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TinTin

I met TinTin at a parking lot in my neighborhood. About three years ago, one day she just appeared out of nowhere so I offered her some food. She was then a kitten, but after a few days to my horror I realized that she was pregnant. Is it because all calico tabby cats are extremely charming and sexy? I don't know. Anyway after her babies were weaned, I got her, sent her to the vet's, had her spayed, then released her to the parking lot.

She came to me for a late dinner ever since. There were some other cats at the parking lot who came to me for dinner as well, but she was the only one who tracked me down and found out where I lived, then she would wait for me downstairs my apartment. She ran happily toward me as soon as she hard the sound I made by shaking my keys. Sometime she didn't appear for dinner, and I would feel very lost and worried.

Last September she didn't appear for two days. I was very worried. Two days later she showed up, but with a limp hind leg. I gave her food and she devoured it, after finished eating she hurried away. Stooping there watching her limp away, there was a lump in my throat and I was determined to get her to the vet's the next day.

The next day I brought her food and a kennel as well. I gently held her up when she was busy eating, put her into the kennel then brought her home. The next day I brought her to the vet's who told me her wound was infected and there was abscess in it, so they needed to perform an operation to clean the wound thoroughly. She stayed at the vet's overnight for the operation, the next day I brought her to my little classroom and ever since she has become one of my indoor cats.

Kate Hsieh
Taipei, Taiwan

Sweet Bailey

Every cat and dog I ever had was homeless and some in bad shape. I am down to three cats now , last cat passed away at about sixteen years. I have had six or seven at a time and four dogs . Now I have four cats two males and two females. First place I took any stray was to Vet for check-up spaying and neutering. Bailey is the last cat that found me , he was coming for meals with a young female that looked a lot like him . I trapped the female ,Clover,first then Bailey a couple of weeks later. I don't think he was ever in a house and we know he had a fight with a fox that cost him the tip of his tail.Now he is a sweet loving cat (if you don't comb his tail.) He wasn't himself a few weeks after being caught and I told Vet I think he had diabetes He was tested and I was right. so he is on insulin twice a day and is playing like a kitten. He and Clover still get along well. Our other two just put up with them .

Anonymous
Port Hood, NS, Canada

Survivor

Dirty's story started when a friend brought a box of kittens found on the road side to our house. They were covered with fleas and close to death. They were given flea dip and hubby kept trying to scrub streak of grey brown off of one white kittens nose that looked like dirt. By the time he realized the "dirt" was marking he had one very unhappy kitten. He chuckled and said okay you are called Dirty Stripe which became shortened to just Dirty. Unfortunately the other kittens did not make it too much blood lose from fleas but Dirty did and she grew up to be quite the scraper, taking all comers and became queen of the household.

Some years later some cat illness came through the area, rural farming community, I do not know to this day what it was it was some 15 years ago but all neighbors and our household lost about 80% of their cats even indoor only. Dirty did get sick but again was sole survivor.

Now at 22 in picture she is as active and happy as any kitten and still queen of the roost Survivor still. Some day there will be a huge hole in our lives but not yet, the Dirty Stripe rules still.

Jodi
Brewster, OH

My Boys

Meet Bandit (dog on the left side of this photo) and Sammy (dog on the right). Both are rescues and this picture shows how well they get along. Though Bandit is younger, Sammy follows him around and will whine when Bandit is away. We've had a few dogs over the years but Bandit seems to hold a special place in my husband's heart, while Sammy prefers to be with me.

I was reluctant to have 2 male dogs in our household, thinking there could be problems if they didn't get along but they play nice and even enjoy it when we invite other dogs over for play dates.

Sammy and Bandit provide me with company and unconditional love. In addition to the exercise I get when we're out walking, they've helped me get to know my neighbors who stop to talk with me when we're out. I am blessed to have them.

