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Please- PLEASE microchip your pets.

There's a local neighbor lady, she speaks Spanish and I don't, but I always greet her when she's out feeding the local strays. One day she'd already left the food out and the cats were eating, but there was an extra little white kitten I'd never seen before. I make noises at the cats in hopes that some of them are friendly. Unfortunately after they hear it-they freeze and then run off.

This time was different. Even though this kitten was already walking away from the feeding area, I made the noises... She froze.. I did it again.. She turned around and ran towards me.

She looks so dirty in this picture, and she clearly had fleas, but she was so incredibly sweet. I knew she couldn't possibly be a feral cat, so I took her home. (There was a small tiff, and I got a few scratches before I wrapped her in my new jacket)

She got a bath (and I got a few more scratches...but no bites), the next day she (and my roommate's and my own cat) got flea meds, and I bought a flea comb to get as many out right away. I wish I could post more pictures so you could see how good she looked after her bath. She stayed in my room with my cats litter box, and the door closed so they didn't fight. She stayed there for a few days because I didn't have a car to take her anywhere.

That Sunday I took her to my vet.

She was microchipped.

Her name was Ash (because the two grey spots on her head looked like ash-Wednesday marks- they weren't dirt.).

She was missing for two months, and that day she got to go home.

-

She got to go home, because her owners got her chipped.

Please chip your pets.

Sarah R McClure
Los Angeles, CA

Tenacious, The Tough Hedgehog.

May 2016, inspecting oilfield pipes and equipment, we noticed a small hedgehog which was soaked with crude oil and its body was stuck to the ground. The hedgehog could not move from its place and was dying. Just a fast beat pulse was its sole sign of being alive. “It’s better to put it to sleep”, my friend said. But I couldn’t do that. So I decided to do my best to save him. I took it softly. When we returned to the office, he almost had no vital signs. I started to clean him using Hand Cleaner and a toothbrush to remove the oil from his body, but oil concentration was very high and the cleaner did not work well. After researching the internet about home remedies to rid the body of animals soaked with oil, we realized that the best material is edible vegetable oil to do so. It not only has no danger, but also is so effective. The difficult harsh point about our hero was that according to his nature, he rolled into a tight spiny ball as soon as being touched and did not allow us to clean his body. So, I had no choice to put him in a bathtub to make him unrolled. That day, I put on my work clothes and it was little money in my pocket. Most edible oil prices were slightly higher than my money. I found a cheaper one at last. It was very hot that day (about 100°F) and I desired a cold beer, but I recalled hedgehog which needed to be washed after edible oil massage (:D). So, a baby shampoo took the rest of my money instead of cold beer. Finally, after 4 hours of effort I could almost remove the oil from his body. The result was amazing as he got up and started to run happily. It was there that my fatigue vanished and I felt cheerful that I could rescue him. He showed great stability and resistance to survive. So I decided to put his name Tenacious.

Saber Araghi
Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of

RAL! "Running at Large after Joplin Tornado"

I grew up in Joplin Mo-the f5 tornado that hit there in 2011 broke my heart. I wanted to help in some way and decided to adopt a dog that was homeless after that tornado. I went to petfinder and searched on Joplin. I found a sweet terrier mix who was found RAL after the event. She was pregnant when she was found and had given birth to her pups in a wonderful prison program to rehab strays and homeless dogs. I went to the prison to meet her and she was darling! As soon as her pups were weaned she was ready to come home with me and all her pups were adopted too! Her name is June and she is my funny, one ear up, one ear down Joplin homie! She has been a perfect fit in our family and we love her dearly. Adopt!!! It's the gift that keeps on giving!

C Benton
Overland Park, KS

Backyard Bo

While prepping my backyard for spring, I was taking the tarp off my large wooden swing. As I pulled, something came running out from under it and straight for the bushes.

I assumed it was a squirrel until I heard a meow.

