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Unexpected Treasures

Both of these guys were on the loose at roadside rest areas, needing help and tugging at my heart. I found Boots dog in Wyoming in the summer of 2003 and Deuteronomy cat about 200 miles from home the next spring. Boots was wandering and nobody claimed him so I gave him water, invited him to jump into the car, and we headed for the nearest town to get him a leash and collar. At the motel that night he wanted out often, I guess looking for his former home, but the next day he was more calm. When we got home to the California coast I was sure he'd never seen the ocean before judging from his body language after he tried to drink salt water. He loves to run in the woods also. Deuteronomy was under a picnic table and we befriended each other. After I fed him he followed me to the motorhome and jumped in. He had quite a "whoa!" expression when he saw Boots, my mother, her dog, and my cat. I know he wanted to get out, but he was starving so we kept him there with us overnight and brought him home. I call him "The Flying Cat" because even though he became a normal weight he still can leap so effortlessly. The vet estimated their ages, Boots two and Deuteronomy six (he is slowing down due to age now). They are both wonderful; what unexpected treasures!

Millie
Fortuna, CA

Saved by Grace

About a month or so after some renters moved out of the house next door to us, a small tortie kitty started coming to our door. Of course my daughter and I fed her and gave her fresh water whenever she showed up. After a while she became very friendly and never missed a meal. After already having cats in the house, I was (as usual) reluctant to take in another. Our vet once told us that we had a Welcome sign in our yard that only cats could read!

As I was sitting on the step one day with her, I noticed her side really protruding. All I could think of was a liter of kittens. But as I examined her I noticed the protrusion was only on one side. My daughter and I grabbed her up and headed to the vet. It took 2 expensive surgeries and many months of care to get her healthy. Our vet surmised that she had been kicked and as a result developed internal injuries. We named her Gracie because it was by grace that she came to our door and was saved.

That was at least 8 years ago and now that my daughter has gotten married and moved out, Gracie is my little snuggler and cuddlebug at night. She even has her own pillow that she sleeps on beside me. She kisses me when I ask her to and sometimes will give me a kiss to wake me up.

She also loves it when I share my chicken or turkey with her. When I get out of my car with chicken, I can look at her in the window and mouth the words, "Mommy's got Chicken" and she runs to the door. I pray she continues sharing dinner with me and loving me with those kisses for a very long time.

Sandra
Hollywood, FL

She invited herself in...

Got home from work one day, stepped out of the car and there was a cute little black kitten sitting on my sidewalk looking at me. I went closer to her to see if she was nice by the time I got within two feet of her she jumped into my arms and was purring up a storm. Well I put her down and went inside to call the shelter to see if anyone had reported someone missing. When I got inside I looked down and she had got in the house with me...well no one had reported her missing and she had no microchips or any disease of any kind. Like the vet said a cute little black kitty adopted you! Despite her crazy quirks she is the most loving cat I have ever had :) Her name is Storm.

Kayla
FD, IA

Damsel in Distress Kitty Muezza

A few months ago, when I first found Kitty Muezza, she was supposed to be more than 6 months old but due to being extreme malnourished, she was petite left with only mostly skin and bones. I could not imagine what she had gone through to survive the dangers of outdoor alone being so young and fragile. The day I found her, out of the blue, 2 dogs were alerting me to check out a little kitty in distress while I was visiting a nursery looking for plants. Muezza was shivering and confused. Without hesitation, I grabbed a towel in the car while the owner of the nursery got me a box to secure her.

I rushed to a nearby Veterinary clinic to have her health checked. Apparently, she was well despite the predicaments she went through. All she needed was time to heal and gain weight with lots of tender loving care. When Muezza was found and even after being cleaned up, her fur was grey in color. As she blossomed into better health, she turned out to be snow white. A very special beautiful princess of mine now, who is fearless, affectionate and melt my heart each time I see her face and blue eyes.

As soon as she gained her strength, to see her start hopping with joy playing with the kitty toys I got her was like a parent’s joy seeing a child being able to stand and walk for the first time. Muezza is an easy cat to care. Independent with strong willpower.

