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From hoard to forever home.

My family used to be involved with quite a few rescues and the local shelter - we'd foster just about anything, a holdover from many years ago when the neighbors would bring us litters of orphaned kittens to raise and we owned all sorts of various pets. We've not done it in a while now due to various health issues, but we're still in contact with some of the rescue people who occasionally ask if we'd like to see such and such animal.

The most recent one we were asked that for: a Maine Coon.

Perhaps nine years old and terribly stunted in growth, owned along with thirty-odd other cats by a hoarder, not a one spayed or neutered. Repeatedly pregnant in her sad life, just having given birth to a litter of kittens only a few weeks ago. Four pounds, not likely to survive nursing those poor little bubs, and with a respiratory infection to boot.

She, minus kittens who sadly passed, found her way to a local rescue who asked if we'd like to foster her. Of course, said we - how can we say no to this miserable little scrap of fur, the poor wee thing.

She stepped out of the carrier when she arrived, squeaked and sneezed at me, and I knew at first sight I had to keep this tenacious fluffball.

Now Freya is a sassy, demanding, nine and a half pound mass of floof and attitude. She demands table scraps along with the dogs, loves a good belly rub, is fond of holding and licking my hand, takes up all the room on my computer table and loves to sit in the window. It's as if she's lived here for twenty years instead of two - and that's just how we like it.

Kai Lowell
Dubuque, IA

This is Milo's Story

I was visiting my cousin in Oregon, and while I was there I found a stray kitten. I scoured the neighborhood and local shelters trying to find his owners, but no one claimed him.

A week passed and I decided he was going home to California with me. He was about two or three months old and already neutered. After a Vet examination it was concluded he was in very good health. I named him Milo. He was a happy kitten, kind and playful with my two older cats Tasha and Gracie; they were 18 and 20 years old at this time.

The story begins when he turned into a teenager. His testosterone was flooding his body and he became very aggressive, actually quite mean. I took him to the Vet and it was decided to give him Zanax to calm him. Well, it didn’t work and I was at a loss. I had to keep my old girls away from him, he would chase them and lash out biting and scratching. I kept my distance too.

Then the miracle happened. I was passing through the living room, the TV was blaring, and I heard a comment, “If the tissue is not completely removed when neutered, testosterone is still present and continues to affect the personality of the cat.” This information staggered me, maybe this was Milo’s problem.

The Vet surgically examined him and discovered his testicles were intact and did not drop. From the outside he looked neutered, and because I found him, I didn’t know his history.

After he was neutered he changed into a loving, peaceful and content cat. Years have gone by and he has never shown aggression, not even a scratch. He is very devoted to me, constantly follows me and when I sit, he is immediately on my lap. It is determined that he is a Norwegian Forest Cat, he is a beautiful cat inside and out. I love him immensely. I believe it was a blessing I happened to hear that one sentence on TV that changed Milo’s life.

Cherie Bennett Mayse
Roseville, CA

Historia de May

Buenas días/tardes/noches. May es mi gata adorada, llevo sólo 10 meses a mi lado, pero son 10 meses que no cambiaría por nada.

Ella vivía en la casa de un hombre junto con ocho gatos más, cada vez que este llegaba a la casa borracho cogía un palo o lo primero que encontrara y les empezaba a pegar. Allí también vivían algunos perros, los cuales este hombre había enseñado a que cada vez que los soltaba era para que fueran a matar o lastimar a los gatos. Los vecinos se enteraron y denunciaron al hombre, las personas de la fundación animal rescataron a todos los animales que vivían ahí, los cuidaron, curaron y dieron en adopción. Un día mi suegra y mi marido me regalaron una gata por nuestro aniversario y yo decidí ponerle "May". Me dijeron que no sabían cuanto tenia, pero que no menos del año, así que ese 13 de Septiembre quedó como el día de sus cumpleaños. Al principio era algo difícil, era muy miedosa, se escondía siempre y le tenia miedo a todo el mundo, pero poco a poco se fue acostumbrando a mi, hasta que se volvió una gata casi normal. Ella no tiene dientes, debido al maltrato que recibió, lo cual implica que siempre mantenga con la lengua afuera. Hace un par de meses le descubrieron un tumor en su boca, y aunque se lo pudieron extirpar, su boca nunca sanó. Desde entonces sólo puede comer papillas. Aún se esconde y le cuesta confiar en gente nueva, pero ahora es inseparable de mi y yo de ella. Tiene una peculiar forma de maullar, como si fuera el pito de un juguete y ronronea todo el tiempo. Es lo mejor que me pasó y a pesar de todo el sufrimiento que he pasado, no la cambiaría por nada.

Lizeth Mendoza
Ibagué, Colombia

The Story of Chester Cheetah

I'm going to tell you a story:

In 2004, when my son Aidan was 2, the two of us went to the SPCA to pick out a kitty. We walked into the free range cat room and quietly sat down on the floor (Aidan in my lap) to see if anyone caught our eye. From across the room we saw a big lanky black cat get up, stretch ever so slowly, and walk over to us. He sniffed us both for a minute, let us pet him, and then to our surprise and absolute delight, climbed up into Aidan's lap and got comfortable. That cat chose US....and his name was Mack.

That cat would become our Frankie Friend, best cat ever for the next 11 years....until we lost him to diabetic complications.

2 months later, sad and lonely without a cat in my home I decide to start volunteering at the SPCA and maybe see if anyone could compare to my lost love. One afternoon I am sitting in the free range cat room and two 7 month old tiger striped brothers climb into my lap and get comfortable. After a few minutes one gets up and goes to find something else to do. The one left sat there and let me cuddle him for 2 hours before the shelter closed up for the night. As I was standing up, with him still in my arms I asked "What is this one's name?"

