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My beautiful tripod

I have always had cats. In 2006 my husband and I were shopping at PetSmart for various cat supplies for the three cats we currently had at home. Of course, when we are at PetSmart we always visit the room with the rescued kitties awaiting adoption. In the first cage was an absolutely gorgeous cat with blue eyes and the markings of a RagDoll. One of the sales associates walked in at that time and said what a shame it was that no one would ever adopt this beautiful guy because he was missing a leg. The way he was positioned in the cage I couldn't tell his back right leg was missing. I'm a social worker and have worked with kids and families with disabilities for years and here was a chance to help a beautiful kitty with a disability.

The unfortunate back story for my new kitty, Buddha, was explained by the woman running the rescue. Apparently he was a "shop" kitty for one of the tourist shops in a very busy tourist town not far from where we live. The woman from the rescue said he lived in the shop and was suppose to add character to the atmosphere in this little country retail store. When he got sick and had to have his leg amputated the shop owner no longer wanted him and ask the vet to euthanize him. The vet took the kitty but gave him to the rescue.

He doesn't believe he has a disability.....he runs around with the other cats, wrestles with my biggest kitty, and uses his only back leg like a rudder to steer him around corners when he is chasing one of the other cats. He is a very loving kitty and is an incredibly curious guy who has never seen a plastic or paper bag that he didn't need to explore. He is nine years old and he has been quite the addition to our family. I'm so thankful that we just happened to stop into the rescue room that Saturday. Life wouldn't be the same without our Buddha.

Saginaw, MI

I thought she was a Cat

My mom has never been an animal person and neither has my dad, so I never really grew up with pets. I've had a guinea pig and two dogs, (one that I don't remember),but that's it. So on June 1, 2012, I didn't expect to be getting one.

We were driving to my brother's babysitter's house. As we turned onto the road leading to her neighborhood, cars were backed up and going about 12 miles per hour. We'd never seen this road like this before because it lead to three different neighborhoods. So, my mom and I were talking, when I realized there was something running in the road, and that was why people were going so slow. At first I thought it was a cat, but I soon realized it was a dog when a lady got out with a leash. I assumed it was her dog and asked my mom if I could go help her catch it since it was right across from the babysitter's house. My mom said yes, so I hopped out and went to help. It took about 30 minutes to corner the dog, and I soon came to realize SHE was a chihuahua, and we had to figure out what to do. When my mom came back, she suggested that she and I take the dog to the shelter. The lady let me borrow her leash to get the dog to the car. I opened the door and leaned down to pick the dog up, assuming that she wouldn't get in herself, but she jumped right in and onto the seat and when I sat down, she laid her paw on my leg, laid down, and fell asleep. I'm only 14, but I realized then that God wanted me to care for this dog, so I looked at my mom as we were driving away and said "Mom, I think God gave me this dog." I've asking for a dog since I could talk apparently, so she sighed, pulled into Walmart, and got dog stuff. We've had her for 2 years now.

Sidney Harper
Greer, SC

From City Girl to Country Queen

My new year's resolution was to rescue a senior dog. Having volunteered in rescue for the past 4 years, I had seen seniors get passed over again and again, and I resolved to help change that trend.

Enter Marseille, an ancient Chihuahua found roaming the streets of NYC in a green dress. A kind soul brought her to Animal Care and Control in Manhattan, where she was evaluated and held for the typical 7 days. No one came for her, and since she was so old and infirmed, she was placed on the euthanasia list for the very next day (NYCACC is an "open-intake" facility, which means they have to euthanize to make room. Sad but true) I happened upon her quite by accident, but when I did, my heart sank. I knew she had once been loved (how else would she have gotten that dress?) and I was determined that she would be loved again. I recruited a friend to drive the 3 hours to the city and we arrived just hours before her last breath. She was so scared, she would not look at me. Such a sad, lost little soul (with the WORST breath ever!). We took the long drive home. Immediately upon arriving and meeting her new brothers, she found a bed and made herself quite at home. The transformation had begun.

After a trip or two to the vet for some dental work, she blossomed! Her personality is quite opposite of the initial eval at the pound (lesson here) and she has become a Country Queen. She loves her walks, and is a wonderful addition to our pack.

Please consider rescuing a senior pet. You will never regret it!! Miss Marseille will live out her life with love and care, and when her time comes, she will go to the Rainbow Bridge in my arms. As it should be.

Woodstock, CT

Kitty Carnage

My partner had been yanking at my strings for ages to get a cat, he had grown up with them and felt strange living in a cat free household. I was the opposite, I had grown up with dogs and after my last dog passed away, I really wasn't ready to move on with another dog for a while, but as it always goes with us dog lovers, we hear a sad story and have to jump in. A litter of kelpie x cattle dog puppies had been saved from drowning and a rescue was now looking for owners for these little guys. I decided to go and look, and what I found was the cutest 8 month old ball of fur I had ever seen. She was tiny and covered in spots. She looked like the biggest mutt I had ever seen, and I fell in love with her straight away.

A year later was when we decided to get a kitten, we knew it had to be a tiny kitten, so that it wouldn't be as afraid of coming into a dogs home, but as soon as I went to the local pet store to get some things i would need for said kitten, I couldn't kelp but stop and look at the kittens in the RSPCA rescue cage at the store. I looked in at this ginger kitten, who was about 18 weeks old, so much older then what I was looking for, but my heart melted at the little guy. He sat there purring up at me while the other kittens played. i adopted him, right there on the spot and brought him home to my partner and my dog. Cookie (the dog) sniffed the cage, tail wagging; and that is when all hell broke lose, Hunter (the kitten) went crazy at the sight of this strange beast. I thought they would never get along, but I think back to then now, and shake my head, as both cat and dog, a year later, lay curled up together in my bed, fast asleep.

Naomi Anderson
Maroochydore, Australia

The rescue of Ortega

My father, sister and I visited my uncle's family at our family's farm in Indiana for New Years 2012. It was then that we met Ortega for the first time. We were told that he was a stray that was probably dumped off a week or two prior to our visit, and that he was more than likely prior owned (due to sticking around and being friendly). He was practically skin and bones with fur that was not soft to the touch. He would stay curled up in a chair on the front porch most of the time trying to keep warm in the cold winter. He loved human attention, and even accompanied me on a walk into the woods. My family knew that we would take him in, and my sister claimed him as her own. With my sister's blessing, I decided to name him Ortega after the taco sauce brand; to match my already existing cat's name (Valentina - a hot sauce). He then became an indoor cat.

Sadly Valentina and Ortega did not get along with each other after we returned home, but both are spoiled none the less! My sister did not take proper responsibility in his care, so I naturally took over. He has grown since, and he has giant "kangaroo" legs that seem to cause him to lay in odd positions at times. In the two years I've had him, he has gotten better with his fear of strangers and I'm still working on trying to get him to get along with Valentina. He is a great companion and friend to me, he's practically my second child. I love finding him sleeping in odd places, when he hangs out with me, and taking him into the backyard on a harness to enjoy the outdoors.

Ashley Craver
Beaver Creek, OH

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!

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.

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.

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
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