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Meet Mr. Leo...

Leo came to us as a little stray kitten. One of the neighbor kids had caught him and was trying to find him a home. (There are quiet a few strays around the apartment complex since we have dumpsters.) My husband and I fell in love with him the minute we saw him. He was so tiny, thin and malnourished. He was so small, we actually though he was a female at first. LOL His original name was Cleo, because of the markings around the eyes.

He was skittish of us at first, but we managed to earn his trust. When we took him to the vets to get checked out and get his shots, we learned she was a he. And since he answered to Cleo, we just changed it to Leo so he wouldn't be too confused since they sound the same. :)

There have been some affects to him from being a stray kitten and being so malnourished. He does have to take a probiotic for his gut. With out it his "stuff" is liquid instead of solid and not to mention the smell. But I think all in all, that isn't too bad and it is an easy fix. :)

He is now almost 2 years old and healthy and happy. We even adopted another kitten (from a friend this time). So now he has a sister and playmate. Yes, both are nurtured. ;)

Jessica watters
Elkland, PA

My sweet hero

Some days ago when I read about Pisco by Stela Stoyanov from Sofia, Bulgaria I decided to tell the story of my cat Simão.

His spinal nerve is also damaged for good (don't know how it happened) which prevents him from walking on four legs and to pee by himself.

In the playground around the highschool where I used to teach (I'm retired now) there used to be some strays and consequently kittens very often abandoned by their mothers after beeing hold by some school kids. I usually took them home - and during the day bring to school - to bottle feed them until they were ready to be given for adoption after assuring they were wanted and would be dully cared.

Seven years ago, at the start of the school year, I noticed a cat mom with her four kittens of about 6 weeks old. One was handicaped unable to walk on his back legs.

The general opinion was to euthanise him. I couldn't accept it and took the kitten to the vet where he stayed for two months under treatment but of no avail. So I decided to take him home.

I had to learn to put him to pee and now, seven years later, he moves and runs fast, climbs the sofás and lives happily with my other 7 rescued cats and 4 rescued dogs (the house is big and has a garden) even rulling over them all. He is my sweet hero!

Maria João Pampulim
Lisbon, Portugal

Amazing Moet

I first met Moet when I went to the vet one day for the usual supplies and was asking about getting another cat or kitten. As they knew me well and also knew my love of cats and care for them, they said they had a 1 year old blind cat up for adoption, but that it wouldn’t be advertised because they wanted just the ‘right’ owner for her. My instant reaction was that I didn’t want a blind cat. I’m out all day at work and a ‘special needs’ cat just instantly seemed too ‘difficult’.

However, they persuaded me to “just come and see her”. So I did, as I love cats and can never resist the opportunity to give any cat some attention! There she was, a sweet little champagne coloured Persian, with stiches in her eyes where they had recently been removed and an cone collar on. I crouched down next to her to stroke her and instantly she rolled over for tummy rubs and purred really loudly. I was sold. How could I not take her? She was utterly adorable.

I asked how she had come to be blind and was told that she was one of a few that had recently been rescued from a pet shop. She was already blind (and had been for several months they thought) and her eyes were a source of infection, so they had to be removed completely. It was such a sad face but such a happy cat. She’d spent her life in a pet shop cage with no love and care, little food/water and no toys and a dirty cage. Yet still she was so happy. The blindness was caused by untreated cat flu and her eyes had to be removed to prevent them causing infection from decay.

1.5 years on she is a vibrant, adventurous and incredibly happy girl. She gets around my flat like any sighted cat would; chasing balls around at top speed, catching feather toys and even climbing my 6 foot cat tree! She also loves her rescue siblings, Luna, Lily & Cosmo.

Emily
Muscat, Oman

Jack and Me

I remember a friend of mine coming over to my apartment and telling me "You need to have a pet to warm this place up." So on October 16 2002 we went to one of the most high kill shelters in the country, with a mission of getting an older cat.

We looked around the shelter in tears as I saw the rows and rows of cats crying to get out. I stumbled upon a cage way at the bottom and looked in. I saw a very small grey kitten looking back at me. Jack looked like a gremlin but when I put the kitty near my face he licked my cheek. I remember putting him back in the cage and Jack looked up at me like "Let's get out of here." and boy did we.

I quickly named him Jack. He had a larger than life personality. Jack let me know when he wasn't happy or if he was hungry by crying loudly throughout the apartment. Jack loved the change of seasons since we lived in Florida and he was a long hair-the cool air was something he loved and would spend hours on the porch. I cannot remember a time where Jack didn't great me with an enthusiastic meow when I woke up and didn't let up until I opened his can of food...

