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Life long friend and memories.

While on the internet one day I found an add for a girl giving away kittens for free. Sure enough I went to investigate. This little girl had two siblings, both fluffy and adorable and spoke for. She, on the other hand, walked and wobbled funny and was matted and pathetic looking. And of course when I sat down and held my hand out she came right too mew, mewled, curled up in my hand and tried to purr. I was told if I wanted her just to take her as the mother cat had stopped feeding them and she couldn't afford food, so I did. I tucked her into the pocket of my hoodie and brought the poor thing home.

It didn't take me long to get her cleaned up and discover she had ear mites, fleas and worms. But a bath and a vet appointment helped get that in order, and also let me know she was to young to be eating wet food and should still be bottle fed. Because of her funky colours and personality I name her Shimiko, which roughly translates to painted girl/child in Japanese.

I hand fed her to a week or so after that before transitioning her to wet food and litter training her myself (not with out enduring so accidents. Oops!) But because of this she was my baby and my best friend. And perpetual gaming buddy! When ever I was at my computer, which was a lot, she was in my lap purring away or watching. She loved belly rubs and was piggy with food, her favourites being pizza and chicken. (Watch your food!)

I had her for six long and wonderful years. Until one day she just laid down on the bath mat and couldn't get back up. She wouldn't eat and only drank bits at a time. I rushed her to the vet and was told it was liver failure and there was nothing they could do. I pet her and cried as I said good bye to the best friend I ever had. RIP my lovely Shimiko.

Sarah
Surrey, AB, Canada

Eevee the McDonalds cat

It was a cold cloudy day in Southwest Louisiana. I was stay with my parents for a few months while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. I would be leaving to return home in Wyoming in just a few weeks. That day we had decided to eat at McDonald's. My dad saw Eevee first. She was a tiny little thing, around 1.5 lbs. She went running up to him, then me and would not stop rubbing against our legs. I had to literally run from her to get her not to follow me. I sat there and ate and decided I couldn't just leave her there. In the south, stray cats aren't loved. I wrapped her up in a blanket where she immediately passed out. She knew she was safe. Brought her to the vet where she was negative for everything. Then I decided I would take her and surprise my husband. He wasn't to happy but he knew I could never leave an animal stranded when we could take care of it. She fit right into the family and seems to think shes a dog at times. Turns out the vet missed the ringworm she had and, yes, we all got it. Including the dog. Fun times. When my husband came home, Eevee immediately fell in love with him and will not leave him alone. Shes a healthy little kitty. Full grown at just 7lbs. She has part of her lip missing, can't meow and her back legs are pigeon toed. Even after we all got ringworm and her crazyness learning not to use her claws on us when we play, I wouldn't change anything about her. Eevee is a great, very different cat that has stolen our hearts.

Anonymous
CHEYENNE, WY

Who Rescued Who?

In 2010, Maryland had one of the worst blizzards I can remember. Two huge storms, back to back, feet of snow. And in between the two storms, I got a call from my mother - a "little gray 'problem' meowing in her bathroom."

Even though I wasn't allowed to have pets in my apartment... Bailey came home with me anyway. She was about 5 weeks old and had a habit of laying on my chest and shoulders while I read or watched TV.

She kept me from getting lonely in my new home by myself by giving me something other than me to take care of - not to mention having her run to the door and greet me every day when I come home. Now I'm married to a previously-not-a-cat-guy who fell head over heels in love with her (and won me over in doing so!). Now she plays with her FOUR adopted brothers (and foster siblings, of course!) all day, every day. She's my little diva; my princess; my only girl. She loves to snuggle and purr and thinks being a lap cat is pretty great.

I've gone from being alone to having my own little family - and it all started with a little gray kitten in the cold.

Alyson Lex
Baltimore, MD

Foster a/k/a Mr. Man

Rather than see Foster sent to a shelter after his owner became too ill to care for him, I adopted him. He was only with me a few days when I noticed he didn’t seem to respond to noises as a normal cat would. I went online to determine how to tell if a cat is deaf. One suggestion was to run a vacuum cleaner. So as Foster stood next to my vacuum cleaner one day, I turned it on. Not a flinch, not a flick of the tail, nothing! Talk about an ah-ha moment! I asked his previous owner if he realized that Foster was deaf. No, he said, he just thought he was stupid. Poor Foster! Well, he’s not stupid and has quickly learned some sign language. He now knows the signal for “come here” and if it suits him, he actually will. He knows a wagging finger means no and he knows a thumbs up means good boy. Whenever he looks at me, I wave hello to him, and he rewards me with a slow blink as if he’s saying hello back.

