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A True Angel

When my mother brought home a young, vibrant German Shepherd as a companion for her aging shepherd in his final days, I decided it was time to bring a dog back into my life too and hopped onto petfinder.com to look for an adoptable German Shepherd of my own. Time and time again as I called rescues the dog in question had already been adopted or had an adoption pending. Finally after many times of this and disappointment I found a shelter in Baton Rouge that still had German Shepherds for adoption and was pointed in the direction of a white German Shepherd in foster care with a local German Shepherd Rescue. She had been brought into the shelter in Baton Rouge and in the pound kennel started to waste away to almost nothing. She was nearly a skeleton when she went home with her foster mom. After a wonderful meet and greet our "Angel" was soon a part of the family.

Flashing forward about two years our family received another addition of the small, two legged kind. We were unsure of what Angel's reaction would be but it was not what we expected. She didn't just seem anxious, when the baby had fits of crying Angel panicked. She cried and yelped. When she was put into a different room she tried to ram the door down. This was not normal behavior for her. Soon after the baby stopped eating and within hours was in the NICU. What we thought at first was just a strange reaction to crying was far more. Our daughter was having seizures and only Angel knew and she was desperately trying to tell us. After several tense weeks in the hospital we were able to come back home and while Angel has to give her "human puppy" a good sniff when she cries, she no longer loses her mind. Once discarded and unwanted she is a true Guardian Angel.

Victoria Midkiff
Leesville, LA

The Remainder

Having had pets my entire life, college dorms were a shock to me. There were no animals allowed. Finishing up my freshmen year, and well on my way to an apartment, I knew I needed a fur baby. I just never knew she'd come from a dear family friend, telling me they had a kitten for me, and craziest part of all, she came from inside their wall.

I’d already been scoping shelter kittens, and was in contact with a foster family when I got the call. They told me I had to come see her and if I didn’t want her, they’d give her to a shelter. No pressure.

Then I saw her in the box. Pure gray and barely 4 weeks old. Dry wall dust in her eyes, and her voice croaked as she mewed at me. Instinctively, I held her against my chest, where she curled up content to just feel another body’s warmth. I no longer had a choice, she was mine.

Her mother, a stray, had had kittens in their attic. This one had fallen through the floor up there and got lodged inside the wall. Days they heard her cry until finally they pinpointed her small voice inside. By this time, the mother cat had left with her litter, the poor baby completely abandoned. "Take me home" my friend pleaded in a high pitch voice, trying to be a voice for the bundle in my hand. She was that small, she fit in my palm.

Take her home is exactly what I did. The vet said, despite her fall/containment, she was healthy, and after days on formula, and wipes to her eyes, she was breathtaking. And she was mine. Acquiring her so young gave us an undeniable bond, I couldn’t so much as leave the room without her, and it didn’t take long for her to figure out my body was her favorite resting place.

Two more kittens were discovered, under different circumstances, both too feral to find immediate homes. It amazes me how blessed I was. 3 years later, she’s still my miracle.

Morgan
Laingsburg, MI

Then and Now!!

I had been thinking about getting a dog after my daughter had gone off to college, So I asked a friend of mine, who volunteer’s at a shelter, to keep her eyes open for a medium size dog for me. She called and said they were on red alert, which sadly means that a few would be put down in 48 hrs. I had a really bad toothache that day, and really didn’t want to go…but I am so glad I did, or I never would have found my baby boy Roscoe. He was about 4 months old they thought, and possibly a bait dog(don’t get me started on that) He stayed in the very back of his cage, slummed over, while all of the other dogs were begging for my attention. I walked up and kneeled down and he came over to me and put his paw up to my hand, and looked at me with the saddest eyes I had ever seen, I knew right then I couldn’t leave him there, that is the day we saved each other. I didn’t realize how much time I spent lying on the couch letting my life pass me by,but there is no time for any of that now, as I am up chasing after my four legged, nosy, playful and at times destructive ball of energy. He actually will go upstairs by himself and get in bed when he is tired. He has come a long way from the sad scared little boy at the shelter. My handsome boy.. Then and now.