Until one Saturday in September of 2015 I spotted a lump on his side. I looked down at Jack, and I couldn't comprehend life without Jack. I couldn't wrap my mind around it as thirteen years of greeting in the morning, loss of jobs, new friends, new apartments and new beginnings-it's a long time --Jack my co-pilot in life was now going off without me. Jack died two weeks later surrounded by family and an amazing Vet telling him what a wonderful boy he was. I still look around in awe that this cat named Jack bought so much love to my life and with it so much sadness as I walk without him here-but in my heart. 10.30.15. I miss you Jack.

Jennifer Ashley
Daytona Beach, FL

My Liffey

This story isn't about heartbreak, or even trauma. I had recently split with my long-time girlfriend, with whom I had three cats. She "got custody" of the girls. After a while solo, I decided I needed a new companion. I went up to our local SPCA to look at some fuzzy heads. I had the choices narrowed down to a nice tabby with one eye, and a pretty orange tabby. I was talking to the volunteer about which I was going to choose, when Liffey reached out of her cage and pawed at me. I said, "Well, I guess I've been chosen."

Liffey is a goofball, who is the most interactive cat I've ever met. She found a piece of zip-tie in the garage, and it's her favorite toy. She likes to bring it to me to play. At all hours.

I ended up getting two of our three cats back, eventually. Liffey gets along pretty well with both of them. All good fuzzy babies. This pic cracks me up. She's "The Most Interesting Cat in the World."

Tim
Blue Springs, MO

Who Rescued Who

Hi Jackson,

Last year I rescued Heidi from a neglectful family who had her nearly 18 years and declawed her. They decided to move out of State were going to release her to the wild and drive away. Outraged, I borrowed a carrier, raced over and took her away from them. I was told she had not be to a Vet in years "because there's nothing wrong with her, she's fine", as goo oozed out of her eye. I immediately took her to a Vet who treated her for conjunctivitis. She hid under my bed everyday until she got to know me - hence Heidi. In time I learned that Heidi was completely deaf, had severe arthritis, digestive issues, and lost the vision in one eye. Ultimately, Heidi developed a tumor on her thyroid gland which the doctor suspected was cancerous. She spared me from the heart wrenching decision I was faced with when she stopped eating and drinking. She was only with me for six months but will remain in my heart forever.

Recently, I found myself at the Humane Society. At 9, Skylar was one of the oldest cats they had. The employee could not get her out of her cage without bringing her in her kitty cocoon. He pulled her out and she ran under my chair. I sat on the floor and gently pulled her onto my lap. She curled up and burrowed her face. I began petting her, she began purring. While filling out the paperwork another employee thanked me and began crying. She told me Skylar was adopted as a kitten. Recently her guardian passed away. She was returned to the shelter and lived in a cage for nearly 4 months. That's when I knew fate brought us together.

The Vet teased me for picking out a healthy one and gave me her first exam for free for adopting an older cat. I am slowly introducing her to toys, eventually people. I am trying to get her to scratch her scratching post or pad instead of my carpet. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Susan
Tampa, FL

Lukey the Wonder Cat

The first time I met Lukey, I was working in a veterinary clinic and he was one of the long-term residents in the adoption program. At that point he had been in the clinic for six months and had been adopted once, only to be brought back a day later due to his sensitive stomach. He was a year old and had spent his first winter outside as a stray, and he had the scars to prove it. His ear was buckled and his paws had scarring from frostbite, and one of his canine teeth was broken.

I fell in love with Lukey on the spot, but believed that an adorable little squirt like him would be adopted quickly, since I already had two dogs and a cat of my own. Whenever I was running around the back of the clinic in the evening, it became commonplace for Lukey to be tossed around my neck like a scarf as I did tests and checked on patients. Even back then, he was mischievous and had quite a reputation as the local 'trouble maker'. If he could get out of his kennel, Lukey would get out and go for a stroll!

Days became weeks became months and eventually the time came when a deadline was set: If Lukey wasn't adopted by the end of the week, he would be euthanized. Needless to say, he came home with me that night, and he came into our life like a 4 lbs wrecking ball. Our older cat went on strike in the basement, the dogs were tormented endlessly, and Lukey proved just HOW mischievous he could really be, but eventually we made it work.

Two years later, he's still a tiny wrecking ball. He lives to pester our other cat, who has given up on trying to put him in his place, and we've found Lukey in some downright bizarre places throughout the house. He sleeps on the dogs and loves carrot cake more than life itself, but not a day goes by that I'm not grateful that I gave him a chance.

