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No Fear Jack

Jack was saved by a wonderful vet when an owner wanted a convenience euthanasia. His eye was removed at 9 months; he was such a bundle of energy that the vet had to put him up for adoption for the sake of her older cats with cancer. I saw him on a rescue site and thought with only one eye, perhaps his chances at adoption were not great. So Jack joined our two older cats. We had 13 happy years with a tabby whose disability did not deter him from racing thru life. Jack was the only counter cat I have had--he could haul a package of frozen chicken breasts from the sink and onto the floor. He greeted anyone at the door when the doorbell rang. He politely tapped my leg or face when he wanted attention--those early morning wake ups were better than an alarm clock. We took him in for a check up when we noticed his appetite was lagging. Test results showed renal failure.

People say he had a happy life--he was loved and spoiled. Still, the emptiness is heartbreaking and I miss Jack's energy and happy, carefree attitude. Our two older cats passed within 6 months of each other about four years ago. Then our feral cat that we cared for passed last year. In time, I'll rescue another older cat--for Jack.

Anonymous
Springfield, VA

Lilith

In late winter 2011, my fiance and I happened to do the grocery shopping at a completely different day and time than usual. When we were packing the groceries inside our apartment building, we could hear scared meowing. The security guard told us that another renter had stolen the AC unit out of the apartment but left behind his pets, including a cat, who had escaped outside and was hiding in the bushes. We already had one cat, the maximum allowed in our apartment building, but I scooped up the cat and took her inside. "Just for tonight, I'll take her to the shelter in the morning!" I told my fiance. We both knew it was a lie! We fell in love with her and she became a beloved member of our family. It was clear from her skittish behavior that she had been abused. It took lots of patient love and care to help her adapt to her new life, but she grew into a sweet, loving cat--who always retained a fierce strength and no-tolerance policy for nonsense, which we call "putting the paw down."

Our first cat is a bit of a daddy's girl, but Lily was all mine. Every morning, I would wake up and she would race me down the stairs for me to let her out onto our patio. We spent hours gardening, hanging out, watching the birds together. We were both cranky homebodies who liked to keep to ourselves. We ate green beans out of a can together and she helped me read books and grade papers.

Sadly, last year she developed a rare, aggressive disease and passed away at the age 5. I miss her every day. I keep "putting the paw down" in my own life, just like she taught me.

Lacey Sparks
Lexington, KY

From Fearful to Fierce

Almost two years ago, my mother, my partner at the time, and I were on our way to our local pet store. On Adopt-a-cat Saturday. We saw this gorgeous, friendly, and talkative tortoise shell cat in a very closed off container. My partner, mother, and myself immediately fell in love with her.

At the time, she was named Lorelai. So that's what we called her, as we talked to her and tried to pet her through the holes of the glass covered case she was in. She LOVED it. And us. Finally, a representative from the shelter came to talk to us about her. Lots of paperwork, adoption fees, and a short debreifing on her needs later, we were on our way home with Lorelai.

Once home, she was slowly introduced to our two other cats and renamed Chimera. After weeks of adjustment, she was still having trouble. Not only with the other cats, but with her confidence. It didn't help that her backstory was a complete mystery. All we knew was that she flinched when we went to pet her, had mild food aggression, didn't know how to play, and was prone to hiding herself away.

Lucky for me (and Chimera), I watch a certain feline behaviorist's TV show as if my life depends on it. We started catifying our home and finding ways to encourage Chimera to learn to play. We also started approaching Chimera with more consideration of her fears, and learned how to work out feeding times to diminish her food aggression. It wasn't easy, and it took time...

But after almost a year and a half with Chimera, she had warmed up to us and our other cats. She sat in our laps, rubbed up against us, and talked to us when we called her name. She had learned how to play, stopped hiding, and started to come out of her shell.

She has come a long way, even in the last six months, from the cat she was two years ago. Now she is happy, healthy, confident, and loved... and still loves to talk.

Helena P
Normal, IL

Bella

I have always had a dog in my life. We had recently had to help our Bear dog over the rainbow bridge after 13 years of unconditional love. Soon after that we adopted a black lab mix pup from animal control who, due to health reasons, left us way too soon at the tender age of 1. I was hesitant to get another dog after that. It seemed like too much heartbreak to endure in such a short time. However, my daughter who was in Kindergarten at the time, came home from school telling me that one of her classmates was moving, and that they were going to take their beagle to the shelter . I had always been a big dog person, and never in my life imagined I would have a beagle. But I just could not bear the thought of someone leaving their dog at the shelter. So, I became a beagle person.

Bella was two when she came to us. We soon discovered she had had a pretty rough life with her previous family. She had not been spayed and the family moved without getting me the promised vet records. The first time I got a broom out to sweep, she tucked her tail between her legs and cowered in the corner. Her paws had been frostbitten and cold temperatures were painful She did not know how to play. No ball, no toy, no running or jumping. It was the saddest thing. After many months of patience and training, she learned to trust me, and my husband could get her riled up enough to run a bit in the yard. She was very gentle and mostly just wanted to curl up next to a warm body on the couch. She was a constant companion to our daughters, patiently enduring hours of playing "dress up" and cuddling. She was with us for 13 years and this past August we had to help her over the rainbow bridge at age 15. I am grateful that we had the opportunity to open our home and hearts to her.

