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My shadow

Nine years ago I lost my beloved Yorkie , Nugget. I was urged by my neighbors to get another dog so I went on Petfinders. I found a Shih Tzu and put in to adopt him. I was told he was already adopted so I went back and looked around and found a Yorkie. I put in to adopt him and got a phone call saying I could have him if I guaranteed to take him. I said yes. The next day I got a call that the Shih Tzu had been returned and I could have him. I went to the rescue foster parent's home and picked him. His name is Toby and he has been a wonderful dog.. He's now 12 and has some health issues but is still going fairly strong. Two days after I got Toby, Tyler arrived. A 5 lb skin and bones dog. I was afraid to pick him up that I would break a bone. Tyler was afraid of everything. If I opened a door he ran. If anything made a noise he ran. He was afraid of everyone except me. Everyone in the neighborhood said I should take him to the pound and forget about him. Well he gradually came around and now is one of the best dogs around. He learned a lot from Toby - like the leash doesn't hurt you, doors opening done hurt and you can peek in and see all kinds of things. He follows me everywhere I got and cuddles with me at night. I am glad I got him and Toby - two of the best dogs one could ask for.

June McHale
Sarasota, FL

Tougher than I look.

May 2015 I was looking for my forever home for few days and luckily a three women adopted me and they named me Snowe.

September 2015 I am happily living with my new family when I decided to jump and fell over the window. I got my two front leg broken. My mommy bring me to Vet but the Vet can’t operate me because my bone was small and the operation was expensive. The Vet give me pain reliever and medicine for my bone. My two front leg bent after the accident but I can still walk.

December 2015 even if my two front leg is bent I stay healthy but one morning I can’t walk, I can’t move my two back feet. The Vet said that I broke my two back leg and put me to cage. Inside the cage I don’t stop biting it and I damage my neck and teeth. I can’t move my neck and I can’t eat on my own but my mommy cares about me. She remove me on my cage and create a small bed for me, she started feeding me with a syringe for one week. I recover but I ended up crawling to move.

March 2016 my mommy got worried because I have a blood on my pee. She call the vet and gave me vaccine and medicine to drink.

Today I eat a lot and take a sunbath early in the morning. I never let any other cat(boy) to get near to my dear Barbie(another rescued cat that stuck on the water pipe.) If the cat meowed I meowed louder. I love the way my mommies petted me. I love my mommies but I love them more.

Cavite, Philippines

Pay it forward

In November 2014, I opened my bedroom window and saw two tiny kittens huddled together in a corner of our garden. I ran out but only managed to save one of them, the sickest who couldn't run. Even though we thought he would die, turns out he was one tough kitty and he pulled through. My sons called him Tiggerjack. We still see and feed his brother often but he is too feral to be caught. When we found him, Tiggy, had worms, a skin condition, he was skin and bones, had a ton of fleas, ear mites and a fever. Even though he was about 2 months old, he was half the size he was supposed to be and to this day remains tiny.

He became the sweetest, most loving lap cat ever!

Fast forward in June, I hear kitty cries so I go out to investigate. Tiggy had brought home a teeny tiny ginger boy. He wasn't the friendliest kitty, and he escaped our home a couple times but Tiggy kept bringing him back. In about a month he was tame and loving. We named him Leo because his profile with the long nose reminded us of a lion.

Since then the two have been inseparable even though by six months old Leo outgrew his friend!!

I guess Tiggy paid it forward!!

Grand Rapids, MI

Shedding Her Fear

A thin, terrified two-year-old blue heeler was found wandering the streets of Phoenix, Arizona, one extremely hot summer day in 2014. She ended up in a local animal shelter, where she was soon put on the euthanasia list due to her "unfriendly" personality. No one came to claim her.

But then some nice people with a local dog fostering nonprofit decided to take her out of the shelter and saved her from the euthanasia list.

I had a 6-year-old border collie at the time (still have him), and he was home alone regularly, which tore me up with dog-mom guilt. I decided he needed a pal, so I started searching online. I came across this blue heeler and was immediately struck by how sweet she looked.

I brought her home and quickly discovered whoever had "owned" her previously had abused her. When I'd lift my arm up to take something out of a kitchen cabinet, she'd shrivel in fear onto the floor and wet herself. She'd cry and hide in the closet from even the slightest noise or quick movement. It broke my heart to see her so afraid.

