I go up to woods to feed a colony of stray cats who have either been lost or abandoned. One day in May, one of the senior cats showed up in my yard with a small kitten. It was love at first sight for me, but for him not so much. It took me from May to October to convince him that I was his person and that he should come inside and live with me. It has been a true love affair ever since. He greets me at the door, headbutts me constantly, follows me everywhere and at night purrs himself to sleep while he kneads my belly. My Bug, my love.
Way back in 2001, a calico mama dug under the fence from next door to where I lived and had her tiny baby with her. It had been a particularly rainy season in Virginia, lots of flooding and the baby had been born during one such bad rain. We always figured that mama kitty knew where her baby would be safe. Anyway, after a couple months of coming in the house every day long enough to feed her baby, mama cat finally weened her and off she went, leaving her kitten with us. We named this little cat Ruthless because she loved to attack plants, feet, curtains; you name it. After I got married in 2003, I moved into a home with my husband and with Ruth. I noticed that when I had low blood sugar during sleep (I am a type one diabetic), Ruth would tap my face, walk on me, or do some other thing to wake me up so I could eat and get my blood sugar back up. She did this many times and actually ended up saving my life on several occasions. We never taught her how to do that, and we always figured that she was thanking me for having saved her life by saving mine in return. So this amazing tortie cat who entered my life and was saved from the storms saved me from many a life storm in return. Sadly, she passed away in 2014 at only 11 years old from heart failure. We miss her every single day, and I will never, ever forget the little tortie who grew up to save my life multiple times over.
After graduating from college during the recession, I was bored and unemployed, so when my mom said she wanted to go to the shelter to look at dogs, I decided to join her. I of course fell in love with every puppy in the place, but little did I know that my mom had actually had a specific dog in mind that she wanted to meet. When I joined her in the courtyard of the shelter, I looked over to see this tiny brown Terrier/Chihuahua mix straining on the end of its leash to get to us. As soon as she got to me, she immediately peed all over the ground and my shoe. Right then I knew it was love. When I asked the shelter worker what her name was, I was baffled. It wasn't until I heard the dog's excited bark/scream that I realized her name, Ankylosaurus, was fitting, as she sounded how I would imagine a dinosaur would. Turns out she was one of a big litter who were all named after different dinosaurs. We left the shelter that day without her; I don't think we were prepared to bring home another dog with two rescue dogs already at home. However, I could not get this cute, weird-sounding dog out of my head, and dreamt about her all night. The next day I made a deal with my dad that she would be my dog and I would take all responsibility for her, as the thought of having 3 dogs was not appealing to him. That afternoon we went back to the shelter and brought one of our dogs with us so they could meet to make sure they would get along. We got there only to realize that someone else was interested in her, and I immediately started crying at the thought of not taking her home. I think this person saw my tears and took pity, ultimately deciding to take home a different dog! Needless to say, we took her home that same day and renamed her Zoe. Zoe and our other rescue dog (also a Terrier/Chihuahua mix) are now BFF, and Zoe's been a happy member of our family for 10 years now. PLEASE consider adopting a shelter animal!
I had just moved into my house with my year-old Lab rescue. Our morning walks were early and cold, as we moved in January. I began seeing this friendly black kitty who would walk side-by-side with me and my dog. I realized quickly that she was a community cat in the neighborhood, and her family had left her when they moved. Daphne has been an indoor kitty for 5 years now and my snuggle buddy. Can't imagine life without her.
I had lost my beloved spaniel to lymphoma 2 years earlier and started looking for another furry friend. I decided to adopt from a program that fosters dogs. I saw her picture online, and she had me at those ears and sad face. When I met her to see if we were a match, she bounded out of the backyard and into my arms and heart. We have gone through all the puppy growth, and she is now one of the most precious parts of my life. Oh, she and I adopted her sister a year later and they have been inseparable for the last 3 years! Please consider adoption. It may not be what you expect, but the love you give and receive is well worth it.
One morning my friend Jackie told me she found a nearly dying Persian under a garbage container. The poor thing couldn't walk anymore; his hair was tangled, dirty, and full of dry strings. She drove him to the vet and found out he was very old, and had a cardiac and kidney problem. My home belongs to my cats and my dogs. Jackie asked me to foster him for a while. We already had 7 cats and my husband was giving me the cold shoulder... still, we took the poor thing in and named him Dali because of his mustache. But Dali needed a lot of care, cleaning his eyes, brushing his fur, taking his treatment and following a special diet. And my husband was asking regularly, when will Dali will get his own family? Dali got better and my husband was seduced. Dali became the king of the house. My husband, first thing coming from work, was asking where his friend Dali was. Dali stayed with us almost four years. He crossed the bridge peacefully in our house early on August 28th last year. The vet told us he was easily 20, even older. He was such a trusty, loving cat, our little king. We miss him every day.
