husband and I have two male cats, Mclovin and Dennis. We have had Mclovin for seven years and took Dennis in almost three years ago from my sister. They both get along great but I still wanted to get a girl cat and my husband thought I was crazy so it did not happen, initially. One evening, my husband saw a beautiful calico kitten sitting outside our back door. The first few nights she would run away when he would open the door so we decided to put food out for her. One evening, my husband went outside when she was there and she ran up to him and wouldn't leave his side. He put her in the garage for the evening since he thought she may be a run away. I met her the next morning and she ran up to me and gave me a big hug. My love for her began that morning. We put up signs around the neighborhood, went on local websites to say we found her, and during this time, she started to steal our hearts more. No one claimed the sweet little calico so we decided to integrate her into our family. We named her Dinah and now she is great friends with Mclovin and Dennis. She chose our backyard and us and we are so lucky she did.

Ali Brandt
Tempe, AZ

Maya, My Maya

In May of last year, I rescued two four week old kittens and saved their lives, and got to keep one. I had my precious little Soxy Boy until January 12, 2015, when someone saw fit to murder him and leave him for us to find. I was devastated, but concentrated on loving his sister, who was even more hurt because now she lost her playmate and brother.

There was a stray hanging around, a pretty little tortoiseshell queen named Maya that the neighbor tried to adopt. But he wouldn't feed her and more often than not would kick her out. I bought a bag and bowl specifically for her and fed her. After a while she learned that my mother's was the place to go to get food. She'd scratch to get in, eat, then scratch to be let out. Suddenly she started to thicken and come in an astonishing amount to eat, and it hit us that this little kitty was pregnant. I leapt at the opportunity. I could get another kitten!

On the 22 of March, 2015, my mother and I had a falling out. Fearing for Maya's life, I bought her what she'd need immediately and drove up to get her that night. It wasn't easy to get her in the crate, and the drive scared her. She happily lounges around in my room now, eating fine delicacies such as bits of shrimp, tuna, steak, cooked veggies, and the occasional half-can of wet food, choosing between three different beds set up at highly-frequented areas, and day-dreaming about catching all the fish she watches in my tanks, getting ready to have a litter of kittens.

Sox showed me that having a kitty companion is incredibly rewarding, and Maya is only supporting it. I've had her a week now and she's stuck to my side like glue, greets me whenever I come in, and offers her soft, furry shoulder to cry on whenever I need it. I'm still getting a kitten when her litter is born, but I'm very glad I got her as well.

Sierra
Citrus Heights, CA

Kitty

So, this is my best friend and her name is Kitty! During the month of February (2014) I went to go look at this random house with my grandma (The house I live in now). I went looking through all the rooms, but one of the rooms I went to had a bathroom in it. When I entered the room, something just told me to go look outside the bathroom window. When I did I saw this beautiful calico cat just laying in the woods. Something sent this weird feeling down my back when I turned and left the bathroom. So, later that month we finally got moved in and it started snowing like crazy. I was in the living room and as I was sitting on the couch, I looked outside our back door and there she was standing outside the window while getting snowed on. I felt so bad for her and finally convinced my grandma to let her come in. On May 19, 2014 she had 5 little kittens. I could only keep one and I had to give the others away! Ever since I found Kitty I knew she was meant to be with me and she has changed my life soooo much. She has given me soo many memories even though she is a cat, for example; the time she tried giving birth on my bed! -.- I love her sooo much and I will never let her go.

Britteny
Galax, VA

Her name was Lola

Meet my Lola. I was walking at a Dog event with one of my basset hounds and a rescue group approached me to comment on my Barney (also a rescue). I always rescue my dogs. But this day I was told about a story of a basset hound that needed someone to give her a home. She had been in a puppy mill for 4 years and was a puppy mill mama. The place she was in, had 100 cages of dogs, stacked 5 high in a barn. The day the place was raided, there was an auction going on and my beautiful girl was on the auction block and was being purchased for $8.00 by a person with a Dog fighting ring that would use her for bait. My Lola had never walked on grass, was beaten and battered, X-rays showed many healed broken bones. The rescue was looking for someone that knew the breed and would be able to work with her. I have had Bassets for over 30 yearsI had 3 male bassets(all rescues) and all where trained as Therapy Dogs. So I decided this lady needed to be with me. I worked with my trainer who helped me help her to get over her fear. She was such a scared little girl. But with love and training she came out of her shell and now 4 years later my Lola is a Therapy Dog and we work with special needs children. She, like my other 3 bassets, love children. Lola became such a fixture at the training center that we now help with all the training classes for the perspective Therapy Dogs and Lola demonstrates how to do the behaviors they will need to pass the test. I am so proud of my girl and all my dogs. Mo, Reba and Andy love having Lola in the family. There is nothing like the loyalty you get from a Rescued Dog.

Anonymous
Lakewood, NJ

Almost Catnip

It was May 2010 and were getting ready to go on a family vacation, leaving on a Thursday. The night before we are supposed to leave, I hear a slight yelping which keeps me awake. This yelping is like a call for help but again, its ever so slight and I do not know where it's located. So I get up and walk downstairs to check the front and backyard - nothing there. The yelping seems to subside for a while and at this point, I'm headed back to bed. Just as I begin to walk up the stairs, I hear it again but this time its louder and more dis-stressed and at that point I knew i had to find what has making the yelping noise.

