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He arrived in the neighborhood because the neighbors cat was in heat

Six months later, he was still here, despite the fact I was not feeding him and was actively discouraging him from staying. The final straw was when he was on my feet in the morning, having figured out how to work the kitty door.

"To animal control with you," I firmly told myself, and easily captured him in my trap.

I sent him off with a check toward adoption fees and his history. I gave him the name of William because he was so sweet. I felt crappy doing it; there were already more furry denizens than humans, and I was becoming a crazy cat lady.

Ten days later, I received a telephone call from our local animal rescue that interfaces with animal control. They know who I am because I had donated items to their annual fundraisers in the past. The rescuer told me that the cat I had sent had been deemed a feral, had bitten someone, and was going to be put down.

It turned out in the ten days he was in a kennel, he would only hiss at everyone who attempted to interact with him, and was deemed non-adoptable. The situation was grim.

The woman from the rescue society offered to have him fixed and asked if I would foster him until he found a home. A few days later, a neutered, ear-mite treated, flea-treated, rabies-vaccinated William returned and was released in my back yard.

I didn't see him for a few days, and when I finally did, it was on the roof of my flat-top shed. I had to put his food up there. He didn't really trust me right then. When he did, I brought him in to work on his manners, and found perfect potty box attendance, no food aggression, and no paw-eye coordination.

Shortly thereafter, the rescuer called again; she had placement for him as a barn cat. Given he couldn't track a TOY mouse, I knew that was doomed.

I found he is a Siberian, and renamed him Willie-Bear. "Bear" is 24 inches, 16 pounds of headbutts and goofy love.

Eureka, CA

Our friend Izzy

Izzy came to us as a stray. We think he was a dump from a nearby college because it was the end of June. He was very thin but had tail that was VERY thick! As he grew into adult he became the family favorite! He was an excellent mouser and a all around 22 pound friend!We enjoyed 10 years of his love until last week when I was getting ready for work he came into the kitchen and was howling, laying on his side and drooling. It was 5:15 AM and I was on my way out the door for work. There was nothing I could do for him then,but at 7:30 I called the vet and they said get him her ASAP! When I got home at 9:30 AM I found him under my bed. He was gone! Such sadness came over our whole house! He was our clown, head butter and gentle paw for attention friend! We all miss him very much. He is buried under the bird bath in the yard with flowers planted around him!

Christina Carlo
Worcester, MA

Kitty by the Laundry Block

One night I was awoken by caterwauling in the backyard and noticed a white male Persian cat having sex with a black cat. A few weeks later I noticed a kitten by the laundry block of my block of units. I rescued it on 19MAR2007, thinking that the mother had abandoned it; it was all alone with no sign of it's litter mates or mother. The kitten's eyes had not opened, nor had it's ear flaps formed. I took it to the Vet's to ask for help. They told me they would euthanase it if I left it with them, as they could not provide the intensive care it would need to survive. They said it was female, about one week old and weighed 200g.

Determined to give her a chance at life, I bought a nursing kit, including a bottle and baby formula and fed her eight times in the first 24hrs. We settled into a feeding routine and by week's end she weighed 280g and had taken her first steps. In one month she put on 500g and weighed 700g. In four months she weighed 2.5kg. Eleven years later and she weighs about 5kg and has been a wonderful companion. She loves hunting lizards and enjoys being brushed.

Ian B
Sydney, Australia

True Friend

Silo was part of our family for over 13 years. My wife worked for a moving company and called me at home to tell me that three dogs had wondered into the work yard (2 adults and 1 pup) and she was afraid they were going to get hit by an 18 wheeler. By the time I arrived at her work the adult dogs scampered away but the pup was in her office playing and having a ball with some type of office item. I specifically remember him stopping, eyeballing me for about 5 seconds and then running into my open arms. We immediately went to the pet store where he screamed at the top of his lungs as I tried to walk him on a leash throughout the store. He was so loud that two employees challenged me to make sure I was not hurting him in some way. He came home with me and joined the rest of our family. My wife passed away in February of 2011. We were unable to have children so our dogs were God sent to fill that void in our lives. Driving home that fateful night she passed I had never felt more alone. All of my family lived out of state and her family and I were never that close. When I pulled in the drive and walked into the house, I was greeted in typical fashion with 4 wagging tail and a lick bath. I think Silo immediately sensed that something was wrong and followed me to the bedroom, placed his head on my chest and spent the night in that same position as if to comfort me somehow. Often when the tears would come I would give him or one of the others a big long hug and it would relieve some of the pain I was feeling. I lost him a few years back to illness, but I will never forget how much Silo and my other 3 (kids) helped me through one of the most difficult times I have ever endured. I miss you buddy!

San Antonio, TX

Rescues Rule!

In our 40 years together, my spouse and I have had the good fortune to be pet parents to seven cats (and a fair share of foster kittens/cats). All were rescues, the first two being strays that we literally plucked off the street. They were/are unique, beautiful souls that hold special places in our hearts. Five have passed, taking a little piece of us with them. Forget the 300 words available to tell their stories on this site. I could fill a book with photos and descriptions of their quirks, antics and positive impact they have had on the humans in their lives.

Our two remaining, Bourque and Manoe, came to us as terrified 5 month old feral kittens who had been rescued from euthanasia (the shelter was full and they were considered “unadoptable”). Eighteen years later they still don’t like strangers, but are two of the sweetest kitties that want nothing more than to be our constant companions.

