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The Christmas Kitty

It was an unusually warm December day when I met her outside on my patio. I thought she had a home until my neighbor told me otherwise. He said he'd seen a van stop on our busy road. Someone opened the van door, tossed out this beautiful calico girl BY HER TAIL and drove off! My neighbor tried to chase after the van and get the license number but they sped off too fast. He'd been feeding the kitty since then but really needed to find her a home and asked if I could take her. I wanted to help but didn't think I could do it; I already had cats and worried how everyone would get along. It broke my heart but I said "no".

Later that night I was in my living room watching TV when the kitty showed up at my patio door. She looked right at me as if to say, "Mama, I'm home!" I felt like she belonged here so I let her in. It was a week before Christmas so I named her "Noel". She was about seven months old and eventually settled in perfectly with the rest of the family. It was as if she was truly meant to be here.

Over the years Noel became known for her extremely loud purr and love of stealing my pillow every night. She acted like she owned the place and in a way she did. Noel certainly owned my heart and the hearts of everyone who met her. She was one of the sweetest, funniest cats I've ever known. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to her a few weeks ago when she left this world shortly before her 14th birthday. I carry her in my heart and am so grateful for every day we had together.

Stacie P.
Conyers, GA

Everyone felt sorry for him, but no one wanted him...

I already have four cats and my husband and I had no interest in adopting another. But we always visited the rescue kittens at Petsmart when doing our cat food shopping. We saw this orange kitten in Dec. Cute as can be, he was around eight weeks old and had CH (cerebellar hypoplasia). He weebled and wobbled around Petsmart but was outgoing and friendly and I figured he would be adopted quickly. Over the next month, I kept seeing the kitten at Petsmart and kept thinking, "he's still a kitten, he's cute, he'll get adopted". Then life intervened and I didn't shop at Petsmart for a few months.

Fast forward to March 2015. My husband and I went into Petsmart to get food and supplies and I saw this cat up for adoption. Orange, crouched, huddled in the corner of his cage, he looked unapproachable. I walked up and asked, "that isn't the CH kitty, is it?" I was told yes. No one had adopted him and he was starting to cave to the stress. He growled and hissed at us as we reached out and the volunteer had fresh scratches. I asked how old he was and she told me 7 months. I was amazed. How had no one taken this cute little kitten home? She said, "Everyone feels sorry for him, but no one wants him."

My husband and I looked at each other. He sighed and said, "we don't want five cats." I said, "I know." We looked at each other a bit longer and then filled out the application and brought him home. The first 48 hours, he hissed and growled at all of us. But then, he realized he was home. He hasn't hissed or growled since. He falls over a lot, but he is special and sweet and loving. He provides us with a reminder of resilience and strength. He purrs all the time. He is our little Peanut and we love him to pieces!

Jennifer
North Bergen, NJ

Pounce gets an A

I donate paper towels, peanut butter, and bleach to our local no kill shelter called Animal House. About 1 year ago while down there one weekend I checked out the residents both dog and cat and saw a few kitties that really caught my eye. I had been thinking about adopting another member of the family but did not make a decision that day. I checked online and made a list of the kitties I wanted to meet and went back 2 days later. I decided to start alphabetically so they brought out a young grey and white fellow named Astro. As I was sitting down the first thing Astro did was hop up into my lap, and then lay his head on my shoulder and started purring. Needless to say after meeting Astro I was sold and did not go any further on my list then the "A"'s. Astro adopted me that day, I just filled out the paperwork. He is the youngest in our pride but has a great big brother to play with in Tucker and 2 sisters that remind him that they have seniority. He loves to play and wrestle with Tucker and sometimes plays tag with Callie. They also love sitting at the window and watching CaTv. With his rambunctious nature Astro now goes by the name of Ser Pounce but he and I are both glad I started my search that day with the "A"'s.

Marc Board
LOUISVILLE, KY

The story about my Vlekkie/Spotty

On a November morning i went to work as always.

Later that day while working my boss his wife came to me and asked why we had a kitten in the garden.

It was a closed garden with about 50 homes connecting to it...and yes, there she was...

Shivering from the cold she walked up to me and started to meow...

I build her a small shelter, put a big towel in it and put some water and food next to it.

The food was eaten in no time and she layed down in the shelter i had build.

As the days passed, i asken almost everyone around the shop if they had lost a cat/kitty...no one admitted they had lost her.

I guess somebody probably got fed up with her and just threw her out like a piece of garbage...

