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my story start in 2007, i was 10 and walking home from school with my then best friend and i hear this hiss we were walking a new way and got a fright, i get down and look under this bush and see this little kitten curled up she was so thin and weak could barely walk i picked her up and tucked her in my jersey,

she snuggled in to me but as soon as my friend came near her she was hissing, we went to my home making up a story so that i could keep her as we had a dog already and my step dad hated cats!, i made her a bed in m room grabbed my piggybank money and walked the hour walk to the vet, where i brought pet food and pet milk, when mum got home that night i showed mum who said if my step dad said i could keep her i could!!!

i ran to him begging him he said "maybe" which means yes i said it could be my birthday gift as it was my birthday the next month!,

and it turned out she wasn't a new kitten but over 9 months old and her short fur soon turned in to a ball of fluff,

now 7 years later Bella rules the house my step dad adores her and does anything she wants, she has the choice of bed likes to bring us birds and mice, and showers us with love and affection, she is my best friend and constant companion when i come home she meets me at the gate and will climb into my lap, she wakes me with purrs and licks stops me from doing school work by sitting on my computer, she is the best thing that ever happened to me i love her so much and she loves us! she is the queen of the house and i don't want to imagine the day she isn't.

invers, New Zealand

The kitten that never grows up

My friend works in a shelter and when I decided to get a second cat I told her to call me as soon she got any black kittens. 'The first black kitten is mine,' I told her. She called in December which is usually not a time for kittens to be born. They rescued the mom and dad from a hoarder and they had never seen the light of day. The parents were also mother and son and they had three inbred babies. They were all healthy, two black and white girls and one black boy. We went to the shelter to see them and the first kitten that came to me was one of the girls. She had two white spots on her belly and I fell in love with her ears immediately. The fur inside her ears was white and she looked at me curiously. The black kitten I intended to pick up didn't like me at all and hissed at my purse. I took his sister instead and it took a while that we found a name for her. My then-boyfriend was into Babylonian mythology and found a name: Mulan, which translates to heavenly star. So the kitten settled in and grew, she was healthy and there were no obvious signs of her being inbred. Except for her extreme clumsiness. I am a very clumsy person but this cat? She really manages to walk along the windowsill and stumble over her own paws. She fell off trees and ran into walls and I had to take her to the vet a few times (who loves her too).

Someday my boyfriend asked me at what age cats grow up. I said that it's usually when they are around a year old they start to behave less like kittens. Well, Mulan turned five in December and she still behaves like a kitten. I adore her playfulness and clumsiness and I love her with all my heart. And when she gives me a catkiss and bumps her head against my forehead I think she loves me too.

Cologne, Germany

Edgar the other Grumpy Cat

The name is Edgar. Otherwise known as The Other Grumpy Cat. 10 year old Burmese with a grumpy face but a heart of gold. I was adopted back in February of 2014 by my mommy at a pet store event held by the local shelter. I was just a little old man in the back cage that nobody wanted or looked at. Nobody ever wants an old kitty. I was first found in an abandoned apartment building dumpster diving for food. I was a normal kitty who wanted nothing more in life but to meow and eat precious wet food. But my owner didn't want me anymore and they left me. My mommy was with her friend and they almost adopted a young kitty and so I meowed my low and loud meow to get their attention. It worked. There was instant love from that moment on. But when they took me home, I couldn't hear anything. But they didn't care. After only 5 months I started getting sick. I couldn't see, hear, or do really anything except eat and go potty on my own. But even eating was difficult after getting teeth pulled. But my mommy still loved me. Even after falling in my kitty litter and making messes, having to get multiple baths (which I was a good sport with) she still loved me. In July of 2014 I went to wet food heaven to watch over my mommy. She always wished she could have helped me more, but she saved me the day she adopted me. Mommy always talked to me and confided in me even when I couldn't hear or see her. She treated me like I was her best friend. Like a normal kitty. Those 5 months were the best last 5 months I could have asked for. My mommy still loves meowing like me. I do it a lot better though! MOOOOOOW!

I love you mommy!

Kate McGarry
San Jose, CA

Our amazing little girl!

