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My 3 girls

As a child I loved my granny's cat. So the moment I got a place of my own I decided to adopt a cat. I happened to see the picture of a 8 week old tuxedo and fell in love with her. I was so excited when I went to pick her up with my brother! Out came this tiny creature who looked sick and had a pot belly. The foster mom said she was 80% healthy; I wasnt sure. Later she told me Manya (Cat in Marathi) was close to death multiple times. Eitherways I was in love. I was a cat mom who did not know how to hold her baby; forget how to give her meds, bathe her etc.

One month after I got my Manya, I got Ron (ginger cat). I wanted someone as company for Manya when I was out. So I went back to the same foster family and lucky me they did have a ginger cat who Manya used to sleep with after her sister died. It took me 4-5 months to get Ron to like me and trust me as she had been separated from her own sibling and was attached to her foster mom.

Manya and Ron are 1 year old now and what a horrific year it has been healthwise for Manya. The post op recovery after the spaying was something I would never want to relive..... or so I thought.

Enter Luna- A parent of a kid found a newborn kitten. The plan was to foster her and put her up for adoption, but Ron adopted her. She groomed her, disciplined her taught her how to eat independently. Manya taught her how to use a litter box like a pro. Luna (white cat) is 3 months old now and makes me visit the vet regularly just like her elder sister.

Life is hectic but would I give it up? No They have unique personalites. :-) Manya wants to cuddled and hand fed, Ron wants hugs and cuddles and Luna is right now sleeping next to me. :-)

Siddhi P
Pune, India

The love of my life. . .

At the time that little man came to live with my then husband and myself, I was working for the state as a probation officer. I was at the sheriff's department doing some work when the animal control officer came in for a meeting with the Sheriff. He and I started talking and he said it was "Dead Dog Friday" (his words). If a dog was not claimed, adopted, or rescued in a certain amount of weeks the animal was put down the following Friday. He was caring a dog in his truck trying to find someone to take the little guy so he would not have to put him down. I immediately agreed to take him home (without speaking to my husband). When my husband saw him for the first time, he said "Isn't he a funky little guy?" So that became his name, Funky Dog. That night he would not eat, until we brought him a happy meal. He was a sick little pup, the vet said he was about 3 years old. Come to find out later that he was a bait dog for pit bull fighting. After he was well, he was so energetic and loving. He was a little mischievous, but that was one of the things we loved about him. During our divorce he was my constant companion. He was like my child, I even carried him around like a kid. He got very sick after I came home from a work trip. I took him to an emergency vet, then again the next day to a specialist. I had to put him down on Nov 7, 2011. He was the love of my life, and saying good bye was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I know that my life was so much better because of that little guy.

Becky Turcotte
Somerville, TN

I fell in love with my foster cat

I found Chimo (her real name is Simone, after the French writer de Beauvoir) on my way home back from my work. It was a scorching day in Santiago (Chile's capital city), and as I waited for a friend to pick me up I saw a scrawny ball of fur on top of a box, in the middle of my city's main street. Chimo was only 6 weeks, she couldn't breath properly, had a severe fever and both her eyes were infected and filled with a greenish secretion. I took her in my arms and run to the vet as soon as I could, disregarding the fact that there was no way I was going to be allowed to have pet number 4 at home. When we got to the doctor, the woman didn't give me much hope: Chimo was too young and too sick, and things didn't look good.

By the end of the first week, where she passed from my house to my friend's room, both of us taking turns to look after her like our own baby, she started to make some progress. We took care of her until she got better, thinking we could find a proper home for her (I already had three dogs who hated cats). I even started a facebook campaign to find her a loving home. But after weeks of nourishing and sleepless nights checking her breathing, feeding her and helping her do N° 1 and 2 (that is how sick she was), I just couldn't give her away.

I decided to keep her, and even though my mom's furniture disagrees, this is the best thing I have ever done! Even our three dogs warmed up to her after a while (there was some barking and peeing on her in the process, but now they have all accepted her new sister).

And now, she will be spending her first birthday with us! She is my baby and I am forever grateful fate put her that date on that street for me.

Constanza Contreras Ruiz
Santiago, Chile

Our Special Valentine

My daughter had been begging for a cat for years. Unfortunately, I am terribly allergic so the answer was always no. On February 13, 2014 we had an usually beautiful day after a long, cold winter. Driving past our house, I noticed a cat curled up on the front porch enjoying the warmth of the sun. This is not usual, as we live on a main street, however the cats usually just run away as I approach. This one ran up to me and let me pick him up. The sucker that I am, I brought him into the house and my daughter fell in love. The cat didn't mind our three dogs and made himself quite at home in a matter of minutes. The next day I called our local Animal Warden, who informed me that they do not take cats and that taking him to the shelter would most likely result in an unhappy ending. We posted signs and pictures in the neighborhood with no one claiming our Valentine. Fast forward eight months: Jaxson is now a permanent member of our household! He does not bother my allergies in the least, he LOVES perching by the picture window and looking outside, and he and our rescue dog and the best of buddies. Jaxson wasn't neutered when when he arrived, but he is now. He's gained some weight and looks incredibly healthy. We don't know what brought Jaxson to our home, but we're so glad he's here!

