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18 years of Sweet Pea

This is my beloved cat Sweet Pea. I rescued her in 1998. She was just a kitten but she had been badly abused. She was very timid and did not trust people. Over the years she grew into a beautiful cat and eventually she came around and would let us pet her. She got plenty of love and affection after that. Sweet Pea was the best cat ever, she would never leave the yard, and mostly stayed in the house. She loved to groom herself, always keeping her beautiful coat looking it's best. She had a long happy life growing up with my children. Sadly, one day, in the summer of 2015, she had a stroke which left her back legs paralyzed. She couldn't walk. I lovingly cared for her, providing her with all her basic needs. She never gave up trying to walk and would crawl using her front paws. Sweet Pea loved sitting on the back patio in the sun. However, in February 2016, she began to cry, it was a different cry from her normal meow. This was something that sounded very sad, like she was in pain. I tried comforting her but over the next several weeks her cries just became more frequent and more distressed. She was no longer enjoying life. All she did was sleep and eat and I would carry her outside to relieve herself. Sometimes she would stay out in the sun, but she mostly just slept and cried. I knew the time was here, she was relying on me to take care of her, but there was nothing more I could do. I held her extra close her final few days, giving her as much love as I could. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but on February 25, 2016, at the age of 18, I took Sweet Pea for one last ride to the vet. It was time to say goodbye. She was purring when the vet came in. She looked at me and went to sleep, purring loudly, as if saying thank you and farewell.

Anita L Beesley
Apple Valley, CA

Marshall

Back in August 2000 someone was giving away an American Eskimo. He was 10 months old and it didn't take us long to realize that he had separation anxiety and we learned never to let him home alone. He became our buddy and our constant companion. Last Saturday, February 27, 2016, our buddy went over the rainbow bridge. We are so heartbroken and our house is no longer a home. It is just filled with memories and the sadness we feel at the loss of our friend. I just don't know if I could endure this pain again.

Naomi
Altoona, PA

Precious BabyGirl Kittykat

In 1996, I had roommates. One of my roommates, Jerry, brought home two kittens. He gave me one (Smokey) and he kept one (I forget what he named her then). One day I came home and he had thrown his kitten up against the wall, she was lying there stunned. I asked him what happened, what was wrong with her? He told me she bit him so he threw her across the room. If I could have afforded to kick him out, I would have but instead she immediately became my kitten and he was banned from touching her ever again. She was such a sweet little calico that I immediately renamed her Precious BabyGirl.

Last week, after 20 years together, kidney disease won the battle she'd been fighting for a year or so. She was gently and lovingly sent to the rainbow bridge, in her mommy's arms. We spent a lot of quality time together in her last week. We spent her last 24 hours with each other, lying on the couch as she was too weak to do much else.

She never did anything you told her to, she never cooperated with anything asked of her and she never acknowledged that any rules applied to her. She was precious, she was b1tchy, she was spoiled and she was loved.

Belinda
Martinsburg, WV

Boo Boo Kitty

I manage a small hotel that is a pet free property. There are always ferral cats around the hotel, and despite getting most of them fixed we still manage to have kittens running around every year. One day I was walking past a room and in the window was a little black kitten. I knocked on the door, no answer so I opened the door and this sweet baby just walked right up to me, meowing her little head off. I picked her up and she purred and purred and purred. I was NOT going to keep her. I found a girl who wanted her, but the next day the kitten was still there and I accepted my fate. I brought my Boo home to meet my other two girls. At first there was a ton of hissing and growling, but now 2 years later, she is the most loving, sweet, and wonderful Boo Boo Kitty there is. She comes when I call her and she keeps her friends Lucy and Franki in line. I am one lucky girl.

Amy
Williamsburg, VA

Lucy Bell

A few months after sending my Molly Girl across the rainbow bridge it became apparent that our sweet Franki was lonely. And while I wasn't sure I was ready for another cat, I agreed to find Franki a playmate. We went through the adoption agency at our local Pet Smart. I knew that I wanted a mostly white calico, female. They didn't have one at the store, but they had one in foster care. I went to meet her, and while she wasn't Molly, she sure was cute and so we brought her home and named her Lucy. Of course Franki pretends to only tolerate Lucy, but there is love between them. More importantly for me is that there is so much Love in my heart for Lucy. She is such a lover, she talks and she plays and she makes sure I know that she is around (especially at 2AM when she just has to tell me all her secrets - who cares if I was sleeping). I call her Lucy Bell because she has a sweet bell like voice. She has helped me to heal from the loss of my first love Molly. Right now Lucy is sitting on my lap asking me when I will play with her. How lucky am I?

Amy
Williamsburg, VA

My Friend Tigger

Back in 1995, my wife and I had rescued a kitten who had just walked up to our car and climbed in one Sunday night. After several weeks, we decided to adopt another kitten to keep Zorro company during the day while we were at work. We went to an adoption affair at a local pet store for a local shelter and my wife picked out a 10 week old kitten. The shelter people couldn't tell us anything about him but he didn't mind being held or petted, so we adopted him and named him Tigger.

When we got home, we let him out of his carrier and he made a bee-line to the bookshelf at the end of the hall and would hiss if anyone got close. We gave it time and eventually he became very close with my wife. He was so-so with me.

In 2007, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and in 2008, she succumbed to the disease.

Immediately upon her passing, Tigger was all over me! It was as if he knew that Donna was gone and I was the only one left.

Several years passed and one day I came home from work and was feeding my 3 cats when I noticed that Tigger wasn't walking right. It was like he didn't have full control of his hind quarters. I took him to the vet and after the exam, they told me that he had had a stroke. He was recovering nicely, but would always have difficulty walking and jumping. That didn't affect his affection for me, though.

