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This year my granddaughter, Alex, turned 12. A few months back, we talked about what she wanted for presents. Most girls her age want the latest and greatest electronic gadget or an article of expensive clothing. Not Alex. Instead of asking for presents, she asked for donations to a local animal shelter. This is the same animal shelter where she and I had gone to adopt a cat a few years back. She also sold her hand made drawings of animals and bracelets to school friends, family members and other acquaintances to raise funds. On her birthday, we drove to the shelter where she presented the money. She received cuddles and kisses from the fur babies. Alex, you did a really good thing. We are proud of you.
One Saturday morning I got out of bed and was watching the news. Now this is rather strange because for work I'm up at o dark 30 so I was sitting here wondering why I was awake and watching the news. The big news of the day was that the Montgomery County Animal Shelter was having a clear the shelter day which meant that all fees were waived. The newscaster kept saying to be prepared to take your forever friend home. It had been 8 years since I had a cat and thought that I would never have another. My beloved Symca (a Manx) had been with me 17 years before I had to let him go. I thought that I would never be able to love another guy again. This day it was like my heart was going to jump out of my chest and I knew that the time was right but I was not going to just take any cat home. I knew that if I were to have another cat, we would both have to connect. The people at the shelter kept showing me adult cats but none of them spoke to me. I asked to see the kittens, as I stood there, I noticed that a little black cat sat in his cage looking really sad, his eyes were running and he wouldn't interact with anyone. After everyone left, I walked over to the cage and said hey buddy, he lifted his head and meowed at me, he had chosen me and once again my heart was not my own. He was 3 months old then and now he is 1 year and 7 months. Here he is enjoying the eagle cam. I suffer from PTSD and he has saved me more than I have saved him.
Rescuing Charlotte is not really how this story goes. When she came into our lives at 6 weeks of age as a foster kitten we had no idea how to help her. With only two back legs, a strong, stout tail, and a voracious appetite "Pretty," as she had been called originally by the shelter, needed a lot of help.
"Pretty" needed to be entertained and in motion continuously as she was grossly overweight by the time the shelter and our family received her. "Pretty" needed to exercise often and learn how to strengthen up her back legs, as well as get her rudder moving. She began by chasing string that we would dangle in front of her.
"Pretty" needed to find her kitten instincts of digging in the litter box. Without front paws this task was a hurdle. Litter training took several weeks but once we paired her up with our other kitten the two quickly mirrored each other. Initially, "Pretty" sat in the litter like a child playing in a sandbox. She did this for several days until one weekend she graduated to a litter trained 3 month old kitten.
Having been rescued in the Charlotte area my family felt it most appropriate to change this beautiful angel's name to "Charlotte" as she personified all great things the people in the region provide. Having an animal with no arms, who so greatly relies upon arms from birth is truly a miracle. Our foster kitten Charlotte highlights that each day, though it may be tough, none of us know how it will play out. There are no certainties but all attempts and efforts are worth it. The rescue of Charlotte could never have happened without the shelter and their staff, the vet and his amazing staff, and all who donated to helping bring Charlotte out of her previous situation.
Penni came into the shelter I volunteer at. She was severely emaciated weighing only 12 pounds and had a large wound on her side only to find out later the wound was due to her being lite on fire. She had many medical issues and we were advised she would not be able to be put up for adoption so they were going to look for a rescue for her. I told my husband about her and he said to let them know we would take her so we adopted her. We took her to our vet who told us she was extremely ill and blind and was not sure if she would survive. With the help of our fabulous vet 10 months later we have a healthy happy little girl. Even with all of the challenges Penni has had to endure she is such a love and loves her brother and 2 sisters. We are so grateful she came into our lives we have learned a lot from Penni and have come to realize that animals with special needs are great and we will open our home to more special needs dogs.
I was working at a barn where someone had dropped off a very teeny and very pregnant cat. She was super sweet but disappeared almost as quickly as she had been dropped off, so we assumed she was somewhere giving birth and hiding her kittens. For a few weeks we would see her off and on, slinking around the barn but never giving up a clue to where the kittens were. One day we noticed no one had seen her in over a week and the barn manager "scoffed" and said it was "Just as well, because if he ever found those kittens, they were going straight into a burlap sack and into the river." I was disappointed to hear this and hoped for a better outcome.
A few days later, I was walking by the chicken coop when I heard these tiny meows coming from inside the wall. BINGO! The kittens! I spent over an hour trying to catch these tiny kittens that would tentatively poke their heads out only to duck back into the wall, but persistence paid off. Here were 2 teeny ~6 week old balls of fluff. Since I knew their potential fate, I whisked them away to my house where I told my husband "I dont know what I am going to do with them, but I couldnt let them die in the river."
Fast forward one year, we kept both kittens, Rhino and Daisy, brother and sister, partners in crime and my snuggle buddies. Rhino has a personality as big as his namesake and Daisy is sweet and gentle. I sometimes wonder if I had not been the one to find them that day, would they really have been tossed in the river? I'm just glad we will never know that answer.