Beth
New York, NY

The stray Calico

One day I heard this tiny meowing sound, I looked outside and saw this beautiful calico kitten. I put food out saw she had no collar on. I figured she must live somewhere around here. I decided to keep putting food and water out she was always very friendly so I thought maybe she had an owner. Every time I went outside she always came running so I thought maybe she didn't have an owner. I decided to let her come inside. She was litter box trained and slept by my chest on my shoulders and neck all night every night. She is the most sweetest kitten. I lived with my mom and grandma at this time. we took her to the vet she had a clean bill of health and they figured she was probably six months old. I let her go and come as she pleased because it would have been hard to keep her inside, she always came in before dark. My boyfriend and I decided to name her Kiara. One night she didn't come home so my boyfriend came and helped me look for her. She dragged herself to the back door and my mom called me saying she found her and she didn't look so good. It turned out she got hit by a car, a car who didn't stop after they hit her. My boyfriend and I rushed her to the vet emergency room. They examined her after cleaning her up. I was covered in blood. She had a broken pelvis and we were told she would more than likely make a full recovery. She was to be in a small area with no jumping for at least 12 weeks. We got this fence stuff my grandma got from her small dogs. She stayed in that and we made it to where she couldn't get out. She came out to lay with me and cuddle up. She is now 1 year old and has made a full recovery. She made perfect friends with my boyfriend and my other cat Kovu right away.

Jessica
Pueblo, CO

Tiny orange Kitten

One day my boyfriend and I decided to get a kitten. We both wanted a female one and we knew for sure we wanted a kitten. So we went to PetSmart and saw many cats mostly adult. None of these cats caught our attention so we went to PetCo. While there we saw this tiny orange kitten that kept pawing the window of his cage trying to get our attention so we asked a helper if we could get a closer look. The helper let us hold this kitten. It turned out the orange kitten with some stripes was a male and he was 11 weeks old. We then decided this kitten choose us. So we got everything a kitten needed and brought him home. After many days of trying to decide on a name we choose one that we haven't heard anyone use. We picked his name to be Kovu. Our back yard is a small backyard that is in closed with brick walls, the garage, and the back door of our condo. We put in a cat door in and let him explore. He was very curios and loved it right away. Kovu took to the house right away and always slept on my chest neck and shoulder curled up. He is now 2 years old and a very strong kitten. We eventually got a second kitten and he loves her. They became the minute we introduced them. We found out when we got him that he was stray abandoned by his mother.

Jessica
Pueblo, CO

Happiness and Love wrapped in fur on four legs

When we started dating, I had a 5 year old rescue pup. He was very bonded to me and, while they got along fine, the pup and the boyfriend never really bonded. 9 years later that amazingly warm and giving pup died of cancer. A little of my heart went with him. Since I traveled so much for work, we thought it best to not get another pup at that time. Since then, there have been extended family stays, deaths in the family, loss of jobs, gaining of new jobs and a mom beating breast cancer. Six years after that pup's death, and all the stress since, we decided now was the time to get a new pup. We searched listings at local rescues. The boyfriend is particularly fond of beagles and wanted a medium to small pup, but I told him I saw a pup I really wanted to meet, but she would grow to be bigger than he was thinking. He agreed to meet her, knowing full well neither of us would be able to meet her and say no. Look at that face and those puppy paws!. We met this tiny 2 month old puppy and fell in love. At 10 months old, she has grown to a healthy 50 pounds of happiness and love. She makes us smile everyday and even gets us out enjoying life more. Both of us are crazy about her so thankful for the joy she has brought us, that missing piece of my heart is back. She even reminds me of fond memories of my lost pup. We could not recommend more adopting that pup or kittty whose story and picture speaks to you. Our story shows how all the love and care you provide is given back two times at least, in love, fun, and happiness - the best medicine.

