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I met my first feline love at my Dad and Step-Mom's farm property, a gorgeous 6-month-old barn cat kitten my Dad called "Outboard" because he purred like an outboard motor. Despite being a barn cat, he wasn't the least bit feral, loved to cuddle more than anything and was a completely integrated part of their dog pack! I knew I had to have him, and was a little worried that he would get picked off by coyotes, as happens semi-regularly with the barn cat colony.

I was still living with my Mom at the time so when I went home I started campaigning to bring him home. After about a week she and my Step-Dad finally relented, and I was overjoyed! I called Dad right away and the next week he brought my new kitty to me. I named him Osiris, but later he got the nickname "Neko" (Japanese for "cat") and it stuck. Now that's the only name he knows. :)

I've had him for 9 years now, and he's always been the most cuddly, affectionate and lovable cat I've ever met. He lets me hanhandle him with good humor, pet him backward, fling him over my shoulder (his fav place to be aside from a lap) and all the other goofy things I tend to do. He just purrs away no matter what! He even wags his tail, since he was raised with the dogs! He's the best cat-dog I could ever hope for!

Orillia, ON, Canada

Mister 1 April 1996 – 20 Aug 2009

Mister was in a class all his own. I arrived at the local laundermat around 3pm. He was all-white with black-ears (about 2 mo). The attendant on duty said he had been there when she arrived that morning. Someone must have dumped him off. The location of the Laundromat was on the corner of 2 interchanging blvds, she was afraid to put him out when she closed up. I had been playing with him so she asked if I wanted to take him home. I thought, what am I going to do with a dog?! I live with my Mother-in-law & between us we have 7 cats! But how could I let that poor little puppy be put out and possibly get hit on the streets. Soooo, I loaded him up and headed home. Ok, what to name him well, what do you call a man when you don't know his name? Mister! And that's what stuck. Mister loved all the cats immediately, even though they did not feel the same. He used the cat door till he was too big & got stuck. He was loved by all who met him. He loved things beginning with the letter "F": Fish, Flies & Fireworks. When he went fishing with us we had to keep him back from the end of the fishing poles because he thought the bait on the end was a fish & he was ready to eat. The 4th of July was his favorite holiday.

Mister lived with us till the end. He got severe arthritis and it hit him hard & fast. We cared for him as we would a child. He passed away at the age of 13 next to our bed. We will never forget him, as he is part of our family forever.

Hubert, NC

life is great

this is stripes.we feed stray cats and one day almost going on 2 years, in he walked and made himself at home.he acted like he had always been our cat. our other 2 13 year olds were not impressed, and no out and out brawls have occured, and so far so good. during his vet appt. we got him his shots, him fixed and ridded him of ear mites. since then, even though we posted him, no one wanted him and it became clear we were becoming very attatched. we nick name him balistic missle as at times he just flys around the house( must be from being on the streets?). as you can see, he goes to camp and wears his lifejacket without complainin and even lets us put winter wear on him to keep him warm. we must leash him up so he does not wonder not that he would not come home, but..who ever tossed him out and left him to survive on his own it is their loss and our gain. he has brought nothing but joy to our lives and has given new life to our older cats by playing chase and such. what we also love is he purrs at the drop of a hat and gets very mushy when he has been outside. we could never imagine what our lives would be like without him and thanks to my hubby for saying it was okay to let him stay. afterall, animals are a responsibility but it is worth it..we love you stripes and our other 2 adopted cats..ecco and meeka Ps it is sad that more and more animals are being tossed out to fend on their own, humans can be so cruel.

arlene ziemba
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

Bundles of Joy

My husband & I talked about getting a dog when we bought our house. Then we dog sat for a Rhodesian Ridgeback. High maintenance! It was just too much work. We both decided a cat is better for us right now so we adopted Pokie. He was a stray cat that my niece found on the side of my sister’s house. He was about 8 to 10 months old at the time. I think someone abandoned him. He was starving and was just the sweetest, most affectionate cat. He was hugging and kissing everyone and made himself right at home on the lawn furniture. He is absolutely THE best cat ever! I am so glad he came into our lives.

I decided he needed a friend to keep him company while we are at work, so we adopted Tiger Lily last July. She came from a litter of 5 kittens at a seminary in the Bronx. My cousin is a Brother there. He had taken in a stray that happened to be pregnant. I say all the time that Lily is a blessed cat because of her roots. She is a tough little thing with attitude, but underneath a heart of gold – a true Bronx chick! We are so blessed to have them both. I can’t imagine our home without them. They are truly our furry little bundles of joy!

