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Old Lady Tucker

I moved into my first apartment and immediately needed a cat, as I'd never been without a pet. Went to animal control wanting to adopt an older cat, but none of them were available. The only feline in the place that was adoptable was a gray and white kitten, who stretched her paw through the cage and snagged my shirt. That's all it took for her to become mine.

Over the next 18 years, Tucker sometimes proved to be a difficult cat, but we loved her in spite of (or because of) her cantankerous attitude. She saw other cats come into our lives and loved all but one of them, and never forgave us for adopting a dog. After 10 years she still hissed at Izzie each time she walked by. Tucker had recurring urinary tract infections, which progressed to renal failure as she aged. The last 2 years of her life, we gave her twice weekly IV injections, regular B-12 shots, and daily heart medication. Her failing kidneys caused her to urinate outside the litter box, so we were doing clean-ups 3-4 times a day.

By age 18, Tucker was losing weight and growing increasingly lethargic. Thought some of this was attributed to her age (she was essentially an 85-year-old woman!), when she couldn't get herself to the litter box or food bowl, we knew it was time to let her go. This past June, Tucker took her last breath as my husband and I told her what a good girl she was and how much we loved her. We will mix her cremains into a stepping stone, which we'll place in our garden, next to her long-time buddy Frankie.

Karen
St. Louis, MO

Armalite

Armalite was a feral little girl. She stumbled into our store barely able to walk. I lifted her onto a display and fed her chicken out of my salad when she bit me. I had to take her to the vet to make sure she didn't have anything wrong with her. So I did. She weight 1 lb 9 oz. She was so tiny. She was 9 months old. You could see every bone in her body. She was covered in flea's. So I took her to the vet and she was fine. She was healthy. She got her shots and came home with us. She has been a member of our family every since. She's 3 years old now and rules the house. She sleeps where ever she pleases including on pillows. Everyone is expected to sleep around her. She is the queen of her domain and she will not let you forget it. She is quick to defend and quick to give you love but she doesn't like other people to come into her territory. She trusts few but when she trusts you, she trusts you. She is still tiny weighing in at 7 lbs but don't let that fool you she takes down a 14 lbs Pomeranian in a heart beat. Armalite is not afraid to take down a bug. She is not afraid to take down anything including toys or hands. She is playful and yet she is serious as well. She is a joyful cat to have around. She acts like a cat but still acts like a kitten too. She is a tortishell and is a fantastic representative of her breed. She will let you know when there is something going on and will let you know when something is going to happen. We love her and will always have room for her in our home.

Anonymous
Spartanburg, SC

The Calico Kitten

After the death of my beloved cat, Tait, I wanted to get another cat. There was a picture of a pretty calico kitten on the local humane society's website. My husband went with me to the shelter and we looked at several cats and kittens but none of them were a good fit. When we were about to give up I decided to go into the room where the kitten I saw on the website lived. My husband waited outside looking in the glass window. As soon as I walked in the little calico marched up to me and just looked at me as if to say are you ready to be my human now. She even went so far as to hiss at another cat who dared get close to her new mommie. I snatched her up since there were other people coming in the room who might possibly want her. Five years later she is still a mommie's baby and I love her dearly. She is the smartest, sweetest and most beautiful cat I could ever have.

Anonymous
Birmingham, AL

My first cat rescue

I was always a dog person. Moved into an apartment. 3rd floor. Friend was told about a deserted cat. Called me and said you are taking this cat. I was like ok. Went to pick him up. Girl opened the carrier she had him in, sweet face came out and the the other 28 pounds behind. More like a small dog!! Very sick, lung damage, very overweight, shy. Vet told me not to get attached. 12 years later his heart gave out in my husbands arms. Best boy ever!! Have lost a few more since then but would not give up one moment with them. Save as many as you can, because they really save us!!!

Anonymous
Chicago, IL

She melted my heart

We got Sophie just two weeks after we lost our first Chihuahua Dottie. I thought I was ready for a new baby, but I discovered I had not finished grieving. One week after getting Sophie I cried thinking I had made the biggest mistake. There was nothing wrong with her it was all me. A good friend of mine told me that one day soon she would do something that would just melt my heart. And she was right. Sophie is a character for sure. With her crooked nose and the funny little sounds she makes when she wants your attention to the hypnotizing Chihuahua stare with those watery eyes the bowed legs and the tongue that hangs out of her toothless mouth. She melts my hear every single day and I thank God she became my little girl.

Chrissy
St. Petersburg, FL

I Didn't Save Her, She Saved Me

After having to put down my beloved cat after 16 years, I was devastated. My daughter insisted I go through photos of animals in need of rescue at my local shelter, but at first I declined as I knew my beautiful tabby Daisy could not be replaced.

About a month or so later, I did browse through the site my daughter had recommended and stopped when I saw small dog sitting on a chair with a look on her face that said, "Please come get me." I thought the animal was white but it was hard to tell because she was so filthy. Her hair was wild but her eyes very gentle. And it was love at first sight.

Ryan, boy's name, long story has been with me for four years. She hasn't replaced Daisy as she will always occupy a special place in my heart. However, she has brought me more happiness than I can adequately express in the remainder of the words I am allowed here. This 12 lb.former shelter dog owns my heart.

