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Patience pays off

I wanted to be prepared for my first cat - just a quick trip to Petsmart to pick up a few basics before I started looking at shelters. They were having a rescue event and a grey fluffball named Nelda with beautiful green eyes caught my attention. She stayed quietly in my lap while I peppered her foster mother with questions and learned that she was about 5-6 years old, and she'd been on the streets for a few years. She'd given birth in this woman's mother's garage and all of her kittens (including her foster baby) had been adopted long ago. Nelda had been making the adoption circuit for two years. She'd been adopted and given back for "talking too much". I made an emotional, impulsive decision and decided that she would be my cat.

The next morning, awaking to a pee puddle in my bed and stepping bare-footed into the poo on the rug, I thought I'd made a horrible mistake. I was in tears. But I held out. She was skittish and clever, souvenirs from her time on the streets. She purred when she approached me and loved cheek scratches,. It took 6 months to be able to pick her up. Gradually we made progress. One night I woke to find her curled at the foot of my bed. After a year she'd regularly curl up by my shoulder at night. 16 months after adoption she hopped up into my lap for the first time and curled up, contentedly purring and turning over to show her fluffy belly. I felt like she had accepted me fully as her Person and she has been my chatty, affectionate, playful companion ever since. She tolerates my kisses between her ears, makes me laugh with her saucer-wide eyes while playing Stalk-and-Pounce, and always has a sassy comment that brings a smile to my face no matter how bad my day at work was.

I like to think that she was patiently waiting for me, in those years in foster care.

I aim to make sure that patience was justified.

Lauren
Hoston, TX

Mamma's Boy

I was ready to add a kitty to my household and was looking for a red tabby male. The local pet store had one in their adoption center so I went to look. The red tabby completely ignored me no matter how much I tried to get his attention. In the cage next to him was a 4 month old blue tabby medium long hair baby boy. Not what I was looking for but I asked to hold him. When the sales person handed him to me this little guy wrapped his arms around my neck and started purring. That was it, he stole my heart. After deciding to adopt this guy I tried to hand him back to the sales person. Nope, he didn't want any part of that. He hissed at her and swatted her hands away then wrapped his arms around my neck and held on tight. Of course I took him home.

I named him Winston and he quickly bonded with my 2 small dogs. He fit perfectly with us. But true to his actions at the pet store he wanted nothing to do with anyone else. I had to lock him out of the bedroom when my daughter came to visit just so she could see him, hiding under the sofa. When I went out of town for 10 days my friend came over to care for him, the only way she knew Winston was there was having to scoop his box and fill his food bowl. But with me he is a lover, jumps into my arms, demands my attention if I dare to walk by without giving him a pet. He loves to play fetch, yes he brings the toys back for me to throw again. Winston is my boy, we were meant to be together. He wasn't what I was looking for but ended up being everything I could ask for and more.

Cindy
Ordway, CO

Sabrina

They say that we do not find our animals - they find us.

One summer night in July of 2009, I was supposed to pick up my daughter from a party. I needed the address from her, but my cell was dead and I could not find the charger. So I drove to a local park where there were pay phones. While talking to my daughter, I see a beautiful gray tabby cat meowing, and pacing back and forth. At first I thought she was lost, as no way was this not someone's cat.

She sashayed up to me and rubbed up against me. I petted her and it was a mutual case of love at first sight. No way could I leave this beautiful creature in the middle of a park with no food or water. She let me pick her up and put her in my car. Every cat I have ever owned has been petrified of cars. But not this one. She sat on my lap the whole time, with her dainty paws up on the window, looking out with excitement as if to say, "I'm going to a new home!"

The cat hid underneath our furniture for the first week. All you could see were these two huge glowing green eyes glaring at us, so we named her Sabrina, as in the teenage witch. Sabrina's belly was a little chubby, so we figured her to be pregnant. After two months and no kittens, we took her to the vet, and the vet tech comes out into the waiting room, announcing that Sabrina is actually a boy, and she (he) had worms, which is why her (his) belly was swollen. From that day on Sabrina was our he-she cat.

For five years Sabrina was the light of our lives, until she got sick in 2014 and had to leave this world. Two years later we are still going through withdrawals. Her nickname was Bina.

jeannie
ronkonkoma, NY

Chloe & Kirby - The Joy Cats!

