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Dot the Idaho kitty

My cousin and her son were taking a walk in the field when they heard a little squeaking sound. They were able to follow it to an irrigation ditch, where they found a little black kitten, no more than two weeks old, trapped and alone. They took her home and attempted to find out if any of the neighbors' cats had kittens, but had no luck. So they kept her and bottle fed her, trying to find another home for her, since they had a full grown cat and their apartment only allowed one. About a week later, I came up for a visit. As soon as Dottie saw me, she followed me everywhere. If she heard my voice and couldn't get to me, she would cry until I came and got her. We already had two cats at home in a 1000 SF condo, and were not looking for any more. But I could not leave Dottie behind. My husband reluctantly agreed, and I brought my tiny fur ball home, stopping every hour or so to check on her. My husband and I took turns bottle feeding her at night, and he fell in love with her. He now considers her his "baby", and they love to cuddle. I know she was meant to be a part of our family! I can tell she is an Idaho kitty, because whenever I peel potatoes to cook, she hangs around and begs for some. If I drop a peeling, she is on it like it is a feast! Dot is the silliest cat I have ever known, and I am so grateful I got the chance to bring her home!

Taylorsville, UT

Handsome Will

In late October of 1995 I had just been laid off from my job and had lent my car to my sister for the day. So i walked to the post office to pick up my mail. On my way back home, when I turned into the alley, a cute little black-and-white tuxie kitten came charging toward me, meowing up a storm. I already had cat food and litter in my apartment as I had catsat my ex-husband's two cats for a few days just previously while he was on a business trip. This little kitty settled right in. He was pretty rammy, and the guy I was dating at the time named him "Willie" after an equally rammy childhood friend. Handsome Will eventually settled down and became a GREAT cat. When he had to make his last trip to the vet three years ago (had a squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw) my husband was weeping and saying, "Goddamn, I'm gonna miss you, Boss." Willie was smart and funny and infuriating. One of my daughter's first words had been "Weewee," and she certainly wasn't talking about having to go potty. When I was a young girl we had another B&W tuxie male named Fafner who was also an excellent cat. I am convinced that those male B&W tuxies are all intelligent, quirky and gregarious.

Jeanne Horn
Duluth, MN


I had plans for just a night on the town with my best friend and we'd decided to stop at McDonald's for a short meal. On the way in, I spotted this little dirty bundle of fur under a bush trying to look scary while he chowed down in a french fry. He was so small, I was sure he shouldn't even be away from his mom yet. I bought a small fry and enticed him to come to me. When I took him home, he cried on the passenger seat so I sat him on my lap. He fit right underneath the steering wheel. He was completely covered in fleas but his outlook from day one was enormous. He bounced off the bed, climbed the curtains, jumped sideways at me and snuggled down on the pillow next to my head. Today, he's my fur-baby. We've battled pneumonia, staying up with him all night waiting for the vet to call me back to make sure he kept breathing and helped me through losing my older dog Hunter by keeping me company. He snuggles in bed with me, greets me at the door when I come home with what I like to call "rattlesnake tail" and comes when I call him. I don't think I'd ever be able to live without him and I definitely think I was supposed to find him that day and he never lets me forget that he owes me a life debt.

Clarion, PA

Tiny was ok

We lived next door to Tiny she was a Jack Russell and she stayed out in the yard all winter. I went to feed and water her everyday. Her owner was moving and ask if I would like to have her heck yes. Tiny got her first bath and grooming the first day. She became our house dog and the best dog anyone could have. She was a older dog and she was mine for a short time. Rainbow Bridge got an angel on April 3rd 2011 and not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Love you Tiny.

natalie lewis
Port Clinton, OH

Kicked out, but into my life.

Bubbles began hanging around my door long before I realized she had no place to live....I thought the neighbors simply forgot about her being outside. When I first realized she was trying to exist out of doors, I was very concerned. She was so friendly, and so enjoyed grooming my arms....and purring loudly at the same time! Though, initially, she was not comfortable being petted or her paws touched I was shocked to find she was DECLAWED! That is a death sentence for a cat forced to live outdoors! I checked with the neighbors and the woman said "She's not getting along with the dog!" She almost slammed the door in my face! Okay! That was that and Bubbles was now a member of my family. Bubbles had issues with feet and hands for the first few weeks and hid under the dining table most of the time....hmmmm... Abuse? After a number of months (and talking with the husband next door, who thanked me for taking her in) I have found out Bubbles is about 13 years old. Now, after a number of months, she is a mellow sweetie and still loves to groom my arms....now she loves a good stroke down the back and a scratch under her collar! She is so confident now I call her "Miss Nosy" as she feels she must check out everything new!

Lee A. Cain
San Diego, CA

Hopalong Cassidey

One morning as Jim backed out of the driveway to take me to work, we saw a lovely small cat sitting on our front porch. When my husband returned home, he called me to say that the cat was still there but was now under the azalea bush and that she appeared to have a broken leg. He asked what he should do to lure her into the carrier to take her to the vet. I thought he meant he would take her to the humane society because we already had one cat, Frankie, and Jim thought that was enough. So I told him to place a small amount of tuna on a lid inside the carrier and that would allow him to trap her

I was at work and forgot all about it until I received a phone call from our vet at 2 PM. He said Jim had told him the cat was a stray, but that we would take care of the bill! I was shocked (although my husband was a sweetie so I shouldn't have been surprised). Dr. D said that he would take xrays the following morning and would call me then.

The next morning Dr D called to tell me that the tendon in her knee had been severed, and that he recommended amputating the left hind leg. Then he asked if Jim and I wanted to come and see her before he did that. So that evening, we went to visit the little girl. She laid in my lap and purred throughout the whole visit. I was absolutely smitten and Jim thought she was precious. So in the course of the next few days, her leg was amputated at the knee, she was spayed, and her front claws were removed.

