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How Charlie chose us.

Most of the time we pick out our pets, We typically go to a shelter but not this time. This is the story of how Charlie chose to love and trust a little boy who isn't always the most lovable.

In early July my 7 year old son came home with a super skinny orange and white intact male cat with beautiful amber eyes. He said the kitty was across the street at the church they had been playing at and was following him everywhere he went including home. We have quite a few feral cats in our neighborhood but it was clear this kitty wasn't one of them. We already had a female cat and a dog and I wasn't so sure how they would take to having another animal in the house and also wasn't sure if he already had a home. We have a screened in porch so we decided to keep him there. We got him food dishes, a litter box, and a little kitty bed then treated him for flees and intestinal parasites. It soon very clear he was the most loving little guy I had ever met and he had a very special bond with my little guy. The first day or 2 he was very content on our porch. He felt safe but soon he started begging to come inside with us. He desperately wanted to be loved all the time. Of course we couldn't resist. My son has adhd and behavior issues and there are many times Charlie is the only thing that will calm him. After a rough day at school, he comes home and immediately grabs his Charlie cat and goes to hide with him under the kitchen table. Charlie loves every second of it. He licks Jacob's face as soon as he picks him up and nestles right into his arms and when my son isn't home he will howl for him. I'm not sure how old Charlie is but I sure hope he is around for a long long long time.

Amanda
Peoria, IL

I'm your cat

One warm November day, we drove up at our beach house to be greeted by an unknown longhaired tortie, who really wanted to talk to us, to come inside, to be petted. She kept asking to come in all day and all night, so we emailed the neighborhood list to see whom she belonged to. We got answers, all negative. Around midday, a neighbor knocked and explained that she'd found the cat abandoned in another neighborhood and brought her home because her dog was dying, but the dog recovered and the cat was afraid to stay with him, and had run away into the woods. Another neighbor had been feeding the cat.

The cat kept following us, asking to come in, and clearly explaining that she was an inside cat who by some error had been left outside. She sat on the porch, the dock, the sofa, and finally in the bed. I could tell she wasn't in the best of health. Hardening our hearts, we left her there and drove back to the city, but called the neighbor who'd brought her to the beach neighborhood. The neighbor said she couldn't keep the cat, but offered to let the cat stay in our house and she'd feed her! Since it's a rental house, that wasn't a likely arrangement. With a little nudging, my husband agreed to drive back and pick her up, and bring her back to our house in the city.

I took her straight to the vet, who said she had horribly infected teeth, most of which needed to be pulled. When I took her home, after an hour or so I couldn't find her. We were convinced she'd slipped out and run away, and spent the evening searching the neighborhood. About 5 AM, she came stumbling out of the back of the closet and climbed in to bed. She's been pretty much there for ten years (with occasional forays to the food dish and back yard, and lots of time in laps while watching TV).

Anonymous
Columbia, SC

My little Delilah

This little bit is Delilah, a 4 year old DSH. I had just arrived at graduate school in NC and found myself all alone in a new place. I realized I really needed a companion, but did not have the time or money to take care of a dog. A lifelong dog person, I decided to adopt my first cat, and started looking on Craigslist for kittens. I became enamored with a tiny gray tabby and made arrangements to meet him at the house of a woman who was fostering. Upon arriving, the kitten wasn't that interested in me (and was not yet litter box trained...). About to leave empty handed, I heard a meow at my feet. A teenage black and white kitten was looking up at me as if to say "I pick you!". The woman told me that no one wanted this kitten, and she might have to go back to the shelter. Well, that was it! I put the kitten in a box and promptly drove back to my apartment, where she hopped out and patrolled like she owned the place. The first night, she curled up in my arms and sucked on herself (a typical behavior for kittens weaned too young) until she fell asleep. To this day, she still loves snuggle with me while sucking on herself. I have also trained her to give high fives, and she has trained me to promptly deliver wet food every night and hold her like a baby on demand. Her first few months were fraught with vet visits for fleas and parasites but every icky thing was worth it -- I love this cat and she is mine forever. Now that I am a converted cat lady, I have adopted Delilah a friend named Jezebel (adopted through the shelter that I now volunteer at), whom she loves to snuggle, clean, and chase around the apartment at odd hours.

