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Annie's Gift

Seven months after moving our four cats to our new country home, our gorgeous long-haired tortie "wild child" Annabella didn't return home one night. We found her dead by the side of the winding road below our property the next morning. Though she weighed only five pounds, Annie reigned Alpha over her litter mate Oliver and her adopted feline brothers Gypsy and Harry. We were all inconsolable and lost when she died. Ten months later I found a young white cat by the same bend in the road where we'd found Annie that horrible morning. He'd been sitting there for three days; in the darkness I'd thought he was an opossum. When I realized it was a cat I stopped with food and a carrier, but I didn't need the carrier- I just picked that smelly, skinny creature up in my arms and he purred on my lap in the car. My husband was home sick with a cold. When I introduced them, the cat immediately curled up on Maz's chest, laid his head back on hubbie's shoulder, put his paw on his cheek and started purring like mad. That sealed the deal. We named him Roamin' Catlett after Catlett Mountain Road where Annabella died and where she sent our new friend to ease our hearts. Oliver was the first to bond with Roamin, and taught him to watch over me while I sleep. Roamin has been my constant companion for six years, even waiting outside the shower and coming in to join me the instant I turn the water off. My husband sings "Colleen had a little cat, his fur was white as snow..." (you know the rest). Though we still miss our Bella, we started to heal the moment Roamin joined our family.

Colleen Bauer
Front Royal, VA

Sisters Live and Love

Having “outside” kitties is common place on our 10 acre property since Suzie, a feral Maltese, adopted me. I earned her friendship by feeding her and providing a warm sleeping box. Years later and several litters, one of her offspring, Nilla produced three kittens near winter but wouldn’t feed them. I discovered two under one side of the porch and later found 1 more on the other side. The air was chilled and the one died the next day even after trying to save it. The two gray and yellow babies left, got warmth, bottle fed and care every 2 hours for about 4 weeks! Feedings stretched to 3-4 hours and FINALLY weaned. My hubby and I really didn’t want more inside kitties. But watching these two, Bear and Liddle, grow and survive hit a soft spot in “our” hearts. Bear had a big head, I thought she was a he and Liddle was tiny and small. We found an adoptee for “both“, since they did everything together, even using the kitty litter! At the last moment, we found we couldn’t let them go. “Bearry”, (I had to make her name a bit more feminine), a girl, is now smaller than Liddle, who is more energetic and bigger than Bearry. At 5 months, they still do lots together, even sometimes get in the litter box together! We laugh so much at their antics and get so much love from them. They follow me, their “Grandma”, everywhere, even to the bathroom. When I take a bath and close the door, they’re right there outside the door when I get out. (I’m not ready to fish them out of the tub yet.) - Stray Rescue of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA, my area vote for best shelter!

Shirley Crowell
Collinsville, IL


Kesha came into our life in May 1998. Her bio read: THROW YOUR FACECLOTH AWAY. Kesha was a beautiful brindle Boxer/Collie mix. At 6 years old, she had already been in three homes. My mind was made up. Ours would be her last. When we asked why she had been returned to the shelter again, the staff said she had bitten one of the owners when he had threatened his wife with a baseball bat. A dog willing to protect you. GREAT!! I was sold. When the door to Kesha's kennel opened, she headed straight towards me to "wash my face".

The introduction with our other dog, Brandy, went pretty well at the shelter. It was another story when we got home. A dominant male/a dominant female combination was not a good mix. We were new owners not knowing the correct way to blend this new "family". Whenever you raised your voice, Kesha came charging in a frenzy. I cannot imagine what her previous life was like. Our vet felt she had an edge and didn't trust her. Many people felt we shouldn't keep her. How could we give up on her too? I decided to find a good trainer to work with Kesha and I.

With training and time, Kesha became a different dog. People couldn't believe it. Even the naysayers had to take a second look. When we were excited about "company" coming, so was she. Kesha was very protective of our property when she was in the yard. She would not let anyone "cross the line" until we said OK. All our rescues have a story, but Kesha just needed someone to give her a chance. Through it all she was always a "great kisser". Kesha passed suddenly 6 years later. I miss her still.

Beverly A. Brewer
Northfield, NH

Saving Grace

A mother cat and 3 kittens ended up in my boyfriend's yard, so he started putting food and water out for them. After a few days of gaining some trust, we managed to get the babies into the house, but had to use a trap for the mother who seemed quite feral. Our intention was to get them to a shelter where they would be safe and find homes. After a couple of hours, we took a chance and let mother out in a secure room and realised how feral she was NOT. We also found how very ill she was because her mammaries had become infected and the wounds abscessed. She was within hours of dying when we took her to the vet the next morning.