Linda
New City, NY

This Rescue lived to be almost Twenty

Other dog lovers in my family, told me of a six year old male Lhasa Apso whom needed rescuing. He was rescued from an abusive household when police intervened, and fostered by my relative. When visiting her (she lived four provinces away from me) I met this sweet darling only once. Once rescued, the vet discovered he had a broken leg which had never been taken care of, and which 'healed' broken. My answer to adopting him was an immediate yes. I flew him across the country to my province in Canada. With veterinarian care, he was fixed up and going on twice daily walks with me and eventually off-leash runs in a near-by woods with my other dog. His emotional healing came along quickly, with my hugging him tightly when he awakened with nightmares the first few months, & lots of love. He was wagging within the first day; slept on our bed at the foot, the first night; and became such a happy loving snuggle-bug very quickly. I could tell he loved being in a peaceful home; fit right in with our other dog; and he flourished. He lived to be almost twenty; with frequent vet checks in his final year to make sure he was never in any kind of pain. He died peacefully in my arms, after I softly sang his very own songs that were just for him: Polka Dot Boy...sung to tune of 'Polka Dot Door', and "You're My Best Boy.." from the musical Aunty 'Mame!' I sang those songs to him and more, every day of his 14 happy years with us. Everyone commented what a sweet, happy boy he was. I loved him with all of my heart; my sweet wise old Tibetan.

Anonymous
Toronto, ON, Canada

Cricket

When I was just a tiny baby and looked to be approx. 5 weeks old I was sitting in the middle of a busy road for unknown reasons. Unsure of what to do I just stayed there not knowing the dangerous situation I was in. Suddenly a black car came over the hill, I didn't bother to move so the car swerved to miss me. I seen her pull over across from me, just as a huge SUV came over the hill next, the lady in the black car was frantically honking and waving at the SUV driver. Luckily that lady missed me too. I then ran to the other side of the road and sat on the white line. More cars came on the opposite side and the lady in the black car never left, watching me. As soon as the road was clear she ran across to get me, I didn't run or fight with her. I was not injured, just terrified. She ran back across holding me tight and sat down in her car. She checked me to see if I was alright and I sat in her lap, shocked at all the excitement that just happened.

As it turns out the lady in the black car was on her way to a very important interview. A job she ended up getting and changing her life. Just a few years before she found me her cat of 7 years was ran over in the street. To her, finding me was fate. The first day or 2 she took me home I slept a lot, I did not want to eat or play. Soon, I was running around chasing the dogs, and purring like a Cricket. Hence, the name. My new mom felt that keeping me was better than trying to figure out where I belonged, obviously someone was not looking after me there.

I enjoy scratch post, chasing bugs, nap at day and romp around at night. I have a basket filled with toys and a cat tunnel. I'm pretty sure this life was made for me.

Ericka Justice
Alamance, NC

My little survivor.

Hannie was a Katrina dog. He got lost during the hurricane and like so many others, ended up at an animal shelter in Austin, Tx. A family adopted him and took care of him for 7 years, but when the father got sick and had to have chemo, they had to give him away. I heard about Hannie through my friend's mom and she told me the family was going to surrender him to a shelter because no one wanted a seven year old dog.

I agreed to take him in for one weekend, to see if he'd get along with my roommate's sheltie, but I never gave him back. For three years, Hannie lived with me. He was the funniest little old man. A tiny furball of a Pomeranian with a lot of attitude. He barked at dogs ten times his size, chased after squirrels and snored as loud as a human when he fell asleep on his back.

The only thing that terrified Hannie were loud noises and thunderstorms. Fire alarms, microwave beeps, ovens, car alarms. He would shake non-stop and climb up on my lap, on my chest, and curl up as close to me as he could. It's not hard to imagine why he had a PTSD, with everything he must have gone through.

After a year of having him, I had to move back home. It was a long flight, but he was a trooper. He laid down half on his carrier, half on my lap and slept most of the way. And when we got here, he got even more spoiled with food and attention by the entire family.

