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Kicked out, but into my life.

Bubbles began hanging around my door long before I realized she had no place to live....I thought the neighbors simply forgot about her being outside. When I first realized she was trying to exist out of doors, I was very concerned. She was so friendly, and so enjoyed grooming my arms....and purring loudly at the same time! Though, initially, she was not comfortable being petted or her paws touched I was shocked to find she was DECLAWED! That is a death sentence for a cat forced to live outdoors! I checked with the neighbors and the woman said "She's not getting along with the dog!" She almost slammed the door in my face! Okay! That was that and Bubbles was now a member of my family. Bubbles had issues with feet and hands for the first few weeks and hid under the dining table most of the time....hmmmm... Abuse? After a number of months (and talking with the husband next door, who thanked me for taking her in) I have found out Bubbles is about 13 years old. Now, after a number of months, she is a mellow sweetie and still loves to groom my arms....now she loves a good stroke down the back and a scratch under her collar! She is so confident now I call her "Miss Nosy" as she feels she must check out everything new!

Lee A. Cain
San Diego, CA

Hopalong Cassidey

One morning as Jim backed out of the driveway to take me to work, we saw a lovely small cat sitting on our front porch. When my husband returned home, he called me to say that the cat was still there but was now under the azalea bush and that she appeared to have a broken leg. He asked what he should do to lure her into the carrier to take her to the vet. I thought he meant he would take her to the humane society because we already had one cat, Frankie, and Jim thought that was enough. So I told him to place a small amount of tuna on a lid inside the carrier and that would allow him to trap her

I was at work and forgot all about it until I received a phone call from our vet at 2 PM. He said Jim had told him the cat was a stray, but that we would take care of the bill! I was shocked (although my husband was a sweetie so I shouldn't have been surprised). Dr. D said that he would take xrays the following morning and would call me then.

The next morning Dr D called to tell me that the tendon in her knee had been severed, and that he recommended amputating the left hind leg. Then he asked if Jim and I wanted to come and see her before he did that. So that evening, we went to visit the little girl. She laid in my lap and purred throughout the whole visit. I was absolutely smitten and Jim thought she was precious. So in the course of the next few days, her leg was amputated at the knee, she was spayed, and her front claws were removed.

We brought Hopalong home and she has been a delight ever since. She was about six months old when she arrived and Hoppy is now 18 years old. She's even more precious to me now that both Jim and Frankie have crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Marlys Cassidey
Jacksonville, FL

My Bonnie Saved Me

Back in 2008 my mom's cat Baby was very sick and we thought it was her time to go to the rainbow bridge.I couldn't handle it,so I asked my mom if we could get a kitten to ease my pain,we found in the paper two kittens so we set off,when we arrived the guy told us that he worked a lot and that the kittens didn't have much human interaction we picked the female and set off for home I will always remember that night it was raining and the kitten just snuggled up to me and did not want to be let go.We kept bouncing names around till I settled on Bonnie Marie,Bonnie after Bonnie Hunt ( she had a talk so at the time,I loved to watch) and Marie after my mom.

We got home and we set Bonnie in the living room to explore,she saw Baby and went right to her Baby did not like it one bit but within five days they were sleeping together. Surprisingly Baby got better every day, we realized Baby just needed a friend, six years later and Baby is now fourteen years old and has two other playmates,we have four cats that we love to death.I will never forget how Bonnie saved not just me but Baby also.

Swanzey, NH

The tiny black cat that saved me...

2011 had been a very difficult year. I lost my dad after a long battle with cancer in May. Our 15 year old rescue dog Charlie passed away 3 months later to the day in August. And not to be outdone, my beautiful 12 year old grey tabby Frank had become gravely ill during the month of December.

After many trips to the local vet to no avail and my carpet cleaner running overtime due to his sensitive stomach, we finally took the advice of our neighbor and brought him their vet. An old country vet who seemed to be the last resort of many. Since a high priced ultrasound was out of the question we decided on exploratory surgery the day after Christmas to try and discover what was causing his illness. Two stomach tumors were found occupying over 90% of his stomach. The only decision to be made was to end his suffering.

After saying good bye to my dear sweet kitty, my husband and I returned home to break the news to our children. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My daughter asked if we could go see the rescue kitty named Boo she saw the other day at PetSmart. I would have agreed to anything to lessen the pain.