Chloe and Kirby are our rescue kitties! Our beautiful Chloe was found in a dumpster in Sherman Oaks, Ca. - Kirby was from a shelter in Santa Monica. We just can't imagine our lives without our adorable little buddies - they bring so much happiness and joy into our lives. They truly rescued us! We had taken so many iphone videos of our cats that our friends started telling us "you need to share with the world." So we are doing just that - making music video parodies with our PAWESOME kitties. We have received so many nice messages letting us know how much fun people have had watching. We belong to a Facebook group - "Rainbow Bridge Cats" - where people who are grieving kitties go for support. We share all of Chloe & Kirby's antics on the page and have received dozens of messages letting us know that they've brought a smile and have helped with the grieving process. We are so proud of our little cuties and would love to share them with your audience! Here's their music video parody of Adele's "Hello" with purrrrfect new lyrics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2nAflFSjv8

Thanks for all you do Jackson!

- Naomi Thorne

Naomi Thorne
Novato, CA

My little Peanut

In December 2015 I finished my shift at work and walked home. When I arrived I received a text from one of my bosses giving me a verbal warning. I didn't really care that I got it because it was only a part time job until I finished my studies (I am studying towards becoming a veterinary surgeon specialising in wildlife and rescue animals). Anyway due to my depression I burst into tears, I couldn't keep myself together. I cried into my boyfriends arms for a good hour before I calmed down. We had been talking about getting a small dog together like a French bulldog, pug or pomeranian so to cheer me up my boyfriend said we will go to the local animal rescue centre and have a look.

When we got to the rescue centre we were surrounded by either really big dogs or very old dogs. Due to living in an apartment we couldn't have big dogs/dogs that will grow above my knee. I was sad that there were no dogs that we could take home with us so I just walked around in circles looking at the other animals. Eventually my boyfriend said it would better to get a cat since our apartment was so small. I knew he really wanted a dog so I was a bit unsure. At this point I knew I wanted a female pet because I'd always had male pets. Well we saw Sharmaine huddled in the corner of her enclosure and I still wasn't sure but we had a few minutes with her and one of the helpers to get to know her. After that we couldn't say no so we adopted her and renamed her Peanut. She is so perfect and she has the exact same personality as my boyfriend and I so she's definitely a perfect fit.

Unfortunately she was brought to the rescue as a stray with her mum and brother, who had to be put down, and she was diagnosed with FIV so we can't have anymore cats. We still adore her even with her FIV.

Meg
South Brisbane, Australia

Teena

One morning we got a call from my mom. Her cousin had called her about this cat that was due to be put down in 1 hour at her local vet. We called up the vet to rescue her. We went over and the Veterinarian and all of the staff were terrified of this little 3LB cat. She howled like a jaguar. We had to convince them we had exerience with feral cats, and release them of liability if this 3 pound furball killed us.

We took Teena home, she wouldn't let us touch her, so we sat down and started reading books. In about 20 minutes she was rubbing on us. In a few hours she was best friends with our other cat, who never liked any other cat before. It ws obvious she didn't know how to be a cat. We taught her how to purr, how to play, how to clean herself (she got many baths) It took a few weeks, but we determined she had Stomatitis, then nearly unheard with very little info. We got her on medication + surgery, and she ate like she'd never be able to again. She was always tiny, but she went from 3 pounds to 12, and a diet was needed to get her back to 8.

When my ex left she became a talker and cuddler, always on my shoulder as soon as I walked in the door.

On December 6th she lost bladder control and was very sick. I took her to the vet many times. She seemed to get better, the doctors couldn't nail down a cause. December 24th she got a nice heated cat bed which she loved. I didn't then know that on December 25th I would rush her 45 min to the emergency clinic. Her body temperature was dropping, she had FIP. She had a seizure, and I had to let her go. I gave her an extra 5 years of happiness.

Toshi, the other cat, still walks around meowing for her friend to come out and play.

