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Best. Cat. Ever.

8 years ago I was hanging in a friend's yard, watching all her neighbor's cats lounging around. I've always been a cat person, but I hadn't been in a position to get one for a few years. I was finally ready, and I realized it right at that moment. I turned to my friend and out of nowhere said, "I'm looking for a cat, by the way, in case you know of one available." She then said that she did in fact know of one available, a kitten that one of her co-workers had brought to the juvenile detention center where she worked. I guess it was the last left of a litter, and the woman hoped the kitten could live there amongst the kids. Everyone was getting along, then their boss returned from a trip and told them the kitten could not stay. After talking to my housemates I went the next day to meet her, and instantly fell in love with this little gray & white tuxedo kitten with a crooked tail (they said she was born that way). I brought her home and she fit in right away. She never even flinched from our pitbull/boxer mix; just eyed him coolly from under a table. We named her Ua, which means rain in Hawaiian. Ua was my best friend for 7 years. Was with me through the death of my father, through cancer, and when I met and moved in with the man I ultimately married. She could charm the most adamant "non-cat" person, including my now husband, who fell head over heels in love with her. She was so gentle; never bit, scratched, or hissed at anyone, but was a tough hunter and fiercely independent.

One year ago today, we had to make the heart-wrenching decision to let her go after a battle with cancer that left her covered with tumors. She now rests under a breadfruit tree, which is thriving and full of life. We went on to adopt another cat soon after, but there is no creature on earth who could replace my sweet Ua.

Shanna Blumenfeld Thompson
Kaneohe, HI

My Little Angel

Being a foster carer should be a rewarding experience until I got attacked by my first mother cat. I was not ready to repeat the experience. I got a call about another mother 6 months later and I agreed to take her and the babies on, but I was so afraid. It turns out that Angelica was different. She was quiet, shy and uncertain of her surroundings thanks to coming from a breeder. She and the babies were in bad condition when I got them and they required lots of medical care for ear mites and malnutrition. I nursed them back to health and the babies grew into beautiful kittens. Angelica became attached to me and would lie on my lap and go to sleep. I thought I was simply looking after her until she found a forever home, I just didn't know at the time that the forever home would be mine. I had a meltdown 4 weeks later due to stress and I was barely functioning. Every time I was with Angelica, my mood shifted and I felt better. She continued to seek me out and curl up on my lap when I sat down. When it was time for her to go back I spoke to my husband about adopting her. I explained how she needed me as much as I needed her. My husband argued that we already had two cats, whom I love, but I wouldn't back down. My husband reluctantly agreed to her adoption. When I sent her back I was afraid she would be put down due to her deformed front legs before I could adopt her. She is a Munchkin from the Persian line and her deformity is natural. My fear was unfounded and the adoption occurred without a hitch. My little angel is super sweet and super loving. She sleeps with me and follows me around. I have taught her how to play with toys. She especially likes to cuddle and get scratched. We both saved each other when we both needing saving.

Sonya Carbone
Adelaide, Australia

The little hissing girl under the table

Two years ago, I went to one of the few cat shelters here in Chile. I was accompanying a friend that wanted a cat. There were a lot of beautiful cats, all colours, ages and sizes, and all of them very friendly. And then, I saw a little full black spot under a table. She was 7 months and was hissing to everyone, person or cat. The shelter girl told me that she was rescued from a street colony, that had a very harsh life, and that they were thinking that she couldn't be adopted because she was very agressive. I came closer to her and bit mi in the leg, Then I talked to her "I'll not hurt you. Please, you got to trust others to get a second chance..." She looked at me... and dropped to the ground and showed me her belly, purring. After that, I couldn't leave her there, so I took her home after signing the papers. (My friend adopted one too).

I'm a cat person, but never had the idea of being owned by more than one cat. I already had one, Turrón (spanish for Nougat), from a shelter too, a playful and big, Garfield-like friend. He wasn't exactly happy about the idea of sharing me. I named the new one Trufa (spanish for Truffle) and, after a few weeks of hissing and delimitating their space, she was full part of the family. She happened to be a very sweet and quiet girl, always ready to purr and give you cuddles. I was going through a harsh divorce then and I can say that Turrón and Trufa helped me and my son to bear it in a great way and today have a new family, the best I could find!