The next day we went to take a look at Boo, a 3 year old black cat. Really a tiny slip of a kitty! She was so gentle and affectionate. She had been at the shelter for a few months and then moved to PetSmart in hopes of finding a forever home. Given away by a family that could no longer afford her.

So sweet and vulnerable we adopted her on the spot. When we brought her home she snuggled up on my chest for a hour. We both needed comfort. I needed somewhere to channel my love and she needed someone to love her. Although it's been a rocky road, clearly this kitty has abandonment issues...I promised, no matter what she does, I would never let her go!

New Lenox, IL

From Homeless to Home at Last

When my cat Foxy passed away, I was devastated. His death left a huge hole in my heart that I couldn't get rid of. Fast forward to four months later. I still found myself crying at least a few times a week but I tried my best to move on. I had a date one night, and my date mentioned he had a cat that frequented his apartment complex and often begged for food. Knowing this I came prepared with cans of cat food to give him. When we got to the complex, we hadn't even gotten close to his apartment yet when this cat he had named Missy came running right up to us meowing loudly. We brought her inside the apartment and she was so hungry she ate two entire cans of cat food. After she finished, she jumped right into my lap and started purring loudly. I instantly fell in love.

When she was on my lap, I noticed that she had two big gashes on her body--one on her back and another deep wound on her belly by her leg. I decided then that I couldn't let her stay outside. It was a freezing night in March and she needed to see a vet. I took her home and then to the vet two days later (they were closed the previous day) and surprise--she was pregnant! On top of being pregnant and having the two wounds she also had a fever and worms. She wore the cone of shame for two weeks and then gave birth to three beautiful kittens like a champ. Watching her babies be born and grow for the next 8 weeks gave me such joy! Two kittens ended up going together to a nice family, and I kept Missy and her Russian Blue kitten. Missy is such a wonderful cat. She follows me everywhere, sleeps with me, and runs to the door when I come home. She thinks I saved her, but in reality she is the one that saved me and helped heal my broken heart.

Clifton, NJ


In the fall of 2002, I learned of 42 cats that had been rescued from a hoarding situation. All the cats had been caged and were very sick. For weeks I went to help with their care almost every day, but it soon became clear that I had to do more. Without giving it much thought, I took home two cats whose cages were right next to each other. In time they became Clippus and Shep.

In addition to their health issues, neither of these cats had been socialized. Clippus was highly insecure and Shep was downright aggressive. There were times when I wondered what I had been thinking when I decided to take these cats home. But little by little, we learned to love and trust each other, and we had ten beautiful years together.

In late summer 2012, I realized that Clippus would not be with us much longer. His weight had gone from 16 pounds to a meager 11 pounds in a very short time. It was cancer, as it turned out, although we never determined the cause until after his death on February 7th, 2013.

In the few days that followed, although I grieved for Clippus, I was grateful that Shep was healthy and that we still had time. But on February 10th, only three days later, Shep suffered an attack and had to be rushed to the emergency veterinary clinic. I then had to make the excruciating decision to have him put down as well. I was devastated—heartbroken—and a year and a half later, I still feel the loss.

I understand now that Clippus and Shep were brothers in a way that I will never know. They had suffered unbearable cruelty together and made it out alive. They found their way to me together and would leave this world together. I love this picture of them because it was taken during Clippus’s decline, and it looks as though Shep is standing watch over him, protecting him. I buried them right next to each other in my back yard, together forever.

Sarah Rich
Albuquerque, NM

Romey, the Great!

I had been searching for a Yorkie to rescue for a quite a while when I got a call about an 8 year old AKC registered male that belonged to a breeder. He was too old for her to use for breeding and was going to have him put to sleep if she couldn't find someone to take him. My daughter and I went that very day to get him. When we got to the breeders home, she led us to a small barn in the back of her house. There were several cages with multiple dogs in each. Poor Romy was in a cage with 5 other dogs. They all just paced around in a circle. Romy was a scared little guy. His whole body shook. He was so tiny at 4 pounds. We took him straight to the vet to get checked out. He was underweight, had a urinary tract and respiratory infection. He was also missing most of his teeth which made his little tongue stick out. He was also in desperate need of a good haircut. Romy had never lived in a house before. He never learned to play with toys and he wasn't fond of carpet. But, it didn't take the little guy long to figure out that he liked his life of retirement. He quickly settled in. I worked as a chemo nurse in a cancer center and often took him with me to work. He was loved by everyone. He loved to eat and sit snuggled up next to me on the couch. He would fall asleep in my arms like a baby. He was such a good little dog and was my constant companion. I had never loved an animal like I loved him. Romy crossed the Rainbow bridge on December 31, 2013, one month shy of his 16th birthday. I was beyond sad. I think about him everyday and miss him terribly. I just hope the last 8 years were better than he could have ever hoped for. For such a little guy, he left a big impact on this world.

