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A Street Cat Named Brian.

I didn't adopt Brian; Brian adopted me.

I live in Thailand, a country famed for it's sunshine, beaches and laid back lifestyle. It is also one of the street animal capitals of the world. When we moved into our new house, within a few days we noticed a dirty, oil-stained cat living under a car on the street outside our house. It didn't take him long to notice us either, and soon he was coming into our front yard, demanding strokes and love that I simply couldn't give him in his current condition.

What followed was a trip to the vets to have him checked over. The vet put him at around 8 years old - pretty good going for a street animal. A few quick tests confirmed that my new friend had feline leukemia that was already quite progressive. He also had an infection in his face from mites in his ears. He was generally in a bad way, and of course being the soft-hearted girl that I am, when we went home that day he no longer stayed outside but was welcomed into my home. Knowing that I live in a country that doesn't allow animals to be put down, I vowed to take care of him until the end.

I decided to call him Brian; it suited him. He had the attitude of a grumpy old man (wouldn't you after 8 years living on the streets?) but he loved a snuggle. As time went on, Brian's leukemia progressed more and more. He began to lose weight and lost the sight in one eye. But he kept on giving those snuggles until the very end. Our time together may have been brief but I am happy to have made his final year a happy, comfortable love-filled one.

Kylie Millar
Phuket, Thailand

The Girls

Both my kitties are rescues, just not from Animal Control. The first, a black, green-eyed beauty named Harmony, picked me when I visited her foster home on other business. Then about 6 mos. old, she jumped into my lap and wouldn't leave. She'd been spayed but had also been declawed, way too young. She'd gotten an infection and her original family did not want to deal, so she ended up being fostered and nursed back to health where I found her. Turns out, she was missing all the extra attention she'd gotten while sick in her foster home with around 20 other cats. She went home with me.

After going through some hard times and finally settling in a mobile home for a couple of years, we'd become good friends. There was a huge colony of cats in the new neighborhood, and one new momma with several kittens. One day, I looked out and saw momma had been run over in the road. So sad. About a week later, one of her little grey long-haired kittens about 3 months old ran in my door one morning when I opened it to feed outside kitties. She made a beeline straight for the food and it was down in no time. In the end, she simply moved herself into my house. Her name is Padma, and she's the sweetest natured kitty I've ever known. She and Harmony got along OK for awhile, but after we had to move into a smaller space, Harmony has gotten crabby with Padma, who has pretty much learned to ignore Harmony's bad moods. They eat together fine and it's the only way to get them peacefully in the same picture. A friend took care of them recently while I was in hospital and sent this picture to show they were OK. I do love my kitty girls and they give lots of love in return. Harmony is now 6 and Padma 2.

Victoria, TX

My boy picked me

After having lost my beautiful 12 year old kitty Delilah I became so depressed that I stopped going out and kept to myself while trying to heal from her loss. She became very ill and developed hepatitis and was hospitalized several times in an attempt to make her well again but it was not to be. I was heartbroken. Eight months later I got a call from a friend saying she had gone to a shelter to adopt a dog but returned with a kitten instead when she was told all of its siblings had been adopted and it was scheduled to be put down because it appeared there was something wrong with it. She is more of a dog person and had me in mind when she brought him home. When I drove to her house and met my little Austin for the 1st time he chose me. I picked him up and he immediately rested his little head on my shoulder and nuzzled his snout in my neck letting me know that I belonged to him. He became my best friend and soul mate for the next 17 years until this past July when he got very sick and was hospitalized for 4 days and sent home with a bunch of medications. He was half the weight he once was and was not getting any better. For 17 years he had greeted me at the door upon my return from work and I knew something must of been terribly wrong when I came home one night and he didn't. I had to make the hardest decision of my life and knew I had to let him go. Well here it is 16 weeks later and there is a giant hole in my heart and I break down multiple times every day because I miss him so much and constantly wonder if I had given it a few more days would it have made a difference? I thank God every single day for sending me my beautiful boy and allowing me to be his caretaker for 17 years.

Woburn, MA

Soleil, the stone cat - 15 years inside a wall

This is Soleil. She is a senior cat who has been rescued a few days ago in the beautiful city of Tarragona, Spain.

She has been living inside an ancient roman wall for fifteen years.

