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Angel Moo

The story begins in the winter of 2012, when I wasn't able to join my family for Christmas. I was feeling super lonely, so it was a miracle that I didn't go out that weekend and adopt a pet.

The desire to get a pet didn't dissipate at all. So it was about a month later that I turned to my then-boyfriend as I was watching "Too Cute!" on Animal Planet (it was a kitten day) and said, "I need a cat or I will die." We went to the local shelter 20 minutes later. It was the middle of January so there were no kittens, but there was this fluffy gray and white old lady cat with enormous eyes (we later found out she had cataracts that didn't bother her at all). We opted to see her, and after being placed in my lap by the shelter staff member, she looked around for a second, then plopped down, purring loudly, and drooled all over my pant leg. That was it for me. We took her home a week later.

She was my little shadow and very best friend for a year and a half. She was a sassy girl that liked to sit near me in the bathroom and snore next to me at night. She would reach out with her little paw and poke me in the arm when I was eating something she wanted to share with me (ice cream especially). When my boyfriend and I broke up, she was basically the reason why I got through anything during that time; her constant adoration kept me going. Unfortunately, about two months ago, the vet diagnosed her with cancer: he'd felt a big lump in her stomach he hadn't felt before, and she hadn't been eating for a very long time. What was most heartbreaking about that time was that she no longer wanted to spend time with me. She just hid under my bed. That was when I knew it was time.

I miss her so much every day. I love you, Moo <3

Colleen G
West Bloomfield, MI

Wade&Stormy

In September of 2013, I had to do the unthinkable, and have my dog put to sleep. It was a very difficult time, and I knew that I would need another pet in my life. Due to lots of health issues and stuff, I decided I would like to switch to a cat (less physical demands on me). I felt that I should get a pair of cats; they could keep each other company while my son was at school & I was at work, and I had seen lots of adoptable cats that had to be adopted in pairs. So, I began checking the local shelters and searching feverishly on petfinder.com. I was hoping to find the right cat (or cats) for me and my autistic son (well, he doesn't care about pets, but they had to be able to deal with him).

Finally, after searching forever, I saw a picture on petfinder of two adult brothers lying next to each; the one was cream colored (that was my downfall), and his brother was blue cream, and I knew that I was done.

I discovered that there were three brothers that were found in December of 2010 at 3 months old out by the docks in the snow. They were named Wade, Bay, and Stormy, and they were terrified of people. They spent the next 3 years in the shelter never learning to like people. To add to it, Wade, one of the cream colored ones, had a stump leg, which was probably due to a birth defect.

After checking them out, and seeing how scared they were, I was not deterred. I adopted Wade (nicknamed "thumper") and the gorgeous blue cream brother, Stormy. They were absolutely terrified here, but I had it all set up for them. Now, a year later, Wade stalks me and wants me to pet him 24/7. Stormy pretends to still hate me, but he rubs against my legs and lays by me at times. They are such great comfort and entertainment, that I can't imagine them not here.

Roxanne Blackford
Traverse City, MI

Baby Fish Mouth

I had recently lost one of my old cats to cancer and definitely was in the market for a new kitty. I went home to visit family for a week for Christmas. Right when I got there, I received a text message from a coworker (I worked at an animal hospital at the time) with a picture of a tiny brown tabby kitten (my favorite) with the message "Santa brought you something for when you return."

A city worker had found a litter of four kittens huddled together in the snowy 20 degree weather. Only one of them was still alive. Chas was rushed to the animal hospital. His temperature wasn't even registering and he weighed less than a pound. But after some nourishment, love and time in the incubator, he eventually came around and grew into on of the craziest felines I've ever encountered. He wants to know everything and be involved in everything. One of my favorite early stories of bringing this kitten home was when he launched his little 3 pound body over my shoulder and did a belly flop onto a piece of peanut butter toast.

Today is his 4th birthday. He's still just as inquisitive and mischievous. And I call him "Baby Fish Mouth" after Bruno Kirby's Pictionary answer in When Harry Met Sally.

Amanda W.
Chicago, IL

Remembering Vee

My brother and I moved to Ohio from California in 2009. We brought with us my sweet Munchkin. Moving from an apartment to a house meant I could have more cats-which I looked forward to. My friend took us to the cat shelter in town just so we'd know where it was. The shelter at the time was privately operated and housed more than 100 kitties. This one critter caught my attention. He was very needy and followed me everywhere I went in the shelter. I thought he was beautiful yet couldn't decide whether or not to bring him home.