Last year when I walked outside, I heard sounds coming from the opposite side of the house. So I walked across the yard to check it out. Sitting under the downspout in a perfect row were four little blue-eyed kittens looking up at me! Their mother had kept them under our front porch.
I left them where they were because I figured their mother may come back. I went inside and called the local no-kill shelter. As I was sitting inside, I could hear something going on by my porch and came out to find my neighbor putting them in a box! She said the mother had abandoned them so she was taking them to the local shelter. I knew they'd be euthanized there because they were too young to adopt. They just don't have the resources there to deal with kittens that young. So even though I wasn't ready to care for them or to take them to the no-kill shelter yet, I told her I'd take care of them and brought them into my house.
I had no idea what I was doing or how old they actually were, but I put them in a bathroom, bought kitten food, made up a little litter box, and put water out for them. They ate like they hadn't been fed for days! I took them to the vet, and she kept putting them in her pockets, saying they were hers, then gave them a clean bill of health. They stayed at my house for a couple of weeks until the vet had room. Together we found homes for all of them.
And together with the no-kill shelter, we trapped the mama, had her spayed, and let her go again.
We really didn't need another dog. We had rescued three pitbull mixes and through a lot of patience and love had achieved a calm and peaceful household. Then it happened. On a Facebook page we saw an 11 month old puppy that had been found on the streets of Manhattan. She was about to be put on the dreaded "list". We kept checking the post certain that someone would snatch her up. After two anxious days we inquired about her status. We just couldn't get that face out of our minds. The rescue contacted us within five minutes. They were desperate for someone to adopt her. Before we knew it, we were meeting Jenna in a parking lot two hours from home. It was very evident she had not had any boundaries or training. Our other dogs were very patient and tolerated her high energy and crazy antics. Patience and consistent training has transformed this little girl into a treasured member of the family. Even though we didn't need another dog, we believe it was meant to be.
Meet Capt Jack. As a puppy-beyond adorable. I knew he was our next dog. As most rescue stories start, it wasn't a happy one. Dumped on a cold country rd at nite in Dec., 6 - 8 weeks old. Country vet, whose wife happened 2b hubby's high school classmate, took him in. She posted pictures, hoping to find his 4ever home. Hubby saw the pics &I cajoled that we could foster. He agreed to foster, but I knew we were his 4ever home and the "fostering" was a ruse. We went to meet Capt w/our other rescue pup Chloe, whose start was just as rough.
Chloe & Capt BFFs instantly. Loading Capt in the car, my husband realized this was forever-not foster. The vet's wife, thrilled he was ours, she saw red flags w/him & was she right! Had challenges galore. Capt was very different from our 5 previous rescues. He was scared of men, men &the dark, strangers, the vet. Has fear aggression. Curious about everything and afraid of it all. Lunges at people $ tries to nip. Bullies around the house & terrorizes our 2cats. Mortal enemies are critters, he chases & on occasion catches. He's expensive w/double knee surgeries. Ripped toenails so badly, needs vet visit, to stop bleeding, snip & wrap foot. He's on Prozac. Doped for vet appts. Incredibly stinky gas. Can't handle temperature extremes. Lays on air conditioning & in front of furnace wall vents. Survived the great "XmasTree Massacre of 2012." Pulled glass bulbs off tree and chewed them. Littered the room w/glass shards. Hates delivery peeps.Battled neighbor's cat ended in defeat & left Capt a bloody mess.He's cute but not cuddly, a terrible combo. People always want to pet him. Not the brightest bulb on the tree, but sure is the cutest. Cute can get you far.
On top of all that & his many other quirks--we love him fiercely. Our vet has said time & again, Capt Jack is lucky to have us. Most other peeps would have given up & likely euthanized him. Capt Jack long may he reign!
Back in 2001, a coworker spotted a kitten peering out from under a juniper bush behind our office building. After some investigation we determined there was a litter of kittens under there and after watching all day, didn't see a mother return. We left food for them every morning for the week it took us to locate a cage to trap them with. It took 3 cans of anchovies and most of the day but 1 by 1 we caught 6 kittens. None of them were very happy to be handled and there was a lot of hissing and spitting as they were transferred to a carrier. A quick trip to the vet the next morning revealed that they were about 9 weeks old and healthy. They were adopted by myself and 3 other coworkers so none of them wound up at a shelter. I took Smokey (the first and smallest) and Bandit (the last and biggest) home with me. I was worried that they would stay feral and unfriendly but it didn't take them long to figure out how lucky they were to be found. Purring, play-time and lap cuddles became a daily routine. They've been great companions for the last 15 years & I cherish every day I get with them!
Madalaine adopted us and came to us with babies on board, yesterday morning she delievered five very healthy, very feisty kittens. Momma and babies are all doing well. We had to intervene with the thrid little one as she was not breathing when momma got the sack off, with a little help she quickly came to life and is the most rambunctious of the lot and the most vocal. Momma has been very good with her babies and seems to trust me enough to let me help when necessary. I take great comfort knowing this is the last litter she will have to deliever and that she nor any of her babies will ever have to worry about a safe place to sleep or food for their bellies.