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Annie

Late this past spring two kittens, a large orange tabby male and a middle-aged grey and white tabby female were abandoned down the street. Downtown Fredericskburg, Virginia is a dumping ground for unwanted pets, especially when the semesters end at the local college. Almost all of our seven cats have come to us this way. The two kittens found new families within a week thanks to another neighbor, and the male followed a patron from the corner bar home about a month later. Only the grey and white female was left, and she stayed close to the safety of the porches of the frame homes lining the street on either side of the bar. My wife and I feed a black male stray who lives in and around the law office in a former gas station on the corner. His name is Charlie and he's feline HIV positive and a bit of a loner, so we leave him where he is. In July Charlie had a nasty infection on his cheek, so we made an appointment for him. When I went to get him he was no where to be found, but I heard a plaintive mewing coming out from one of the porches. Soon the grey and white tabby came out crying and dragging her right front leg. It was ripped open from paw to elbow. It didn't look good. I had the appointment, so I scooped her up and took her to the vet. I thought she'd probably have to be put down, but the vet said nothing was broken. My wife named her Annie for the street, and I took her to my studio to convalesce. She's now, six months later, spry, playful and a loving lap cat despite the loss of the use of her front right leg.

Michael Fay
FREDERICKSBURG, VA

The queen of cats

I've volunteered at a local SPCA by offering to walk the dogs and to socialize with cats. I don't get attached easily and I wasn't looking to adopt at all when Anna has arrived in the free-roaming cat room.

Anna is a very large gray tuxedo 8 year old female that hid in the "holed box" ledge near the ceiling in that room. I happen to be very wary of her size and be very cautious to not upset her when I treat each cat a treat. They nicknamed her the queen because of her size and her quick reprimand with other cats.

Anna's box is right above me sitting on the bench and I've treated her like any other cat. She came down slowly to began to rub herself on the bench and myself with her headbutting which surprised me. I thought she was a shy cat, but she just wanted to be left alone by certain people. One day, a staff member asked me if I could assist in weighing Anna because staff couldn't do so at all before. I then found out that she rarely came down from her box ledge for anyone, except me and perhaps another volunteer. I knew immediately that she is a special cat for us. I insisted to my husband to meet her, and on that day, we did my routine to the cats. She came down like clockwork and came across our laps to lay down and purred!

He fell in love with her immediately and cautioned me that she may get adopted before we could. The adoption fee isn't the issue, its the pet deposit included. One agonizing month and enough money later, I've discovered that she actually never came down from that ledge at ALL for anyone since. I like to believe that she had purposely reserved herself for us to have enough time to get her home finally. And that day we came for her? She was down waiting for us. She's still a queen in our home and I'm completely honored and proud to be her human!

A. Palmer
Roanoke, VA

Shuie and I were destined to be together!

It was a humid, hot day in Indonesia. A staff member from a rescue organisation spotted six week old Shuie staggering in the middle of the road, desperately trying to scrape a dead bug off the hot tar to eat. She was on death's door. The woman scooped her up and took her to safety. She described her as one of the worst cases of neglect they'd ever seen.

I fostered Shuie to help her gain confidence. She absolutely blossomed in a home environment. I longed to keep her but I couldn't. I had two dogs already - Muzzie and Stella.

In mid 2014 I became very ill. Sadly and very unexpectedly Stella had passed away in May and it really affected me. I went home to Australia for a few weeks to rest and recover.

When I returned to Indonesia in August I went to visit Shuie. I was horrified to find her practically lifeless. Her eyes were gunky and she was underweight, lethargic and jaundiced. I immediately took her for a vet check. Nobody was able to diagnose her with anything other than “a liver problem”, even after a series of blood tests. I feared for her life but thankfully after about 8 weeks, she recovered.

With Stella’s untimely passing I was now able to adopt Shuie. Maybe this was Stella’s plan.

You know those phrases ‘Forever Home’ and ‘Adopt Your Best Friend’? I think it’s safe to say I took them quite literally. After adopting Shuie I learnt the real challenges of bringing her to my home country - Australia. It is no mean feat – it is an expedition comparable to Captain Cook and his 1st Fleet, but we are determined to make it happen.

We started to plan out our epic journey together. And it isn’t simple. Based on various country laws and restrictions Shuie needs to fly half way around the world to ironically boomerang back to Australia! Her itinerary: Indonesia > UK > New Zealand > Australia!

