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Irma la Douce

We were driving around the backstreets of Istanbul, my husband at the wheel, after the big earthquake had hit Istanbul in 1999. That's when I saw this little skinny kitty cat staring at me from the pavement. I told my husband to stop the car, opened the door, and Irma la Douce immediately jumped in. She gave me and my husband each a kiss and settled herself comfortably into the back seat, waiting for us to drive home. So that was how she adopted us as her family and we're inseparable since then. Irma is a stray cat with lady genes, loves to bite my nose, and is the master of the house. She is consistently and completely spoiled by her humans including my sister and my parents living a few blocks away, where she often pays courtesy visits.

Dilek Gonen
Istanbul, Turkey

Gremlin

Gremlin is the best cat in the world. He's 14 now. Getting old. But sometimes he doesn't seem like it. He's a pillow thief, a dinner thief (he loves roast chicken! Today he ate potato with cheese and broccoli in it!). He loves cuddles and is really friendly. He also purrs extra loud, like an engine! These stories all happened before I was born and my parents told me them.

My cat gremlin was on a chair in the lounge and wanted to get to another one. The fireplace was in the way and there was a fire going in it. He didn't know that so he ran straight across the fireplace to the other chair. We tried to get him to put his paws in cold water for a few minutes, but he hated it!

Another time, he went missing for three days. He was still a kitten! Our neighbours herd mewing in the tree outside their house and found. My silly little cat had climbed up a tree and not been able to get down again! My dad got his huge ladder out and climbed up the tree to get him. He was a happy kitty to be on the ground again!

Gizzy and Gremlin

One time both of the cats were missing. My dad went searching for them and found them either side of a bush with a rat in between them. He scared the rat away and the cats caught it. He thinks the cats were sitting by the bush waiting to catch the rat the whole time they were missing.

anonymous
Auckalnd, New Zealand

Roxy

A couple of months ago there was en e-mail going around showing a picture of this adorable Bull Terrier. She was being scheduled to get put to sleep if she didnt find a home. No one really wanted her because she had a deformality. This story broke my heart so I went on an hour trip to pick her up. It was love at first Sight. Yes, her deformality in her legs was very noticable but it wasn't her fault! After bringing her home, I took her to the vet and started her on 3 medications. Now, about 2 months later little Roxy's deformalities have disappeared. She is happy and keeps up with our other dog. She is wonderful and we love her!!!

Brittani
Bethany, OK

Brinkley: Survivor and Savior

Brinkley sat on death row, twenty minutes from euthanasia, an owner turn-in because he howled. Golden Retriever Rescue scooped him from death's door and I met this sad, skinny, tick-invested boy who had no personality and had apparently never seen a ball or stood on the grass.

He had nightmares for several nights and for months was terrified of fire, a rolled up newspaper and anyone who raised their hand above their waist. But slowly, he began to trust. A home-cooked diet, exercise, appropriate rules and tons of love gave him confidence in his place in our home.

Brinkley, now age 12 is a survivor but also my savior. He goes everywhere with me, guards me while I garden, observes my every move, deciding where he needs to go next to watch over me. He has developed not only a protective attitude but a "clown" personality. It was submerged in a previous lonely life but has come to life again. He plays with his toys like a two-year old! After many dogs in my life, I am so glad I took a chance on this wreck of a dog who has turned out to be the best animal friend and guardian I have ever known.

Donna Forst
Petaluma, CA

Teddy's New Home

One day I received a call from my vet. She had a red- point Himalayan named Teddy that the original owner no longer wanted because of some surgical medical expenses. The vet asked the owner: if she performed the necessary surgery, could she find a home for him? Thankfully, the owner agreed. The alternative is too painful to think about. So Dr. M called me. She knew I couldn't refuse to make a loving home for this boy. She was right. Teddy and my little Ming, a Persian, have been brother and sister for 5 precious years. We must have a thousand pictures of these silly kids.