Kathy Gowdy
Kingwood, TX

Shorty

My daughter Lisa was visiting friends on a farm, they told her a litter of 6 kittens had been born to a feral in an out building. When they took her to see the kittens they were not in a good way, it seems something had happened to mum cat and she'd not returned to her babies. One of them, a tortie, appeared dead but whilst they were discussing what to do they noticed her move ever so slightly. My daughter decided she couldn't leave them & although she had very little cat experience, she brought them home. After a visit to the vet, he said they were approx 3 weeks old. She stocked up on essentials and read up on hand rearing. We all did kitty sitting when we could to help with feeding and contact.

I've always said, being brought up with dogs as pets, that I'd never have a cat but my partner Mark, was desperate to take one, in particular, the little tortie. After spending time with the litter, I did a lot of soul searching and research, and said we would take one. Then I got the 'two are much easier than one' line! So off I went again to do more reading and soul searching and finally said yes to two. So Shorty and her brother Max came to live with us, my first ever cats. I was definitely won over. Sadly we lost Max when he went out and never returned. We miss him so much and wonder what became of him. Shorty was lost without him so we got her a companion, Phoebe. Shorty was an amazing surrogate mum to the new addition, as she was with 3 kittens that we later fostered and ended up keeping! Shorty truly is a furry angel, we love her sooo much. She's very chatty and so loving and I'm so glad she came into my life. I am now officially a crazy cat lady!

Mandy
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

"why bother" -Hook the Handicat

Hook was found in a puddle of blood on the side of the road as a kitten, he was mistaken for a pile of garbage. A kind person scooped him up and brought him into the animal hospital I worked at. His chin was degloved, his back leg was broken, and at the time it was believed his front leg was also broken. Barely breathing and covered in blood we were unsure he would make it through the night. In the morning, he was up, alert, and looking to eat. Though he was dragging himself around the cage we now knew there was hope! Knowing the medical costs that were to come, I wanted to make sure all that could be done to save him would be done, so I claimed him as my own. I remember another client in the hospital saying "why bother" when I explained the help he would need. The Veterinarian sewed his chin back on and surgically put pins in his back leg. His front leg was frozen in a hooked position and we were unsure if it would have to be removed.

After recovering from his surgeries he showed us how much of an advantage rather than a handicap his hook really is. Its great for hooking the back legs of his cat friends, pulling toys out from under furniture, begging for treats, and best of all it is perfect for cleaning his face. His hook hasn't stopped him yet. I am so thankful I took him home! There is nothing like coming home and having him crawl up, hook around my neck purring away...that is why I "bothered."

Susan Schovanec
Hamilton Square, NJ

"Roadkill" enjoying spring

Nineteen years ago, my daughter rescued a little kitten that had been run over by a young driver. He and his litter mates had been thrown out on the highway. A visit to the vet determined that although he was badly scratched and bruised,had no bones were broken or no internal injuries. She phoned to tell me I had another cat! I tried to name him "Second Chance"...but her husband kept saying he looked like "Roadkill"....hence his name! That was more that 18 years ago! He has been almost my soul mate..purred to me through tough times..entertained me when I needed to laugh and just kept me company when that's what I wanted. Next week he is going to our vet to have some teeth work done and we are looking forward to more years of love that only a kitty cat can give!

Pat Butler
Kenosee Lake, SK, Canada

YOU ARE MINE

My daughter had just lost the oldest of her three cats, Byron (19) and she wanted someone to keep Seb company in his twilight years because Loki was a bully and pestered Seb. So one day, on our way to a movie, we stopped by the mall near the theatre to check out the cats at PetCetera. Maria was adamant; she wanted a kitten. While we looked at the cats, most of whom were adults, and making a fuss of the one six-month old cat, this ratty-looking tom walked up to her. He sat at her feet staring at her. His coat was dreadful (he might have been a black and white tuxedo), his ears were akimbo (allergies) and he was hacking up hairballs from the crappy food he was getting.

We were told he was around six, found in Vancouver, abandoned, and brought to Victoria. He could not have been on his own that long because he was actually over-weight. While we spoke with the sales person the cat opened his mouth and gave my daughter the "silent meow", then stropped her legs and starting meowing. Maria gave me a "what the heck" expression. I told her she could make a decision while we were at the movie. As we headed out the door we looked back and that cat was sitting there, staring after us, so dejected. After the movie we returned. No "grungy" cat. Maria starting looking over the other cats. The minute she spoke that cat popped out of an enclosed bed space and made straight for her. Maria gave up. We brought him home. She re-named him Logan and spent two hours brushing him out. Turned out he was a pure-bred, brown and white Abyssinian!