Al
St. Louis, MO

The Bandit

Apparently he had been breaking into my house for some time. Slipping through the cat door, he’d been eating my cat’s food while I was at work. An aging tuxedoed tom, he was obviously homeless and starving, covered with infected sores and bald patches. I really didn’t want a second cat, especially this one, but winter was coming on and I could tell, this old fella had seen some rough times and probably wouldn’t make it through a bad cold spell. He was nearly feral, so I had to trap him to get him to the vet where I had him neutered and cared for. The doctor said his fur loss was probably permanent. Once he was on the mend, I brought him home and kept him in a back room supplied with regular food, water, and medicine. After three weeks. I opened all the doors to let him go, if he wanted to. He scrambled out like something crazed and disappeared. After being gone three days, he sauntered into the kitchen to see what was for dinner. Bandit, as I came to call him, had found his forever home. His fur grew in and his figure filled out and when he finally cranked up his purr, you’d have thought a lawn mower was revving up. My Bandit turned out to be one of the very best cats it has been my privilege to know, and I have always been grateful that he made his final criminal enterprise breaking into my home and heart.

Patricia Warr
Nashville, TN

Sammy

A couple of years ago, I was taking a different route to work than I normally would have. As I was getting up on the freeway & pulled out into traffic, I saw a black & white blur go flying off to the shoulder of the freeway from a car to my right. I looked at my wife & and exclaimed 'was that a cat?!?' She thought so too, so I quickly got off at the next exit & looped around, not knowing what we'd find, but praying for the best. We found him huddled up in a pile of garbage against the concrete divider & fortunately he stayed still so my wife was able to go get him. Our vet wasn't too far from there, & after she looked him over he appeared to be fine, other than a few scrapes. We already had three cats, but considering what he had been through, figured he deserved a good home & we settled on the name Sammy. Of the six cats we currently have, he is by far the best natured cat of the bunch, never having sunk a claw or tooth into us, even when playing. I hate to think what would have happened to this little guy, had we not been in the right place at the right time!

Mike
Sugar Land, TX

Bridging the gap with London

For 11 years we went without a dog. It hurt so much to say good-bye. In the 11 years we had two children and that seemed to fill the void. Our 8 year old begged and begged for a dog, every year we put her off. When a friend from work was adopting from the local rescue she invited me to come with her. This sweet little dog sat looking so scared. They told me she was an owner surrender at the shelter and they had just rescued her that morning. Her name was Snuffy and she was a 4 year old morkie. On a whim I put in an application, took a video and sent it to my husband.

Snuffy was going to a foster for her 10 day quarantine and they would call us when she was ready. After three days the rescue called me and said the foster mom brought her back. Snuffy was agressive after her grooming and she didn't seem to like women. Would we be willing to take her on a trial basis after her quarantine? I have two daughters so that was a big question.

On day 10 my husband walked into the rescue and Snuffy knew exactly what she was doing. She loved him! And he adored her! She loved our girls! But she didn't love me, or even like me a little.

For about two weeks she growled at me and wouldn't let me touch her. We couldn't keep a dog I could never pet! For the first time I was scared of a dog. I called the rescue and they hooked me up with a behavior specialist who gave me tips on how to connect with her. Lots of patience and it worked! She loves me! Now renamed London, our little morkie is the best and she has a sister named Paris, a maltipoo! London and Paris! What will we name the next one?

DONDA
CANDLER, NC

He Chose Me!

A few weeks before Christmas, my daughter and I accompanied my dad to the pet store to purchase some presents for his two cats. The local humane society was there showcasing some animals that were available for adoption by the front door. Among the cats and bunnies on display, one long-haired kitten caught my eye! He wasn't tiny - about 5 months old - and we went over to say, "hi." We had been looking for a dog for a few months, but I love all animals, so I had to check him out.

When I bent down to look in his cage, he reached his paw out between the bars, curled his little paw around my finger, and pulled it in! His cage was surrounded by people coaxing and trying to pet him, but he continued rubbing on my finger and reaching for me! I was sold!

I soon found out that this kitten in particular had come in in bad shape. He was covered in feces and had a lot of ulcers on his bottom. His previous mistreatment led to some other medical issues, including knee and hip problems, and at one point he was on three medications. In the first month that he lived with us, I spent a small fortune on vet visits. However, he is doing SO much better now, and just like the day I found him, he still reaches for me! I call him my velcro cat, because he is stuck to me like velcro! We named him Oliver, and he follows me from room to room each day, lays by my pillow at night, and still "grabs" my finger if I am not giving him my undivided attention! I am so thankful that HE chose ME, and I can't imagine life without my handsome boy!

Christy Ann Morrison
Beaver, PA
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