Sarah Hutchings
Brigus, NL, Canada

An Unexpected Delivery: Dexter

My husband and I discovered a small colony of feral cats living near our garage apartment soon after we moved in. Being animal lovers, and already having two cats, we befriended them and kept food out for them. One of them, a beat-up female with a useless tail who we called Butternut, became very friendly with us, eventually even coming inside the apartment.

One night, a few weeks before we moved out, there was a huge storm, and the noise woke me up. I went out to the couch to get comfortable, but was soon disturbed by another noise. I opened the front door, and there was a tiny kitten on the doorstep. Butternut was sitting behind her, looking up at me. The kitten was still too small to walk, so I picked her up gently and put her in a small box with a soft towel next to the couch. Butternut went back out into the storm. A couple of hours later, I heard another sound, and opened the door to find an orange furball on the doorstep. I scooped him up and put him in the box with his sister. He was feisty; although he couldn't even stand up or walk, he spat at me and tried to look as menacing as a mango-sized animal can look. Butternut came back later to nurse the kittens, then left again. She did this for over a week as we prepared to move. On the day of our move, we had a painful choice to make. We couldn't take all three. We tried putting the kittens outside, but Butternut brought them back in again. Finally, she allowed the female to be outside, but she would not allow the male to leave the apartment. We decided to take him with us.

We gave him kitten formula and he grew quickly. He is still feisty and has become a huge, fluffy boy who is healthy and loves to play with the other cats. We have never regretted our accidental rescue boy, Dexter. Talk about a special delivery!

Jennifer
Columbia, SC

The Story of Rainy May

There is a barn on our property that I was walking by when I heard a kitten cry. There are many cats in the area and I figured one of them had a litter of kittens in the barn. I didn’t think much about it until I walked back by the barn and heard the cry, but more frantic. I climbed into the loft and found one lonely kitten….yet I was reluctant to take it. I didn’t know if mom might have been in the process of moving them. I waited to near dark and it was getting cold. I couldn’t take it any longer I didn’t know if the mom abandoned this one for some reason. I already had 12 cats that had been dropped off on my property and was in the process of having them fixed and released, I didn’t need another mouth to feed, but I knew she wouldn’t make it without me. This little pitiful thing was no bigger than my hand and didn’t even have its eyes open. I had bought milk/bottle in case the mom hadn’t come back…and she didn't. So I scooped the little thing up, took her in side and got her a bottle ready. The struggle was real…she hated the bottle and fought me tooth and claw every time I fed her, which was every 2 hrs. She would bite and claw the bottle and try chewing the nipples off. I had to learn quickly how to make a little kitten go poo, which was not fun!! I had every intention of finding her a good home. That good home ended up being mine. After bottle feeding my little Rainy May I just couldn’t let her go…fast forward 4 yrs. and I wouldn’t take anything for her. I didn’t really find her, she found me and I’m so very glad she did. She is now a indoor cat, and she makes me laugh at least 10 times a day. It was exhausting in the beginning, but oh how worth every minute of it she is. I love my Rainy May!

Heather
Kingsport, TN

Our Little Boy Beechwood

http://youtu.be/4qLQtOF7P1Y

It's funny how you never know the capacity of your heart to love a pet until that moment when they find you...

My husband and I are like most working couples. We commute to work in New York...we commute home...we eat, we sleep and do pretty much the same routine day after day... We don't have pets less fish are considered and I've never had a cat in my life. But one morning, there he was! Some stupid, heartless person dumped him within prickly bushes in front of our office. What I found even more disturbing was the fact that people were moving away trying to avoid him!!! How cruel have we become!!! I supposed they couldn't see the life past his dirty exterior... For these people, he was already dead and not worth getting their clothes dirty, so sad. I know in my heart that all he probably wanted was for someone to take the pain, the cold, the hunger away, and that is exactly what my husband and I did. While in the process of carefully pulling him out, some people actually had the look of disgust! What the heck!!! Still makes me cry to this day...

Anyway, to cut the long story short, our little boy had a long road to recovery and lost his paralyzed tail in the process. Evidence of abuse may be the culprit with his tail which explains why he is terrified of children. But all that is in the past now. We love our little boy and named him Beechwood, after the street where he patiently and bravely waited for us to find him.

Please check out his short video on YouTube to see his early progress in a nutshell...

Thank You All Rescue Angels!!!

Dini G
Ridgefield, CT
Beware of Dog Kisses Indoor/Outdoor Mat
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