Anonymous
Durham, NC

Chani, our rescue cat

My husband and I lost our lovely, practically blind Somali named Sierra (she had cataracts) due to liver failure in October 2012. She was 16 but we'd only had her for about 5 years. It broke my heart because she was such a wonderful friend but 3 months later, we missed having a cat around and decide to go to the local cat shelter to give a homeless cat a loving home. We saw a number of sweet and loving cats and when we couldn't decide, the lady there told us she had more cats in another room. There we saw a small blue & white female age about 1 year and she looked sad and like she had given up. She was almost hiding in her little cave. The lady told us she believes that she was abused by her former owner who had hit her. The woman had threatened the shelter by saying either the shelter took her or she'd end up on the streets. When we tried to pet her, she bit us both but not hard. We felt she needed our love the most and decided to take her home.

At first she was afraid every time we tried to pet her and would shy away. She also hid a lot under our bed the first few weeks. We named her Chani after a character from the "Dune" books because of her small size and that we knew she'd show strength by eventually getting over her sad past. Patience and lots of love have truely helped and now she's a very happy, loving cat who's getting braver and more confident every day. She shows us every day how much she loves us and we feel truely blessed to have her in our lives. She does have a minor heart issue but we're hoping to enjoy many years of love with her. We will love her the rest of her life and hope we're giving her as much as she is giving us.

Katrine Onesima Hansen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Ziggy kitties story

I got a call from a friend who said he was worried about his roommates cat. I guess the cat belong to his wife who had passed away and he was not a cat person. At first he put her out hoping she would run away, when she didnt she became a dog toy for his large dog.

When I met Ziggy she was hiding in a closet with no food or water and she was covered in feces and urine. Too afraid to move to go to the bathroom. I picked her up and she snuggled right into my chest.

I took her home and after 2 weeks of hiding behind the couch ( I had to put food, water and a cat box back there) she finally retired to my bedroom where she has spent the last 7 years. The door is open and she is free to come and go but she never leaves her safe place. The damage that this man caused to her is heart breaking.

Ziggy is the most loving cat. She wakes me up every morning with peeps, purrs and kisses. Shes never hissed or scratched anything. She begs for her nightly brushings. She couldnt be any cuter. She is full of love and I am so glad my friend had enough heart to call me.

Anonymous
Denver, CO

Special Agent saves pit bull from Clear Lake, Ca.

On a Thursday in September 2014, one life would be saved and three lives would be changed forever. Her second time in Clearlake, Special Agent Jill Brenny was assigned to an enforcement sweep of gang offenders and was accompanied by two additional Special Agents in the Gang Unit of Homeland Security Investigations, along with Clearlake Police officers and a Lake County Probation agent. The group came upon a trash-filled lot with a filthy and forlorn female pit bull that was chained to a fire-charred and dilapidated RV. Her eyes were crusted with infection and open sores that appeared to be burn marks covered her ears and neck. Her head hung low, though she stirred when she heard voices.

"There was no way I was leaving that dog there," stated Agent Brenny. Little did she realize that she would put in motion a rescue effort that would span four states.

Agent Brenny started emailing and texting fellow dog lovers whom she thought might be looking for an addition to their family. She found the one - Hence Williams, a US Probation Officer and EMT in Vernal, Utah.

Officer Williams was waiting in Reno when Agent Brenny and Honey arrived. He had brought along his other rescued Pit, named Cooper. Both girls look like twins separated at birth. They bonded immediately and have been inseparable, even sleeping cuddled up together. Officer Williams has renamed her "Anna."

Officer Williams decided to take Anna to his old vet in New Mexico, with whom he had a longstanding relationship. After a thorough exam and x-rays, it became apparent that Anna had sustained a broken humerus during her years of abuse and neglect and that the bones had healed offset, which was causing her pain. That vet offered his opinion that the leg could not be saved, and an amputation was performed on November 19, 2014.

The SPCA of Clear Lake would like to extend a deeply heartfelt thank-you to Agent Brenny and Officer Williams for their commitment to rehoming a badly abused pit bull. Your selfless acts have given Anna a happy ending.