Her story is heartbreaking: she was presumably abandoned. When she got pregnant, she hid herself in this wall to look for protection for her litter, but some bastards killed her kittens with firecrackers. She never was able to leave this little crack in the wall. She was fed by a group of ladies who feed the cats in the area, but they couldn't release her. Her little hole was full of heces and insects and even crystalls from bottles. Her feeders tried to clean her space with some tools, but it was almost impossible to maintain it clean.

When the volunteers of the organisation "El hogar provegan" (Provegan Home) heard about her terrible state, they decided to rescue her. Today, Soleil is adapting herself to the new situation, and ill be taken care of for the rest of her live. She is so loving and happy, it's so sad that she's been in this situation for so many years.

The rescuers want to share her story to avoid the normalization of this kind of situations. It has no point to blame the people who were taking care of her, they tried to do their best. The message is that if you see an animal needing for help, you should try help him.

I wanted to share this story, because Spain is known around the world for animal cruelty, like bullfight and other infamous traditions, but little by little, a new sensitivity for animals is arising in our society. This month we had the first two incarcerations in our story for animal cruelty performed by a brave judge, and activists are improving the laws around the country. Soleil's rescue is another little step in the correct way on our relation with animals.

You can find current information about Soleil and the moving video explaining her story in the facebook page of "El hogar provegan- ESP".

Kat Leesi
Tarragona, Spain

Lost and Affraid

We have always been animal people, but cats are my favorites. All the cats we've owned have been adopted or rescued. This last year was particularly hard however. We had three cats, all between 9 and 12 years old, we lost two of them to cancer only months apart.Our hearts were broken and our home was nearly empty, we missed our friends who had spent their entire lives in our home and were most definitely a part of our family. Then one day as we were driving home from the store, we ran across something very curious. As I looked ahead I saw this little black dot in the road. As we crept closer this black dot began to bounce off into the tall grass next to the road. It was alive!! But what was it? Being a real life "curious George" I just had to stop and see if I could figure out what this little creature was. So I pulled over and got out and within seconds I hear this little, but loud, voice. So naturally I said, "What are you doing out here?" and this little coal black kitten came running out of the grass and into my outstretched hands. He was very vocal about his terrifying experience, but we took him home, cleaned him up and took him to the vet. The vet said he was about 5 weeks but very under weight. We got his shots, named him Idgie and he is now the light of our home! While part of me is glad I found this little guy on the side of the road, another part of me is angry at the person who made the heartless decision to drop him there, where he easily could've been hit by a passing car.

Perkins, OK

Gus the Good Luck Cat

There are so many kennels at the animal shelter and so many cats. It was hard to decide where to look. So that Sunday, after searching many a cat kennel, I reverted to my childhood trick of choosing things from my lucky number, 8. I opened kennel 8 and there he was - all green eyes, black fur, and sass. We locked eyes and he meowed at me like, "Hey, what took you so long?" He walked out onto my bent knee, front paws on my shoulder, into my arms. I was a gonner.

I didn't know much about cats. I didn't really know how to entertain him. Dogs are so obvious about what they need. This little guy was far too skinny and his neck was raw from where a too-tight collar had rubbed him bald. But he was latched onto my arm like a koala and he grabbed tighter whenever I moved to put him down. I decided I could figure it out. I stayed at the shelter for an hour. Left. Came back 20 minutes later to see him again. Left at closing time. I vowed to think it out over a couple days, but the thought that he would be adopted by someone else or put down was enough to expedite the process.

I took a half-day off of work the next day and set up my home with cat toys galore (all of which he continues to ignore, but loves my hair ties and couch corner!). I went back for him, relieved to find him snoozing in kennel 8. Over 6 months later, and I'm still grateful to find him snoozing at home.

I can't say for certain if Gus is the exact cause of the good fortune I've experienced since adopting him. But there is a magic to cats, just as there is to all things. He is a peaceful little animal who loves watching thunderstorms and snuggling. I am fascinated with him. I am happy that we found each other.

I didn't know how much I could love a cat. I know now.

Katie Marshall
Greensboro, NC

A Friend for a Lonely Heart

Back in 1996, when I was a sophomore in high school, my mom called me downstairs from my homework. Normally she'd do this to announce dinner or to have me do a chore. This time, however, she just said "C'mere!". I left my room and saw my mom at the bottom of the stairs holding this kitten! He was at that kitten phase where his ears and eyes were maturing slightly and he was curious about everything. My mom went grocery shopping and, when she left the store, she found a woman trying to find the little guy a home. So my mom went back in to buy supplies. She ultimately named him, and she named him Pepper.