Today, Logan is healthy, happy, the right weight...and thinks Maria is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He "flirts" with her constantly, sulks when she goes to work. He protected Sebastian in his last year of life, providing a buffer against Loki's bad behaviour. Today Logan protects my cats and puts Loki in his place. He's quite the character.

Anonymous
Victoria, BC, Canada

Dora the Explorer

Dora is the most recent member of our family. A neighbor had adopted her as a kitten and being fearful of her dogs the kitten moved to the basement and resided there for over a year. When the neighbor moved Dora, who was then called basement kitty was left outside to fend for herself. Being accustomed to living indoors she went to another house in the neighborhood and hid under the deck. I was able to lure her into a pet carrier with food and she moved to our house and stayed in our basement while she was de-wormed and treated for fleas. For some time we were unable to pet her. She got used to feeding time and having some human company so we were able to pet her occasionally. Soon she moved upstairs to live in her own bedroom until she was spayed. She had never lived with furniture, windows, carpet or frequent human contact. We installed a screen door in the bedroom doorway and Dora was able to meet our last rescue, Dylan. She was so shy and very nervous about human touch. The first time i held her she purred. I cried. We slowly got her used to roaming the whole upstairs but she quickly learned how to scale the baby gate and come downstairs to meet all of our rescues, Dylan, a 2 year old Maine Coon, Carly our 9 year old, Gordon Setter and Kiki, our 17 year old Calico. As usual introducing the new baby was stressful in the beginning but Dora is very happy here now. She has learned how to sit in the window and watch birds, climb furniture and play. Dora did not know how to play when she came to our house. She now runs through the house with Dylan and follows her humans all day long. Every day is a wonder and we are so grateful to see her evolve into a beautiful addition to our family.

Lori
Hamilton, OH

My Little Man

Pikachu was born in April 2000 at an animal rescue where I worked, the larger of two kittens of the litter. We adopted each other instantly. From that day on we were inseparable. Pika was my 'little man', he talked to me with different meows, snuggled as soon as I sat down, oftentimes before I was comfortable or even fully seated, and followed me everywhere (even the bathroom). I knew that when I arrived home from work that he would be waiting for me near the door and that nothing else would be allowed to occur until I had given him pettings and praises. Granted, he was a bully to his sister and would often chase her away when she ventured into areas that he had claimed as his but I couldn't be mad at him for more than a few passing seconds. He passed away unexpectedly in early November 2014 but I can still feel him bringing me snuggles when I am feeling depressed or lonely.

Toni
Bloomington, IN

"Little" Leroy

My husband and I live in a rural town in Oklahoma and there's sadly a lot of feral cats. When we first moved to Oklahoma we had a neighboring farm and barn that we drove past daily. One night driving home we came across two orange tabby kittens in the middle of the road. We couldn't catch them at first, but with food and time we eventually made friends with them, and thus started our rescue efforts with the many cats that showed up.

About two years after we first encountered those two kittens we had started a catch, neuter, and release project, but we had a pregnant momma show up. As many feral cats go, she had her kittens, but kept them well hidden until they were about three weeks old. One night after the kittens had started showing up, we were checking them all over at feeding time and we noticed they all kept going behind a stack of pallets. So I took the flashlight and found a tiny orange kitten and he wasn't moving. My husband climbed back and picked him up, fearing the worst.

The little guy about half the size of his siblings, and had one of the worst eye infections I'd ever seen. He was dehydrated and he was lethargic so we rushed home with him to clean him up and start nursing him. My husband started mixing KMR as I took him to clean him up. It took several minutes with a warm wash cloth to clean his eyes up enough for him to be able to open them, and when he did he started purring immediately and it was love at first sight. We named him Little Leroy after another cat that we had loved and lost.

Later we placed him with a rescue before ending up fostering him for a few weeks... He never left. We adopted him and he's now a happy, healthy and BIG love-bug. His favorite things are playing with his kitty-brother, Hercules, snuggle when we feel bad and love on our dogs. He's a true blessing!

Natalie
Oklahoma City, OK
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