Anonymous
Cobb, CA

Saving-Draven

My wife and I moved from Colorado to Arizona a few years ago and we left everything we owned except our kitty.. Lestat.. she is Maine Coon/blue russian mix. We got her at a very young age and as she got older the only animal she liked was my sister-in-laws dog. When we finally got our own place and got settled my wife decided we needed to start looking for a companion for her. We started searching all the shelters for a new kitty to introduce to her. We had no luck. After we decided to wait a while we got a call from my sister in law and she told us that she found two kittens in a shed.. the mommy had left them when she got scared. The kittens were about two weeks old and she couldn't take care of them so we brought them home and fed them with an eye dropper. We thought everything was ok until one of the kittens wasn't eating and looked really frail. We took both of the kittens to the vet and found out they had distemper. The vet said the best thing we could do was put them to sleep and we decided to let the doctor try what he could for them. He could not save one, but he said the other was thriving and that she could beat it. We took her home and watched her very carefully for the next few weeks. After we saw that she was better we got her tested and she was clear. We decided to finally introduce her to Lestat and we named her Draven. They loved each other from the beginning and now they are inseparable.. Not only did Draven start doing everything she did but she taught Lestat to be affectionate again.. They saved each other!.

Teice Cruz
phoenix, AZ

Oliver

In November 2012, the day before Thanksgiving, we had to put our cat, Tosca to sleep. Her lungs and body were filled with fluid. It was a total shock because she only exhibited problems the day before we took her to the vet. The diagnosis was grim. Any of the three possibilities were terminal. So on Thanksgiving Eve, we put our Tosca to sleep. As we left the vet, my husband, Rusty noticed a cage in the waiting room with kittens that were up for adoption. Completely filled with grief, I couldn’t even look over at them. Rusty and I previously talked about waiting a while before getting another cat. But we never anticipated the shock of the rapid circumstances surrounding Tosca’s death.

Thanksgiving Day was surreal and I was thankful to be surrounded by family. Rusty reminded me of the kittens he saw in the waiting room of the vet and I reminded him that we were going to wait for a cat. He knew I wouldn’t be able to wait and suggested I call the vet.

Our vet would take a certain number of stray animals a week to be adopted out. On Black Friday, I called the vet about the kittens up for adoption. They had already been adopted but there would be two more kittens arriving later that day. It was a gray male and orange female that had been abandoned in a Lowe’s parking lot. I went to the vet to meet them. The gray male and I immediately bonded and I brought him home. Other than having a cold and being skittish, he was remarkably healthy.

My husband and I were happy with the new addition to our family but it took us a few days to come up with a name. Then it came to me. He was an orphan like Oliver Twist and now our home would be Oliver’s forever home. He’s still skittish and he hates to see us leave him every day, but we know he’s content.

Jessica
Harrisburg, PA

Sora (Sky)

When my family finally considered my idea of having a pet, what I was looking for was having a dog, which had been my childhood dream. Stumbling upon a lot of shelter's pages where there were pictures of cats and dogs being searched a home, it only took one picture and one second for me to fall in love with this baby kitten. It was a photo featuring four white kittens that had been abandoned with less than a month of being born. By that time they were still one month or a bit less, their eyes were still blue. I contacted them and it took me two weeks to finally being able to meet the little ball of fur (which I picked because he had this little black patch of black hair on top of its tiny head, so cute).

Named Sora which means sky, he has truly been a little piece of Heaven. Kinda mischievous and with very sharp teeth but adorable and lovable all the same, to the point where even my family -whom hesitated a lot at first- love him and spoil him every time they can. People who abandon them truly don't know what they're missing, Sora has become a new source of strength for me, has made me laugh uncountable times and I'm thankful he is part of my life.

Maria Gracia T.
Lima, Peru

Hex Cat

I had lived 40 years without a cat. I didn’t need a cat. I didn’t want a cat.

My preschool daughter, however, desperately wanted a cat.

Our yard fence backed onto a city park and many mornings one summer a large gray and white cat sat on it watching the birds and other small wildlife. It eventually became clear that he was also watching us. Neighbors we hardly knew moved out that fall in a state of great disarray which we assume involved a divorce. I desperately want to be charitable and believe that each party thought the other took the cat, rather than that he was intentionally left behind.

The morning I opened the door to find my daughter crushing dog food and mixing it with bits of cheese to feed this cat, I knew I was about to have a cat. We visited the vet and determined he was not a pregnant female. He was a well fed neutered male about 5 years old who had been feasting on the park critters when he became homeless. We tried hard to make him an indoor only cat, but he did not fall for that, insisting on going out every morning and evening to check his territory.

We named him Hex, acknowledging he had put a hex on me to stay. He endeared himself to all of us and stayed for eleven years before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We still think of him as a “cat’s cat” who knew everything there was about being an outside cat as well as everything about being a snuggly indoor cat. None of the cats who followed him, fairly willingly becoming indoor cats, have compared in these respects.

Susan
xenia, OH
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