This went on for a couple of weeks, when I decided she and I needed to have a heart-to-heart. One night we sat down on the floor together, I gently stroked her head, and I told her, "Abby, (the name I chose for her), you will never be hurt again. You will never be starved, neglected, yelled at or struck. I will love you forever. You are part of this family now. I want you to be Happy Abby."

She looked at me I swear, she understood. Ever since that talk, she's become a completely different dog. She plays, chases her Border Collie brother around the house, sits by my side, and best of all, when we go to bed, she puts her head by mine, stretches her arm out across my chest, and snores in my ear.

Abby is a great, brilliant, delightful dog who will always have a happy, safe home. I'm so glad she decided to adopt me.

Elizabeth Baker
Mesa, AZ

EB and the Dude

My family and I have always rescued animals...all animals. I have always had a closeness with cats and after watching several shows about them, I wanted a Sphynx. I was contacted by a friend, who was contacted by another, that there was a domestic violence situation and a woman who ran a rescue needed emergency fosters. My friend took the Scottish fold and I took in the two Sphynx! So excited! Not so exciting was the shape these cats were in. EB was missing an eye, has partial blindness in the other eye, been declawed on all four paws had such severe anxiety and collitis, she was having bloody stool accidents all over our home. The Dude had HCM and a severe upper respiratory infection and could barely breath. Unfortunately, the Scottish Fold wasn't so lucky and my friend had to pay to euthanize the poor cat. Her vet told her he had all the signs of being in a hoarding situation. I later found out the woman who had the cats also placed two Sphynx's at another home that she was supposedly sending to the Bahamas. Whomever took these cats in, put them in a spare bathroom and they starved to death. Since I had EB and the Dude (original names Athena and Osiris), I got them both to the vet and back to health. I would go for months without hearing from this woman and then she would call and say how are my cats? I stopped returning her calls at this point because the cats were doing really well and my husband and I decided they would live the rest of their lives comfortable and loved. The Dude became a mama's boy and EB is definitely a daddy's girl! Unfortunately, the Dude developed cancer and passed in November 2014 and I was crushed. EB is still giving us unconditional love and following her daddy like a shadow. I am just happy they were/are able to be loved and happy considering where they started. I love my naked kids! Furry ones too :-)

Shannon Post
Las Vegas, NV

Growing up with my best friend

When I was nine years old I was playing outside on a very cold day. Huddled, freezing underneath a neighbor's AC unit was a very frail, very beaten up, all white cat. Instantly I picked her up and put her inside of my coat. I fell in love with her right away and we bonded at once. By the next day I had convinced my parents to allow me to keep her. We took her to the vet. She was fully declawed, which meant she had been owned at one point and was six years old. Meaning she had been born sometime in 1988. She made a full recovery and though was scared of people she didn't know and mostly stayed in my room she was the most loving cat I had ever known. I named her Creamy. For the next fourteen years she was my best friend. Always with me to cuddle and comfort me when I was sad. When I had gotten my own (first) apartment and would come home at the end of the day she would be waiting for me right at the door. I'd pick her up and hold her against my ear listing to her purr. I'd carry her around for while I went about doing my coming home activities with one hand. Then one morning in late November 2008, this usually very healthy cat took a turn. I found her shaking when I woke up and she wouldn't eat her breakfast. I took her to the vet where they kept her overnight. Sadly the next morning I got a call that she had passed away in the night. When I first got her, as a little girl I would sing Madonna's "Angel" to her. Because she did come when I wished for her. Even though she's been gone almost eight years I still get emotional whenever I happen to hear the song. I will never, ever forget her or stop missing her.

