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Oscar's no grouch

A decade ago, my brother rescued a litter of kittens from an apartment complex for which he supplied corporate rental furnishings. I agreed to take one of the kittens, a little calico tabby no more than four weeks old. Tess was a mess from the beginning and worried the stew out of my older cat, Harry. Nevertheless, they slowly bonded.

Harry, a free spirit who had literally adopted me a couple of years earlier, met an untimely end just about 18 months after Tess came to live with us. Several months later, I decided Tess needed another companion to keep her company, especially during frequent trips I took for business travel.

I visited the local shelter and there was no shortage of kittens. One – an oddly colored black-and-gray male about six weeks old, was clinging to the door of his cage and calling to me as I walked by. He made no bones about it – he wanted out of the cage and to go home with someone that instant. The shelter staff told me he'd been brought in a week earlier with his litter mates, all of whom had by then been adopted. It was the typical story and fate of black cats.

I went home that day to give myself some time before making any commitment, thinking surely that little kitten would be adopted soon. I decided the next day to go on back to the shelter and see if he was still there. He was. And still very anxious to go home with me.

He soon grew out of that "gray cowl" that covered his head and into a 20-pound, very handsome cat. A little portly, but quite handsome.

Eight years later, Oscar and Tess are bonded pair who are the best companions. Their personalities could not be more different – Oscar is good-natured, goofy and a bit of scaredy cat – but they get along like siblings. And they rule the house, as it should be.

Layne
Madison, MS

From Garbage to Pampered

We named her Lucky. It was a “2fer” name. One 32 degree morning here in an upper desert wash near our son’s home, he and our daughter-in-law saved a tiny toy Chihuahua from an attack. She was being hunted down by a huge cat and their sheltie barked it away. They called us, knowing we were very much wanting to rescue a pup after the hard loss of our beloved Goldie mix.

It was love at first sight! This tiny 4-1/2 pound puppy that someone literally threw away to either freeze or be eaten cuddled into my neck and kissed me. How could anyone’s heart not melt? How horrible a person was this who tossed her as if she were yesterday’s garbage?

We took her to the vet-her nails were too long, her fur a bit sticky and we wanted to make sure no one was “missing” her. No collar, no chip and an infection. We cleaned her up, gave her meds, held her and told her that from now on she’d have all the love she deserved, all the food she needed and never ever would she be for want again.

Lucky. We were just as lucky to have our son and daughter in the right place at the right time to adopt her and boy did she find just the right home to welcome her into their lives. Today, she has us, her tabby brother who adores her and the love of 4 grandchildren who think she’s the cutest girl in the world.

Someone’s trash truly turned out to be our treasure.

Carine
New River, AZ

Hal, The Cat Who Survived A Blizzard

Hal entered Debbi and Michael Strauss’ yard before the storm on Saturday, February 2016. They noticed their two dogs sitting under a tree looking up. On Sunday, the dogs sat under the same tree. Monday morning found them in the same spot doing the same thing. This time, Mike went out and looked up. Hal was sitting on a stub of a branch; he didn’t move. They called the police, then the fire department. Monday night the fire department came with their hook and ladder, but Hal got so scared he climbed another 50 feet up the tree.

On Tuesday night, Mike heard Hal crying. He hadn’t been down in 4 days, with nothing to eat or drink, and limited sleep. Completely frustrated and terribly worried, Mike read that some cats are “frozen” in trees because to descend they have to climb down backwards. Having called animal control, they assured Mike that he’d eventually come down – but Mike wasn’t going to wait. He found Joe at the Autumn Tree Service in Emerson. Joe hoisted himself holding a small cat carrier. He made his way to Hal, and after 25 minutes, he was able to bring him down.

Mike made many calls to rescue groups to find more help for Hal. But none could help. Then he called Caring About The Strays in NJ (C.A.T.S.) As soon as they heard that Hal had been in a tree during the blizzard they did not hesitate to help. C.A.T.S. asked Mike if he could bring the cat to Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital for medical help. Hal was examined, medically treated, and neutered. The Strauss’ asked us to name him Hal in memory of a grandfather. He was then picked up by C.A.T.S. foster Susan Franco and her daughter Lauren.