Shelly
Christiansburg, VA

Spooky the Halloween Rescue

In October 2013, 5 evenings before departing a Asheville, NC, campground, a black cat hopped onto my lap and curled up. He was skin and bones. I fetched kibble (we have two cats and a bird), and he gobbled it up. In the morning we fed him again. We were seen that afternoon by a vet. It was Halloween so we named him Spooky. He was tested for diseases, confirmed neutered, 2 to 3 years old, and he'd had all his ribs broken on one side. So glad we rescued him because a night after we left Asheville, the temperature got down to 11°.

Spooky was one of the sweetest, coolest cats I've ever known. He went from 7 1/2 lbs to 15, and we learned that he had respiratory problems. We gave him expectorants because he could never get a good cough going. Months later, while in Florida, he had a more difficulty breathing. We found a vet. Spooky had a type of hernia that could be part of his lung(s) protruding into his diaphragm. As we headed home, Spooky was peeing on the carpet. He was so tall and big that he'd squeeze through the kitty door to the litter box in order to poop but not to pee. No good. When we got home in May, I asked my sister to take him. I couldn't bear to give him up to strangers and not know what became of him. Well, took him she did. He became a well-loved and favored member of the family. In November, my sister let me know that Spooky passed away. My sister, an RN, said he had a seizure and was suddenly gone. It is so sad that this, sweet, wonderful cat had such a hard, short life, but I feel good that we took him in and, between my sister and us, we made his last year as good as it can get. He had an abundance of food, water, attention and love. I just wish I could've seen him again and I think about him all the time—my Spooky boy.

Linda Cook
Concord, CA

The Las Vegas Feline

We have different running jokes about Momo from Las Vegas. We tell everyone she hit rock bottom from a gambling addiction and ending up flying out to NJ. She was dubbed "Big Cat" by her last owners for her..."fierce" waistline and isn't exactly your most gracious of ladies. But the truth is, Momo is an old lady feline who was misunderstood and just needed her space.

Momo came to us via family from Las Vegas. She was picked up at the local county shelter because she was pretty, but realistically wasn't doing well in a house with a lot of little children. She spent around 8 years hiding in cabinets and hissing most of the time. As a semi-feral cat she really needed a special home that could work with her, but at the same time, if she went back to the shelter she would be put down. My mother took Momo - "Big Cat" when she couldn't be kept by my sister who was moving to a new place. My mother, moving back to NJ herself, didn't know what to do with her and didn't have the resources to care for her. So, I shipped out a cat carrier, paid for a kitty plane ticket and the "big cat" came to the east coast. Her long hair was very matted and under all that hair was a lot of fat. Which, earned her another name too - "Smelly Cat." On appropriate occasions, we sing to her that signature tune from the sitcom "Friends" that really captures her past self. It's also a reminder that with some patience and care, smelly cat can become a beloved cat. Momo is now 5lbs lighter, very flabby, but no longer smelly or "big" and proving to the world that an old feral feline can still find a place in the world. We have to keep her separate because of her temperament, but she no longer need to hide and feels more confident everyday. We are very proud of our old lady Momo and encourage others to give an old cat a chance.

Michelle
Runnemede, NJ

My Boys

On the hot afternoon of July 4th, 1997, we saw a couple of kittens under a car a couple of houses down from us. We asked about them, my neighbor said that they were not his kittens, and told us to take them. He opened the car hood and two tiny boy kittens, one all black and one all grey, were sitting on the engine of this, thankfully, non-running car. We scooped them up and got them inside out of the California heat. They were skinny, very dirty, lots of fleas, and itchy ears. I got the engine grease cleaned off, fed and watered, combed out the fleas, and put them in my bathroom away from our 1 year old tortie cats, and our daughters so that we’d not get attached. The idea was, after the Holiday weekend, I’d take them to the shelter.

That didn’t work out. These kittens were snuggly, much more so than my girls kitties ever were, and just so cute, much to my husband dismay I fell in love with them. We named them Coal and Smokey. I took them to the vet who estimated them to be about 8 weeks old, got their itchy ears cleaned up, and later they were neutered.

They grew into big boys, each weighing over 18 pounds. Coal was my home-body, he preferred staying in the house, being near his people all the time. Smokey was a wild child, very adventurous, but he always came home at night to snuggle with his humans, sometimes bringing a gift of a mouse or rat.

The years flew by and in November 2010, my Coal crossed the rainbow bridge with his mommy holding him. But here is Smokey, 18 years old now, no longer adventurous, but still as loving as always.

CJ
Chico, CA
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