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YOU ARE MINE

My daughter had just lost the oldest of her three cats, Byron (19) and she wanted someone to keep Seb company in his twilight years because Loki was a bully and pestered Seb. So one day, on our way to a movie, we stopped by the mall near the theatre to check out the cats at PetCetera. Maria was adamant; she wanted a kitten. While we looked at the cats, most of whom were adults, and making a fuss of the one six-month old cat, this ratty-looking tom walked up to her. He sat at her feet staring at her. His coat was dreadful (he might have been a black and white tuxedo), his ears were akimbo (allergies) and he was hacking up hairballs from the crappy food he was getting.

We were told he was around six, found in Vancouver, abandoned, and brought to Victoria. He could not have been on his own that long because he was actually over-weight. While we spoke with the sales person the cat opened his mouth and gave my daughter the "silent meow", then stropped her legs and starting meowing. Maria gave me a "what the heck" expression. I told her she could make a decision while we were at the movie. As we headed out the door we looked back and that cat was sitting there, staring after us, so dejected. After the movie we returned. No "grungy" cat. Maria starting looking over the other cats. The minute she spoke that cat popped out of an enclosed bed space and made straight for her. Maria gave up. We brought him home. She re-named him Logan and spent two hours brushing him out. Turned out he was a pure-bred, brown and white Abyssinian!

Today, Logan is healthy, happy, the right weight...and thinks Maria is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He "flirts" with her constantly, sulks when she goes to work. He protected Sebastian in his last year of life, providing a buffer against Loki's bad behaviour. Today Logan protects my cats and puts Loki in his place. He's quite the character.

Anonymous
Victoria, BC, Canada

Dora the Explorer

Dora is the most recent member of our family. A neighbor had adopted her as a kitten and being fearful of her dogs the kitten moved to the basement and resided there for over a year. When the neighbor moved Dora, who was then called basement kitty was left outside to fend for herself. Being accustomed to living indoors she went to another house in the neighborhood and hid under the deck. I was able to lure her into a pet carrier with food and she moved to our house and stayed in our basement while she was de-wormed and treated for fleas. For some time we were unable to pet her. She got used to feeding time and having some human company so we were able to pet her occasionally. Soon she moved upstairs to live in her own bedroom until she was spayed. She had never lived with furniture, windows, carpet or frequent human contact. We installed a screen door in the bedroom doorway and Dora was able to meet our last rescue, Dylan. She was so shy and very nervous about human touch. The first time i held her she purred. I cried. We slowly got her used to roaming the whole upstairs but she quickly learned how to scale the baby gate and come downstairs to meet all of our rescues, Dylan, a 2 year old Maine Coon, Carly our 9 year old, Gordon Setter and Kiki, our 17 year old Calico. As usual introducing the new baby was stressful in the beginning but Dora is very happy here now. She has learned how to sit in the window and watch birds, climb furniture and play. Dora did not know how to play when she came to our house. She now runs through the house with Dylan and follows her humans all day long. Every day is a wonder and we are so grateful to see her evolve into a beautiful addition to our family.

Lori
Hamilton, OH

My Little Man

Pikachu was born in April 2000 at an animal rescue where I worked, the larger of two kittens of the litter. We adopted each other instantly. From that day on we were inseparable. Pika was my 'little man', he talked to me with different meows, snuggled as soon as I sat down, oftentimes before I was comfortable or even fully seated, and followed me everywhere (even the bathroom). I knew that when I arrived home from work that he would be waiting for me near the door and that nothing else would be allowed to occur until I had given him pettings and praises. Granted, he was a bully to his sister and would often chase her away when she ventured into areas that he had claimed as his but I couldn't be mad at him for more than a few passing seconds. He passed away unexpectedly in early November 2014 but I can still feel him bringing me snuggles when I am feeling depressed or lonely.

Toni
Bloomington, IN

"Little" Leroy

My husband and I live in a rural town in Oklahoma and there's sadly a lot of feral cats. When we first moved to Oklahoma we had a neighboring farm and barn that we drove past daily. One night driving home we came across two orange tabby kittens in the middle of the road. We couldn't catch them at first, but with food and time we eventually made friends with them, and thus started our rescue efforts with the many cats that showed up.

