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Joey and Jesse

I can't ever recall a time in my life without cats. Sebastian "Kitty Bastian," an aloof and slightly bad-tempered gray guy, was part of my human family prior to my birth, and my introduction to the feline world. Being an only child before I appeared, he undoubtedly felt a bit of sibling rivalry accounting for the slightly awkward relationship between us. After all, a mere baby was definitely an affront to his considerable dignity!

Fast forward some 60 plus years and I'm still an avid cat lover. Though there has been a LONG line of other animals in my life- many dogs, goats, a horse, pot-bellied pig, rabbits, rats, snakes and assorted birds (all very well-loved, I hasten to add), I don't remember ever being cat-less.

My husband David and I are currently the proud and doting parents of five (!) rescue kitties and wouldn't have it any other way. We recently figured that there is close to 50 pounds of cat body between them! They all love to sit on laps and we are all too familiar with the term "feline paralysis" accurately describing the inability to move with the weight of a loving cat on one's lap!

The lovely little striped brothers pictured above were part of a family of five babies which appeared with their mother in my sister's barn six years ago. We fostered all five after their mother found a loving family and, though sorely tempted to keep all five, good sense prevailed and homes were found for three. The two who stayed, Joey and Jesse, were well accepted (and tolerated) by our two adult cats, Max and Reilly, and are very much part of the tribe. A few years later a stray (Sally) became an addition but that's yet another story.

Today Joey and Jesse are gorgeous, fully-fledged, middle-aged chaps and, though totally different from one another, have proved to be model citizens!

Mitzi Sudlow

Tonganoxie, Kansas

Mitzi Sudlow
Tonganoxie, KS

The ZBoys

One chilly afternoon in April, 2011, my husband was walking our dogs and saw a bag by the side of the road - thinking it was trash, he picked it up. Inside were 4 kittens, 2 dead about 6 weeks old, and 2 very alive at barely 10 days - 2 weeks. We hand fed them, took them to the vet for constipation, checkups and held them for hours, mimicking the mothers care as best we could. We named them Zuess and Zion-my husband said they needed strong names!

This picture is their first night with us.

Today, they are beautiful Turkish Vans, about 12 pounds and a constant joy and full of love. They fit right in with our family of 11 rescues!

How anyone can do such a thing to animals is beyond me and I can't help hoping they get "payback"!

Mio, MI

Rory the Hiking Kitten

My Tuesday hiking group had just started our hike along the Tuscarora Trail in Virginia, when we heard a loud crying sound. It was a tiny black and white tuxedo kitten, all alone, meowing as loud as he could. He came out of the bushes and started following us along the trail, crying the whole time. He followed us down a road, through a farm, across a bridge over the Shenandoah River, and partway up a mountain before finally getting tired- it had to be at least a mile! I hoped he lived nearby, and would find his way home, but worried about him all day. Sure enough, when we came back down the mountain, there he was waiting for us. We couldn't just leave him there, so I carried him back to the car and decided to take him home. My husband and I already had two cats, and really didn't need a third, but I thought I'd either find him a home or make him a barn cat. Well, after a couple of days trying to keep him in the barn, he made it very clear that he did not want to be a barn cat- he wanted to be in the house with us! And that is where he has stayed- he is a tiny terror, always into something, chasing the older cats, knocking things over, etc., but he is also the most affectionate and loving cat I have ever seen. We named him Rory, short for Tuscarora- the trail where he chose me to be his human!

Joan D'Alonzo
Charles Town, WV

Maggie Mae

We had just lost our Australian Shepherd, Hagar, at the age of 14. We were heartbroken and were not going to get another dog. Just didn't want to go through the pain of another dog dying, which eventually happens. But, I started looking at rescue dogs. I came across Maggie, then called Chloe, and fell in love at first site.

Maggie was an English Setter which are pointers. We had always had herding dogs. Apparently she had won show ribbons and was supposed to breed. Well, she was having none of that so she had no value to the breeders. That's how she ended up on a rescue site. So, I convinced my husband to go and meet her. That was it. After a home and yard inspection we brought her home. We never looked back or regretted giving her a home. Setters are very gentle and loving dogs. She brought us so much joy.

Maggie was 4 years old at that time. She had been raised in a kennel. She didn't know how to play and didn't seem interested. Her big interest was going to the park, sneaking up on and pointing at the birds and squirrels. That was her fun time and she provided a lot of entertainment to other people in the park with her sneaking and pointing.

Maggie developed diabetes at age 14 and she passed away just 3 months shy of her 15th birthday, December 2015. We miss her terribly.

Guelph, ON, Canada

Who needs a cat bed

Socks (The Hulk) & Bonnie Blue are 2 of our rescues. Socks (age 7) has been with us since he was 6 weeks old when we found him abandoned on the side of a road. Bonnie Blue (age 6) has been with us since she was 1 day old. We found her mom & litter the day after they were born outdoors in some bushes. These two started being buddies as soon as Bonnie was old enough to run & play. Socks earned the nickname "The Hulk" by growing into a large not fat cat. He now weighs over 22 lbs & his tail measures 14" long. We stay out of his way when he runs through the house.

Over the last 15 years we have rescued, found homes for or adopted over 35 cats & kittens. Currently we are caring for & feeding 10 cats, inside & outside strays & ferals. All are S/N except for 2 feral toms I'm currently working on. It appears that we are cat magnets but my wife & I wouldn't have it any other way.