After months of treatment, medications, 2 surgeries, and 2 dozen stitches, Grace went from less than 5 pounds of matted fur to a healthy, happy, wonderful companion of 11 pounds! As for the boys- all 3 strong, handsome, and huge... PURcival and FURdinand went to a loving home together with a family friend, and Grace and BartholeMEW stayed with us. We are so grateful to have found them when we did, and to our amazing veterinary doctors and staff for saving Grace.

(Pictured: Grace 6 months after finding her, 3 months after medical release.)

Meg M.
St. Petersburg, FL

Gus Gus

GusGus was found by my mother in a pouring rain in the parking lot of our local high school. She was no more than four weeks old - starving - freezing. Luring her out from under a pickup truck with bits of a Fig Newton, Mom was able to grab her and stuff her inside her sweater. When we got Gus home, she was eager to eat, but not eager to cuddle. She had a jaw infection (which ultimately resulted in an adorable overbite) and an eye infection (which still weeps, but doesn't give her any problems). After months of love and lots of food, she's a playful, silly, vocal, super-loveable cat. She appears to still be a kitten because the malnutrition stunted her growth, but she's the "Court Jester" at our house - always making you laugh. She's #8 in our rescued group of cats and we love her dearly.

The Robicheaux Family
Gibson County, IN

Charlie the runaway dog

A few years ago Charlie got out of my sister’s back yard. His collar hung on the broken fence. My sister did not give up looking for her beloved dog. She put up flyers, offered rewards and searched the neighborhood for 6 months. Beating all odds, a kind woman found him in the back of a bowling alley. He was dirty and skinny but in good shape. Years later Charlie is happy to be home with his mommy and daddy and not roaming around afraid and hungry. Another good reason to have your dogs and cats chipped. My sister never gave up looking for Charlie, and as you can see by his face he’s happy she didn’t!!

Yvonne Graf
Hastings, MN

Best friends

We found Ralph, who was approx. 8 weeks old at the time, abandoned in a box in a parking lot during a winter storm, we adopted Maxx as a kitten from a local rescue. They immediately became the best of friends. Since then, we have fostered kittens for our local shelter where I volunteer and have adopted two more kitty siblings. They bring such joy to our family and we love them all.

Teri Rocco
Philadelphia, PA

Partners in Crime (Stealing Hearts)

We found Bali 2 years ago as a kitten on the streets. Then Andy came along a few months ago. He was almost put down because he was born in Oct and the shelter couldn't adopt him out so close to Halloween. Luckily the G.A. Rescue foundation stepped in and gave him some extra time so that he could find us. Bali and Andy are like peas in a pod now. Completely inseparable, happy, and loved. Please adopt shelter animals!

Barbara R.
Los Angeles, CA

Meet our little golden Nugget

We saw Nugget's picture on Petfinder and knew we wanted to see if he would be a good companion for our other little rescue, Sassy, as she had just lost her "big brother" Bear due to old age. Sassy and Nugget seemed to do well together, and although he seemed rather shy, we brought him home, where he just blossomed within hours! It was as if he knew he had been brought into his forever home. He is such a cuddler, he loves to sleep under a blanket, preferably ours, adores squeaky toys (the louder the better!) and will jump and play fetch either with one of us or by himself! He is so full of love we can't imagine how anyone could let this little bundle become a stray, which is how he was found by the animal rescue center. This is our third rescue, and we will never adopt any other way. They are so appreciative of the love they receive, and give so much in return.

D. Davis
Daphne, AL

A Piece of My Heart

TeTe (pronounced taytay) was a scrawny little guy, maybe six months old, when he walked up to me in the parking lot of a strip mall in the NC mountains. When I picked him up, he reached his little arms out to me, grabbed the sides of my head and pulled himself to me, burying his face in my neck. I said, "Let's go home, little one." I knew I could not leave him there, and I truly felt like I had found a piece of my own heart. From that time on, he loved to sit in the crook of my arm, front paws on my shoulder; it was his favorite view of the world, as well as mine. During our seventeen years together, he beat cancer, kidney failure, and lived with a heart murmur, finally succumbing to heart failure in 2006. His affection for me was matched only by mine for him; we were meant to be together. The best day of my life was the day we found each other. A piece of my heart is in Heaven now, waiting for me.

Sunny Boone
Harrisburg, NC
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