We looked at other kitties, but I kept going back to the caramel critter. One of the volunteers told me the fluffly, long-haired kitty had been with them for three years; nobody wanted him. That was it for me. I took Vee home and gave him love that included pampering. Sadly enough, two years thereafter, Vee came down with cancer. It took over so fast, there was nothing I could do except put him to sleep. I buried Vee with no regrets, however. I found comfort knowing I made the world a better place for something as small as a kitty.

Tami Arens
Dover, OH

Saving Girlfriend

One day a cute grey kitty found her way to my lap in my yard. Every day after that this cute grey kitty showed up at my house for a visit, it didn't take long to realize she was skin and bones and carrying kittens. I would give her food and water and she would gobble it quickly. I have a big male cat named Mister, the two would stare at each other though the door every day. I used to tell Mister every day that his girlfriend was here to visit, which led to her name "Girlfriend". As time went on the starvation problem became worse as kittens were growing, she was still hungry, so I made her mine. I made an appt the next day with my vet to see what I needed to do for her. She barely weighed 7lbs. My vet spoke to me about how Utah shelters are more than full of cats. Then got into very specific details on how this cute severely under weight cat would deliver kittens and not be able to keep up with what the kittens needed if they were born. Feeling terrible about this and tears in my eyes I decided to have her spayed, as our attachment to each other was an amazing relationship. My vet was amazing, only charged me half for the spay and I had her micro chipped. When I picked up our new addition to the household, she weighed just over 2 lbs.

I'm happy to say I've had her about 2 years, she now weighs about 7.5 lbs, her and Mister are chasing each other around the house and her and I have an unbelievable bond!!!! I love my little Girlfriend, she has brought so much joy to my life!!

Holly Mason
roy, UT

My baby Girl

I found my Molly while looking at the cats on kijiji one very long night shift. My Husband said we could not have a pet as we moved every couple weeks to months, so I was technically window shopping. Yet I looked and red each cats sad story, until I hit Kaylee's profile, she needed a new home asap as the home she was in the husband had a nasty habit of hitting her. My heart broke instantly, I didn't care what my husband said or if I had to surrender her immediately to someone else who would love and care for her. I called my friend instantly (2am but she picked up) I told her I needed a ride to a town about an hour away. She picked me up after work at 7am and we went to get my Kaylee. Once she was at my home, and my husband agreed once he heard her story, I decided she was my baby named Molly. She was terrified of people and hid all the time, I had been told she was over a year but my vet put her more at 4 or 5 months old. The first night while we were laying in bed Molly would come out of her hiding spot and sniff our faces, we were really still as to not startle her. Now 2 years later, we have moved a lot with her, but that doesn't faze her ever. She doesn't like pets but she insists on being the biggest snuggler, she snuggles with my husband all night long and me all day long when I get home from work. She is still a little scared of people that she doesn't know but she loves us unconditionally and we love her unconditionally! I am so happy those years ago that I went and got my lovely Molly.

Kayla
Calgary, AB, Canada

Mean Old Floyd

In July 2011, we received a call about a young, unneutered brown tabby who had been seen hobbling on a broken leg. Neighbors saw blood on the snow from his open wounds, but ignored his dilemma; to them, he appeared merely a bold and aggressive nuisance. We set humane traps to be monitored by the homeowner, who called the next day to say “the cat went into the trap ... come and get him, and DON’T bring him back.”

Little did they know how sweet this cat really was! Once we paid for amputation surgery so that he was no longer in terrible pain and showered him with love, he flourished.

We named the big guy Floyd after the street he came from, and posted the handsome three legged boy’s story and photo with a local adoption group.

Floyd's life was about to change dramatically again. A professor ducked into a local pet store to get out of the rain and found herself in the midst of Saturday afternoon cat adoptions. When she saw Floyd's picture, she immediately fell in love and was smitten with his story. It didn't take but a few days before the rescue team delivered Floyd to her home, where he has flourished. But that is not the end of Floyd's good fortune!

A year later, his owner told us that Floyd was restless and needed a friend. She had just learned that we were rescuing a tiny abandoned tuxedo kitten from rural Georgia that coincidentally also had lost her right front leg from a recent injury. Floyd's “mom” agreed to try to introduce Floyd and tiny Edie to determine if the two would get along … to our delight, it was love at first sight! They now live very happily together: playing, cuddling, chasing.