Checking it out this beautiful Torti kitten came straight out. I held my hand out and she came right up to me. I checked for a collar and tag. She had none. I got her some food and water. She ate it right up and jumped in my lap, purring and wanting attention. She had belonged to someone at some point. She was too loving to be feral. That's when I noticed the fleas!

I have two 9 years old rescue cats that would not want a sister & I can't afford the care of a 3rd one. I called a friend who manages a rescue called Stray Cat Blues in Colmar, PA and she said bring her over. They took her to the vet and discovered she was actually 2 years old and was tagged in Kentucky. No owner address just the ASPCA were she was chipped. And they had no adoption records on her, other than she was taken to a Petstore in Philadelphia area. The rescue spayed her , de-wormed and defleaed her. Plus got rid of the tapeworm that made her so small.

I got to spend a day with Bo before going off to her Forever Home.

It was my 1st rescue and I was sad to see her go, but she now has a great home

Thom Ryan
Philadelphia, PA

The best friend I could've asked for.

November 1998. I was in the 12th grade when I decided to adopt a cat from the animal shelter. There were a few cats running around for me to interact with, but this one sweet 4-month old girl got my attention. She kept coming to me for pets and apparently she decided I was the one for her; I took her home the same day. I promised her that day that I would do everything in my power to keep her safe and happy.

I named her Nala, and she was the sweetest, most well-behaved cat I could've asked for. When she was 7, she was diagnosed with diabetes. During the transition period where I was learning to administer her insulin shots and taking her to the vet for regular blood sugar checks, she was a total champ. No fighting or biting; it's like she knew being calm would make the pokes go a lot faster. Everyone at the clinic loved her and commented on how sweet she was. Friends who didn't like cats changed their minds when they met Nala.

I was able to manage her diabetes with few problems for almost 10 years. Unfortunately, her health started to decline in May 2015. Her diabetes became unstable and caused her to go into kidney failure. Her body started shutting down and there was no way to salvage her quality of life. I had to say goodbye to my best friend on May 18, 2015. She was 2 months short of her 17th birthday. I miss her every single day. She taught me to be strong, responsible and to not give up. She was always there when I was sad or sick. Honestly, I'd say she was the love of my life. I hope I see her again one day.

ELLEN T
CALGARY, AB, Canada

One Up Max

Hi! My name is Max, or rather, One Up Max. I rescued my Mom, Lisa in July of 2011. She wasn’t looking for someone to love, but found me and couldn’t resist. My best friends are Buddy & Coco, the cats. They stay home most of the time while Mom and I go for car rides, walks around the neighborhood, do my agility training, and go on play dates. I love helping people and someday I’d like to be a therapy dog, but I don’t have time in my busy schedule right now. So until then, I'll just keep making people smile as I am.

Lisa Shawver
Morada, CA

The Tale of Two Kittens

When I was preparing to move out of my parents house, my roommate and I both realized an issue. I had a calico tabby named Chai whom had grown up with my childhood cat Mocha, and our Jack Russell Zoe. Mocha and Zoe would be staying with my parents, and Chai would be coming with us. We just KNEW we had to get a companion for Chai, since she's a very affectionate and clingy cat. We knew she wouldn't do well on her own. Without much money due to my being disabled, we set out to find a kitten. We were hoping to give an unwanted kitten a home, and soon enough we found this little Ragdoll a girl in our town was giving away.

Originally, we thought the kitten to be a girl, so we named her Sally. Through a series of unfortunate events, the girl 'lost' Sally after her child had let the kitten outside. We were devastated, as we'd so desperately wanted that little fluff to be ours. We waited a week and didn't hear anything, and so we continued our search. We found another kitten, a tuxedo Angora we named Sirius Lea. As soon as we got her home, we received a text from Sally's foster. She had found Sally! We went and scooped the kitten up right that instant and brought them home.