My mate and I were out shopping in October this year. There was a sudden rainstorm. We pulled into a grocery store parking lot and saw a poor 2 month old kitten laying in a shallow crack in the pavement. She was soaking wet, cold, and obviously hurt badly. We picked her up and drove to our vet. We thought that she couldn't possibly survive being run over, and that we would have to euthanize her. The vet examined her, and asked if we were willing to keep and care for a special needs cat. We were. It was not clear what internal injuries she had, or how badly she would be crippled. An X-ray showed that her pelvis was crushed. Her rear legs were not attached to anything. One rear leg had some feeling, but the other showed no reflexes at all. One front leg was broken into 3 pieces. Her tail was folded completely in half. She was deeply in shock. We think that when she was caught in the rain, she tried to hunker down into the crack in the pavement. That was enough to keep her from being completely crushed when she was run over. The vet casted her broken leg and we brought her home. At first she stayed in a basket next to us every second. A month later she sat up! She started pulling herself around with her good arm and used a pad as a litter box. At 2 months we had the cast removed. We were hoping her front leg would support her weight and the one rear leg would work. On the first day she crawled, the second hay she walked clumsily. The third day she crawled into the litter box. Then she ran. Then she walked up the steps. Then she RAN up the stairs! I did physical therapy 3 times a day on the paralyzed leg and she learned to walk on it correctly. We are so proud or our brave and tough little soldier! We named her Med, and we love her dearly!

Deborah Gregory
Glasgow, MT

My Supermarket Freebie

My mom and i were walking into our neighborhood Kroger just like we always did Saturday mornings , when we see a man sitting with a box that says free kittens. there are two left, he said if someone doesn't take them i an taking them to the high kill shelter. knowing we really didn't need another cat but seeing the two little boys in the box and not wanting them to go to a shelter she said we could take one. we argued over which brother and i didn't get my way, but i"m glad she won. another lady scooped up his brother and they were both off to their furever homes We named him Cinder because of his beautiful grey coat, but we called him many names through the years and it settled on Benny.

Benny was my wild child, my comfort through my parents divorce, and my best friend. When Benny was about 12, i came home from school and could not find him anywhere. i called my mom freaked out and she came home we searched and finally found him in the most unlikely place, his cat carrier, the place he hated most because it meant going to the vet but he knew he needed help. The vet said we made it just in time, he had a urinary blockage, any longer and his bladder would have burst. the vet did the surgery and removed the blockage, and saved his life.

Benny was 19 years old and very ill when he crossed the rainbow bridge last year. the day he passed i wasn't planning to stop at my moms but for some reason i was pulled there. i laid on the floor and pet him and told him i loved him knowing he didn't have a lot of time left so i cherished it. He always gave me and my mom Eskimo kisses, I got his last kiss. I had to go to work, 1 hour after i left he had a stroke and passed in my moms arms.

texas city, TX

Bo the Lost Girl

Bo came into our lives through the living room window in February 2012. We had all just learned the term "polar vortex" and were in the middle of one when our two cats began reacting to another cat outside the living room window. We live in the woods so wildlife is plentiful, but I had no chance to even see much less catch the other cat. I began leaving the garage door open just a bit with some food and a bed.

My husband, on the other hand, just removed the screen, opened the window, and reached out his hand. Bo leapt into his arms and into our lives without a moment's hesitation She was so small I thought she was a kitten, and so affectionate that I thought she must belong to someone already. But when we took her to to vet the next morning, she was unchipped, un-spayed, flea-ridden, and malnourished, so I decided she was fair game. She was about two years old but extremely small for her age.

Bo is crazy-affectionate and extremely attached to me despite the fact that my husband is her literal rescuer. She is within arms reach of me at all times and prefers to be physically in my arms if possible. But she's got a bed next to my keyboard and she will go straight to it and lie down if I make it clear that I need to work. Her favorite position is to drape herself across my torso, resting her head on my shoulder and wrapping her arms around my neck and arms.

I've had cats my whole life, but Bo is extremely special. She's as affectionate and loving as I've ever seen and every day I'm grateful to the polar vortex for bringing her into our lives.

Milwaukee, WI

How Bhaaloo met Mowgli

Almost two years ago my mom and sister were driving when what looked like a piece of garbage rolled through traffic. Uncertain of what the debris was, they stopped their car and the driver next to them said that a terrified kitten had crawled up into their rear wheel well. My sister got out of the car and eventually fetched the kitten from inside the wheel well and brought him back into the car with her. Completely frightened and shook up from his experience he attempted to hide in the dashboard and wedged himself out of reach and out of view. Once they returned home, my mother hoped to coax him out by leaving food and water out in the quiet car, but even an hour later he was no where to be seen. Worried about his state, my mother took her car (and an empty cat carrier) to the mechanic in hopes of fetching the scared kitten. Our mechanic carefully removed the dashboard of the car and was able to pull the kitten to safety. His first several days back at my parents house were troublesome as he couldn't eat or drink, we later assumed he had hurt his jaw when he rolled across the road. My mother was able to nurse him back to health by syringe feeding him until he was able to chew on his own. Shortly after his rehabilitation, I moved into a new apartment and figured my two year old Mowgli(left) could use a companion. Bhaaloo (right) moved in with us and they've been inseparable since.