Donna G.
Westfield, IN

Our little puppy in the window

A year ago today, I was walking to Starbucks with one of my team members, when we came upon the most adorable puppy in an empty store lot window. We were in a heat wave and she was locked up with no water :( We pounded on the window until a security guard came to our aid. After pointing out how hot the window felt and the fact there was no water for the lil' pup, he shared how he just found her running around the street. He was holding until the end of his shift, then it was off to the shelter for her. I asked if I could meet her. I sat next to her and she was mine as soon as she put her head on my knee. I brought her back to my work location after telling the security guard I would find her a home. She was surrounded by love and support as we searched for a forever home for her. Thankfully, no one could commit so I took her home as a "Foster" (that's what I told my husband). After 48 hours, my hubby said, "call off the search, she's ours". Little did he know, she was ours from day one :)

I love our baby girl Scotch and I cannot imagine our world without her. She has brought a love, I didn't know existed into our home.

Lissa J Gunderson-Erwin
Anaheim, CA

Living In Perfect Harmony

In early October of 2013 my co-worker happened to notice a little kitten sitting outside under a shed behind our office. When we realized how small and skinny she was, we knew she had no home. We began leaving food outside for her and it didn't take long for her to catch on. Since it was already October, we knew it was going to get cold soon so after speaking with our boss, he decided we could keep her as an office pet. We caught her and had her fixed and brought back to the office. She hid from us for months. We gave her time but eventually started blocking off her hiding places, forcing her to be social. She was terrified and incredibly feral. We noticed she was losing a lot of fur in one spot on her side.When we took her to the vet in January we realized it was a contagious fungus, which, combined with her feral nature, was dangerous for our customers. She also had cancerous growths on her ears. I made a deal with my boss: if he took care of her medical needs, i would take her home. She had her ears clipped and went home with me that night. I named her Harmony. She hid from me for weeks. I began to hold her. Definitely against her will. But she would fight me a little less every day... And then she began to play. She played with my dog (Serenity), my boyfriend and myself. She stopped hiding altogether. She began talking to me, or at least attempting. She has no voice. Then one day she escaped through a window. She was under the house all day. Once we finally got her out, she had reverted. She was hiding again. I had almost lost hope until the night she jumped up into my lap. She let me love and cuddle her. And i did. And i cried. All she needed was love. She never hid again. Not from us or our guests. She took over our house and our hearts.

Westminster, SC

Apollo My Poo

For starters I never had a dog growing up and when I turned 35, I was working a new job in San Antonio Texas and met someone who had 2 Chihuahuas and I fell in love with them because they were sweet and small. I also liked the fact that they didn't have a lot hair. So I decided to get a new puppy but where was I going to get one from. I started going to the Humane Society with my son, just see what they had and I visited every weekend to see which one I would decide to get. After awhile I didn't really see the type of dog I wanted and I wanted a puppy. The place didn't have too many puppies. So I decided to tell a few people I was looking for new pup and my cousin called me one day stating that she new someone who was giving away pups. I waited 8 weeks for one and I picked out a chocolate color mini pinscher, chihuauhua mixed and I wanted male. So the time comes to get my puppy and when I see the lady, the pup was the wrong color. I stated what I wanted and said no I don't think I want it the one she brought me. She asked to just sit the box down for a few seconds and the pup jumped out of the box and sat on my seat and I looked at him, the little 2 pound pup and fell instantly in love. I said I will take him and I took him home and I and my son put names in a cup and shook it up and chose a name for him, it was between Phoenix and Apollo. The name that fell out of the cup was Phoenix and we both looked at each other and said naw that doesn't suit him, so Apollo was chosen. My poo is 8 years old now and he is sweet and hyper and loves to lick you. I wouldn't trade him in for anything.

san antonio, TX
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