We'd been promised both kittens were 8 weeks old by their fosters... It was a complete lie. They were barely 5 weeks. We had to feed them formula, and help them eat each meal for the first month of their life. Slowly, they grew and it turned out that Sally was actually a boy. That's how we came to have Andy, and Sirius Lea. They're just over a year old now and have the biggest personalities of any cat I've ever met. Chai has taken on the role of mama cat and we're forever blessed with their presence.

Nikki P
Worcester, MA

You Gotta Live Forever... 'Kay?

Dear Jessie,

When I first adopted you, I whispered to you "You gotta live forever, 'kay?" Over the years when I would imagine life without you, I would say again to you "You gotta live forever, 'kay?"

My body still wants to take you for a walk. Your leash still hangs by the door waiting for the words "wanna go outside?" It's been raining a lot this week and I instinctively look at the clock to see if it's near time to take you out.

Whenever I eat some crackers or chips, I look to see where you are so I can throw you some.

You were the perfect dog for me. So quiet...so calm. You never peed or chewed on anything. You barked so infrequently that you would scare yourself when you did.

You were with me through all the good times and the bad. You never judged me, even when I weighed 200 lbs and was sweating to the oldies. You always had a wag of the tail for me.

I loved how I could always trust you with any child. When you got older and a little more grey in the face, some of the neighbor kids started calling you Granny.

Even when you could no longer chew the hard kibble and you weren't so interested in your toys, and had to be walked more often, I loved you so much.

You trusted me right up to the end. You believed me when I told you that you didn't have to live forever and it's OK to go.

I felt the life leave your body and you took a piece of me with you.

I love you sweet Jessie girl, and I'll see you at the bridge. 1998 - 2016

Kris
Prestonsburg, KY

The Sweetest Boy

In 2008, we had just moved into our new house and already had a year old rescue, Peyton. Our family was good.....so I thought. We received a call one afternoon from my husband's cousin, who said "We're going to take Spot to the pound. Do you want him?" Spot (as he was called then) was the puppy they found on the side of the road about 3 months back. He was a black/white spotted pup with a mask that made him look cross eyed and a joker's smile. He had lived in their backyard while their 2 Yorkies lived inside. My husband's cousin had decided that Spot had pit bull in him (which he doesn't) and needed to go. I asked my husband "Do you want him? If you do, that's your dog. I already have mine." My husband jumped at taking Spot. Spot was renamed Bailey and made instant friends with Peyton. What I didn't know is that Bailey was going to steal my heart like Peyton did. Bailey made it his mission to get Mommy to love him. He was Mommy's saving grace while my husband was in Afghanistan. Bailey is now 8 years old, his mask has faded and he is my 85 pound lap dog!! He is the sweetest, goofiest dog but very protective of both Mommy and Daddy. He is the leader of our pack -- Peyton (9) and Bella (4) -- but you wouldn't think that to see his sweet face.

Melissa G Eplee
Simpsonville, SC

Emergency Rescue

My mother and I live in an apartment complex. One summer a few years ago, our obnoxious, noisy neighbors suddenly moved out. A few days after they left, we were enjoying the blessed silence, but kept hearing a strange noise. We couldn't pinpoint what it was, so we went looking. Around the back of the building, my mother saw a small grey kitty sitting in the window. She was the noise - meowing her tiny heart out. They had abandoned her to die.

We started trying to break into the apartment, trying to remove the screen from the window so we could get in and get the cat. We attracted a small group of people who tried to help. After an hour or so, we called the maintenance manager, who informed us there was no law to rescue cats in our state, only dogs. We pleaded with him, and eventually he let us into the apartment after calling the police to inform them of the situation.

I went in to get the kitty. Their apartment was dank and dirty, and there were empty yogurt cups and trash on the floor without a food or water dish in sight. I grabbed the kitty and took her to my apartment. I named her Elsa. She immediately hid and was generally quite mean for the next few days. Already having two cats, my mother insisted we find her a home. Then, Elsa chose my mom as her person (wise move!). Elsa is now a very sweet, spoiled princess, and is just as mouthy and talkative as she was the day we saved her life.

Kat
Towanda, PA
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