Byram, MS


We live in the country where we have an old corncrib that my vet says must have a sign above the door inviting cats to come. Over the years I have taken in several cats who have shown up there. In the spring of 2015, I was greeted one evening by a tiny, mewing kitten that was hunched by a folded table in the corncrib. As I got closer, he showed bravado by spitting, hissing and puffing himself up. Hoping that his mama would hear him and come for him, I put out a little canned food for him and let him be. The next morning he was gone. I assumed his mama had taken him. Later I was working in the yard when I heard constant mewing from under a bush. There he was. I knew he wouldn't make it on his own, so I put on some heavy gloves and eventually caught him. I put him in my cat cage in a shed. He continued to hiss, spit and cringe in a corner of the cage as I put in kitty necessities. When the bowl of food went into the cage, the hissing stopped and he decided I wasn't so bad after all. Soon we were friends. I named him Oliver because of the "O" on his side and because he was a voracious eater who always wanted more, please. The frantic need for food calmed down after a trip to the vet which included wormer. He was estimated to be only about 4 weeks old. Today he is a 14 pounder who plays constantly and runs around the room as fast as he can go. He still thinks he's the little kitten he was when he first came to join the family.

Bryan, OH

Saving Amberlee

In March 2014 we lost our 9yr old Dobie, Kali, to cancer then just 6 weeks later we found that our 10yr old Doxie, Oscar also was dying of cancer, we helped him cross the rainbow bridge too. We were devastated but it was the impetus to make some changes in our life. My fiancé was already retired, I made the decision to retire and we decided to sell both our houses and buy a house in a more rural area about 2 hrs away. In late August I was working my last week as a Hospice nurse, I was making a few home visits for another nurse. I walked into a patients home and saw the cutest little brown Doxie that looked just like my beloved Oscar. At the end of my visit I asked about her and was told, by the caregiver, her name was Amber, she was 8 or 9 yrs old and when grandpa passed they were going to take her to the shelter because no one in the family wanted her. I was shocked I gave her my card and a note to the family begging them to call me first before surrendering her. The next two weeks were very busy packing and moving. Three days after settling into our new home I got a call asking if I still wanted Amber they were going to take her to the shelter the next day. I said I would be there tomorrow to pick her up. She came with a blanket and the piece of paper for her microchip so I could transfer ownership. I found out she was actually 10yrs old. It was a little rough at first, but she is so sweet and plays with her toys like a youngster. I don't know much about her life before but she gets lots of loves now from us and our grandkids. She loves to travel with us and recently visited 25 states on a cross country RV trip. She is now 12 but still our feisty little Amberlee.

Shari Homan
Browns Valley, CA

Blu the Russian Blue Kitten

I was homeless and did not have any human contact until I met my rescuer and foster mom. I was bullied by older cats outdoors. I am just a kitten and am slowly understanding and trusting humans. I am being loved in a foster home and cared for and feel safe. I never want to be outdoors again, it is too scary for me as I am just a kitten. I am very quiet and like to hide. I am very docile and timid. It will take me a little to warm up to you. When I do, I am very sweet and loving. I have excellent manners, very tidy, like a clean environment and litter box. I make sure my waste is thoroughly covered without getting litter all over. I love to be petted and will melt into your hand hands purring and do rollovers for you.

I get along with other cats and am interested becoming friends with them. No bully cats as I might shrink back. I have never been around dogs before. I have heard about them through the kitty grape vine and not so sure they would be welcoming to me. I would do best in a quiet household with no kids and 1-2 owners. Preferably someone who is patient with me giving me time to warm up. I prefer to eat a good quality grain free dry food. Will you be the purrfect family to love and take care of me furever?

If you would like to learn more about me, please be sure to visit my facebook page at Blu The Russian Blue Kitten

bradenton, FL

Dangerously Cute Dog

I was perusing Instagram one day and happened upon a photo of a dog with the words "Adopt Me!" on it. The description on the photo said that he needed a child-free home since he had a bite history with kids. Since my husband and I have no children, this of course intrigued me to learn more.

Fletcher used to live in a home where the neighbor kid would torture him on a regular basis. One day he defended himself, and from then on was labelled a "dangerous dog" by the state of Ohio. The owner surrendered him to a different family, and that family decided to put him up for adoption a few weeks later. Despite his rough history, I knew he'd be perfect for us.

We drove down to Ohio (we're in Michigan) and picked him up a couple days later. We brought our other two dogs with us to see how they get along, and everything was great from the start. He's been around my niece and nephew without any problems (always under supervision, of course!) and has seriously been the best dog a family could ask for. He's always up for snuggling on the couch, and whenever anyone is sad or in pain, he tries to make them feel better. And of course it helps a lot that he's probably the cutest dog I've ever known. :) He makes me melt every day, and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

Flint, MI

Sheldon FELV and Deaf and Loves to play bite

Sheldon is a four month Turkish Angora who has all white long hair and has two beautiful blue eyes. He is totally deaf and he also positive for the FELV virus. I have a multiple cat household and therefore Sheldon is currently living by himself in my office. I work from home and I am having difficulty completing my work because he is very playful and full of energy. . He is constantly interrupting me while I work. He loves to play bite my arms and legs and I try to re-direct his play bite behavior by using a feather. I dedicate a good hour in the morning playing with him but that is not enough. I also spend 30 to 60 minutes in the evening as well. He is not alone from 6.30 am. To 4.00 p.m. as this ismy normal work hours. I could really use your expertise in re-directing his play bite behavior and making an enrichment office environment for Sheldon. I am currently fostering Sheldon but every time I get an inquiry and I inform them of his FELV status, the adopters are afraid for their existing cats or fearful of his early life expectancy. I am planning on him living in my household and I could really use your help so I can give Sheldon the quality of life he deserves and continue to be a productive worker.

Larry Burghdorf
Tampa, FL
Shades of Grace Short Sleeve Tunic
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