Tomas
Santiago, Chile

"Jack Jack"

He was my grandmas tenant's puppy. A 9 week old Pit-bull/Blue Heeler Mix. Small Body, big paws, floppy ears and super clumsy. Sadly he was left outside constantly so he would walk around vying for anybody's attention. We met while he wandered to my grandmas yard, we played for awhile and he instantly grew attached. He would leave his yard and make his way to my door, crying for companionship.One day I found him laying next to the house, sad, hopeless and dying. It was too late to take him to our local vet, I had no choice but to wait out that night. To my surprise he made it thought the night. That next morning I rushed him to the vet. It was terrifying, he had tested positive for parvo. I balled like a baby. I was informed he had a 50/50 chance of making it alive. I left him there hoping he would battle through it. I slept maybe a few hours that night and I woke up early. I called the vet at exactly 8am to see if he survived. He made it! I rushed there immediately to see him. I called my grandma on the way and told her to inform her tenant he was mine now. He was shaking in a corner with a cone around his neck and an IV in his arm. He whimpered with his tail wagging as he pressed his head against my hand that I had pushed against the cage.I felt his love at that moment, it was him saying thank you for rescuing him. But the Truth is he rescued me. I suffer from PTSD and a Panic Disorder. His unconditional love has helped me fight through it, made me find hope in life. He's now my best friend.

Steven L.
Espanola, NM

A justified lie

I knew my current cat, when a friend of mine took it from the garbage. There were the herd of kittens. I wanted one of them, but I recently had had a dog and my mom didn't want any animal again, so I told her that I wanted to bring to the house a kitty just for a weekend, so my mom bought cat's food and cat litter, but I told to my friend that I wanted to keep the cat forever.

The first day of Jacinto at home was so funny, he was really scared and he smelled really bad. My mom was surprised about its look. He had a really big ears, he seemed a bat. However she welcomed him, believing it would only be for a couple of days. The second day he was walking around the house a little less shy, smelling everything . The next days my mom told me every minute that I had to find my friend to bring her the cat but I invented a lot of excuses, with the faith that my mom would fall in love with the cat and would decide to keep it, and so it happened. Jacinto was at home.

He slept at beds, furniture, we could stroke his lap. For my mom it was imposible to get it back. Jacinto is 3 years now and I know he is a really happy cat, so healthy and beatiful!! We all love him at home.

Through the months, I told my mom how was my real plan, she wanted to kill me!

Massiel Materano
Caracas, Venezuela

Chibi

One Saturday afternoon, I was on my way to meet some friends for lunch, I never made it inside the restaurant. I was driving along a busy street when I saw a kitten just barely getting missed by cars. I imediately pulled over and went to get her. It just so happeded that the friends I was going to meet were behind me so they stopped infront of her and put on thier emergency flashers so that I could safely get her. She ran right to me like she knew I was there to help her. I guessed that she was 3 or 4 weeks old. For a while I sat in the parking lot of the restaurant trying to figure out what to do. I live on a remote island we don't have a shelter here. My husband had put a 2 cat limit on me so I knew there would be trouble if I brought her home. I called the 1 and only vet on the island, but it turned out he was off island for a month, so I called my friend who volunteers for our local PAWS. She told me that she didn't have a place for her and asked if we could foster until the vet got back and she could stay at his office until she got adopted. To my surprise my husband easily agreed but he was firm in that we were only going to foster her. When he got home ans saw her he said "Oh you're so Chibi" (Chibi is a Japanese & Chamorro slang term for small) It only took 1 day and he fell in love with her and decided to keep her. He asked me what we should name her and I told him that I thought it was cute that he called her Chibi. Almost a year and a half later Chibi is the center of my husband's universe and out other two cats adore her too.

Jennifer
Saipan, United States Minor Outlying Islands

Bodie's second chance

A few days after my beloved cat Pea died of cancer, I was at our local SPCA to see a kitten that I thought I might like to adopt. But when I sat down in a chair in the cat room, a little fuzzy brown face peeked out from underneath it.