Francine Lubera
Owings Mills, MD

Wish List

Just after Christmas I visited a shelter to get their "wish list". Baby, a six year old, female Tortie was dropped off at the shelter after her human Mom died. I recalled the day my own mother died. I could only imagine how tragic it is for a pet that doesn't understand. I sat with her in my lap talking softly to her and petting her. Nothing I said could possibly reassure her everything would be alright. Her sad green eyes looked at me with concern when I put her back in the crate. I passed several other crates filled with tiny kittens eager for loving arms. I couldn't leave Baby there with a clear conscience. I'd always wonder of her fate. I decided I'd grant Baby's wish and adopt her into my home. Five of my pets were rescued. There was room for one more.

Darlene Bissonnette
Katy, TX

We Finally Found Each Other

I lost all three of my dogs in 2008. It was such a sad time for me. My girls had been with me through an abusive marriage and then a divorce. I fought to keep our home so we could stay together but it was tough. They kept me going and then, within a few short months, all of them were gone. I searched the rescues for months for another dog to share my life but something always happened. At one point, a dog I was approved to adopt died at the shelter from heartworm disease. I was so devastated. But, I kept searching because I knew there was a dog out there just waiting for me. And then I found Frankie. When I looked at his face on petfinder, I just knew he was the one. There was such a connection. I was approved to adopt him and travelled 12 hours roundtrip to bring him home. He has been a godsend to me. He makes me laugh and has brought joy into my life again. Frankie is a wonderful friend and companion and I will always be grateful to the rescue group that saved us both.

Jane
Coopersburg, PA

Onyx

Right after I moved into my house I noticed a black cat that seemed to think he lived there, too. He would come up to the back door and meow to be let in. Eventually, I realized that he must have been abandoned by the family that lived in the house before me (neighbors eventually confirmed it). I started going onto the back deck, offering food and talking to "Black Kitty". After about a week of this he managed the courage to approach me. I renamed him "Onyx" and he's been my beloved pet for the past 11 years.

Shannon
Santa Rosa, CA

Bonnie

In 1999, my two beloved canine companions (Bernadette, a 10-year-old St. Bernard, and Meggie, a 14-year-old Aussie) died within five months of each other. They had seen me through divorce, a difficult move, and a lot of grief and readjustment.

It took me almost a year before I could even think of letting another dog into my home, my heart. Finally, I started looking on the website of Second Chance at Love, a local no-kill rescue organization. And, there she was! Her warm, melt-your-heart eyes nailed me and would not let me turn away.

Bonnie and her brother, two of eight pups born to a homeless mom, had been adopted out together. But, it didn't work. And, over the first year and a half of her life, Bonnie had lived in five homes, including a prolonged stay at a kennel.

When Bonnie came to live with me, she was loving, but definitely cautious. During her short life, she had learned not to trust people who offered her a "forever" home. We both worked very hard at being comfortable with each other, at bonding, at trusting one another. It was a difficult time but, with the help of an animal communicator and some deep soul searching on both our parts, we made it through the process and learned to love and trust each other unconditionally.

Bonnie celebrated her 10th birthday on March 6, 2009, and she and I have shared life, love, and a home for almost nine years now. What a blessing she is! She gets me out on the hiking trail at least twice a day, shares life's routines, and snugs up with her head on my pillow each night.

Every day with Bonnie is a gift. She's the love of my life, the light in my soul.

Sharon
Paso Robles/Heritage Ranch, CA

Late Books

I had some late books and movies I borrowed from the library and figured I'd watch at least one movie before taking them back. Right in the middle of the movie I had the urge to take them back RIGHT NOW.

So, I did.

It was the middle of summer here in Tucson, Arizona. The library parking lot was full, and I tucked my late books and movies in the outside chute. Right then, I heard a meow and saw a gray blur race by. There he was... rolling in the dirt. Hot, dehydrated, somehow his tail was gone.

I scooped him up and took him to my vet. Tests showed he was FIV positive.

No ideas on how he lost his tail.

He was also deaf.

So, he became part of my family. Loving, loveable, loud and sweet. He stayed with us here until he died two months ago...

His name? LB - for Late Books of course.

Karen
Tucson, AZ
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