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Queen of Hearts

After my 20 year old Calico died, I was so bereft, I thought I would go out of my mind. So I headed over to the shelter intent on finding another calico. No luck, but, after several weeks of returning and hoping, I noticed a picture of a white cat on a bulletin board. I stared at her pretty little heart shaped pink nose and thought. Nope. Not a calico. But, as I started to leave, I turned back and asked about her. I was thoroughly warned, she really wasn't much of a friendly cat. She had been put into fostering because she couldn't socialize in the shelter setting and had actually frightened a volunteer because she seemed "wild", hissing and threatening. They hinted they worried she might be a biter. maybe not adoptable. Still, I asked to see her and she was brought to meet me for introduction. Again, I was warned she was a feisty cat and to be careful. Needless to say, she was a "pussycat", and rubbed up against me, then let me pick her up and put her on my lap as the foster mom stood there, mouth agape. I feel like Bambi approved of and chose me for adoption! She won my heart and became my queen. How else could the meeting have been so easy? It's true, Bambi is feisty in some ways. But, that's because she hates being scruffed. No problem. I don't scruff my cats. She's very tame with me and sleeps snuggled under the covers with me. Queen Bambi has been with me since 2009. Though she seldom let's anyone pick her up but me, she runs to greet and welcome any visitor to my home and socializes with them just fine.

Watsonville, CA

Biscuit with a twist

I have a TNR colony by my house that I take care of. I spend a lot of time with the Vet who is also a close friend. I came in to his office to check on a Tom I had trapped and see how he was doing after his surgery. In the back were he keeps the post op cats and dogs was a little light brown and white cat curled in a ball sleeping. He told me that two women found him at a local Pub unconsciousness and they had no idea how long he had been laying there. Dr. Pete took him in and had over the course of a week nursed him back to health. Dr. Pete estimated he was approximately 6 mos. and all indications were that he had been kicked severely. After a week he rallied and Pete thought fine but would forever have a neurological disorder that caused him to walk with a sideways twist in his head. He said it was how he maintained his balance after the severe head trauma. Dr. Pete said that he would give the cat to anyone who would take him, free of any Vet charge.

I checked on my Tom cat and thanked Dr. Pete and said I would ask around. The next day I returned to pick up the Tom and there was the cat with the twist sitting behind the glass door where they were keeping him. I went in and sat down on the floor and he came to me, found my lap curled up and fell asleep. He looked like a little biscuit all rolled up in a ball. Well, I called my wife who came down and scooped him up and we took him home with us. Wherever I am, he always finds my lap. My wife named him Biscuit for obvious reasons and we affectionately call him "B." He has a big voice, agile, friendly and loves to play with his new brothers. Every night, he curls up between us and sleeps the night away.

Bishop Ian Anderson
Saint Augustine, FL

My Christmas Gift from Mother Nature.

On December 19, 2012, a stray cat tried to barge her way into my house. She was small and sick. I wasn’t sure that she would survive the cold days and nights outside. I had asked my boyfriend if we can bring her in. We were both allergic to cats. I had been feeding her outside since November. I would fill up a dish with hard food, and every time I did she would come out and eat the whole bowl of food. Of course my boyfriend said yes. We nursed her back to health, and she stayed with us. I can’t imagine my life without her now. She has become my little girl. She looks for me when I’m not home and calls for me. I love her very much. Her name is Lady, (which was the name that she picked), my nick-name for her is Booba Boo.

Marian c.
Buffalo, NY

My first kitty ever....

This is Tyson. My first cat ever.

It is nearly six years on a cold November night when my dog sniffed him out in a school right in front of my house. It was a rather cold evening. When we heard him meowing, my sister grabbed him, and didn't let go. He was probably three to four weeks old at the time. He was full of fleas, and missing quite a lot of body fur. It was Day of the Dead here in our country when we found him. So my sister, dog and I, took him over with us that same night to a small market, and bought some corn for us all. It so happens that he ate all of it! So, from then on, that is what he gets as a birthday gift each year. We took him over to my dad, who was reluctant at first, but fell in love with him shortly afterwards. (One could tell, I found cat food on my house the following day!)

Today he has grown to be the Alpha Cat of my house, leading other four kitties. Needless to say, he is by far the naughtiest of all five. Escaping home on several ocassions, besides ripping off house furniture and breaking just about everything else! But all that is just part of the privilege of having a kitty. After him, I've learnt to love animals even more than I did before. His brothers and him have all proved us how thankful they are for having a home and protection. Their love is endless.... and so is mine for them.

Today, I couldn't imagine my life without him or his brothers!

Rodrigo Armando Moreno
Monterrey, Mexico

Venus, if you will

Venus was found in the door way of a foreclosed home with a twisty tie for a collar and taken to the shelter where she was scared and deemed food aggressive. Being active in Doberman rescue I was asked to evaluate her by a fellow Doberman lover who had a home for her. I had lost my Doberman, Athena, just a few weeks before to bloat and didn't think I was ready for another dog. When her home didn't happen, I decided that it must be meant to be and said I would adopt her. My male Doberman, Thor, loved her from the beginning and my cats thought she was cool too. I registered her with AKC as Venus, if you will for competition and I should have called her Venus, yes I will as she has won 2 titles and is working on her third and is also a certified therapy dog. I couldn't love her more.