Bodie had been adopted from the no-kill SPCA as a kitten, and then dumped when he was about two years old at the high-kill county animal shelter. Fortunately, the shelter scanned his chip and sent him back to the no-kill. But being an adult cat, he'd been sitting there for several months. He was really shy, so that didn't help. No one would give him a second look.

I don't know what prompted him to ask me if he could come up on my lap that day, but he did - and he just melted into a puddle, and so did I. So I brought him home.

It hasn't been easy. He hid under furniture for weeks, he had some behavior issues, and he's still pretty quirky three years later. But he's very much adored and happy, and he's getting more adjusted and mellow as time goes by. And he still loves lap time - so much that he drools a little.

I didn't go looking for an adult cat, but I'm sure glad he found me! He's my big teddy bear.

Laura
Raleigh, NC

Coincidence or Fate?

Earlier this summer, I saw a Facebook post. It was a picture of a dog and a plea for help. The dog's owner had a stroke. The owner's daughter, in another state, was desperate to find a home for her dad's beloved companion. The large, mixed-breed was 90lbs and 9 yrs old. A combination I knew would make it difficult in finding her a new home.

We've always adopted rescue dogs. At one point we had eight dogs, but currently only had five. My husband was happy with five dogs. My daughter and I are always willing to rescue one more!

I learned that Jasmine had lived most of her life in our neighborhood. Two years ago her owner had downsized from a large house to a tiny home with no yard. The owner couldn't walk Jasmine and she had gained weight.

The fact that Jasmine had lived so close made me think it might be kismet that I saw the post. Jasmine was being boarded at her Vet's office and yes, the Vet was one I also used! Coincidence or fate?

I drove to visit Jasmine. She had never been boarded before. It broke my heart to see this big dog in the small space. My husband agreed to Jasmine staying with us to see if she got along with our other dogs.

My friend contacted her friend who knew the owner's daughter. I got chills when I learned the woman helping the owner's daughter lived just three houses from us. She didn't have kids or dogs so we had never met. My friend had been passing along info from a woman who was just steps from me and none of us knew it! It was indeed fate!

Jasmine now plays with our other dogs and as of last week she walked just over four miles. She has lost weight. I'm sure she misses her former owner. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks ago. I hope he is looking down on Jasmine and is content to know she is well loved and has a new forever home.

Nancy A
Tucson, AZ

Little Lucas

About a month ago my feral mother cat brought into our wood shed five little fur balls. They had never seen a human and were as wild as deer. About a week later the mother cat disappeared (probably coyotes) and it was up to me to feed them. As they ate I tried to tame them and soon discovered one had such a severe eye infection that it was blind. I caught him and took him to the vet and have been doctoring him ever since but unfortunately, he remains blind. One by one I tamed down the other kittens and they are now residence of my enclosed porch. One, a Siamese, I gave away to a little girl who lost her cat and another, with one blind eye and very skinny, died. They all have such sweet dispositions and are now healthy, active and full of fun!

Darlene Dittmer
Grand Coulee, WA

My Ursa Moon

Luna came to into my life about 2-3 years ago. She was a barn cat that was coming in for a typical spay. Sadly, a miscommunication happened, and she was also declawed at the same time. A barn cat that is declawed is useless in their job. The clinic adopted her.

At the time she had come in, there was another black cat that was an in-house cat. He belonged to the clinic. His name was Midnight. It took a few months, but, he finally helped her to respond to people. About 3-4 months after she did, Midnight had to be PTS due to health reasons.

I have Middy's ashes, along with other rescued animals from my former job. Then, I met and got engaged to my now husband. I had to leave my 5 year old Tiger at my parents house because I was afraid he was going to get killed if I brought him to my new home *indoor/outdoor cat*. My fiance, at the time, and I had been living in the apartment for a couple months and I was starting to get depressed. The only answer: getting a cat.

I had wanted Luna since I heard she was going to be at the clinic. So, I was able to adopt Luna *Luna Bear is what I call her*. Luna doesn't like coming out of her hiding spot because of her former job. However, you open a can of wet cat food near her and she will come to you. I love my Ursa Neko! Precious Luna Bear. She saved my life. I still have bouts of depression, but they aren't as bad as they used to be.

She's smiling in the picture. The pillow contains some ashes of Middy *Midnight*; her strength.

Rebecca Loughry
Garland, TX
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