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love found, love lost

I found you while looking through ads for pets. I had intended on rescuing an adult cat, but it didn't turn out that way. I just found out I had cancer, and was looking for a furry companion to keep me company during the hard times. Katie and I drove almost two hours to pick you up, seemed like it took forever. When we met, I knew you had been waiting for us. It was perfect, we were instant friends i was thrilled to give you a forever home. We thought about names on the way home. I liked Emerson, short for Ralph Waldo Emerson, but as the days went by, the name didn't stick. Katie called you Kitten, and when she said the name it sounded like Kit'Ten, and you loved the name too. So that's that, thats who you were.You never wanted to be an indoor cat, so when you were a year old, I stopped fighting it and let you out. You always stayed close though. That night you didn't come in was horrible, I looked for you everywhere the next morning, called your name and expected you to come running like you always did. When that didn't happen, I knew in my heart that you weren't coming back. I cry as I write this. I did find you later, laying peacefully in our neighbors flower bed. You were only two, apparently you had an embolism that took you suddenly. You were on your way home. Not even 100 feet away from your back door. You were laid to rest in the backyard, under a tree, surrounded by wild flowers. You have a beautiful headstone we made for you, and carved your name into. It simply says Kitten. You were the love of my life, and my baby boy. You snuggled when I needed extra warmth, and loved me exactly the way I needed to be loved. I will miss you forever. Im so sorry I couldn't have been holding you when you left this world. I know ill see you again in heaven. I love you.

Alicia Spear
Clinton, MA

Bittimac

She walked into the shop at my husband's work hungry and pregnant. The guys took her in, hid and fed her until she gave birth. Then the call came, I was offered one of the kittens, but I knew kittens were easier to adopt, so I said I would take the momma. She has brought so much joy and comedy to us that I really couldn't imagine life without her. I don't know how she came to be, but I'm so very glad she came our way. God bless the guys in the shop for taking her in.

Mary
Ferndale, MI

Georgiana and Bella

Last August, the woman who I boarded my older cat with (he passed away 18 months prior) called and asked me to foster 2 mama cats. She was taking care of the moms and their 7 kits. When they were picked up, my girls, Georgiana (grey) and Bella (black), and their babies were living in a small, airless room that stank of old urine and feces. The rescue people said they were called by management of an apartment complex and if the cats weren’t picked up immediately they (the complex) would kill them. All 9 were skinny, filthy, hungry and scared. At the time, Georgiana and Bella were only about a year old and they weren't too keen on people.

I was supposed to foster the moms for the 2 weeks between their first shots and being spayed. But it took less than an hour to decide that I was adopting them both. Regrettably, I couldn't adopt the 7 kits. Nine cats in a one bedroom apt wouldn't have worked well. However, I do know they all went to good, safe homes.

It did take a lot of time, patience and love, but they are happy, a little chubby, my darling dears and the sweetest and most loving cats I have ever met. I hope we live long, happy lives together!

Heather Carpenter
BLOOMFIELD, NJ

Playing the "Cute" Card

A white cat started showing up at the house. The hubs, who is a towering pillar of jello, started feeding him. He showed up about the same time every day, so we called him "Five-O'Clock Charlie." He was unafraid of us and very affectionate, showing belly -- the works. Too cute!

Eventually, we decided to bring him inside. He was a real, un-fixed handful. We had him neutered and took him on a foster basis. I am a failed foster parent. After three weeks, he had us snagged and there's no way we could give him up. He's a complete quirk factory, so I don't know anyone else who would put up with him! LOL.

Named Pippin, as quirky a name as he is a cat, he is about 3 years old, and is our whirling dervish. He gives his older brother, who is nearly 8, a hard time, but they're good friends.

Pippin played the cute card and won himself a forever home.

Amy
Decatur, AL

Darth

This is Darth on the day my boyfriend brought him home. He's six months in the photo; practically bones and with an ear infection so bad, he couldn't stand up straight. He'd been hanging around my boyfriend's job site meowing out of his mind for attention; a stray. My boyfriend texted me asking if I wanted a cat, and my answer was "duh." He brought him home and he was the most affectionate stray I'd ever met. He was a bit hesitant at first and some signs made me believe he had been abused and left as a kitten, but to this day, he's the most loving cat. I'm so happy that my boyfriend brought him home, I don't know how long he would have survived. He's a healthy 2 year old kitty now, playful and rambunctious and we just love him to pieces.

Anonymous
West Bend, WI

I Am That Someone

In mid-December 2013 I saw a photo of him. He was small, frail, and just skin and bones. The summary that accompanied the photo said he was 15 years old and owner surrendered. He looked so afraid, so disoriented, so alone. Many people were typing positive comments of good wishes and prayers. I was going to join in and as I typed out how I hoped someone adopted this poor senior, the saying "I always thought someone should do something about that. Then I realized I was someone." crossed my thoughts. I was HIS someone. I jotted down his shelter ID number and drove to the Animal Services. I'll never forget his brown eyes when I walked up to his kennel. He was so scared he wouldn't even walk so the volunteer had to pick him up. He was unresponsive to my interaction but I knew it was because he couldn't figure out why he was there. The volunteer shared the facts: he was old, owner relinquished, had dental issues, had hair loss, and was emaciated. He was on his 3rd to last day before being considered for euthanasia because he was owner surrendered. I could tell in her voice she was concerned because he wasn't responding or interacting with me. She didn't know I'd already made up my mind when I saw his brown eyes - there was a connection. I was going to be his someone. He wasn't going to afraid at the end of his life; he wasn't going to be alone. During the past eight months Maddon has gone from an emaciated dog (body score: 1) who could not control his bladder (he had to wear diapers for the first month) to a full bodied, happy, diaper-less dog who literally does a heel click when he's taking the single step down to the living room. It's his happy dance! He makes me smile every day. I love him. I share this story with you to remind you that while you can't be that someone all of the time, you can be that someone at some point.

Shirley W
Apollo Beach, FL

Lucky Loo

One cold, stormy day in March 2009, my dog came in the house and dropped a little black ball of fur at my dad's feet. My dad brought it to me and asked me what it was....I turned it over in my hand, saw it was a kitten and told him to get me a towel. I had seen rescues before and knew that I needed to stimulate him and warm him up. He was so cold, I didn't think he was alive, so I rubbed until I heard the smallest meow. My dad went in search of more, the dog took him to find 2 more that had already expired. We took the kitten to the vet, who told us our wee friend was about 36 - 72 hours old and probably wouldn't survive without his mother. He told us what we could do if we wanted to try, so I brought this tiny thing home and became his mother. I chose the name Lucky, because he was lucky to have been found and brought inside. He probably wouldn't have lived much longer. I had to feed him every 2 hours, and make him go potty. I kept him swaddled like a baby at night and he slept in my shirt next to my heart. Fast forward to now, it is 2014 and the little kitty that shouldn't be with us is happy, healthy and very loved. He still loves sleeping on my chest. He is the apple of my eye. His best friend is a Pitbull named Romeo.

Kathryn Nettles
New Iberia, LA

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
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