This stray that ran for years, struggling for survival, and a tiny kitten rescued at a rural Georgia dumpster, found each other through volunteer rescuers who passionately try to help. As we often say, "this is what keeps us going ... this is what we do."

Juli Verrier
Fairfax, VA

My Little Runt

I work at a small pet store and a woman contacted me this past summer about a stray and her (feral) babies that she had been feeding. The children around her neighborhood had been chasing them off and the kittens would sometimes get separated, thankfully only temporarily. She feared for their safety and was hoping someone at the pet store would want them. I told her that if she could catch them and get them all to me, I would gladly them the care they needed before finding homes for them all. She was successful and passed them on to my care. The shock from the capture, full body inspections, flea baths, tick removals and dramatic environment change seemed to cover how feral already the kittens were. The next few weeks they scattered when I would enter the room, and one in particular would growl, slash, and hiss at me as I approached her. She was smaller than the rest, hence the name 'Runt', and was always right next to mom. She left a few good marks on my hands and arms as the other kittens warmed up to me. Runt was the last to come around, finally approaching me as I fed her, her sisters and her mom. Just over a month after taking them all in, she would come to me and sniff my hand. Eventually, she became less hesitant towards my touch. Today, she is the first to greet me at the door with loud meows and begs to be carried around the house like a baby. Runt sleeps by me every night and has transformed from sassy little feral kitten into my indoor lap cat. Other than snuggling with me and being in my arms, one of her favorite things to do is drag away large pieces of food (particularly, pizza!) while we are trying to eat it so she can have it all to herself!

Alie H.
Sussex, WI

College roommate

I was looking forward to starting college! It was going to be an adventure and a new chapter in life, yet I knew there would be a period of adjustment as it would be my first time away from home, but I was ready to embrace it! The only draw back was that I had to leave all my fur babies behind since I didn't want to uproot them from what they were used to! Not only was it my first time on my own, but it was the first time I'd been without any furry friends! About 5 months into my first year of college I was leaving class and making a bee line to my truck because it was raining pretty hard! I thought I heard a tiny meow, but when I looked around I didn't see anything and proceeded to unlock my truck door, as I was putting my bag into passenger side something barreled into my legs! I looked down in surprise and saw a tiny soaking wet orange kitten staring up at me! Without hesitation I scooped him up and wrapped him into my coat! As I drove him back to my place he looked up at me with such trusting eyes, then curled into my lap and went fast to sleep! I fell instantly in love and named him Gage O'Reilly Ford! He would follow me everywhere and would sleep every night curled on my chest his head under my chin! He loved everyone and would twirl around all my visitors feet, he even curled inside the plumbers tool chest when my sink broke and would pat the plumbers hand every time he reached for a tool! Gage made living away from home easier, he made it feel like I was still home! I had my little love until he was 7 years old when I lost him to intentional cancer! I was heartbroken when I lost him, but I know his spirit is still with me and I'll always love my little Gage!

Deanthe
Guthrie, OK

My Life Changed Forever

Two years after the death of my husband, I still pined, missing everything about him. I pondered adding a pet in my life until my brother, visiting from New York, offered to go with me to the local animal rescue center.

Walking through the center introduced me to a massive choice of animals, and getting up close and personal with their boundless noises and behaviors overwhelmed me. My shaken confidence made me skeptical and fearful of getting a pet.

I spent all afternoon interacting with cats, taking pictures of them on my shoulders, in my arms, looking at them, petting them, but still not knowing whether or not I really wanted to be there.

I petted a cat in my lap while I scanned pictures I’d taken. There, in the background of every picture, a Calico, isolated in a cage against the wall, stared into the camera, looking right at me. I asked the rescue worker to bring me the cat in the picture.

It was a female Calico, isolated because of upper respiratory issues. She felt soft in my lap. Curled against my tummy, she tucked her front paws against her body, looked up at me, slowly blinked, and then put her head down on my leg. Quiet, and calm, she let me do whatever I wanted with her. Our unconditional love meshed at that moment. I brought her home that day. It wasn’t a decision I consciously made, but I knew everything in my life would be better with this cat. Now five years later, I’ve never regretted a day Dusty has been here, and I now know how a pet becoming a new family member can change one’s life forever.

Su Gerheim
Lake Panasoffkee, FL
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