Kate Beasley
Sydney, Australia

Abandoned cat needs home

Hi All cat lovers

I am an owner of 4 cats; 2 from the shelter & 2 that were abandoned on the street so with 4, that do not always get along I cannot take in Ronnie. I was contacted by a friend that Ronnie's owner got a new dog that is not getting along with the cat. Although he's been a loyal cat for 7 years the dog wins out. 😰😰

He is neutered & declawed & lives in Staten Island. They say they have tried to find a shelter to take him but none will and they are going to have him put to sleep. My heart breaks for this cat & my anger for these people that I have never met is consuming. Its cruel & heartless & I am trying to find a shelter that will take him or a loving home.

If anyone knows of a home near NY, NJ or PA I will bring him there. I have 2 other pics but he is cute in all of them.

You can email me at shereoth@aol.com if u can help.

Thanks to all of u animal lovers & animal rights believers.

Sheree
Toms River, NJ

She will walk again, with or without wheels

New Year's Eve 2015. Spooky (or The Boo, our deaf lurcher rescue girl) went out for her usual walk with her Dad. After only 10 minutes or so, Ed (Spooky's dad) came back home carrying her in his arms. She had slipped, twisted and fell and lost all use of her back legs in a matter of seconds.

Our vet arrived in minutes and she was immediately admitted. Originally, she had no deep pain sensation, but this returned in both paws after 48 hours. Initial x-rays showed a problem with two discs in her back. After a further couple of days it was obvious that she wasn't making any further improvement at all, so was referred to a spinal neurologist at Willows in Birmingham for emergency treatment.

Following examinations and MRI, a fragment of disc matter had exploded at high velocity into her spinal column, causing bruising, swelling and concussion. This injury cannot be decompressed with surgery. Unfortunately the MRI also showed suspected Myelomalacia in a small portion of her spinal cord, where part of the cord had 'died' due to severe trauma. Myelomalacia is extremely rare, only 5% - 10% of dogs with spinal trauma will suffer this. Her prognosis is 'guarded'.

Spooky came home on 5 January to start her rehabilitation as euthanasia is and will never be an option as long as she is pain free.

She is completely dependent on us for all her needs, but she is showing gradual improvement. Her tail has started to wag again, she now has control of her bladder and there are signs her legs are receiving messages. We hope to start hydrotherapy as soon as it is safe and to fit her with a wheelchair shortly, to give her a life back and to aid her rehabilitation.

It's been difficult juggling our work life, but we've managed and continue to give her 24/7 care during this rehab period. We take it in turns to sleep with her downstairs. We are determined our girl with run again, with or without wheels and give her the unconditional love she gives us.

Tan Morris
Worcester, United Kingdom

A rescued cat helped save my life

Even with love and support, I had felt like I had failed at life. Smudge helped me find peace and clarity. She showed me how to take my negative revolutions and turn them into a positive evolution.

Thank you for your passion to understand and share your knowledge about an independent but nurturing creature of our pure and primal Mother Nature. Your show "My Cat From Hell" truly resonated with me, even though when I discovered the show I wasn't ready to confront and learn from my deepest fears.

What would have been my "make it or break it" moment was this past year, 2015. Life finally hit me with the perfect storm of compacted problems that could have broken me down completely. I promised myself that I would try to adopt a cat after the New Year. I'm so glad that I followed through.

Thanks to you and your work, I get to enjoy the New Year.

Joelle
Torrance, CA

The "suckers" at the end of the road

My husband and I both love animals, especially cats. Stray cats seem to find there way toward our house which was at the end of a dead-end road. While feeding an orange stray we named Oscar, we noticed a skinny cat I can only describe in coloring as "Calitortie" We named her Callie. After much coaxing, she let us get close to her. One evening after work, I found Callie in the truck bed- with three kittens. She had never been in the garage, only on our front porch. I moved them into our sun-room for safety. My other two cats watched though the glass doors. Callies pregnancy didn't show we guess due to her size and the kittens were very small and one passed away that night. Callie fed her babies and we fed them with a syringe, weighing them daily. Though we didn't need to have 5 cats, we ended up adding Callie, Stripes and Fluffy to our family. Stripes was wobbly in her walk and play- Our vet diagnosed Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH). The CH never slowed her down. We then made a move to another state with cats in tow. A year or so after moving, our sweet Callie got sick very quickly and we lost her. FIP! Fluffly developed and succomed a week later. I cried for days and sometimes still do. I watched and worried with my others, especially stripes. The vet thinks she had it when pregnancy and it could have caused the CH in Stripes and the Tragic illness in the other two. Years later, Stripes is now a very fluffy, smart and playful cat. she is pictured here on my feet on my bed. I am happy Callie found her way to the suckers with hearts of love for animals