Anonymous
Batavia, IL

Saving Chains

Wanted to share our story of rescue with you ! We saved an abused and neglected dog from Puerto Rico. We love him so much, and it's such a beautiful story . Thank you for all that you do !

https://youtu.be/ysd91s7klGU

Michael Militti
Groveland, FL

My life saver Fred

Sorry for the terrible quality, it's the best photo I have.

We were just going to the local market to buy some Christmas gifts, we stopped at the animal rescue centre nearby to make a donation. We had a walk around and I saw him, he was sat right in the back corner of his cage, sad, lonely and scared. He looked at me as I crouched down, someone who worked there opened the gate. He slowly made his way over to me and allowed me to stroke him, his eyes fixated on mine. About an hour later he was laid on my knees as we drove home.

I was that awkward teenager; serious introvert, few friends and major trust issues. They told us Fred hadn't had a great start to life either, I didn't want to know the details. He slowly became my best friend and I opened my heart out to him. I have bipolar disorder, he stood by me. My parents divorced, he stood by me. Losing friends after coming out as gay, he stood by me. That dog was my rock, he pulled me from the brink of suicide on many occasions

Fast forward to about a year ago, I had more confidence and had grown up a lot, more friends, a job, things were better. Someone left the gate open when I was at work, Fred had got out and got hit by a car. My boss drove me to the vets when I heard. I saw him, he was barely alive, he had massive internal bleeding but he still tried to get to me, I just held his head and kissed his nose. He just looked at me as the vet gave him the injection, I'll never forget his eyes.

I am slowly recovering but it still hurts. Don't pity me, pity anyone who mistreats or neglects animals. I urge anyone reading this who wants a dog; save a life and go to a rescue centre, you will not regret it.

I love you Fred, I'll see you at the rainbow bridge.

Will
Sheffield, United Kingdom

Scruffy

We found Scruffy at the Dumb Friends League in Denver on June 11, 2006. He had been turned in as a lost dog with cysts on his back near his tail where maggots had gotten in. The DFL had gotten rid of the cysts and maggots, and had cleaned him up when we met him. We took him home that day, and he was the sweetest, gentlest, and most loving soul for over 10 years. Even when he was so sick with congestive heart failure and other heart problems, he remained a wonderful boy who only wanted to love us. We helped him over the Rainbow Bridge on October 4, 2016 when he was about 14 years old. He will be in our hearts forever. I will always love you, my “Baby Dog”!

Lucy

Denver

Anonymous
DENVER, CO

Lover Boy - the most loving cat ever!

Lover Boy was from a litter of barn kittens at the stable where my daughter rode. Summer camp was going on and the children played with the kittens constantly. He grew up very friendly but was a skinny no-name mess with long fur full of burrs and constant diarrhea staining his fluffy tail. Then the owner was injured and the stable closed. The 4-H members rescued all the abandoned barn cats except the most feral, and LB was the first to run out to say hello and be nabbed. I took him to the Humane Society because we had too many cats already but I told them, “Call me if he doesn’t get adopted” -- well, imagine my surprise to get a call just 2 days later that he was sick and I had to come get him or they would have to put him down! So back he came and it was the best thing ever. After he figured out to not try to jump through window glass after birds, he was SO happy to be a well-fed, warm, indoor kitty! He loved being with people, always greeted us at the door, slept on my feet, and had to be nearby purring every waking minute. He loved to be brushed and would jump on the bed every morning and turn his back to me and wait for me to bush him. He also loved to race ahead of me to jump on any chair I was going to sit on so he would have to be petted. He helped me sew and fold the laundry and supervised the opening of all packages. If we went away for a few days he would be very anxious the first few nights we were back and would get up on my pillow and tap the top of my head with his claws asking to be petted every few hours. He was my husband's best buddy too. We lost him a year ago to kidney failure at about age 14 but he was a one-in-a-million cat who will live forever in my heart!

Anonymous
Ann Arbor, MI

Dusty

1 year ago today, I had to say good-bye to my dearest Dusty as he became an Angel and returned to Heaven. I will forever miss your golden eyes, your radar tail and your furry toes as you go "swimming" when I rubbed your belly. I will love you forever and always my little Dust man. All my Love, Mommy <3 <3

Anonymous
Wickliffe, OH

my husband found kitty kitty on our deck

my husband goes outside to smoke every morning, he can't smoke in the house because i can't be in the same room with a smoker, well that morning my husband came in and said that there is a kitten outside, so i took a small bowl with cat food out there with me, i started off by calling kitty kitty and he came running, i let him smell the food then i walked through the door first, he followed me, i gave him the food and from then on he was my kitten he goes to bed every night just like his sister's and brother, no problem with any of them, the other three are my husbands fur babies, but kitty kitty is mine

elizabeth denson
farmville, VA
Shades of Grace Short Sleeve Tunic
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