Suf Supiani
SINGAPORE, Singapore

The Orchestra Mascot

As a member of my orchestra, I was volunteering in the office one day when my manager came in late. She had explained that she was late because her niece gave her a kitten to watch. She had been driving on the highway when she found a 5-week-old kitten running on the side of the road, and gave it to my manager to watch until they could find a home for him. I decided to meet the little fella, and I fell in love. It was obvious that he had anxiety issues (like me), but what cat wouldn't if he had been just a baby living on the highway?

I named him "Maestro," and he is an absolute joy. He's not a normal cat: he LOVES water, plays fetch, and has somehow learned how to drink out of a straw (by tilting the cup back and having the drink drip into his mouth). I try my best to keep him away from people food, but I have to laugh when I see him using a straw.

Also, his anxiety issues are getting better, and as long as he's right beside me all the time he's happy. He's not a lap-cat, but I can tell that he loves me to death. He once even attacked a guy who accidentally walked into my apartment, so he's my little protector.

Many of my fellow orchestra members are fans of him, not only because of his awesome name, but also because of how sweet he is. A good number of musicians and staff had met him before I adopted him, and they all loved him to death.

I later found out that a pregnant cat was thrown out of a moving car and gave birth to her kittens (including Maestro) on the highway. Some of the kittens ran away, others were picked up, but unfortunately a few were hit on the road. The kittens in Maestro's litter didn't stand a chance, but because of a Good Samaritan who found him, he now has a furever home and a full orchestra as his fan-club.

Anonymous
State College, PA

Black cats are a must have in my life....

I was 21 when I got my first place and immediately adopted a couple of black kittens. I named one Meatloaf (she looked like a pile of burnt meatloaf when she slept) and the other Booger (who was such a mischievous booger all the time). When I moved 6 years later to the Santa Cruz mountains, Booger escaped and was never seen again but thankfully, Meatloaf didn't care to make a break for it. After 16 wonderful years together, it broke my heart to have to put Meatloaf to sleep due to kidney issues. I wasn't in a hurry to get another cat as I felt like I was trying to replace my beautiful Meatloaf but the universe had other plans.

My coworkers had been talking about a stray black cat hanging around the parking lot and one night after work, I walked out to my car only to be greeted by this very talkative, skinny black cat. I knew I couldn't leave her there so I got my cat carrier and headed back to work hoping she'd still be there. She reappeared in less than a minute, still as talkative as ever and let me scoop her up and place her in the cat carrier without a fight. When I got her home, she crawled under the blanket with me and fell asleep. It looks like I had a new black kitty.

I named her Bones, mostly because she was skin and bones but it suited her as she was just as sassy and smart as the TV character. The vet visit revealed she had fleas, worms and a mouthful of bad teeth but after treatment, she put on weight and took over the house and me. Of all the cats I've owned, she has the biggest personality and is my first cat-dog. Bones growls at people walking by the house, plays fetch with paper clips and even chases her tail from time to time. While I miss my Meatloaf and Bones can't be considered a replacement, I can't imagine life without this black kitty keeping it interesting.

Natasha
Santa Clara, CA

Take Two, They're Small

In February of 2010, we lost Jenny, one of our beloved dogs. We were heartbroken and our other two dogs, Hannah and Emily, were really feeling the loss, so we decided to check out a litter of Border Collie/Retriever pups at a local rescue in Maine. We took Hannah and Emily with us and we were chosen by Lucy, one of the ten girls in the litter. We also met Kristie, with the big kisses and wiggly butt, and it was a hard choice. The next morning, my partner told me that she could not get Kristie out of her head and I asked if that meant she wanted to adopt her instead of Lucy. She shook her head and I realized that she wanted us to take both puppies. Something inside told me to go for it and the next day, I was driving home with the 2 fifteen week old sisters. Hannah had not been feeling well and I pulled into the driveway as my partner drove up with Hannah after a visit to the vet. The news was not good. Hannah’s liver numbers were climbing and she would need to spend the next five days in the hospital to try to bring down her bilirubin with high amounts of fluids. The joy of bringing home new babies was quickly overshadowed by grief as Hannah’s condition continued to decline. We decided that Lucy and Katie (as she was now known) would go back to the rescue until Hannah’s condition was resolved. After five days of loving and bonding with those puppies, I drove them back and left in tears as I promised to return to bring them home. Less than three weeks later, Hannah died of advanced liver disease and the following day, we made good on our promise and brought our little girls home. They are about to turn five and each year, we throw them a party to show our gratitude for the incredible gifts they continue to provide. Nothing replaces the loss of a loved one but nothing helps the healing process like new love.

