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Tiggy & Yoshimi

We acquired our orange tabby, Tiggy as a third cat from an owner who loved him, but was unable to care for him as she knew he deserved. He came into our home overweight, and at one point tipped the scales at well over 30 lbs. Through diet, he slowly shed some weight but was still our big boy. One day, while visiting a friend who worked for an animal shelter, we met a 1 year old tortoise who would not stop "talking" to us. Needless to say, Yoshimi became cat #4. She was skittish at first and very nervous around people. Se did, however, become fast friends with Tiggy. Her constant love and youthful playfulness quickly helped him shed his extra pounds. 8+ years later, they are still in love. I am confident that Yoshimi is the reason that Tiggy is still with us. Adopting our fourth cat helped save the life of our third!

Bobbi
Largo, FL

His and Hers Cats

When I moved into my father's house for college, I was pretty lonely, as he was a cross country trucker. So, I decided that I would get a kitten. I'd always loved cats. The trouble was, I was having problems getting approved because I didn't have proof of residency at the time. So, one day when I went to my hometown to visit my mother, she told me about two declawed cats in the shelter that had been dropped off together. I was dubious about declawed cats, knowing they had tendencies to not like the litter boxes. I thought that that was why they had been dropped off at the shelter in the first place. Some stupid owner wanting to find a quick way to solve a simple scratching problem.

My mother dragged me to see the cats, and I fell in love. The worker introduced me to Skif first, a shy tabby tom who wanted nothing to do with me. Then they introduced me to Lyra, a playful, slightly obnoxious, torbi kitten who brought Skif out of his shell. I decided then and there, that these were my cats. When I let my boyfriend know that I had gotten not one, but two cats, he wasn't very happy with me! Now, however, he loves them both just as much as I do! They are healthy and happy (and use the litter box!) and I'm happy to say that Skif is now a momma's boy (but still doesn't like strangers) and Lyra is a complete daddy's girl. We couldn't be happier!

Leanne Lucero
Las Cruces, NM

Two Wandering Souls

I found Bo on Craigslist in another state. Her owners were moving and had no desire to bring their pets with them, how horrible! I had been wanting an animal to take care of for a long while so I finally took the plunge. Bo was rescued as a kitten by her previous owners when they found her wandering the streets of Durango, Colorado as a youngster, but I promised her that I would be hers forever. In our four years together we have moved almost a dozen times as I am a seasonal natural resource worker. Our lives have brought us to some of the most beautiful places in the American West and Bo has loved every adventure. I didn't train her to love the car, wear a leash, or welcome change- that's just her personality. Every new home she makes her own, even before I do. From her I learned what it means to be content with change. If she can accept change, I can accept change. She was patient and less needy when I worked two jobs to put myself through college and had so little time to play, she stuck by my side when my dad died and all I did was cry for months straight, she continues to learn and grow and inspires me to do the same. We've just started hiking together here in our current home of Sedona, Arizona. I never knew what it was like to love someone more than myself and she has taught me that. She has taught me more about myself and life then I would have ever expected. Who was rescued? I gave her a home, but she gave me purpose and a reason to live during my darkest hours. Best friends forever.

Sarah
Sedona, AZ

My Fuzzy

Six years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I needed a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemo treatment. The chemo was devastating. I was sick almost the whole 5 months. Thanksgiving Day was one of my good days. That morning our dog started barking at something outside and I went to look. A very small fuzzy Siamese cat was under our truck. I called her and she came to me. I had never seen her before so I knew she was lost. I got a can of cat food and she wolfed it down, then ran off. As it got dark I checked again and she came running out from a bush. I got my carrier, threw a piece of turkey in it and in she went. After checking for a few days for an owner and no one owned up to her I took her to the vet, got her shots and adopted her. I called her "Fuzzy" after the cartoon Siamese cat. She stayed glued to my side during the remainder of my chemo, purring away to make me comfortable, curling up next to me to take my troubles away. I am cancer free and still have her 6 years later, even though the vet said she was probably about 10-15 years old. She curls up with me at bed time, and makes sure I have a bath, before I fall asleep. She was my savior though the chemo treatment and watches over me all the time. I saved her, but she actually saved me.

Jackie
Asbury, NJ

My Little Crooked Cat

Summer 2002, our plate was full with kids, horses, dogs & 2 cats. Living in a farmhouse in rural Kentucky, money was tight & the last thing we needed was another pet.

