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Pix: A Brave and Cherished Life

I found Pix crying in my mother’s garden in Winnipeg in the summer of 2009 and, after asking around the neighbourhood and realizing that this skinny little kitty was barely surviving on occasional handouts, I took her home. Every local rescue I called was full so I decided that, yes, I could handle 3 cats. Pix never did really like any other cat but she loved her people and the feeling was mutual.

Unfortunately, her hard life on the streets brought with it aggressive mammary cancer and her first major surgery was in 2010. She continued to battle over the next 7 years but cancer did not define her. Pix was a spunky, growly, sweet, loving, forgiving little girl who loved her people as much as they loved her. As the tumors kept returning and surgeries were no longer an option, she begrudgingly but bravely put up with the many conventional and holistic modalities that we hoped would help her beat this terrible disease. We also tried to fill her life with fun and love and in her last year she especially enjoyed her daily carriage rides around the neighbourhood.

We lost our loving, brave angel on Oct. 6, 2017. No words could ever describe the intense grief and emptiness her death has left in our lives. We miss everything about her, from her uniquely outward-facing eyes to her unconditional love snuggled under the covers with us at night. But we will always cherish her memory and will continue to support rescues that help the injured, homeless and abused animals in our area.

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Industry kitty

Our beloved kitty had to be put to sleep. He was over 17 years old and there was nothing more the vet could do. We were devastated and not ready to adopt yet but the universe had other plans. One day I stopped at a gas station in an industrial zone. A factory worker was petting a tiny kitten. After filling my tank I drove over to check it out, because this was really no place for a kitten. The worker had already left but the kitten was still there. He mewed and wanted to be picked up, so I did just that. He clung to me and purred like a tiny Ferrari. There was no one around. This was a high traffic dangerous industrial area. I still had a cat carrier in the car, so I packed up the kitten and took him to a local vet. They confirmed that he was about 8-10 weeks old and had no chip. I then took him back to the place where I found him and asked around if anyone knew him. They did. I was told that he was owned by a man who apparently lived somewhere in the industry zone. Then they told me that he got this cat only to catch and kill mice. Huh? They said he was outside all the time and that he was mostly neglected by his owner. I was boiling mad. They could not tell me where this man's place was exactly, only that he stopped by for snacks once in a while. I could not leave this little baby there alone because it was outright dangerous.So I took him home. As required, I listed him with a picture on the national missing/found animal centre webpage, where this man could find him and contact me. He never did (lucky for him as I would have come with the animal protection agency) and after 2 months he is now officially ours. We also adopted another rescue kitten since then so that Bentley now has a friend. He is spoiled and happy....never to be neglected again.

Langwiesen, Switzerland

My Little Ladies

My story begins April 2009. We had just purchased a new home and brought 1 kitty with us, my T.J. At the time the previous owners were going to take their cat to the Spca because she coudlnt go with them to the new home. We told them to leave her with us. She was beautiful and worm infested. A few vet visits later Cleo was a healthy girl. We lost both T.J. and Cleo that following year due to age and an illness we missed. Our house was empty. A friend had 2 litters of kittens at the same time and we went to see! Thats when we saw her, our Noodle. She had the cutest chunky wigglie butt there! All white with a striped mask, tail and just 1 spot on her side. She came home with us soon there after. She loves to snuggle! But you cant just have 1 kitty, she needed a friend. At the loal SPCA we saw her, a scrawny little black and white girl staring at me through the cage. I couldnt get her out of my mind. I had vowed that if there were sisters there we would take them home so they wouldnt be separated. So in line I waited to fill our the paperwoork. That little black and white one still on my mind. I asked my husband to go see if she was still there (another lady was looking at her) and she was! He ran back and put the sisters paperwork back and got the little one. (the sisters were adopted that day too!) Alex, as she was named, was coming home with us! She was amazing from the start. We changed her name to Herbie, after Herbie the Love Bug. My girls are true sisters, they fight, they love, they snuggle. M Herbie loves to play fetch and Noodle loves to lounge! They are truely bonded after 7 years together. My Little Ladies are my light and my sunshine, they love us unconditionally and are spolied rotten. We wouldnt have it any other way!

Millsboro, DE

Pearl My Girl

This is my Pearl girl. We’ve been together since mid-2014. Before her, two kitties kept me company, but both passed within months of each other very unexpectedly. Two weeks after the second girl passed, coming home from a job I decided to stop at a pet store that often has rescue animals on display. Pearl was by herself, 8 years old, kind of shabby looking and had a reduced adoption fee to encourage someone to adopt her. I was able to hold her. She was not a cuddler and didn’t seem terribly interested, but I fell for her. She had cloudy eyes and moved cautiously. It was obvious that she needed a home that would be safe and reassuring for her. Since I live alone with no other pets, she would have no competition.

A few days later the adoption was complete and she came home. She not only has vision problems, probably due to feline herpes affecting her corneas, but she doesn’t always respond to sound and walks as if she’s been injured in her back end. Since the humane society received her as a stray, no real history is known for her. She has irritable bowel, and so gets premium food, probiotics and other supplements to build her health. She has made drastic improvements in our time together, but the most exciting has been in the recent several months. She’s learning to play and can sometimes be enticed to do so. Just a couple of months ago she started switching her tail the way cats do when lounging and looking like they rule. A couple of weeks ago as I hugged her, I heard the faintest of purrs.

She seems to know she’s loved and is happy. Adopt an older pet. They’ll love you every bit as much!