One night, late last year, I was awoken around 1:30 in the morning by this strangled meow and found Tigger lying on the floor, barely breathing. I immediately took him to the vet where they said that he had had another stroke and recommended euthanasia.

After 20 years of love and joy, I had to let Tigger go. I miss you, Tigger!

Anonymous
Lancaster, CA

My Molly Girl

In 1997 I was lonely and looking for love. Little did I know that a wonderful, sweet and amazing little black calico girl would be my love for 15 years. I had been visiting the local humane society or months and had even started the process of adopting a sweet chihuahua puppy, but that fell through and I was devastated. I decided to visit one more time, just before Halloween and stopped into the cat room for a little unconditional love. Until that moment I had not even considered adopting a cat. But there she was, a tiny, half black face, half orange faced calico kitten. I was in LOVE. I had to wait a few days to bring her home because she was under weight and because she was mostly black our humane society didn't allow anyone to adopt black cats until after the first week of November.

I named her Molly and for the next 15 years she kept me company, she slept with me (under the covers, fur to skin was best), she demanded to be held and then would sleep on my shoulder for hours. She tolerated my husbands cat Franki when we got her. Molly LOVED me unconditionally for all those years. She started to have joint issues and would sleep on a heating pad at night. But the time came for the hardest decision I have EVER made . My sweet Molly girl crossed the rainbow bridge on the Monday after Easter in 2013. I know many of you can sympathize with the anguish and the sadness of losing a beloved family member. I swore I would never get another cat, but a few months later I met my Lucy, and that is another story.

Amy
Williamsburg, VA

Miracle Max

In November 2012 a blogger I follow on Facebook posted the picture of a cat that was running out of time at a local animal control facility. Interestingly- the blogger was in California, USA and I was in Ontario, Canada. That picture haunted me and I knew I had to do something to help that cat. I knew nothing about him, other then he was a senior male that had been picked up and no one had claimed him. With the help of a local cat rescue, we managed to get him pulled from the facility on the day he was to be euthanized. The vet figured he was around 16 years old. He quickly settled in with my other two male cats and became the king of the house. I named him Miracle Max after the fictional movie character. Every night he would "hunt" his stuffed toys and present them to me in bed. I would often wake up with piles of toys around me in the mornings. He was always near me, and had quirks like snapping his teeth when he was hungry, and trying to steal the food from my plate when I was not looking. He also loved to sit and watch me craft- I called him my supervisor. After a year he became very ill and I almost lost him. I found out he had pancreatic disease- which was easily treated with a diet shift. Another couple of years went by and he began loosing weight. I found out he had hyperthyroidism- which we treated. Soon after this, his health further declined. He passed away in my arms, in his sleep. I feel very privileged to have spent 3 years and 3 months with this beautiful soul.

Mandi
Hamilton, ON, Canada

My sweet little Mickey

I had been volunteering for a local shelter for several years when I saw a picture of a black cat on their Facebook page. He was wearing a bandana that said, "Born to love" and looking rather uncertainly at the camera. I found out he was 13 years old and had recently lost his home because his owner died. Somehow no one in this wealthy family could make room for him, and they dumped him in the shelter. I went to meet him and he sat in my lap very quietly. I took him home and named him Mickey.

I soon realized he had been quite depressed at the shelter. In my home, he blossomed, and co-existed reasonably well with my other 2 cats, also both rescues. I found out he did not like to be picked up and the first time I did that, when I put him down, he ran up behind me and whacked me on the leg! All I could do was laugh. Gradually he warmed up. His favorite things were to lie on his back (he snored!) either on the back porch or on the top of the back of the couch, and to snuggle. He was not so crazy about most other people, but he loved me.

In late September, he had a cold, and I took him to the vet. The cold lingered and in early November we found out he had a tumor in his sinus and mouth. There was no treatment. I just took him home, fed him food that he loved, and loved him. He spent even more time snuggling with me. For a couple of weeks, he ate well, but then he started to go downhill. Eating was a struggle and his energy was not what it once was. I made the appointment for a Monday afternoon, and knew it was the right decision when he hissed at himself in frustration that weekend. I was with him to the end.

He was with me only 2 years, but it seemed like 20. Good-bye, Mickey. I'll love you forever.

Pat
Newark, DE

Oreo resuces his humans

After loosing 2 of our girls Turtle and Ruru from old age last year, we embarked on a mission to save another kitty and also fill our home with a young cat again. What we thought would be simple instead turned into a several month hunt for another kitty. Oh we found several cats and kittens but something always seemed to happen that the adoptions fell through. Till we met Ms. Nancy from the Hot Springs Village Rescue League. We talked with Ms. Nancy several times, looked at pictures on the site before making the hour plus trip to meet their cats, and fell in love with several. BUT Oreo fit the bill (which I think Ms. Nancy knew before we ever met him). We had to wait a week to bring him home but he is with us and seems to fit perfectly. He is the most lovable cat, easy going and he has managed to make friends with our other 2 cats, Dolly who is 10, who was an "only kitty" (we adopted her after my Mother passed away last year) and Bauxite who is 15, rescued at 3 weeks old. Sometimes the animals we are meant to have share our lives with do not come easy, but nothing worth having is. Thank you Ms. Nancy for making this adoption so wonderful. We are hoping once we have bought our house this year to add a dog or 2 from Hot Springs Village. Life takes us in different directions sometimes then we plan. Thank God for that too.

Lisa
Little Rock, AR
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