Save a life. Adopt. Don’t shop.

Jean Buhler
East Lansing, MI

Halloween Kitten named Smokey

On a windy Halloween night 13 years ago, I heard a loud and constant meowing coming from the direction of my kitchen window. I heard it for about an hour before I finally investigated. You see, I already had a female calico cat that my husband and I rescued a few years previous, so I was hesitant to add another one. I finally gave my husband the look, and he said, "Okay, I guess we're getting another cat, aren't we?" I really couldn't resist this meowing plea for help any longer, it was killing me inside waiting the hour I waited. I took a flashlight and went looking for the loud kitty, not sure what I would find exactly. I spotted a little tiny gray puffball under a bush hiding from another much larger kitty that was trying to hurt him. I scooped him up in my hand and he hissed at me, but I put him close to my heart and started to pet him, and speak softly to him to calm him down. It was then that I realized how tiny he was, he fit in the palm of my hand and his eyes were barely opened. I went to the pet store that night and got some kitten formula, then I took him to the vet the next day. We found out he was only 4 weeks old and still had his milk teeth. I nursed him on formula and wetted kitten kibble and he started looking really healthy and strong. 13 years later he is a healthy boy who loves to play and go for walks outside with his mom. He is a funny cat, becasue he responds to my verbal commands like a dog does. We spend all our free time together hanging out, sometimes I think my husband get a little jealous of our bond. Cats are the best, and mine really loves to be with me.

Tessa Turner
Temecula, CA

What Big Mitts You Have!

Those were my first words when I saw the cutest little grey kitten with big mittens. His feet were bigger than he was when I first met him at 4 days old:) Some nice samaritian found the momma cat with 5 newborn kitties living by the edge of a river bed and brought her and her kittens home to care for them and keep them safe. I saw them while she was fostering them and fell in love with the little grey kitty and his big feet and I said I would adopt him when he turns 8 weeks old...we named him Tate. Almost fourteen years later, lil Tate is now Big Tate and his mitts are still big, he is a very handsome mancat that loves to be petted and pampurred. He is a strictly indoor kitty and is very happy, he lives with another cat Chad-who is also a rescued feral kitty, a dog brother Bumble, 2 guinea pigs and a rabbit. They all get along purrfectly and enjoy each others company. Im so grateful that there are such nice and caring people in the world that will stop and help animals in need. If it wasnt for "foster parents" helping the momcat and kittens I never would have had my precious Tate to love. Thank you to all who love and care for animals that need our help!!

Sandi Guzman
Westfield, MA

Bugsy stole my heart

One day my daughter told me there was a mama kitty and her 4 kittens living in her block on the streets. One day one of the kittens got ran over by a car. She got a humane trap and trapped the two girl kittens the first night. The second night she caught the mama and her boy kitten. She had the mama cat spayed and returned her to the streets, as she was feral. She kept the two girl kittens and gave me the little boy. I already had four cats and was just going to foster the little boy, whom I named Bugsy. He was feral at first and very scared of everything. After a couple of weeks he became friendly and playful. When the day came for me to take him to adoptions, I went without him. I adopted him. I'm a foster failure. He became very attached to one of my cats Rex. Bugsy followed Rex everywhere. He gets along with all my other cats. He has the softest fur I've ever stroked. He loves to be brushed and will purr so sweet and softly. He is so sweet and loving and handsome. He likes to lay on my chest and be petted. He is such a gentle and kind soul. Bugsy has been with me for ten years now. I can't imagine my life without him.

Patricia Ponivas
Las Vegas, NV

Gus - Gone Way Too Soon

We got Gus and Dusty as adult cats from a wonderful no-kill shelter in Ross, OH on Dec. 29th 2015. That very first night Gus curled up on the couch to watch TV and then later hopped in bed to sleep with us, as if he had lived there forever. He was SO chill. His purring on your pillow was like having a diesel engine next to your ear. Always up for petting or a bellyrub, he was a sweetheart from the very beginning. He had a loud distinctive meow, (probably some Siamese in his family tree), and particularly liked playing with his toys on our bed. He loved to follow us around the house and would have made a fine private investigator, as no closed door, closet, suitcase, or cubby escaped his scrutiny for possible "monsters", (fortunately, none were ever found). Gus was also extraordinarily adept at finding comfortable, sunny perches in our house. He was also known for leaving prodigious amounts of white hair, (sometimes resembling tumbleweeds), in his wake as he went about his daily activities. Coming home from vacation to find him dying on our kitchen floor was the worst experience of our lives. We only had him 2 1/2 years. Can't believe he is gone so soon - we miss him terribly. While Dusty is gamely trying to take his place in bed at night, it will never be the same as Gus. There is a big white furry hole in our hearts now. It will be there a long time. We have been fortunate to have a number of wonderful cats in our time, but Gussie was truly special.

Oxford, OH

Rufus...My World

Rufus was a Toodle aka Poodle/Terrier Mix was Rescued from the Pound so close to death. He was 10 months old. He was Rescued by The Hearing Dogs of Minnesota & became My EARS for I am Deaf. For 13 years We were joined at the hip, never straying far from me, the Best set of EARS you could ask for. Rufus is now waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge~I miss Him so

Kari Dyrdahl
Mounds View, MN
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