The days passed, it got colder and colder, as on 5 December it started to snow and freeze.

I couldn't bare thinking of her being in the cold outside, so i went back to the shop with a bench and took her home.

The next day i went to the vet to check her and told her the story.

She told me Spot was nearly one year old and that normally i had to bring her to the shelter as a missing cat.

But her knowing we already had cats before, she told me to contact the animal protection and tell them my story.

So i did...i had to keep her for 3 weeks and if no one responded her missing, i could keep her.

Weeks went by and no one responded.

In January i went back to the vet to get her checked, get her shots and chipped.

Now, more than 8 years later we are inseparable as she is my bff(best friend forever).

When i come home from work, she waits for me at the window till i come in.

She gives me so much joy, love and comfort...i don't know how my live should be without her.

I'm hoping she will never leave my side!

Mike Catoire
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Most Obnoxious / Best Decision I've Ever Made

In my early twenties, newly independent, I really wanted a pet of my own. I kept visiting shelters, but never connected with any animals. One summer, I found this tiny, overcrowded cat shelter and they were literally throwing cats at me, desperate to get one adopted out. After the 26th cute, yet not-for-me cat encounter, I was trying to politely leave. They handed me a small grey kitten and said, "Well, there's this one. We've had him a few weeks, but haven't gotten around to naming him yet." As they tried to sell me on their nonprofit good deeds, I felt pointy claws digging into my chest. So I glanced down into my arms and saw the brightest, greenest, biggest eyes glaring up at me, eyes that looked like they were lined in eye liner. They said, "It's me. Let's go, already!" So I did.

It's been 6 years with my cat Johnny - who has become a 19 pound beast, with vet-diagnosed OC and eating disorder, whom I have to feed in mini portions at regular intervals to keep him from eating too fast and vomiting, whose unusually loud howl for food at 5 am keeps me and my neighbors from ever sleeping in, with his compulsive need to lick my hands clean before I pet him - and I wouldn't have him any other way. His strange and vibrant personality reminds me daily that I made the right choice bringing him home that day, not in spite of his obnoxious and overbearing traits, but because of them. I know no one else could take care of him with the patience and understanding that I do. Perhaps this is because I see some of myself in him - though rest assured not the obnoxious part!

Bryanna
Murfreesboro, TN

Stuart, the kitty: having an awesome retirement, off the streets.

On one of our evening walks, a very emaciated, but friendly kitty came up to us meowing. We felt so bad for him, we had to go to the store that instant and get him some food. That night I could not sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about him. He had no tags and I thought maybe he was someones missing cat and thats why he looked so malnourished and frail. Maybe we could find his family who was missing him?

The next day on my way home from work, I saw him. I am not sure what came over me but I just picked him up, put him in my car and drove him home!

We fed him, bathed him (a couple of times) and made a little bed for him away from our other two cats.

We started to call him Stuart.

The next day, my partner took Stu to the vet to check for a microchip (none) so we completed some vaccinations and blood work. We also put up an ad up on our neighborhood website to see if anyone would claim him.

A neighbor wrote to us and told us it was his cat and he could pick him up. But because of Stuarts state of health, we were hesitant to give him back to people who were possibly neglecting him. We explained that we had taken Stu to the vet and and told them about the work that needed to be done to help him get healthy, which added up to quite a bit more money. This seemed to turn them off, so my partner asked if the couple would be willing to let us adopt him. They said YES! We were so excited that he would not be a street cat anymore!

That was about a year ago and after some fairly large vet bills, he is doing much much better. He is an old cat, guessing about 15 years old, but we want to give him a good life no matter how long he has with us. We love Stu!

Suzanne LaFleur
Richmond, CA

From a person terrified of cats to a cat lover...

My boyfriend was terrified of cats. And the first thing I told him when we met, was that my dream was to live in a house with cats everywhere! As always, love took over our differences and we were together. One day my boyfriend sent me a picture of a cat that was roaming in his backyard. I always keep a packet of cat food in the kitchen for strays, and I asked him to keep some out for our visitor. He did, and thus began one of the best chapters of our life together.

"Diana" as we named our new friend, started visiting us regularly for food. She was very friendly and enjoyed being petted. We worried that Diana belonged to someone else, but she was not neutered and after two days, she had claimed our backyard as her home.