In my pajamas, I walk out my front door and investigate further and at first glance, i see nothing however as I walk further out my front door, I see a group of 4 ferrell cats near my garage door and as they see me they slowly scatter leaving behind a very scared, shaking little Min Pin. Backed into the corner of my garage door and almost catnip, is where I found our Panda Pooh. I walked over slowly and got down on the ground to attempt to get close to him - I didn't know and had never seen this dog but he was obviously shaken. It took about 1 hour to get close enough to him to pick him up and once I did I brought him inside. I placed him in our downstairs bathroom with a bed, food and water and went back to bed - telling my half asleep husband that there is a dog in our downstairs bathroom. He was introduced to the family in the morning and quickly joined our two Lhasa Apso's as part of the pack. P.S. We put up signs and submitted online post - but no one ever claimed him and we are so very thankful they didn't because we couldn't imagine our pack without him.

Kim
Waxhaw, NC

Ruger's Choice

I’ve fostered dogs for years. Last April I received a call from the rescue asking me if I would foster the “boys” from a litter of abandoned puppies found in a barn somewhere in the desert around Las Vegas. They had no idea what either parent looked like. The pups were 3-1/2 weeks old, just barely old enough to eat. When I picked them up from the transport relay, they were filthy and smelled like a barn, but they were fat and active. When I got home, my 2 year-old shepherd mix, Ruger, was fascinated with the pups. I named them Spike, Dewey and Trey, nicknames for the first three cards in a deck. (Vegas, baby!!) I found out the hard way that they were carrying the horrible bacteria Campylobacter. It didn't make them sick, but it sure laid ME low for a while! Ruger and I cared for the pups until they were old enough to go to their forever homes at 8 weeks. Just before the date arrived, I lost my beloved dog Lulu to cancer. Ruger was devastated. Hoping to console him, I let him choose a puppy to keep. It was very obvious which one he favored. It was Dewey!. A year later they are inseparable. Ruger still thinks he is Dewey’s mom, even though Dewey is now 70 lbs. of clumsy goofiness, and still growing!

Deb Sander
Parma Heights, OH

The Ultimate Survivor

When we had to put our beloved 15 year old Aussie down, I had determined that I wanted to find a Rescue. When I happened upon a photo of 2 year old Reacher (so named by the Vet who saved him after the protaganist in Lee Child's books about Jack Reacher, an ex army cop who seems to survive any situation,) and read his heart-wrenching story, I knew he was the one for us. The Vet told me that he was the worst case of abuse she had ever seen, and she really didn't think he would make it. He was half his normal weight and was having constant seizures. He wouldn't look at her for two weeks, but she said when he finally did, it was the most profound experience she had ever had with an animal. Well, I fell in love with his picture, and the description by the Rescue where he was placed after he had recovered that he was a loving, enthusiastic little guy so we went to get him as soon as we passed inspection. It took a few weeks for him to settle down and believe that he was truly saved, but he is the most loving, happy (he didn't even wag his tail for a few weeks) little guy now. He and his sister, Molly, enjoy playing with the plethora of toys (which he had no idea what to do with at first), and running with abandon on the mountain several times a week.(Molly keeps a close eye on him and sometimes has to retrieve him when he wanders a little too far.) He sleeps in my room in a memory foam bed which he LOVES; it is "his place." We feel very blessed that we were able to save him and give him the life that every dog deserves.

Kaye
Casper, WY

Saving my sweeties

My husband was not a cat person.

But before we got married I demanded a cat to his dog. My Regina (the little queen, a black calico/tortie) came from a hoarding situation. at least 8 indoor dogs, and 6 indoor cats. Many more were outside. I adopted her, and her twin sister Georgina. Unfortunately Georgina fell to an illness before I could take her home.

Reggie needed a friend, and so, I adopted my black cat Claudia on the week of Halloween about a year later. She was a wal-mart kitten. Blind from an illness in her eyes, we spent nearly $200 to fix her vision within the first month of her being at our house.

Now they are the best of friends, and my husband can't deny the cuteness of a ball of cats in his lap after a hard day. The dog still gives them about a 6 foot span though. I couldn't ask for better pets, they are trusting and loving to an extreme. I can't walk by Reggie without her licking my nose (giving kisses); and Claudia, who we call the kitten more often than not, is a little special, and loves to shove her nose up her owners nostrils as her form of kisses.

I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Kayla
Lake Ozark, MO

Little Jack

We heard from the neighbor girls that there was a cat living under our deck. We finally were able to see it the middle of October, which was still warm in MN. He/she was friendly but cautious. I fed the kitty and then didn't see it for about two weeks. The next time I saw it, it followed me into the house. This was a good thing because it got really cold within a week of that. Because we had four other cats, we kept this one away until we could figure out the next step, which, of course, was a 5th cat. We thought it was a pregnant female because of the big belly, but it turned out to be a starving male. The vet told us he was about 3 or 4 years old and had been outside for about two years. He has three and half legs (the back left is only half, but he was born that way). His ears are folded from the cold and mites and one of them is half-way missing. He has permanent scratches on his face and his shoulders from fights. He is gnarly through and through, but he is the sweetest, most affectionate little guy. He sleeps every night next to my husband's head. We saved him and he has been nothing but joy. Little Jack.

Tree
Forest Lake, MN
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