After letting him out occasionally, it was clear that Pepper would become an indoor/outdoor cat. He met the neighbors, often by sneaking in their homes and eating their cats' food! But everyone in the neighborhood loved him. He would approach anyone who noticed him, rub his face in their hands, and plop down for more luvin'.

The following year, we let him out on a Friday in the fall and he returned on Sunday with his eye gashed open. We believe he climbed in someone's car engine for warmth and the fan belt got him. Some cats have fared far worse--sometimes losing their heads!--so we were grateful Pepper was only harmed that far. He still prowled the neighborhood after his injury and occasionally hunted small animals.

At some point, we needed carpentry done in the house. We had a crew of carpenters doing work, propping the door open and going in and out from their van to the work place. Pepper loved following them and they started calling him "Sarge". So since then, his name had been Sgt. Pepper :-).

On the morning of November 1st, 2015, the doctor at the animal ER had to inject him as he had many health problems (anemia, kidney disease, weakened liver, and fluid in lungs). He was about 20 years old. Everyone who met him loved him. He was a prince among men.

Michael Clavelli
Glen Ellyn, IL

Little Lady in White

I lost the first ever cat I had to myself back on Christmas day 2010. I was devastated and the only thing/ person I could talk to was that cat. My depression started to spiral with no one to talk too. In about September 2011, I found this lovely lady in white at our local shelter (age 4). Her name is Kew-tip. Her name comes after how we had to get her shaved and bathed after we got her since she got flea dip and not washed off, and she as obviously neglected by how she was so shy and matted. After she was shaved she looked like a used Q-tip. Since then she has opened up, gotten pampered, and has gotten a little brother. She is very calm and personable. She will not get close to anyone else but me. I love my little lady and she is always there for me to talk too.

Duluth, MN

Thank you

I click the purple button every day and read all the rescue stories. I just want to thank all of the wonderful people who adopt. But most importantly thank you to those who adopt the ones who need so much patience and love to help them get over the obstacles of their lives to finally end up enjoying life and being able to love again. To never giving up on them, to seeing beyond the growling or snapping or the hiding so that they flourish into the animal they deserve to be. Thank you to those who dedicate so much time and money to ensure that disabled pets have just as much a chance at love and happiness as those who don't require such dedication.

In today's world it is so heart warming to know that people are out there who care and love so much. I too have 4 rescue cats and they are just out of this world in providing me love and happiness and I'm so thankful that I can do the same for them. Lilly is pictured and we adopted her at the age of 10 (now 13.5) and she is just the sweetest cat ever!

Berkley, MA

Survivor !

We have always fed outside critters - birds, squirrels, bunnies, etc. We recently moved from one Chicago suburb to another and immediately set up our bird feeders. Soon we had birds, squirrels, rabbits, and ducks feeding outside our sliders. Then one day I noticed a brightly colored bird feeding on the ground. I went outside to investigate - and there in the tree was a parakeet. Having had budgies as a child, I knew it would never survive outside in a Chicago winter. I was able to locate a cage from the local animal control and set up shop outside under the feeders. We attached a string to the door of the cage and ran it over the patio into the house. For months we kept watch, taking the cage in and out during rainy weather. My husband never complained, although he had very serious doubts about my mission. Squirrels, doves, sparrows all feasted on the seed at the bottom of the cage, but no budgie. We would see him for months, but never in the cage. Then one week he didn't return. I figured either the elements or a predator got to it. One Sunday I happened to turn to look outside and there it was, all by itself, climbing up the ramp to the cage. I grabbed the string and as soon as it went inside, I pulled the door shut. Success!

Marley now has a big cage, a warm place to sleep and lots of food and toys. She is a noisy little thing what seems to enjoy have sports on the TV, becoming very vocal ! I am hoping to finger train her soon and let here spread her wings in a safe, loving environment. She brings a smile to my face every day and we have come to enjoy hearing her do her birdie grumble!

No one is sure what the bigger miracle is, that she survived the outside for 3 months, or that we were able to capture her. All I know is that she is safe and loved.

G. Lorenz
Tinley Park, IL
Purple Paw Bling Slippers
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