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Garfield the Great

As a mystery writer, I’ve got to say that I always love a mystery. One of the biggest mysteries my family ever experienced was where our cat Garfield disappeared to every so often.

Garfield usually spent his days in his favorite perch by the front window but every so often, however, Garfield would simply vanish, often for up to a week at a time. We tried to find out where he went but attempting to follow him was like attempting to follow a snowflake and see where it landed. We tried to keep him indoors but that was an impossible task. Garfield dashed between legs, snuck out window cracks and darted through the smallest of gaps in open doors. He loved the outdoors because Garfield loved people.

Garfield enjoyed nothing more than being surrounded by admirers and although our family definitely admired him, apparently we weren’t enough. He needed to be out and about getting pats on the head, strokes along his extra long orange and white tail and rubs on his neck from neighbors, the mailman and anyone else in his orbit. Garfield never met a stranger and he seemed to be blessed with an abundance of good luck.

Until his luck ran out.

The details are still sketchy but I’ll never forget when our neighbor came over to tell me that an orange cat had been hit by a car and she thought it might be Garfield. With a heavy heart, my husband went over to investigate. Sadly, it was Garfield and he was gone. Our adventurer, people-pleasing, Mr. Popular cat was gone forever.

We buried Garfield in the backyard and planted a tiger lily on top of his grave. Although that was three years ago, we still miss our people-pleasing cat and I suspect we always will. We never solved the mystery of where Garfield wandered when he wasn't home but it no longer matters. What mattered was that he always came back until the one last time when he couldn't.

Marlo Hollinger
NORTH MANKATO, MN

Rescued by Sassy

We had to put down our Boston named Rusty. He was our best friend for 14 years. My how the house seemed empty without him. We knew we would rescue another Boston, but did not know the request would be answered so fast. We immediately put in an application to adopt with the Wisconsin Boston Terrier Rescue Site guessing it would take months. Instead we were contacted two hours later asking if we would be willing to rescue Sassy who is 13 years old and blind from cataracts. She was turned in when her owner died. We said yes and the rest is history! Sassy has been with us a month and already has us wrapped around her little paws. She is totally house broken and already knows her way around the house, without bumping into walls. She is a sweet very well behaved little girl. We miss our Rusty but thanks to Sassy we are the ones who have been rescued.

Anonymous
cottage grove, WI

Spooky the terrorist

After spending a year of depression over losing my dog of 16 years I finally admitted it was time to find a another companion. I chanced upon PAL a rescue site in Apple Valley, Ca. at the time. That was eight years ago. I entered a small room with a tiny window near the ceiling, and there she was, a grey tabby. As soon as I entered the room she flopped over on her side and killed me with a tiny meow. I was had, that was it. I took her home the same day and she has been with me for eight years. They thought she was approx 4 years old when I took her. She had been living on the street and had a litter of kittens when they found her. She had been kept in the small room for 2 years and I said to myself, never again. She will have the freedom she deserves. So now she roams the house and enjoys a 3/4 acre backyard. She immediately took to hunting, always bringing me a "gift" nearly every day. Thus the term "terrorist". Attacking the carpet in the house is a habit I can't break her of even though she has several hundred scratching posts of every configuration imaginable. But that's ok, she owns my heart.

Anonymous
hesperia, CA

Felix Van Gough

There was a lady in our Burg who fed stray cats. After my dog passed away this little black cat started showing up at my back porch. It took about 3 months before she would stay when I brought out her food. I volunteer at the Spca and registered her(which we found out later) in the Community Cat program. She was spayed, micro chipped and rabies shot. When I brought her back they said to confine her for a few days so she didn't jump or run. I kept her in my laundry room with a litter box, food and water. After those few days she wanted to stay in the house. She still goes out a lot but always meows at the door to come in. The name came after she was neutered because she was feral so her left ear tip is cropped. She has really attached herself to me. She does things my dog used to do so she gave me another someone to LOVE.

Mabe
Paris, ON, Canada

Adventures of Squiggy

Squiggy came to us in May with such severe mange that he had no hair at all! His brother Lenny, sadly, was so sick that he didn't survive. Squiggy spent many weeks in treatment at Animal Care Sanctuary before finally being well enough to be adopted. He is doing wonderful now with his new family and has a huge facebook following. Stories like Squiggy's remind me of why I love working in shelter medicine.

Jill Elston
E SMITHFIELD, PA

Barkley's Story

He was curled up in the corner of the cage at Morgan County Animal Control the first time I saw him in June of 2012. He looked very sad as if he knew that he was going to be euthanized in 3 days. I took him home that day. Morgan County said that they had picked him up as a stray a couple of weeks before and estimated him to be about a year old Beagle/German Shepard Mix. This picture was taken the first day I got him.