Casey Thompson
Riverside, CA

This is my cat Yuki

This is Yuki, my two year old cat. About a year ago, I came across her profile on a local animal welfare shelter website where she came in as a stray, but she was already spayed which made me think she belonged to someone at one point then strayed away. She was underweight and a little shy, timid of people's engagement. I am extremely allergic to cats, but always wanted to adopt one, even if I had to suffer for it. When I saw her profile, I immediately left work early to see her in person.

After spending 15 mins with her, I fell completely in love and decided to request for them to hold her for me while I get everything ready for her new home: toys, food, snacks, bedding, cat tree etc. That evening, she became part of my family. It took her a few days to warm up but when she did, it was like magic. She is very affectionate and loves cuddling with me. I never thought that I could love a cat this much. I have had series of allergic reactions, including chronic sinusitis, but I'm willing to manage this problem so that she can be happy and know that she's found her forever home. I am grateful that I can provide that for her. It took me over 30 yrs to decide whether or not to adopt a cat and now - I cannot imagine my life without her.

Hannah Yu
Seattle, WA

Love Overcomes Fear

It was a routine checkup for my tabby, Otto, I was chatting with the vet and asking questions about how to introduce Otto to a new kitten. The doctor stopped and looked at me. "Are you thinking of adopting? Because we found a feral kitten outside our clinic, and she needs a home."

So that day a frightened scrawny black kitten came home with us. Within days little Kikka and big Otto were best friends. They played, snuggled and groomed each other. Otto taught her the household cat rules. She adored him.

However, Kikka was terrified of me. She kept her distance. If I moved toward her she ran and hid under the couch! It was a bummer, but her feral roots ran deep and she just didn't trust humans.

I worked hard to win her over. I bribed her to come close with snacks and toys. I spoke to her a lot. Soon we started having "meow" conversations. Eventually I could pet her, just minimally at first, then more. But she was never cuddly with me, only with Otto.

Then Otto passed away. Kikka and I were both heartbroken. Surprisingly, my feral kitty turned to me for solace. She started sleeping near me at night. For the first time ever, she purred when I petted her. One evening as I watched TV, she crawled into my lap and curled up there! We were finally bonding.

A few years later, a man came into our lives who loved cats and insisted on befriending my shy girl. When Kikka hid under the bed, he got down on the floor and talked to her. He gave her treats and petted her often. Eventually his persistence charmed both of us, and now we all live together as a family. I often find my husband and my cat snuggled up together on the couch.

Kikka's transformation since those early days has been heartwarming. That frightened feral kitten is now 12, and sweet as can be. Love has overcome fear. Kikka has found her safe place – not under the couch, but in our hearts.

Paige Wallace
Portland, OR

My girl Serina

When I was about 12 years old, my older sister and I were walking through the mall when we saw a pet store. After begging her to go inside, we found this little white and tabby kitten with a small splotch on her cheek. She immediately ran up to us and started meowing and scratching at the glass. We asked the worker to see her and I knew it was love. She pounced and played and was the happiest little kitten when she found us. My sister debated buying her, but we could not let this little baby stay in the run down store.

My sister couldn't keep her because of various reasons and I took her to my mom's house immediately. She instantly attached herself to me. She would lay in my room and cuddle with me and love dig and purr so sweetly. When she got bigger that tiny splotch turned into an adorable half mustache. She was my best friend in the entire universe and even came with me when I made the big move to NYC. I couldn't go anywhere in the apartment without her following me everywhere I went and she greeted me by meowing her deep meow everytime I came home.

After 11 years with her, I saw that she had lost a lot of weight and in a short amount of time, only a few days. I took her to the vet and they told me she had liver failure. Even with treatment she was going to be sick and wouldn't be healthy again. While in the vet, she let out a slow meow to let me know it was her time. And while it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, I know she's in a better place now at the Rainbow Bridge. I am so thankful for every moment I had with my best friend, and not a day goes by where I do not miss her.

ashleigh maier
brooklyn, NY
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