Julie F Moses
Herrin, IL

Sophie

We had just lost Chico, a favorite cat who was black and had lots of personality. After awhile I mentioned to my husband that it would be nice to get a kitten, a Siamese. My first cat was a Siamese. Soon after I happened to look out my front door and to my surprise saw a Siamese kitten playing near the tire of my car. She saw me and took off. During the next week I got reports of sightings from my neighbor, who takes care of some feral cats. She had a feral cat, Smokey, that lived on her porch for years. Well this Siamese kitten was spending some time visiting Smokey. My neighbor advertised but no owners appeared. My husband and I decided to trap Sophie and give her a home. I borrowed a "have a heart trap" but the day before we could trap her, we learned she had injured her leg. We did catch her and I took her to my vet. She was scared but as she got out of the trap I was able to pet her (for the first time) briefly. She had a broken leg and due to my Vet's expert surgery, (he said it was like sticking a pin in a chicken wing bone), her leg healed wonderfully. For awhile she did look funny running around with her cast, although this didn't slow her down any. Now she is a beautiful Siamese mix, who loves to play with water and is mesmerized by the fish in our aquariums. She is very loveable, sleeping with us and being around wherever we are. She has an amusing habit of softly growling if she sees anyone walking by outside, even us! Also if we are gone on vacation she will hide when we come in the door. She tends to be skittish. We are so happy she has come to live with us, in August of 2012. She is a good cat buddy to our other cats. She is such a delight, a queen bee, her name, Sophie is a good fit!

Susan Bragg
Richmond, VA

Snowflake

Meet Snowflake, aka Fluff. She migrated to our barn around 2008 from a friends barn. We think she started fighting with some of the other cats and started showing up at our barn daily, where we boarded our horses. We tried to get her to go back home for several but she kept coming back...So we started feeding her and she stayed. Around 2 years later she had gotten injured on her back and it got infected, so we bought her home and took her to the vet. We fully intended to take her back out to the barn when she was well, but that never happened. We kept her in the house even though my poor husband found out he was actually allergic to cats. She had such a great personality and was a good companion. We enjoyed her here with us for so many years, unfortunately she developed a aggressive cancer about 4 months ago and the decision was made to let her live out her life since she was an older cat and make her comfortable until the time came. That time came last Friday when she developed complications and it was time to say goodbye. Anyone who has ever lost pet family knows how we feel....she will forever be in our hearts and memories! Rescue animals can bring contribute so much!

Lisa C
Yulee, FL

My Little Miracle

My husband was working security at an apartment complex 2 years ago as he was making his rounds he came across a group of teenagers kicking something around that is when he noticed they were kicking a kitten back and forth, when he headed toward the group they took off running and the kitten came running to him ran right up his leg and sat on his shoulder he was about 4 weeks old, this baby had a burn on the back of his neck and was skin and bones, we already had 6 cats so my husband called me and said he was bringing him home so that I could bathe and feed this little guy but that we could not keep him. I took care of him nursed him back to health and tried so hard to find him a loving home but no one wanted him so we kept him and named him Shadow he follows us every where .

I am so glad we kept him he is the light of our life he sits on a foot stool in the kitchen every night when I make dinner even puts his front paws on the counter and watches, he loves hugs and kisses and loves to play fetch, he is so smart, he loves family hugs and likes to jump from the floor onto our shoulder if we aren't paying attention to him, he reminds me of a small child and after losing our daughter in 2010 it is nice to have a cat like him, he is so unique and sweet and out of all of our cats is the only one that loves our large dogs. We are so very happy we kept him we are truly blessed with all 8 of our cats.

Amber Smith
Belton, MO
Festival Cats and Dogs Kitchen Towels - Set of 2
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