Michelle G.
Cleveland, OH

Drusilla. Love at First Bite :P

Last winter I set up a make shift shelter on the porch for my cats. But I soon realized that a stray cat started using it instead. The first time I saw her; she ran out of the shelter and hid under the porch. My mom didn't want me to let her in the house because we already had five cats.

I decided to put food & water out for her anyway. One night after I had already gone to bed I woke up to meowing, it was the stray cat. We had just entered a cold snap and the temperature had dipped to 20 below. I flipped on the porch light, and there she was with her big green eyes staring back at me through the window, and meowing at me to let her in from the frigid cold. But as soon as I opened the door she hid in the shelter. I grabbed some food to encourage her to let me bring her in. She came out of the shelter & started devouring the food. I held my hand out to her; she sniffed my hand and rubbed her face against it. She started purring, rubbing up against me, let me pet her, then out of nowhere she bit my hand. She was a little hesitant to follow me into the house but decided it was better than being out in the cold. I washed my hand and made sure she hadn't done any real damage, she hadn’t even broken the skin. I knew from the moment she bit me that her name was going to be Drusilla. I may have been on bit of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick at the time... Lol.

Drusilla, Dru for short, has found her forever home with our family. She is now a happy, healthy, spayed kitty with five feline siblings, Mr. Hankey, Phoenix, Daryl, Neika, & Opie. She has a crush on Mr. Hankey and possibly Daryl too. She gets along with her gals pals.She seems to tolerate Opie, who just barely turned one.

Samantha
Champlain, NY

A Gift from God

Our older cat had recently died, and our younger cat was lonely without his brother, as were we. We had plans to find a cat at a rescue. I was thinking an orange tabby would be nice, but I never saw any come up when I looked at cat profiles online.

About a week before Thanksgiving, my then-2-year-old son and I attended a play date at the home of a new friend. My son wasn't with the other children, and when I went to check on him, he was hanging out with the hostess's dog at the front door, looking out. On the other side of the storm door was a little orange tabby kitten. That little cat desperately wanted in. When no one let him in at the front door, he made his way around the house to the back door. My son was fascinated by this kitten, and I was smitten, too.

We left the play date, but my friend and I talked throughout the day. The weather turned cold that day, and she was kind enough to feed this kitten and give him a warm place to sleep. She gave me updates about his personality (friendly and sweet) and how he was with her pets (awesome). She was even willing to keep this kitten for me until my family returned to town after Thanksgiving, as we were planning to leave in a few days for the holiday. I just had to get my husband to agree to take in a stray.

After much pleading (and possibly a few tears), my husband agreed to go with me to meet the kitten. The kitten greeted us and snuggled into us when held, purring loudly. Sweet, but my husband was sold when our son had a meltdown next to the cat, and the cat didn't flinch.

I named him Theodore, which means gift of God. It felt like God hand-picked him for me and sent him to the right place at the right time. Theo needed a home, and I needed a cat. He's been perfect for our family.

Anne Marie Davis
Bartlesville, OK

#RescueStory...We Are Proud New Tuxedo Parents...

Fostered from The East Valley Animal Shelter on July 29, 2014. A day after our Jasmine kitty passed on to kitty heaven, Mary Lou Sandler had community service at the animal shelter and came home the first day with these 2 bottle fed babies who were first temp named Biggie and Smallie... Her husband, Justin Sandler had never held a baby kitten before let alone bottle fed one. But when these 2 week old kittens showed up, we all fell in LOVE! We tried to fight it but these little cuties have way too much personality to pass up! Look at them! They are KITTY STARS! <3 :-)

Bella (right) and Bosco (left)

Approx. Birth-date: July 16, 2014 (which happens to be the same Birth-date as Jasmine R.I.P who was also a stray and passed away at 22 years old on July 28, 2014)

Another sign they were meant to be a Sandler! We are convinced Jasmine kitty sent us twice the love from beyond to help heal our hearts and fill our days with love and laughter! We didn't just save Bella and Bosco... They SAVED US!

Bella and Bosco were paid for, spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, final vaccinations, and all adoption paperwork signed on... October 1, 2014.