Springvale, ME

Miss Minnie

My veterinarian wife was checking on puppies and kittens at a local pet store at the time back in 2005 when I happened to be walking in to the same store for something and she said I want you to come and look at something. She came out from a back room with a six week old black kitten that had been born with a deformed back leg and handed it to me. I was not a cat person, however, once I was holding this black kitten that looked up at me and I looked at it, it was a done deal. We had to amputate the remainder of the leg, so Minnie became my three-legged baby girl and taught me over the past twelve years that cats DO have personalities and aren't just aloof. She "talked", played fetch, was my constant companion with whatever I was doing, and was very well-behaved. I was totally devastated to find out that she had kidney disease after having a brief illness that came out of nowhere as we had no other signs to tell us anything was wrong. After discussing everything with my wife and her colleagues, I made the heartbreaking decision to send her to the Rainbow Bridge after just twelve years of devoted companionship. Miss Minnie will always live on in my heart as I think of her daily. Rest well my baby girl, until we meet again.

Mike J
Frankfort, IL

Thanksgiving Kitten

I was a dog person.

It was Thanksgiving of 2014 my extended family had just finished dinner when my son heard the sound of a cat meowing coming from the heat run in the living room/dining room. The grandchildren were gathered around it trying to pull the cover off so that they could save the kitty.

Flashlight in hand I went down to the basement garage and discovered 2 huge eyes staring down at me from the wall separating the 2-stall garage. It was one of the feral kittens from under the deck next door. I put out turkey and arranged some wood so that he could return to his family. The next day my son heard the meowing again from the garage. He had not left.

I talked to a friend that belonged to a TNR group and she lent me a safe trap. I successfully trapped him and brought him inside. It took months of gentle care to get him to trust me enough to pet him. He is now my best buddy. I named him Yanjing because in Chinese it means eyes.

I have gone on to trap, neuter, and return and immunize his family. I have also added his sister’s two babies Twilight and Moonlight to my home. Sunnyspots gave birth to 6 babies in a trap in my basement; two were adopted by my son and his family, and 2 by a dear friend.

I have winter housing and a feeding station for Yanjing’s two brothers Houdini and FuzzyWuzzy, and the newest addition Floyd. I miss the others that have come and gone Miss Molly (Mom), Sunnyspots (sister), Midnight (Dad), and Black-n-white. It is heartbreaking to not know the end of their stories. I now chip them when I trap and update their immunizations.

Traverse City, MI


An elderly neighbor's cat got pregnant before he had a chance to spay her. She had 5 kittens: 3 black and 2 gray. I knew no one would want the black ones, or if they were given to a shelter, their chances for adoption were slim. So I took all 3 of them. This photo was taken the day I brought them home. Now 6 months later they are so big that they each have their own bed, plus their own condo. Remember: adopt or rescue, don't shop.

bushkill, PA

My Gracie

I lost my beloved Ally (17 years young) last year and was heartbroken. I searched forever online until I came across Gracie (she was called Marcy originally). I knew the moment I saw her that she was already in my heart. She was trucked up to me from Kentucky and I had an hour's drive to get her. I couldn't wait! Once we got home, I could see she had a rough start in life; nipping ankles and going after anything that moved too fast. She is now remarkable, beautiful, and showed me how to smile again. I love her to the moon and back! We saved each other!

Parkville, MD

Healing Heeler

It was July 2012 and we had just lost our beloved Katie, a wonderful shepherd/husky mix we adopted from the CNYSPCA. Of course, we started looking on Petfinder and found a dog pictured that was at the Humane Society of Rome which seemed to fit the bill - larger adult that is good with cats. When we got there, we met him and he was a nice dog...however...he had issues with other male dogs, and our neighbor's goofy male lab was a constant visitor to our place. (Note - he got a great home) So we asked if they had another cat-friendly dog there, and two of the workers simultaneously said, "Lacey!" We met her, took her for a walk, and picked her up the next day after all the paperwork was finalized - the only thing we knew about her was that she was turned in because "she needed more room to run" - we have 150 acres, live in a very rural area, and run/hike/snowshoe/ski daily so that was a no-brainer. What we weren't prepared for was her incredible intelligence and love of learning and play - we never had a heeler before, but we soon learned that was a core trait for them. We've had her 5 years now, and she's still learning new skills...and has managed to train us pretty well, too :-) Adopt a shelter animal - the benefits will improve your life...physically, mentally and emotionally!

Bev & Dave
Williamstown, NY


On an early Sunday morning when my daughter and I were already out trying to find a stray mama dog who had recently given birth on the college campus where we both work, we received a call from a friend, asking us to come get a small dog she had rescued the night before. It was freaking out her three older and much larger Rotties, who weren't really sure what it was! So we headed to her house to find a very small white Chihuahua, in pretty bad shape. She had already taken him to an overnight vet to start flea and tick treatment and on our way home, my daughter pulled over 20 dead ticks off him. We took him to our vet right away and while he amazingly didn't have any tick-borne diseases, he was underweight, had a cherry eye, and of course hadn't been neutered. Our friend and I agreed to share the costs and then move him along to a Chihuahua rescue. But then...

As Walter recovered, our 3-year-old great-niece who lived with us fell in love with him and he with her. One by one everyone else became captivated, and then we learned that Chichis are, with pitbulls, the most euthanized dogs in the country. Finally I gave in and allowed him to completely conquer me, a woman who loves big dogs, not those little yappy excuses for dogs. He became mine and I am head over heels. I did insist on taking him through a training course, because I didn't feel competent to train him on my own because of his size, but I was determined he is a dog, not a toy. I am convinced if all owners of small dogs, especially Chihuahuas, did so, there would be far fewer Chichis in shelters.

His full name is Walter Manning (for the greatest quarterback ever), because all dogs live lives big enough for two names. I've learned that physical size is no indicator of the size of a dog's heart and soul.

Monrovia, IN
Rainbow Paws to My Heart T-Shirt
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