Our neighbor's 6 mo. old kitten had just given birth to a litter & they invited us over to see them. The wife grabbed one & thrust it towards me, "This one has a sun-spot!" She appeared to be a torti wrapped in a tabby blanket, a big orange spot centered on her tiny face.

The next day there was a fumigation tent on their house and mom & babies had been left in the closet! As they grew I repeatedly rescued them from disaster. At 4 wks. all had at least one broken leg. Finally, I pulled them from the kiddie wading pool. Orange-face was in bad shape. 3 of her legs had healed breaks, she'd been fumigated, mauled & now 1/2 drowned in her month on earth. In an instant I decided I was taking her. Not in the plan, not what I'd chose- a female runt of a stunted litter, 3 crooked legs & odd colored.

Named Brooklyn, but called 'Lau', she fit in a kid's sock & snoozed on her back in one hand. She was the most brazen kitten I'd ever met, busy & brave to her core. Never spayed, she was our indoor kitty. She grew up to be 100 lbs of mean in a 5 lb. sack, crazy hair wisp-ping from her ears. My constant companion, never 10' away. She didn't cuddle, hissed as an opinion & attacked small dogs ('Beware of Cat' was posted!). AKA 'Commando-Kitty' in short stories I wrote, she collected a small amount of fame.

I have never loved an animal so much in my life.

Last fall, at 11, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Disease. I moved Heaven & earth to keep her going, but my battle-cat fought her last campaign on Jan. 28th, 2014. There will never be another like her.

Rest well in Valhalla my Little Crooked Cat, until we meet again.

Melissa Farrington
Culp Creek, OR

And then there were 3....

We had been animal free for almost 8 years when a friend of mine who works at a Veterinary Clinic posted a picture of this cute little gray tabby on her facebook. She explained she showed up to work and found this small fellow in a box with a note stating when he had been born and that the other cat in the box was his mother. The mother had escaped the box during the night and they were looking for a new home for the kitten. My daughter saw the picture and that's all it took. A week before Thanksgiving I had a new male kitten.

We have a very large house and my previous cats were kept indoors. With the holidays, Raja had plenty of people coming and going to keep him occupied but as the Christmas season was winding down I noticed he would wander and looked lonely. Knowing school was starting back up, we went to the local SPCA to see if they had any kittens his age so he could have a friend. A litter had just been brought in and there were many to choose from. My son noticed that 6 kittens were in one kennel while 2 others were in a kennel by themselves. I asked the store clerk about it and she explained that those 2 were also part of the same litter (one was gray and one was an orange tabby). I told my son we would get whichever was a male ~ that's when the store clerk told me they were both males and that they were very attached to each other which is why they were separated from the other kittens.

Who was I to break them up ... I had no choice, after all I said I would take the male! We now have Kenji (the orange tabby), Jager (the all-gray cat) and Raja (the gray tabby). While most think Raja and Jager are brothers, I tell everyone they are all brothers and will always be part of the Primo family!

Primo Family
Dover, DE

Everything happens for a reason

From the moment I began volunteering at my local shelter in 2011, I knew I wanted to adopt a kitten. My current cat, Mason, was 12 at the time and hadn’t been around another cat for nearly 10 years, however, so my parents were reluctant. Finally starting to give in to the idea, my parents asked me how I would know when I saw “the one” (since I fell in love with every cat I saw). Knowing that black cats get adopted last, I knew I wanted to adopt a long haired black kitten. Shortly after, a long haired tuxedo made her way to the shelter. I instantly knew she was mine and I was hers.

2 days before her 11 month anniversary with me, however, Maddy fell ill. Over the course of the next six days, Maddy was taken to multiple vets, put on SubQ fluids, numerous medications, and had every test done you could imagine. Sadly, Maddy lost the battle and I lost my best friend. The doctors believe she had FIP; a disease with no cure.

Completely and utterly heartbroken, I didn’t think I would ever get another cat. I couldn’t put myself through that pain again. I knew I would continue volunteering at the shelter; but there was no way I could bring another friend home. Realizing how devastated I was (and still am), the volunteers tricked me by having me spend the day with our newest arrival, Jersey (now Myles). Before I knew it, this 5 week old long haired tabby was mine. While I will never fully understand why Maddy was taken from me so soon, I know I would have never gotten my Myles otherwise. Everyday Myles is a constant reminder that everything happens for a reason and animals truly are our angels.