How he made it through a blizzard, 25 inches of snow, and over 4 days up a tree is amazing; he’s got a will to survive. Hal needs a forever home of his own where someone very special who will care for him the rest of his life.

Caring About The Strays
Westwood, NJ

Angel Sent by God

I found Angel around the end of July 2014. We'd just lost my husband's black kitty Mischief to lymphoma and were discussing adopting a new kitty from a local shelter--my husband wanted me to pick it out this time because it'd been longer since my own kitty had passed; I decided I wanted a white kitten, something I hadn't had for ages. So one night not long after we had buried Mischief, while on my computer, I started hearing plaintive mews from out in my side yard. We have lots of visiting strays and one neighbor with his own cats, so I initially tuned it out. Some 20 minutes later, I realized the mewing was getting more distressed sounding, so I grabbed an umbrella and went out in the pouring rain to see if a kitten was stuck somewhere. What I found was a tiny, white kitten, no more than 3-4 weeks old, face-down in the wet grass, seemingly unable to get up, its feral mother sitting about 5 feet away looking completely detached and unconcerned. I picked up the kitten (because, seriously, what else could I do?) and took it inside, where my husband was waiting with a towel, and wrapped it up, rubbing it dry and keeping it held in my arms until it quieted down and fell asleep.

Later, I discovered it was a female; I bottle-fed her, weaned her and litter-box-trained her. She's now used to being petted whenever she eats, is very purry and has no health problems, other than being overweight from me erring on the side of caution trying to be sure she got enough to eat after weaning. I don't think it's a coincidence that she is exactly the type of cat I was considering getting from the shelter, because this is the second time we have had a cat "sent" to us by God (yes, even my agnostic husband believes that). Proof of that is the fact that the little played-leg kitten face-down in the grass had fallen right in front of Mischief's grave!

She's 1.5 years old here.

Gamin Davis
Springdale, AR

My Rescue Cat

My mom needed to get her pet friendly carpet cleaning shampoo, and all of the local stores were sold out. I suggested trying the pet store since I had seen it there before. My sister and I went inside to find the cleaner, but we also ended up looking at the animals who were up for adoption. There was a cat named Boo whose adoption price had been marked down to $10. He looked like he had given up as I watched him barely raise his head when we walked past. When we checked out, my sister asked why Boo’s adoption price was so low. He had been transferred to the store from the local animal shelter in hopes of giving him more time to be adopted. Boo’s time was almost up, and the shelter would take him back, label him “unadoptable,” and he would be euthanized. My boyfriend and I had been talking about adopting a second cat, so I said I would talk to him about coming back to get Boo. My sister and I barely backed out of the parking space before I told her to stop. I went back inside and adopted Boo. They didn’t say much about his previous experience other than he was skittish and had a tendency to bite as a defense mechanism from prior abuse. I changed his name to Phillip to try and give him a new chance at life. For the first few days, all he did was sleep. Then, he made a tremendous turnaround and started showing his true personality. Nearly two years later, he is full of life and personality! He follows me around our apartment, love treats, chirps at birds outside, and holds a special place in my heart. I have no doubt that I was meant to be at that pet store at that moment! I cannot begin to imagine what his first 2 1/2 years of life were like before I met him, but I make sure he knows he is loved and will be well taken care of for the rest of his life.

Anonymous
Wabash, IN

The cat who Stitched my heart

I had recently moved back to my home town. I was battling depression as I was struggling to get settled into a new life with my two cats. A neighbour in my building, had invited me over for coffee to see her new kitten. She had recently lost one of her two senior cats. The cat had escaped out of the apartment building while she had gone to work. She had found a little tabby kitten who was a bundle of energy and mischief. I met this little fur ball and quite liked him. He came up to me claimed me as I sat on her couch. A few days later I had found the neighbour's cat in the alley.

Upon realizing she had her beloved cat back, the neighbour decided she didn't need the kitten anymore and wanted to throw out the tabby kitten in the alley. I insisted that I take him. I knew nothing about the little guy other than he was fuzzy and cute. She happily gave me the cat who I would name Stitch after the Disney movie character. He was little, looking for a home and a family and I was broken. Ohana applied since none were left behind. The night I brought Stitch home, he wolfed down all the food he could muster, and proclaimed the place his own. He later curled up in the crook of my neck when it was time to sleep, and purred the entire night. He always falls asleep with his paw on my hand. He didn't bat an eye when it came to my two other cats. They took to him after two weeks and taught him how to cat. Ten years and three major depressions later, we are and still Ohana.