My elderly mother asked me to buy her a bag of cat food (she didn’t have a cat!) and told me she was feeding an outside cat. (December in New Jersey is freezing!) I told her (lovingly) that she was nuts and that it was probably an opossum! Well, one morning as I was visiting and setting up her pills, I heard a loud meow outside her door. I opened it to see an emaciated Russian Blue cat yowling for his breakfast! Luckily, I had bought the cat food “just in case.” So I fed him and decided I would trap him and give him a forever home. I tried to trap him three times in a Have-A-Heart trap and failed miserably. Finally, on the fourth try, it worked! Six years later, he is a healthy, loving bundle of fur. He loves sitting in the window in a sunbeam with my other cats, Milo and Josie. All three are strictly indoor cats and love life together, along with my precious 13-year-old Shih Tzu!
In February of this year, in horrible winter weather conditions, my husband lost his 4-year battle with cancer. When I drove home from the hospital, a cat moved into my garage. I was sure I couldn't keep him because I have a rescued Silky Terrier who is 12 and has the condition called protein-losing disease. She requires prescription dog food. So I called the animal control officer (no kill). He dropped off a crate and live trap after about a week. I had started feeding him to keep him around, and he began talking to me and kept getting friendlier. Finally he came out for petting. After another week the animal control officer sent his daughter to pick up the cat. By then, Prince was so friendly I thought I could just pick him up and put him into the car; he always came when I called him and was wanting to be petted. When she came, he didn't come out from hiding or make a sound all the while she was there, but came out immediately as she was backing out of the driveway. I just picked him up and put him into the house. He'd obviously never been in a house before because he hid for 2 days. I couldn't even find him at first. When he came out to eat and use the litter box he left no trace. The only I've heard him hiss was when Daiquiri thought she would try his food. She never tried again. He's never growled. I took him to the vet to get his shots and make an appointment for neutering; the vet said he had to be 4-5 years old. The neighbors told me they'd been leaving food out for him but couldn't pet him. Over the years I had only seen him once at a distance up our road; at that time he was carrying one leg. He loves my silky terrier, Daiquiri, but she's not as trusting of him. He's very gentle with her and I'm starting to see her coming around. They're both everywhere I am. He's still very afraid of other people. Prince never tries to go outside. He just seems to have chosen my home as his and has completely settled in. He comes when called, loves petting, playing with toys and getting brushed. In the night he checks on me from time to time while lying on a little bench nest to me. Once early in the morning he kept pestering me and wouldn't quit. I stood up and found I was very shaky. I checked my blood sugar and found it was low. He must have realized I was in trouble. He's a wonderful cat, and is even just starting to trust other people.
In December of 2017 my husband and I lost our cat Callie to an illness. She was just 8 years old. We were broken. We didn’t even celebrate Christmas that year. Since she was our only cat the house seemed very empty. So, we began looking for another cat. We found him at Arizona Animal Welfare League. We named him Cooper and he was the perfect salve for our hearts. He is the most loving and funny cat, and he still is, even at almost 9 years old. But then last November I saw a cute 4-month-old kitten at another shelter. We went and got him, named him Jax, and believe it or not Cooper welcomed the new kitty. Now they’re good friends that play and clean each other. And since Jax is so young, he’s always doing something silly to make us laugh. I will forever miss my Callie but, I can’t imagine my life without these two silly cats.
I have a multiple-cat household (more than three), but decided after losing two senior cats within a month of each other that I did not need to bring in any more cats. My heart ached after the back-to-back loses, so I could not consider another cat. It was certainly quieter, and I was content. Almost a year and a half later, I was attending a town meeting with the town animal shelter being a main topic. The shelter was questioned about their adoption processes and rate. Then it was asked how long has the longest cat and dog residents been at the shelter. The dogs were adopted within 6 months, but the cats seemed to linger. The longest cat resident had been there 5 years. My heart sank. Then the shelter rep corrected herself and said that cat was just adopted but another was there for 4 years. My heart sank again. Every pet deserves a home. Then I asked, what color is the cat? Grey and white (my favorite). Was the cat a senior? No, been there since a kitten (heart sank deeper). Was there something wrong? No, just overlooked. Ok, I'll be in on Saturday to adopt the cat. On Saturday, I came with my carrier. While the shelter staff was trying to figure out which cat she was, my husband fell for a second cat, a white and grey tabby-mix cutie-pie. She had been overlooked in the shelter for two years. Both girls came home with us that day, over 9 1/2 years ago, and I am so glad I took the overlooked, plain-Jane girls. The 4 year old was renamed Chloe, and she's my girl. Snuggles with me at night, but very lazy (lies down to drink and eat), and loves to sleep on my bed. The 2 year old was renamed Leia. She loves to ambush and surprise the other cats. And she has the quietest, squeaky meow, almost silent. Both girls know that this is their home and we are family. One of the best decisions I made. They have filled my heart. From now on when I adopt from a shelter, I'll always go for the overlooked resident.