About two years after we first encountered those two kittens we had started a catch, neuter, and release project, but we had a pregnant momma show up. As many feral cats go, she had her kittens, but kept them well hidden until they were about three weeks old. One night after the kittens had started showing up, we were checking them all over at feeding time and we noticed they all kept going behind a stack of pallets. So I took the flashlight and found a tiny orange kitten and he wasn't moving. My husband climbed back and picked him up, fearing the worst.

The little guy about half the size of his siblings, and had one of the worst eye infections I'd ever seen. He was dehydrated and he was lethargic so we rushed home with him to clean him up and start nursing him. My husband started mixing KMR as I took him to clean him up. It took several minutes with a warm wash cloth to clean his eyes up enough for him to be able to open them, and when he did he started purring immediately and it was love at first sight. We named him Little Leroy after another cat that we had loved and lost.

Later we placed him with a rescue before ending up fostering him for a few weeks... He never left. We adopted him and he's now a happy, healthy and BIG love-bug. His favorite things are playing with his kitty-brother, Hercules, snuggle when we feel bad and love on our dogs. He's a true blessing!

Natalie
Oklahoma City, OK

He saved me

I was having a hard time with life. Just in general. Nothing that I couldn't handle but there was just a lot going on. My mother's parents had just passed within 6 months of each other. I had to find a new place to live. I was in the middle of switching jobs. A lot going on. Then my cat Bailey went missing suddenly. Enough was enough.

After moving and settling in to my new job, I was lonely. I missed my Bailey so much. I thought maybe it's time to get a new cat. Kittens always get adopted so I went for one that was a little older. That's where Rockey comes in. I saw him online at a rescue site in my city and fell in love with his handsome face. He was about 9 months old and when I picked him up he just could not get close enough to me. I knew he was "the one". I asked about his story and when he was about 1 week old, the woman that owned the mom took them away from her and dropped them off with a vet asking him to euthanize all of the kittens. One of the vet techs took all of them home and bottle fed him and his siblings until they were old enough to go a rescue site. He dropped them off at a no kill shelter. My poor baby had been through a lot and then spent 8 months at a shelter?! I couldn't wait to take him home!

It's now been 15 months and he is the funniest little kitty I have ever seen. He picks up his toys and has them hanging out of his mouth while he walks around the house trying to figure out where he wants to take his cat nap. He sleeps right next to me every night. I could not be more thankful that vet tech decided to take them home and take care of them and then take them to a no kill shelter. I cannot imagine my life without him.

Jessica
Sunnyvale, CA

I failed as a foster mom because I fell in love

I first saw Donnie's photo on FB on the local Animal Control shelter's page. I had just lost my dog Petunia whom I adopted at a year old and was with me for 10 years. I wanted to help the dogs I saw that were so unhappy at the high kill shelter. Donnie's eyes was what drew me. He was a puppy, about 6 months old, and undersocialized and scared at the shelter. He would bark and growl at people he didn't know.

I decided to foster him as my first foster dog. We bonded almost immediately. Behind the growl and bark, I saw a sweet little boy that was just so scared. No one at the shelter knew much about him except he was picked up as a stray. I slowly introduced him to my other dogs, and he eventually figured out they were his playmates. After a few months, I hit a rough time juggling my work and being a single mom, and was so overwhelmed I took him back to the shelter's adoption place, hoping someone would adopt him. I cried when I drove away. About a couple of weeks later, I got a call from the Foster Coordinator, asking if I would speak to a lady who was looking to foster him. He had not done well at the adoption center and was transferred to the high kill shelter. When I found that out, I begged them to let me take him back. I promised him and myself that I would not give up on him. I also renamed him. I chose a good strong Irish name - Finnegan.

I officially adopted Finnegan last month. He is a sweet boy who just needs love. He has grown into a wonderful family dog; playful, affectionate and eager to please. With slow introductions, he can get over his fear of strangers.