Pamela & Stephane
Norwalk, CT

One of Life's Small Miracles

Sunday, as I drove home along a country road, I saw (what I thought) was a black, plastic trash bag in the center of my lane. I never imagined that the motionless object was alive. It was so still. As I passed over the black lump, I heard a sickening "thud." Looking back in my mirror, I saw a startled black kitty rise up out of the street and run toward the side of the road. I raced back to retrieve the cat and headed to the vet clinic ER. Miraculously, the little ball of black fur simply has a slight case of road rash, but no other injuries.

Now, this kitty has a brand new home, a brand new red velvet bed, and a brand new name...LUCKY!

Marguerite Kelly
Atlanta, GA

Lucky Bird!

As we were cutting down a tree in my backyard, we saw one of the neighbors pointing to something. There was a small green parrot on one of the branches. It must have been so scared and hungry, it just walked right down onto my husband's hand. Now, Kiwi the Pionus coexists happily with her African Grey brother and feline and canine sisters!

Laurie Goldstein
Wilmington, DE

Smarter than a Border Collie

I have owned many dogs through the years and have always wanted a border collie. I contacted Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue and after the interviews they said there was a pup for me. Kiley came into my life as a five month old pup that had been dropped off, along with his littermates, at a animal shelter. He immediately fit in with my other dogs, cats and house rabbit. He is so smart, I teach dog obedience at a local facility and now at age two Kiley has his CDX title and working towards his Utility title. He does agility and is the star in his class. Border Collies rock and are the best all round dog.

Laurel, MD

Loki , a Birthday Surprise

Loki came to us on a sunny autumn's day. He was my surprise birthday present. He came when I was really missing a companion dog. It had been about 7 months since my Scooter, a Sheltie rescue, had died. Loki choose us. He came down our private drive and stayed. Loki was literally skin and bones. You could see his ribs, hips, and backbone. He was ~ 8 weeks old. We were pretty sure of where he came from as we had seen him on the street at a house playing with a child. Loki had to compete with two adult pit bulls, lol. And he was losing. There never were any lost dog posters put up. No one came looking for him. We nursed him back to health. Other than starving and fleas, he appeared healthy. We took him to our vet to have him checked out. Eventually we discovered that he was almost blind in his left eye and deaf in his left ear. Loki is a smart dog, laidback, loving yet independent. We have had his companionship for over 4 years. This is his forever home.

SeaTac, WA

Even When You're Not Looking, Dogs Will Pick You.

I have four rescues, two dog friends and two kitty friends. My big dog was one of a litter of four. His mother was a supposedly 'guard' dog at a drug shack in the mountains. Mom was attempting to take care of her family with the 5 lb. bag of dog food the 'owners' left on the ground once per week and the rest of the time she spent hunting for their food. When I happened to see her and that she was Very pregnant, I began to take food and water to her daily and then to her family once she delivered. I watched the puppies until they were ready to wean, as she was raising them under the shack. One day a puppy wandered out from under the shack and I picked him up, not intending to have a dog, but when he placed his head under my chin and gave a Big sigh, I knew we were meant to be friends for life. I returned and managed to get two of the three puppies that remained, as one had disappeared and I have to assume was probably eaten by coyotes, and obtained them good homes at my job. I called a friend, who is experienced in rescues and re-homing difficult to place dogs, and she rescued the mommy, who after a time was able to obtain a forever home. I named my best friend, Samwise Gangee. He is still living up to his name, and he still puts his big head under my chin and sighs, even after wearing his puppy school graduation cap.

Berkeley Springs, WV

Biscuit reading (or contemplating chewing glasses!)

A friend of ours called one day when a cat showed up on her porch, emaciated and bleeding (from flea bites!). Our friend had a dog who thought the kitty was his next meal so she asked if we would take her. When I arrived, she immediately started rubbing on me, purring, and following me around. Our vet said she was about a year old (she was tiny because she was starving), and that she would not have lived another week, because of blood loss and starvation. We named her "Biscuit" because she was cream and tan colored. As her health improved, she started developing more colors. We call her a "Calicese" because she has a loud, Siamese voice, and Siamese colorings, but definite Calico markings.

It was obvious she had been abused (she's afraid of feet, cautious of men), but she is the most loving little soul. She never gets up on tables or counters. She only scratches on her carpeted condo and never gets into anything we leave laying around. She greets us at the door whenever we come home, talks to us, and sleeps with us at night (often using a leg as her pillow!). We've had her for 10 years now, and I don't know how we ever lived without her.

Diamondhead, MS
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