Ronni Katz
Port Chester, NY

Little Orphan Oliver

Shortly after moving to Miami, I was watching the July 4th fireworks when I struck up a conversation with some neighbors. When they asked me if I had made many friends in town yet, I joked that I should "just give up and get a cat already." They turned on me with the kind of bright-eyed fervor usually reserved for door-to-door prosletyzers: "You want a cat? We have a cat! You'e going to love this cat!"

They had found a tiny, abandoned kitten in the bushes by their office, malnourished and infected with parasites. The vet didn't expect him to make it. However, he pulled through, and the ladies at my neighbors' office had spent the past couple of months passing him around between homes.

Tactfully ignoring my protests, they appeared at my door the next evening with a scrawny kitten, a box of food and toys, vet records, and a litterbox. "We'll leave him here tonight so you can get acquainted," they promised. "But if you don't like him, we'll come back and get him tomorrow."

Well. It appeared I had a cat. I wasn't sure what to do with him. He ignored my offers of cat toys and affection in favor of knocking small objects off shelves and walking on my face when I tried to sleep. Before long, a kitten with a tail larger than his body turned into a fourteen-pound Maine Coon tomcat who could put his paws on my kitchen counter, and insisted on being petted a precise but undisclosed number of times before sinking his teeth into my hand.

Despite my reservations, it was love at first bite. I grew up in a dog household, but I wouldn't give up my strange little makeshift family now for anything.

Cat Segota
Miami, FL

My Guardian Angel

14 years ago, we were given two kittens from my sister. One was a long-haired tabby named Tiger, and the other was a blue-grey Nebelung named Toker. Tiger was a very special kitty, having some health and mental issues due to being the runt of the litter. But she was a little love-bug. Toker, six months older than Tiger, was a very shy, recluse cat who disliked everyone. She only came out after everyone was asleep to eat and drink and use the litter box.

A few years later, we moved and took the cats with us. Slowly but surely, Toker came around to me and started to open up. She would jump in my bed every night, wait until I was just about asleep, then go off and do kitty-things. We became inseparable. She soon began waiting for me to get home from school, would always watch as I fell asleep, and would even let me pick her up from time to time. She blossomed into a very beautiful, smart, loving cat.

When I got married, I took her with me to my new house. She settled in, though there were a few issues with our new kitten at first. Toker resumed her nightly watch over me (and my husband), and things returned to normal for three years.

This past July, she started losing weight. I didn't notice it at first, because of all her hair, but when I picked her up I realized that she was much lighter than normal. We took her to the vet, and they didn't find anything. But she still refused to eat. After a very short, very traumatic battle, I lost her to cancer. Her last night with us, she slept at my head and held my hand. All night. I knew it was her telling me she was ready, since she had never done that before. She was giving me one final night to carry in my heart.

I know she's still with me, and I talk to her constantly. She was (and always will be) my best, closest friend.

Phaedra Joseph
Albuquerque, NM

Gunpowder the Grey, a Very Timely Arrival

It was the day of my father's funeral, he had been a tough man with a gentle heart who could never turn away an animal in need, and the family had gathered at his horse farm to prepare for the services. My younger brother was out taking care of the horses, dog and barn-cats on that blustery grey day while myself and two other siblings tried everything we could to keep our mother's spirits up enough to face the day. We were almost ready to leave for the service when my younger brother stepped inside, is large hands were cupped around something as he entered. He looked at me and said: "We have a problem."

I stepped away from my mother, fearing that a horse had been injured or some other calamity had fallen on the animals, but he opened his hands to reveal a tiny, dirty kitten. The creature barely stirred in his hands, and I could immediately see why: this tiny, helpless creature--still too young to open his eyes-- was covered in paintball paint. His face was swollen and bruised and he cried out when he shifted his injured limbs. I took him from my brother, and did my best to clean him up give him a meal and get him settled in a warm box before we left.

The vet gave him slim chances, and we didn't bother to name him for fear of losing him. It took a month for him to recover from the injuries, but like any kitten he was on his feet as soon as his eyes were open and tormenting my poor German Shepard. His toughness reminded me of old Westerns, so we named him Gunpowder Grey, Fastest Paws in the West, and he's been with us for four strong years.

Natalie Fullmer
Murray, UT
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