Barkley never really got along with my other dog so until Aishlin (Chow/Rottweiler Mix) passed away in 2014, they lead 2 separate lives. Barkley has had some anxiety issues but he has turned out to be the best dog. He loves his squeaky toys and has mastered the art of barking and squeaking at the same time. He pretty much runs things around the house and will let me know when he is not happy about something. I am so grateful that I am able to give him the life that he deserves.

Tyann Gross
Springfield, IL

Finally A Home For Ace

I am happy to report that I have finally trapped the neighborhood feral cat! He started coming around my house two months ago and quickly figured out how to use the cat door to come into the kitchen for the dry food that is always left out. I also feed him wet food outside each morning. Needless to say, my cats were not at all happy about this and there has been much growling and hissing. Over the past two months however, they seem to have come to some sort of a truce. Although my cats still chase him out of the house if they see him, they tend to ignore him outside, so I figured it was time to trap him, get him tested for disease, and get him neutered. I have named him Ace. That is not an actual picture of Ace, as I can't get close enough to take a picture and didn't want to traumatize him further by taking one this morning while he was in the trap, but it's a very close resemblance. My hope is to get him tame enough that he'll become part of the family. This may be easier than I think, since he is already coming in to sleep on the couch since the nights are getting colder. Of course, he runs straight to the cat door when he hears my husband or I coming down the hallway, but it's a start!

Lady Trapper
Sacramento, CA

Two new babies to love!

When our 15 yr old fur baby, Jia, passed away last August, we never thought we would be able to love another kitty as much as we loved her. I'm so glad we were wrong. A year and 1 day after we lost our girl, we found ourselves at the county shelter ready to adopt again. My husband & I knew we wanted to rescue siblings and our new babies (along with their mom & 2 sisters) were just brought back into the shelter the day before after being in foster care. Needless to say, they stole our hearts! Dash is our ginger boy and his dilute calico sister is Dinah. The are VERY energetic and love to play with all of their new toys, chase after each other and snuggle up together at night. We have so much love for them and they are quickly becoming very spoiled in their new home! Although we will always love and miss the fur baby we lost, Dinah and Dash have proved that it's possible to make room in our hearts to love them too!

Danielle Carr
Riverview, FL

Our Sweet Tender Mercy

In 2011 we had a 14 year old German Shepard named Smoky. She was sick and we knew we had to end her pain and confusion. I knew I wouldn't handle that well so we went to the no-kill Redwood Animal Shelter in Salt Lake City. A family of 5 dogs had just been dropped off. Their human was dying of cancer and could no longer care for them. She had written a full page on each dog, their names, birthdays, likes and dislikes. I saw the family and told the attendant I wanted the smallest female. That is Mercy, she was 6 1/2 years old. Today is her 11th birthday and she is is in great health and plays with our Yorkie Pixie. They get along great. When we took Smoky to the vet Mercy was laying right beside Smoky when she crossed the rainbow bridge. It was sad but Mercy helped ease the pain. Today we have Mercy 11 years old and Pixie, 2 years next month.They rule the house and us and we love them to pieces.

Linda K Sanders
St George, UT

From Orphans to Best Friends

About two years ago, a friend of mine told me that he had a cat in need of a home. Kenny (proprietor of Kenny Hill Autowerks in here Austin) has long cared for the feral colony that makes its home in a pile of scrap auto parts out behind his shop, so I figured he'd tamed another feral. But this cat came from a hoarder situation in Dallas where the woman with 50 cats in a small townhouse had passed away in the bathroom with the water running in a sink. When the landlord came to investigate his flooded property, he called animal control -- and Kenny, who was one of the woman's inlaws. The first cat captured was the one who was least afraid of all the water in the place: A Turkish Van who was merrily swimming through the living room. I took him in and called him "Buster" after Buster Crabbe, the Olympic swimmer.

A pet detective friend of mine who knew I liked Norwegians spotted one at East Lake Pet Orphanage, also three hours north of me in Dallas. Ringo had been abandoned in an empty apartment when somebody lost his lease. I promised myself I wouldn't drive to Dallas to look at him, since two large male cats in the same house could spell real trouble. But I looked and fell in love -- and brought Ringo home to Austin, fearing the fur might fly or I might have to rehome him myself if things got really bad.

Little did I know that the two guys would become best friends in the whole world.

It's wonderful to rescue a cat and find a new friend. But it's been really amazing to see two cats find their own BFF's along the way.

Eric Overton
Austin, TX
Keep Calm and Rescue On Long Sleeve T-Shirt
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