Unfortunately, he became sick a year and half ago, even after surgery, he didn't make it. But I'm grateful for the time I had with him and for the company he gave to me during this transition in my life. Hannie was a wonderful dog and he'll always be my little old man.

Valeria
Austin, TX

Small Cat born into a Big Cat world

I had been volunteering at a tiger and big cat "rescue" in Indiana (a HORRIBLE place that was shut down a few years later) for a while. It was heart-breaking but I was hoping that MAYBE they just needed a few more volunteers to help it get 'back on its feet'. So for a summer, my husband and I went on weekends to help out.

The very last weekend that I volunteered at this "rescue" I overheard the 'owner' saying that they had multiple female cats all give birth to kittens and they were sick of them. They had decided to dump all the kittens off somewhere (I was praying it was a shelter). I couldn't stand the thought of over 40 kittens being dumped somewhere. So, I asked the 'owner' if I could see the kittens.

They all looked sickly and not well taken care of. Most were under 8 weeks closer to 5 or 6 weeks. I was about to give up when I found 4 TINY black kittens in a corner. They couldn't have been more than 3-4 weeks old. I asked if he was taking them away as well and he said yes he was done with the kittens.

As I looked over the four kittens the largest kitten meowed, indignantly, when I tried to pick her up and I fell instantly in love. The little girl had called out to me. I was sad that I couldn't save them all, but at least I saved my Gizmo. It took some work but I raised a healthy happy cat. She is now 9-years-old. I have also moved to a new state and work at a REAL tiger Sanctuary. I didn't give up my love for tigers just because of one bad situation, and Gizmo reminds me every day why I do what I do.

Real sanctuaries don't breed (even little cats). My Gizmo has the heart of a tiger (a lazy tiger but a tiger). It just goes to show you that good things can come from horrible situations with a little love and kindness.

Lisa B.
Eureka Springs, AR

Our Baby Wonton

I had just moved into a new apartment, while I studied in nursing school. One early morning on my way to my car with my then boyfriend, a severely skinny little siamese cat came and started rubbing against my leg. He was so friendly and so sweet! Against the advice of my boyfriend (since we already had one cat and a dog), I decided to start feeding him. I instantly adored him, and knew he had found us for a reason. I lived on the second floor, and managed to coax him up the stairs, and into eating in my apartment. He was hesitant, but I think he could tell I just wanted to love on him.

Fast forward four months, and my new baby Wonton and I moved across town into a house with my now fiance. He now enjoys the life of a spoiled housecat and a mama's boy. He loves air conditioning, soft kitty food, and morning snuggles. He has gained four healthy pounds and his purrs practically shake the house. He was recently diagnosed with FIV (which we were told he has probably had since before we had him), which was devastating. But we are determined to give him the best life possible, for as long as he'll be with us. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, and I feel pretty lucky that he chose us.

Lindsee
Sacramento, CA

"Over the Bridge Special"

I deliver packages during the winter, and one Friday, passed this soaking wet little puppy beside the river that one of my roads follows. I knew I could get fired if I picked it up, despite it being winter, and I just prayed that he'd be safe. After my packages were delivered and I was headed home, I couldn't rest without knowing that that pup had been picked up. My heart sank when I saw him in the same exact spot, dried but still shivering, 4 hours later. I scooped him up, and made the decision to keep him until Monday, when I'd drop him off at the pound.

I didn't even get home before that plan changed. I checked for microchips, called pounds and vets, let them know I found this little black-lab puppy, posted signs, even asked around at work. And one person said "Oh, that's very common for that river. People just throw puppies over the bridge and drive away". I was horrified.

2 years later, and he is the best dog I've ever had. I don't know who decided to throw a 6 week old pure-bred black lab puppy over a bridge into freezing water just before Christmas, but I want to thank you, because you threw away a GREAT dog, and gave me my best friend, partner, companion, and now Service Dog.

Tara
Columbus, OH
Forever In My Heart Paw Print Remembrance Bracelet
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