When anyone asks if she is a rescue, I tell them she is but not the way they think. My now beautifully groomed maltese/papillon mix rescued me.

I heartily recommend that anyone reading this adopts a shelter pet. I promise your life will be changed for the better.

Rosmaria Menna-Eichhorn
Babylon, NY

Myles the former barn kitten

My in-laws have a farm and on this farm they have barn cats. Barn cats are basically living mouse traps and nothing more to the in-laws. They get no love and very little medical care. My wife Tiffany told me about a runt from one of the three litters of about 12 to 15 kittens that needed us. We already had four cats ranging in age from 3 years to 11 years old and had no plans to add another cat to our family. But this kitten would probably die without our help. So we talked it over and Tiff took a video of the kitten when he was not yet weaned and had about 10 days before he would be ready to leave his mother... that is if he lived that long. Five days later he was eating kitten food so we adopted him at seven weeks old but our vet said he was the size of a four week old and only weighed 1lbs 6oz (.045 kg). Myles had some medical issues but now at 13 weeks old he is healthy and is having the time of his life running around the house playing with his new Daddy, Mommy, two big brothers and two big sisters. The photo is of Myles on the first day we had him right after his first bath.

Fred and Tiffany West
Hart, MI

Taming Tinkerbelle

One day, a kind lady came into my pet store with two very young, feral kittens. The lady had managed to catch the kittens and save them from whatever had killed their mother and siblings. She asked if a rescue would take the kittens. Unfortunately, the rescues were full. The kittens were in a plastic crate. I peeked in. They were squished into one corner of the carrier, eyes wide, ears flattened. Their little faces were beautiful, almost angelic. My heart melted. I already had a cat, a small spaniel and a chinchilla. The last thing I needed was to add two feral kittens to the mix. But that is exactly what I did! I told myself, I would vet and socialize them. Then, I would find them loving homes.

I set-up a kitten space in my closet. They lived in that closet for six weeks; choosing not to venture out. Finally, the braver kitten began creeping out to explore. After a while, her shy sister followed. I named the shy one, Tinkerbelle; her sister, Dixie. The kittens began to accept food from my hand. They played with toys. They chased strings with the chinchilla. In time, Dixie became social and ready for her forever home. Tink still had a way to go. Three months had passed since I brought Tinkerbelle home with me. I had the opportunity to move away. I had one month left to tame her before I departed.

From the start, Tinkerbelle loved me and though it scared her, she craved attention. The week before my move, I invited a sweet couple over to meet her, hoping she would love them too. They visited my home three times. Each time, Tinkerbelle hid. In the end, the shy kitten moved away with me.

I've had Tinkerbelle for over 2 years. Tink loves to snuggle. She rolls over to have her belly rubbed and purrs with delight. Sometimes, she behaves like a perfectly normal cat. Then a visitor knocks. She runs and hides. When my visitor leaves, she reappears. Ready to play, to snuggle, to be loved.

Cindy
Oak Park, IL

Finally Home

After losing my best friend and companion of 14 years, Queen (shepherd/Lab mix on dec. 19th 2015, the only way I could make anything positive of it was to save a life in need. After scouting many shelters and rescues far and wide for a good fit I finally came upon an older dog who had been a street dog in Oklahoma her whole life. Nobody wanted her so the rescue decided to ship her to Wisconsin to try to find her a home. After being bounced around in different fosters, I found her picture and set up a meet and greet. She was listed as lab/shepherd mix, but did not look anything like my Queen. I was surprised at her small size when she entered the room. The foster seemed anxious to find her a home. I knew she had found her forever instantly. She was very friendly and I had brought her a treat which she gobbled up is record time. After all the paperwork was signed and the fees paid, she was in the suv and headed for home. It turned out she was about 6 and had worn all her front top and bottom teeth away from scrounging any food she could to feed her pups which she had in a brush pile where she was living with 3 other dogs and their pups. She was loving, but coward when we would try to pet her. Her remaining teeth were in horrible shape and a dental was done. No telling the horrors this girl had experienced in her street years. She hated the cats at first and my daughter. It has taken much love and patience and overlooking a few bites to gain her trust and confidence. I said I would never give up on her. When she entered my home, it was for life. She has adjusted quite well, although I don't trust her with young children or other dogs too much. I know her distrust is from past experiences and she will never have to face those situations again. She is finally home.

LH
Melrose, WI

One Determined Lady

In September of 2014 I was putting up the Halloween decorations in the yard when my daughter and her boyfriend pulled into the yard. With them they had the most emaciate cat I had ever seen. This poor soul could not even stand right. We live in the country and have saved strays and feed the Ferrell's, so she had been found by the right humans She wobbled from side to side. She was spayed and declawed. Every bone showed and her fur was so dingy and dirty. The vet was convinced she had some kind of disease to be that thin and wobbly .He did not hold out much hope for her, but she was determined and so was I. He found that she had 2 missing canines and determined she had some bad experiences but was very friendly. She had either been dumped or had wandered away. All tests were clear, and after weeks of TLC she finally put on the much needed weight. After checking with missing sites to no avail, "Luna" became a permanent part of the family. She is now an overweight 4 year old who rules the roost over the other kitties(whom she despises and the dog (whom she loves). She is one determined lady who beat the odds in the wilderness alone and found a loving home. We are so blessed she found us.

LDM
Melrose, WI
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