Debra
Louisville, KY

Cats Make Their Own Family And Allow Me To Be A Part Of It

In Sept 2010, following the untimely & heartbreaking death of my blue-point Manx, Popcorn, I adopted Widget. He was the runt of two surviving orphaned feral kittens born in a shed in NW Arkansas. Once home in SW MO Widget bonded with Tigger3, who had shown up at my house following a tornado in 2008. Tigger3 had been raised by Popcorn. In May 2014 along came Percy, a little white, flame-point ball of fluff, who had been born to a friend's barn cat. Widget immediately adopted Percy and would not let him out of his sight, even carrying him around like a mama cat would her kittens. Tigger3 is slowing down but Percy keeps Widget busy. Note of interest: all of these lovelies are neutered males. This family dynamic was never a conscious decision on my part. They have created their own plan without any help from me. I expect Percy will raise the next one and so on. I have been owned by cats most of my life and can't imagine not having them in my home and in my heart. I have never gone looking for a cat. They come to my attention through various means and I have yet to say no to any one of them.

Kathy L. Wright
Neosho, MO

In A Cage No More

Several months after my cat Moonie died, I decided it was time to find a new friend. I went to the Humane Society to see who was available. I was thinking of a kitten. There were several and all were cute and friendly. When I turned around to ask the attendant a question, I saw a young adult cat lying in a cage. He was mostly black with white splashes. His name was Oreo. The attendant said he'd been there for a year. I watched the kittens for a while, but my thoughts kept returning to Oreo. It was tugging at my heart that he had been caged for so long.

Needless to say, Oreo came home with me that day. I thought he would be so happy to be out of that cage, but he wasn't. That cage was his whole world, he would go behind the couch and cry. He was terrified of open spaces.

It took about a month for him to come out on his own. Slowly he made first the living room his own and eventually the whole house. Once he felt safe again, his mischievous nature came out. He was into everything. It was like he had a second kittenhood. I spent so much time saying you are a bad boy, that, that became his name. Badboy.

In the photo, he has stolen a cigarette. Loved Menthol.

About six years later, he got a serious respiratory infection. During the exam, the vet found a large growth in his abdominal cavity. Surgery would have been in the thousands of dollars and no guarantees. I was faced with a heart wrenching decision. But, I had to do what was best for him. I know he is waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge.

Love you always, Badboy

Rhonda Davis
Sebring, FL

Shilo Thank You for loving us

We we're looking for a playmate for our female sheltie, Sissy. My wife spotted a picture of Shilo at a animal sanctuary about an hour's drive away. After contacting them we took Sissy up to meet him and they hit it off so we said we'll take him even though he was a older. He was found in a rain storm on the side of a 4 lane highway. Some kind soul stopped to see if he was alive and then took him to the local animal sanctuary. By his tags he was a runaway from one of the cruel puppy mills in the area. At 11 lbs. his ribs showed, his fur all knotted & he would just crouch in the corner. When he walked it was crouched down so his belly almost rubbed the ground with his tail between his legs. We had to have all but 10 of his teeth removed as they were so bad too. It took almost a year of grooming, love & treats to get him up and walking with his tail flying high. In the little over 4 years he was with us he brought more joy into our lives than can be described in words. He had heart problems that finally took him over the rainbow bridge last spring. We miss him every day and know he will be waiting for us to join him in God's time!

Anonymous
Elmira Heights, NY

Punkie

My sister in law called and said they had a kitten they found out in their carport. Would I take it? Knowing they weren't cat people I had to say yes. This little orange puff that was crying pitifully inside a box, climbed right up my arm to my neck and cuddled in. She was so tiny I knew she wasn't very old. I took her to the vet who examined her and said she was only about 3 weeks old. I knew if I took her to the shelter she wouldn't survive, so home she came. I had to bottle feed her for a few days and got her to use a pan of litter pretty quick. My older cats were jealous. They never tried to hurt her but they would use her little litter pan. Watching a 23lb cat trying to use that pan was hilarious. My son named her Punkie. She wormed her way into my heart and there was no way she was going to be leaving us.

Cindy B.
Crawfordsville, IN
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