Photo taken on September 27, 2014 by Mary Lou Sandler of 3 Cubed Studios, LLC. Cover Design also by Mary Lou Sandler

Mary Lou Sandler
Los Angeles, CA

Blind Toby

I first noticed this little dog in the town being walked slowly on a lead by a young man. After seeing them a few times I stopped, petted the dog and asked the man about him. He said that he'd had the dog Toby, from a puppy but just after he turned one, he went completely blind. Vets said it was the result of inbreeding and that nothing could be done. Toby was now about four. We met a few more times and the man said he was going back to Asia but that two friends about twenty miles away would be having Toby. I told him that if they ever needed me to look after Toby I would gladly do so and gave him my number to pass on. A few days before Christmas I got a call from them saying they were going to London for four days and would I look after Toby. I of course agreed and they drove up and dropped him off. Days turned to weeks, months and eight years on I still havent heard from them. I thank God they didn't come back for him as he is a major part of my life. A few days after I started looking after him, he was walking without a lead, following my voice and the jingle of my keys, and soon knew words like "stop", "careful", "steps", etc even though his former owner spoke to him in Malay. He mapped out my house and knew when to avoid obstacles but the greatest thing was when I got him to run. If we were ever in an open space with no obstacles I would just say "run" and the look on his face as he ran round and round was of sheer happiness and joy. He is now about twelve, has lost one eye, has a bad heart, water retention and cannot run any more but still likes his walks, food and playing with his toys. I cant imagine life without Toby so I urge anyone, never be afraid to take on a blind dog.

Mark
Exeter, United Kingdom

Potato Chip loving instigating cuddle bug

I had just broken up with an ex boyfriend and was living on my own. He had a cat and I had one as well and mine was very lonely when I left. I decided to go look for a playmate for my main coon "Boo". I had gone to look for an older kitten at a pet store over my lunch hour and didn't see any. As I was leaving the cashier asked if I found everything I needed and I told her I was just looking for a kitten but didn't see any. She pointed to a picture taped to the counter of an all white kitten with brown on his head and back. I left with the number and called the woman as soon as I got back to work. We arranged to meet and as soon as I saw the "runt of the litter" that one wanted I was smitten. Remmy took to Boo and visa versa right away and were best buddy. Fast forward a few years later and I met my now husband. My husband was and is a cat lover and also fell in love with Remmy and Boo right away. Remmy and my husband, however, had a special bond that I have never seen before. My husband and Remmy would eat bb-q potato chips together all the time! Remmy loved to cuddle with my husband at night and would lay his head on my husbands chest and sleep like that all night. But with all the cuddling and potato chip eating, Remmy was just as much an instigator to his big brother Boo and his new Manx sister Jetta. We had a great 9 years with him until he developed kidney failure. On the day he went over the rainbow bridge, I held him in my arms and he gave me one last kitty kiss like he always did and fell asleep, leaving us with a big hole in our heart. Our Remmy will be forever missed and greatly loved.

Dana & Ron
Duncansville, PA

Reciprocal rescue

In 2008 I had a very traumatic life experience to heal from and after cocooning myself into a secluded cabin in the woods for 2 years I was finally ready to adventure out a bit into the world. Having always had pets growing up – and usually rescues – I was anxious to find a dog to adopt. My current living situation clearly stated “no pets” and after a year of begging the landlord to change the policy he finally let me adopt a “small” dog. My daughter-in-law has allergies so I wanted to find something that she could tolerate when the family visited. I had researched breeds that would fit the bill and jumped on PetFinder.com to start looking.

I knew it when I saw the pic of this adorable Cairn Terrier, Mini Schnauzer mix with the giant ears and inquisitive eyes that I had to have this one and filled out the application to adopt her. I was the first in a line of 15 requesting Nakita, the 5 month old cutie who had already lived in 5 places in her young life. My son drove me and the grandkids 2 ½ hours to pick her up (I wanted to make sure she liked kids and men). That was 3+ years ago. In that time her stubbornness, cat like independence (gotta love terriers) and love of people and critters (unless you’re a mouse) has challenged me to step outside my protective bubble and explore the world again.

Since then I’ve adopted a shy, skittish male cat Quincy, who’s now come out of his shell, Addie, another lovely little lady dog in need, and this summer welcomed an abandoned momma cat, Jumelle, and her kitten, Solo. I also adopted another kitten, Kitty Carson, from a litter I was fostering, all while caring for my father and his older diabetic Schipperke, Niki. We’re one big happy family!

I was SO wounded before getting Nakita that I don’t think I’d be where I am today, whole and loving life again, if it hadn’t been for her. Thank you Nakita!

Anonymous
Salem, OR
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