Peyton
Vinton, IA

Saving Skritz

While working on my computer one chilly Texas November evening in '97, my kids and their mom told me to close my eyes and put out my cupped hands where they deposited a small, dirty white kitten. She immediately settled in and began purring. The kids had found her in the road in front of our driveway. She was in poor condition but also obviously a fighter.

My wife took her to our vet the following morning where she was diagnosed as having distemper, a broken right foreleg, broken tail, very bad ear mite infestation, dehydration and was nearly starved. My wife had to sign papers to have the kitten put down if she couldn't be saved - one of the hardest things my wife she said she'd ever done. Our vet was marvelous, taking the tiny kitten home with her and nursing her back to health, keeping her in a box in her bed for five nights while her husband was relegated to the couch. We got back a clean, beautiful white kitten with a small black patch on her head, bi-color eyes - one blue and one yellow - and a splinted leg. Her hectic start in life led to her being named "Schrizophenia" - Skritz for short.

The resident cats accepted her and she quickly grew and filled out. The vet said she'd had it rough; despite her tiny size she was at least three months old. She lost the last quarter of her tail, and the day after her leg was declared healed she jumped out of a cottonwood tree in our back yard and rebroke it. Despite prompt treatment she was left with a permanently crooked leg and strange, stumping gait. As she grew the black patch disappeared, leaving her pure white. Despite all her problems she became the completely fearless 'grand dame' of the house, making four moves, training big dogs and other cats, sleeping in our bed, vocally letting us know when it was time to be fed, and becoming a dearly loved member of our family.

Wayne & Sandra
Brevard, NC

Maxie

There was an adoption event going on at Petco one Friday.There were cages filled with adorable cats and kittens.I saw this beautiful calico, named Maxie, and she stole my heart instantly.She was approximately 8 weeks old.I asked the volunteer about her, and she told me that she has been very popular with people.I thought about it for a little while.I told myself that I'll come back on Sunday to adopt her.If she isn't there, then it was never meant to be. I went home and told my husband about it.He could see the joy in my eyes as I was describing Maxie.That Sunday, I went to Petco, with a pet carrier in hand.There she was, waiting to come home with me on September 29 2013.While I was driving home, her mouth was open as if to meow, but there was no sound.She was the kindest, loving little thing.She would get up on me, and snuggled around my neck area.When it was time for bed, she would burrow herself under the blanket, near my thighs.One night, she peed on the bed. Then, she peed on it again.It's as if Maxie could not hold on to her urine to get to the litter box.We eventually realized that her belly area started getting big. We teased her, calling her fat, but she hardly eats. On October 11, husband picked me up after a meeting.I noticed his eyes were pinkish, and his nose sounded stuffy.I asked him what was wrong.He took Maxie to the vet.They discovered it was FIP. I cried instantly. On October 12, we put her to sleep, before she suffers. I didn't want to put her to sleep, but I didn't want her to suffer either. Husband said "Even though she didn't have a long life, at least she had a good one with us. She is in a better place now," but there isn't a day that goes by that I wish she was with us. I love and miss you, Maxie. You will forever be my furry baby girl. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Suhana
Bentonville, AR

Not Initially Mine

My handsome, solid black, short-haired, Midnight suffered solitude while I worked 12 hours/day. So I searched for a companion for him. My girlfriend was outside her house one afternoon when this tiny tortishell kitten ran toward her from nowhere, mewing for help. Cheryl already had more cats than she could care for; (and she did not like cats) one more mouth wasn't going to work.

So I took the itty bitty thing home and named her Munchkin. At first the kitten wanted nothing to do with me. That was okay, since I adopted her for Midnight anyway. She lived under my bed for two weeks, terrified, suffering from fleas and ear mites. I fed her and gave her water under the bed, expecting nothing. One night as I immersed my muse in writing a story, I turned away for a moment then back and found the kitty sitting next to my keyboard as if she'd been doing it all along. She carefully found her way onto my lap and into my heart. Now Munchkin owns the house, everything in it and keeps all the other cats in line. I've had her for 14 blessed years now.

Tami
Dover, OH
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