Karen
Edmonton, AB, Canada

When 2 hearts and 8 paws saved my life

It's been almost 6 years since my father passed away. I was so sad and depressed, and didn't quite know what to do. Later that month, I saw a Facebook post about 2 cats, sisters, needing a new home. Something about that photo struck a cord, deep inside me. Black cats get a bad wrap, but when I met them, I immediately fell in love, and never questioned they were meant to be mine. I've never owned cats before, and didn't know what I was in for. Dogs, sure, but never cats. I asked my friends who had cats, and they were so supportive with tips and best practices. I brought these 2 girls home, and by the 2nd night in my home, they were purring up against me, and sleeping on my bed. It's been the best love I've ever known. If anyone is to be in my life, they must love my girls, and my girls must love them. They are my world, and I hope I am theirs. I may have rescued them, but in truth, they ABSOLUTELY rescued me. They gave me unconditional love when I needed it most, and I would go to the ends of the Earth for them. Welcome to my place, the Liz Carlton, a "4 Paw" resort.

Liz
Bakersfield, CA

A Black Cat named Cream

Until now I wonder what this sweet baby had gone through. Her whole body especially her belly hurts with the slightest touch. Scared of broom or any long object we're holding, she'll cringed like we'll hit her with it or something. Front declawed and fixed, so at 1 point in her life she must have had a home. Now, such a big change. She purrs and rubs on you to death. She'll wake my daughter up for school, the same time every morning including weekends :p She'll get worried if our other cat gets up on the fence.

You can see the difference between the cat that's been out and scared for her life compared to our one that's been pampered like a baby. She's always still cautious and lets us carry her now. We try to make her understand that nobody is going to kick her or hit her anymore and that she doesn't have to hide ever again. Our Male Cat loves her, his name is Cheese. Now we have Cream and Cheese!

Picture on top is Cream now. Bottom is when we just got her.

Tina
Chicago, IL

The Cat Who Fell Out Of The Tree

My husband, Michael, and I lived in a small apartment complex when we first got together. One day in the late fall, we came home from grocery shopping and noticed movement in the small dogwood tree in the side yard of our building. Suddenly, out from the branches fell a solid black cat. He then rushed over to us and did the famous "flop" right at our feet.

Well, that was it for me. However, Michael insisted that since we already had a dog and a cat we couldn't take in any more animals. So all during that autumn I left food and water out for the stray, and I would pet him whenever I went outside. The weather got colder and colder, and a couple of days before Christmas it actually started snowing. I came in from work and before I could get anything out, Michael grumbled, "Get the carrier, let's take him to the vet to make sure he's healthy". And that was how we first met Simon.

Simon lived to be about 24 years old. We just had to let him go a couple of weeks ago due to extreme old age and mini strokes. But he was loved and pampered every day he was with us, and we will miss him for the rest of our lives.

Kemin McCutchen
Atlanta, GA

Vanimandor the healer she saved me

in 2006 I lost my 4 cats in a fire, needless to say I was devastated, then a co worker mentionned she had a friend given away kittens, it had been about a month but figured lets go see. so I went and saw this frisky litttle lady clawing and full of energy. I decided she was the one for me. so I took her home, and she hated car rides she clawed at the box like crazy. she helped me get over my loses. Together we went through many towns cause of my work, she enjoyed walk outside on her arness, climbing fences and sleepin on the back rest of my chair. then on feb 28th 2016 she had an epilepsy attack, after a while she seemed fine, so I took care to stay with her and be there in need, then march 2nd she went over the rainbow bridge in my arms knowing I will always love her and keep a special place in my heart for her, Vani you brother Jack, Pika and sister Tati and Lady will be waithing for you over the bridge you all in my heart keep an eye on me

Alain Carrier
sherbrooke, QC, Canada
Cozy Kitties Grande Ceramic Mug
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