We brought Hopalong home and she has been a delight ever since. She was about six months old when she arrived and Hoppy is now 18 years old. She's even more precious to me now that both Jim and Frankie have crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Marlys Cassidey
Jacksonville, FL

My Bonnie Saved Me

Back in 2008 my mom's cat Baby was very sick and we thought it was her time to go to the rainbow bridge.I couldn't handle it,so I asked my mom if we could get a kitten to ease my pain,we found in the paper two kittens so we set off,when we arrived the guy told us that he worked a lot and that the kittens didn't have much human interaction we picked the female and set off for home I will always remember that night it was raining and the kitten just snuggled up to me and did not want to be let go.We kept bouncing names around till I settled on Bonnie Marie,Bonnie after Bonnie Hunt ( she had a talk so at the time,I loved to watch) and Marie after my mom.

We got home and we set Bonnie in the living room to explore,she saw Baby and went right to her Baby did not like it one bit but within five days they were sleeping together. Surprisingly Baby got better every day, we realized Baby just needed a friend, six years later and Baby is now fourteen years old and has two other playmates,we have four cats that we love to death.I will never forget how Bonnie saved not just me but Baby also.

Swanzey, NH

The tiny black cat that saved me...

2011 had been a very difficult year. I lost my dad after a long battle with cancer in May. Our 15 year old rescue dog Charlie passed away 3 months later to the day in August. And not to be outdone, my beautiful 12 year old grey tabby Frank had become gravely ill during the month of December.

After many trips to the local vet to no avail and my carpet cleaner running overtime due to his sensitive stomach, we finally took the advice of our neighbor and brought him their vet. An old country vet who seemed to be the last resort of many. Since a high priced ultrasound was out of the question we decided on exploratory surgery the day after Christmas to try and discover what was causing his illness. Two stomach tumors were found occupying over 90% of his stomach. The only decision to be made was to end his suffering.

After saying good bye to my dear sweet kitty, my husband and I returned home to break the news to our children. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My daughter asked if we could go see the rescue kitty named Boo she saw the other day at PetSmart. I would have agreed to anything to lessen the pain.

The next day we went to take a look at Boo, a 3 year old black cat. Really a tiny slip of a kitty! She was so gentle and affectionate. She had been at the shelter for a few months and then moved to PetSmart in hopes of finding a forever home. Given away by a family that could no longer afford her.

So sweet and vulnerable we adopted her on the spot. When we brought her home she snuggled up on my chest for a hour. We both needed comfort. I needed somewhere to channel my love and she needed someone to love her. Although it's been a rocky road, clearly this kitty has abandonment issues...I promised, no matter what she does, I would never let her go!

New Lenox, IL

From Homeless to Home at Last

When my cat Foxy passed away, I was devastated. His death left a huge hole in my heart that I couldn't get rid of. Fast forward to four months later. I still found myself crying at least a few times a week but I tried my best to move on. I had a date one night, and my date mentioned he had a cat that frequented his apartment complex and often begged for food. Knowing this I came prepared with cans of cat food to give him. When we got to the complex, we hadn't even gotten close to his apartment yet when this cat he had named Missy came running right up to us meowing loudly. We brought her inside the apartment and she was so hungry she ate two entire cans of cat food. After she finished, she jumped right into my lap and started purring loudly. I instantly fell in love.

When she was on my lap, I noticed that she had two big gashes on her body--one on her back and another deep wound on her belly by her leg. I decided then that I couldn't let her stay outside. It was a freezing night in March and she needed to see a vet. I took her home and then to the vet two days later (they were closed the previous day) and surprise--she was pregnant! On top of being pregnant and having the two wounds she also had a fever and worms. She wore the cone of shame for two weeks and then gave birth to three beautiful kittens like a champ. Watching her babies be born and grow for the next 8 weeks gave me such joy! Two kittens ended up going together to a nice family, and I kept Missy and her Russian Blue kitten. Missy is such a wonderful cat. She follows me everywhere, sleeps with me, and runs to the door when I come home. She thinks I saved her, but in reality she is the one that saved me and helped heal my broken heart.

Clifton, NJ


In the fall of 2002, I learned of 42 cats that had been rescued from a hoarding situation. All the cats had been caged and were very sick. For weeks I went to help with their care almost every day, but it soon became clear that I had to do more. Without giving it much thought, I took home two cats whose cages were right next to each other. In time they became Clippus and Shep.

In addition to their health issues, neither of these cats had been socialized. Clippus was highly insecure and Shep was downright aggressive. There were times when I wondered what I had been thinking when I decided to take these cats home. But little by little, we learned to love and trust each other, and we had ten beautiful years together.

In late summer 2012, I realized that Clippus would not be with us much longer. His weight had gone from 16 pounds to a meager 11 pounds in a very short time. It was cancer, as it turned out, although we never determined the cause until after his death on February 7th, 2013.

In the few days that followed, although I grieved for Clippus, I was grateful that Shep was healthy and that we still had time. But on February 10th, only three days later, Shep suffered an attack and had to be rushed to the emergency veterinary clinic. I then had to make the excruciating decision to have him put down as well. I was devastated—heartbroken—and a year and a half later, I still feel the loss.

I understand now that Clippus and Shep were brothers in a way that I will never know. They had suffered unbearable cruelty together and made it out alive. They found their way to me together and would leave this world together. I love this picture of them because it was taken during Clippus’s decline, and it looks as though Shep is standing watch over him, protecting him. I buried them right next to each other in my back yard, together forever.

Sarah Rich
Albuquerque, NM
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