Bloomington, IL

The story of the Three Legged Pike that Could

Upon visiting our vet for some hairball treatment, the tech came out with this tiny kitten on her shoulder. Apparently, when they opened the office that day, a plastic grocery bag was found on the front door knob with a teeny, injured kitten inside. How he survived the bag, we'll never know, but they found him to be under 2lbs and one of his front legs was broken. This sad, struggling cat looked at me and gave the most pathetic 'mew' I've ever heard. I took my husband back that evening to meet him, and it was agreed that once he was medically cleared, we could adopt him; once he was a bit bigger, they would be able to remove the broken leg. For a few weeks, Pike ran around our living room, dragging this broken paw behind him, but still showing all the energy and curiosity of a typical kitten. The arm removal gave him additional freedom; he never had any problems running or playing or climbing like his siblings. Given his rough start in life, he was always our "scaredy cat" but gave nothing but unconditional love to my husband and I. Over the years, he had a host of different health issues, but came through them like a champ, returning home after a vet or hospital visit with purrs and headbutts. Sadly, after 13 years together, Pike developed intestinal cancer and it took him over very quickly. We had to say goodbye in July 2015, after he stopped eating and was showing signs of a lot of pain. He was my baby and my shadow for so long, and I still miss him every day. As we approach the 1 year mark of his passing, I hope this story shows others that rescues and 'imperfect' kitties can be the best of friends with you for many, many years.

Columbus, OH

Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow left us today. We’re very sad, yet not. In the spring of 1996, I was on my deck drinking coffee when a cat appeared out of the woods behind the house. I knew nothing about cats, but this one came up to me and jumped up on my lap. I was sold immediately. We started feeding her, and although at that point she lived outside and in the garage, she became our cat. I gradually figured out that she was pregnant, and in the summer she gave birth to 5 kittens in a box of my husband’s engineering books.

She moved inside, along with two of the kittens. Pussy Willow became the fearsome protector of the house, all 6 or 7 pounds of her. She decimated the rodents, and walked my daughters to the school bus. She fought anything and often came home worse for wear and had to spend a few nights at the vet’s. She always did come home, though and she was always fiercely loyal to us.

Over time, we adopted or rescued 15 more cats (not all at the same time). Pussy Willow remained the touchstone, the constant, the first and eternal cat. Even though we knew she was getting older, she remained so lively and so spry that it was hard to believe.

Over the last few months she began to slowly decline and truly show her 20 years. The last week was the worst, and today she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. But because of her, 15 more cats have had homes and others have been inspired to rescue cats as well. Here’s to Pussy Willow—a lioness at heart!

Ellington, CT

In memory of my Baby Joey

I found Joey's picture on-line at an animal shelter site. I had just lost my dog Tanner Joe suddenly of uncertain circumstances and my heart was broken. Tanner found me when he was lost without a home and I took him in. He was only four when he died. Needing to mend my broken heart, we drove over an hour to the animal shelter where Joey was.

We took him into the "get acquainted room" and he was full of energy and loved to give kisses, he was thought to be about six months old. I had to have him he was adorable, a yellow lab mix, some shepherd in him because he had the fanned tail.

I have a chronic, sometimes debilitating illness, but even as a puppy Joey was content to snuggle next to me in bed and take care of me. He went through so many sad life events with me, divorce, losing my house, moving four times, but he was always there for me. He loved his Daddy, even after the divorce, and adored our daughter and recently my grand daughter. We were all His. He loved to rub his forehead on us, as if to say "you are mine" and when my daughter was young we started to show our affection to him the same way rubbing our face in his fur saying "mine, mine, mine". That usually made him playful too.

He had awful allergies, and was taking 5 anti-histamines and a steroid. The steroids made him gain weight and as he grew older his hips grew weaker and eventually he was taking pain pills as well. Even through this, he was always the care giver. We loved and spoiled him every day.

I had to help him across the rainbow bridge this week, it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I could not let my baby boy suffer in pain though because I know what that is like. We miss him so much, he was a gift from God and we will always love him, forever in our hearts.

Englewood, OH

A Moment That Has Changed Our Lives Forever

In December 2015, we had been hearing whines and cries from under the house but were never able to find out where exactly and could never figure out what it was but I knew it had to be a cat and sounded like a very small kitten.

On the morning of December 20, 2015, we stepped out of the house at about 7am and here was a little female light gray striped kitty who was just adorable. It broke my heart to think of how long she had been surviving outside in the horrible weather with no food and no one to show her love and attention. Well that all changed in an instant. I ran to the store to grab some kitten food. She was starved to death. It was very chilly so we of course let her come in the house. She was never skiddish of us so we knew she was destined to be with us! We immediately formed a bond with her and she became our spoiled princess!

A few days later we took her to the vet to get her shots and a check up. We received a good bill of health as well as found out that she was 4 months old and probably would not have lived much longer in the cold weather.

She is now 8 months old and is the queen of our house. We needed her as much as she needed us!. We love her to pieces and are so glad that she came out that day as our lives completely changed forever!

Piedmont, MO
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