Scottsdale, AZ

Toaster the CH Kitty and Her Siblings

Last October, a friend and I were painting some props in the back parking lot of our community theatre. A tiny kitten tottered out of the weeds, then another, and then a third who stumbled and fell every step or two. We put food and water down for them and they were our new best friends. We looked around and found a 4th kitten who was dead. The mother cat watched from a distance, but was clearly feral. I knew that if they stayed there, they would grow up to be part of the feral cat problem, so even though we already had 3 cats, I brought them home.

The next day we took them to the vet and found the little black and white one who fell so often has CH (cerebellar hypoplasia, essentially the cat version of cerebral palsy). She's healthy but has motor control and balance problems. We learned this is often the result of the mother having distemper. The other 2 kittens were not affected.

It was a good thing we brought them indoors, because the next week the temperature dropped to 25 below 0 for several days, and these tiny little guys, who the vet estimated at 2 - 3 weeks old, would certainly have frozen to death.

After some uncertainty, our 3 older cats have accepted the little ones for the most part. Starbuck (the blond) and Callie (the calico) are busy and active. Toaster, the CH kitty, has learned to walk, although she's got a funny gait and still falls over sometimes. She can even climb the stairs. The thing we'd like everyone to know is that CH cats are not in pain or sickly. They're healthy except for motor control problems, which can range from mild to severe. Toaster is very affectionate and purrs like a jet engine. So if you find a kitten who has trouble walking, don't assume that it is very ill or should be euthanized. Have a vet check it over ... it could be the sweetest addition to your feline family.

Casper, WY

The kitten next door

My neighbor at the time was moving out of her apartment. The day before she moved, she informed me that a feral neighborhood cat had given birth to some kittens on her back porch. The next day I went over to check on the kittens and mama to see how they were doing. Mama was long gone and I quickly found out that all but one of the kittens did not survive. Buried under her litter mates the only surviving kitten was crying out... Loudly! I scooped up the 1 day old kitten and rushed home with her. I showed my roommate this tiny screaming kitten and we both realized she needed nourishment asap! After a quick trip to the store for kitten milk and a bottle, we soon realized she was so tiny we had to use an eye dropper to feed her. I assured my roommate that we would be able to find a home for her when she was ready.

We took turns feeding her every few hours and made sure she was warm and safe. At first we called her Survivor. After just a few days of caring for her, we decided WE wanted to keep her and continue to care for her and love her. We changed her name to Munchkin and 15 years later she is still a blessing in our lives.

Eugene, OR

Two feral sisters, Ginny and Olly

We moved to our current apartment in the summer of 2006. Around Thanksgiving, we noticed two cats running around our apartment complex. so I immediately set out food and water. Sure enough, they came running. It was obvious they were a bonded pair - we assumed sisters. I named them Ginny and Olly after a similar pair of cats from a James Herriot book I've enjoyed since I was a kid - Ginny was the tortoiseshell and Olly was black. I put out a basket in the winter and they curled up like yin and yang.

We rarely went without seeing them for at least a couple of days at a time - usually finding the most sun they could in the winter to bask, and the shade of our patio in the heat of summer to get out of the sun. We never saw them pregnant or with kittens; Olly had her ear tagged and we can assume Ginny was also TNRed, or sterile. Last winter, I even set out a heating pad and a heated water dish, as we had an extra brutal Wisconsin winter.

Fast forward to this year - it was noticeable that Olly was getting raggedy. Ginny has always been a beautiful cat, but Olly's fur was starting to come out. On Easter Sunday, I fed them both a little warmed ham and for the first time, Olly didn't run away. She couldn't. For the first time in 9 years, I got to pet her. She lasted about 4 more hours - she ate, drank, somehow hopped in their box and fell asleep, never to wake again. I buried her where she got the most sun in the mornings. Since then, we haven't seen much of Ginny and I hope she's okay, or has someone else to take care of her.

Even though they were feral, I loved them as much as I love our two indoor cats. They were always a pleasure to see relaxing in the sun. I'll always be grateful Olly came home that Easter morning to say goodbye.

Amy Andrews
Sussex, WI

Montana 20

My oldest kitty, Montana, who is and always will be my "old man, my baby boy" was born in 1994. He turned 20 last August and will be 21 this August which will be the equivalent of 100 in human years. I told him that he has to live to be at least 25, but 30 is acceptable too. Imagine the dirty look he gave me when I told him that. ;) His best bud is his orca stuffed animal Mr. Whale.

Glenwood Springs, CO

3rd Time's the Charm.

Our first adopted cat had a fatal accident. Our second ended up having a chip that was missed by animal control so we had to return him to his original owners... We thought we were done at that point. No more cats. Well I'm a sucker for the local animal shelter and went for a visit not too long after we had to give up our second cat. There was the most pathetic looking Maine Coon laying by himself on a bed under the cages. I felt that he was just skin and bones. He barely reacted to my pets and just lay there as if he had given up on life. I felt for him, I was at that point in my life not too long ago. I asked the attendant about his history. He was brought in as a stray so they knew nothing of his past. However, they said as long as he's been in the shelter he had hardly eaten and didn't move around much. He was mine! I had to give him a chance to want to keep living. He came with the name Smokey because he's all grey, so we stuck with that name. We took Smokey to the vet and he received a good health check, other than his serious need to gain weight. His weight at the vet was 8lbs, Maine Coons should be 13-15lbs, at least. We brought him into our home and it took him a few days but eventually he started eating slowly, now he eats like a little pig. He wakes us up in the morning for his breakfast. He is still a little antisocial and skittish. We are working with him as best we can and thinking of buying some anxiety soothing oils for cats to help him become more social. He found his forever home as far as we are concerned, hopefully he feels the same way.

Ashland, WI
Purple Paw Quilted Jacket
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