Disaster struck when my boyfriend had to move out of the house, a week later. What would we do with Diana? We were upset. My roommate refused to let me have cats. We still went back to the house and fed Diana, since new owners hadn't moved in yet. She would come running to us when we called her name, and loved cuddling in my lap. And then my boyfriend surprised me by saying "We are adopting Diana". "HOW" I asked? "Just trust me" he said. And so we took Diana to the vet and checked if she was microchipped. She was not, and we were shocked when it turned out our "Diana" was male!! We renamed him "Dana", since he only responded to similar names. We took him back home and my boyfriend talked to my roommate. I moved out and with him into a new home, where me, him and Dana live as a family now! It was been 8 months since we adopted Dana and our life has become much brighter. Dana LOVES us, especially his daddy and snuggles with him every night. And my boyfriend adores Dana, and is even thinking of getting Dana a sibling! How animals change us with their love and innocence...

Roshini
Athens, GA

My Sun and Moon Kitties

One day I was outside and heard a wee meow. I looked up into a large bush and there was a little gray tabby kitten looking at me. But he was a bit skittish. So over several days, I lured him closer and closer with food. Finally, I scooped him up and put him in a carrier. He settled right down! I named him Kevin for a little Irish flavor. He is a sweet, gentle boy who drools when he purrs. About a year later, I went to the shelter and found a yellow tabby about Kevin’s age. I named him Sunny for his forceful personality. It took Kevin and Sunny a while to find a balance, but now they are best buddies! Sunny is strong and bright. Kevin is quiet and reflective. So I call them my Sun and Moon kitties and they truly are the Light of my life.

Deb Acorn
Greenwood, SC

Allie & Socks, beautiful sisters

Our 2 gorgeous girls showed up in our yard with their mom on Father's Day 2004 while we were having a bbq. they were so tiny, only a couple of months old. I fed them leftovers (against my husband's wishes) and immediately wanted to take them in. my husband said no because of allergies but I never gave up. I continued to feed them and the following April he finally agreed and we took Allie in. the vet told me I should return her to the yard as she could never be tamed. they were both extremely feral but I refused to give up. after several months of coaxing, love and patience Allie finally allowed me to pet her. it is a victory I will never forget, lots of happy tears.

four months after bringing Allie in we were able to capture Socks (tuxedo). she took longer to socialize (2 years), but it was worth the wait. this spring they will be 11 and are are happy, healthy and spoiled members of our family. Socks is a cancer survivor and we are so thankful she is still with us and thriving. I can't imagine our life without these precious girls in it. they bring us so much laughter and joy and make our house a home. Allie has claimed the guest bed as her own and Socks has 3 beds to choose from. their toy basket overflows and they love having cookies every night.

I am so glad I didn't listen the the vet. if I did, we'd have missed out on the last 10 years of happiness and they likely wouldn't have survived. they know how lucky, safe and loved they are. never believe anyone who tells you feral cats can't be tamed. if we had persisted we'd never know the love they have to give and so willing accepted. they are a gift we treasure every day.

Lauren

NJ

Lauren
Teaneck, NJ

All You Need Is Love

Our family adopted our 4 year old tuxedo cat, named Maddox, in 2010 from a local shelter during their 4th of July adopt-a-thon. Maddox had been born into an animal rescue and lived in foster care until he was big enough to be altered and adopted out. We took him home at 12 weeks old. He was so tiny, but he grew up to be a beautiful, regal cat with the biggest, fattest plume of a tail you ever saw.

Near Christmas when Maddox was a year and a half old, he went out our doggy door into our fenced yard as he usually did, but this time he didn't return home for five days. Found badly injured and near death, Maddy managed to make it home, crying at the front door to be let in. We rushed him to the vet, and found out he was bleeding internally, had his tail broken on his spine, a busted bladder and a host of other injuries. It was a terribly scary time for all of us. Maddox wasn't about to give up though; he has a fighting spirit! He survived grim prognosis, 4 surgeries and 2 tail amputations! He lost his ability to urinate on his own and had to be helped to go potty, but we didn't mind, we were just glad he was alive. To keep his diaper on while his bladder healed, Maddox wore baby "onesies" for several months- one of the advantages of not having a tail! Maddox suffered many indignities and painful treatments, but never complained or hampered us in any way.

Maddy has made a full recovery now and no longer wears a diaper and a "onesie", but we still love to call him our Monkey Butt. Since the accident, Maddox has become so much closer to us. I truly believe he knows that his life was saved and he is grateful. Maddox's story is a testament to what a strong bond between cat guardian and pet can do when faced with life and death situations. Love can make miracles come true!

Tracy Hill
Phoenix, AZ
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