"Mack" she said.

I brought him home the next day. :)

Christine
Kingston, NY

Maggie the One Eyed Cat

Maggie was found in a backyard by some very unfriendly dogs. She had given birth to 4 kittens and they were in immediate danger. In the process of defending her babies from the dogs, her eye was severely injured. The owner of the backyard called Save the Cats AZ to come help her. Sadly, Maggie lost her eye due to infection and one of her kittens passed away. But the three surviving kittens were adopted. When she came to Save the Cats AZ she has was depressed and anti social. We started her on Jackson Galaxy's Grouch Remedy, which perked her up a lot. A wonderful foster mom named Elisha, took her in with several other special needs kitties. Now Maggie has transformed into a playfull cat who loves to be petted. Thanks to Elisha's love and Jackson Galaxy's Grouch Remedy she is happy and content.

Barbara Arce
Gilbert, AZ

A Pretty Boring Rescue Story

Many of these wonderful stories of animal adoptions are quite dramatic and exciting, but here is the story of adoptions that is quiet but still wonderful. My Mother and I took in a stray who turned out to be pregnant. We named her Snowy and were absolutely enthralled with when her three kittens were born….2 boys and a girl. We found a home for the 2 boys to go to together, but we just couldn’t give up the girl, Susie. We absolutely adored her! That is her photo I submitted with this story. One and half years later, a young white cat showed up on our porch. We and our neighbors fed feral cats (and a few squirrels, racoons, groundhogs and skunks too) on our porches. Eventually, we realized the young cat was pregnant and after awhile, she showed up with milk in her breasts. She had her kittens in an old abandoned house out in the woods near where we lived. Finally, she showed up with four kittens, 3 boys and a girl. It was time for them to have solid food and she knew just where to get it for them! We found a home for one of the males, but sadly, the mother cat and the female kitten eventually disappeared. That left the remaining two boys. Well, they were sweet, loving babies who enjoyed being picked up and held. And, yes, they joined my Mother, myself and Susie in our home. Susie adored them and washed them so much we were afraid she would make them bald! Considering all the dangers outside, (Susie’s mother, Snowy eventually disappeared) neither Susie nor Billy and Moe were allowed outside. But they are happy and content to be indoor kitties Not an exciting rescue, but still a good one!

Lin
San Diego, CA

Lost in the woods

7 years ago I was at my hairdresser's home getting my hair dyed. We decided to sit out on her back porch while it processed. There I was in a cape with dye all over me when I spotted a tiny little kitten. I asked her about the kitten and she said the neighborhood stray had kittens and they all lived in the woods behind her house. I wanted to go over, but she said no one can pick them up, they are feral. So, me in my cape climbs over into the bushes and scoops up this tiny black kitten. She melted in my arms. I went over to my hairdresser, who was by this time eating meat and potatoes and she hand fed potatoes to the kitten. She was so starving she ate potatoes! Once she was in my arms, I knew I could not let her go back into the woods starving, skinny, and alone. I took her to the vet, no chip. Fleas, but 2 flea baths fixed that. Lots of good food and a warm bed and now 7 years later she is the best cat in the world. She talks and cuddles and she is the best thing I ever found outside and the best stroke of luck I ever had.

Kaytee
Aurora, IL

Bo's story

We had finally decided to get another dog. We searched the local shelters on the web and found the perfect dog for us.

We drove to see her, and when we got there she didn't show any interest in us at all. While there we looked at the other dogs. This little guy named Hobo with the big ears caught our attention. We got to spend some time with him and we knew he was the right one for us.

The lady from the Humane society said he had been there for over a month, and had came from a shelter in Mississippi. They didn't know much about him. She also said that the average dog gets adopted in about 2 days. I began to wonder if there was something that we had missed with him. Why hadn't others taken him? We decided to trust our instincts and took him home.

We worried about him adjusting to us and his new home, but he was fine right from the start. He is the best dog. He is very mellow. He loves people, and other dogs. He is about 2 years old and has lots of energy to play and go for walks, but is just as content to lay next to you on the couch. He has lots of personality, and is very smart. He rarely barks, and is overall a perfect fit for us, except for the name Hobo that the previous shelter had given him. We shortened it to Bo.

I am so happy we took him, I almost didn't because of the length of time he had been at the shelter. Do yourself, and the dogs a favor and don't overlook the dogs who have been there for a while, they may become your new best friend.

Dan Matton
Bloomington, MN

Garage Guardian

A few years ago I started feeding some ferals where I fuel up for my nightly delivery route. They would never get closer than 20 feet until I laid the food out and backed away. One night while I turned around to get another can, this little guy came up and started eating. He was either really hungry or had figured out I wasn't a threat. Within a couple of days I was able to pet him.

I received the OK to bring Tux home to be a garage guardian (we have two elderly indoor only cats). I tried stopping several times after finishing my route but couldn't find him, so that Friday I decided to pick Tux up when I fed them. He sniffed around the cab for a minute then put his paws on my leg, looked up at me and meowed, as if he was saying, "OK, Let's go." He then coiled up next to me and mostly slept for the next 6 hours. It was as if he knew he was headed to a better home.

He settled right in the garage, and particularly loved his deep shag rug lined bed we made up for him. We spent as much time with Tux as possible. After a week, he got to venture outside. He inspected the grounds for about an hour and then went back in, got a drink, and laid down to take a nap. He was home.

Tux always came running, happy to see us when we came out to the garage. One of the things he loved to do was to hop up on my workbench, headbutt me until I put my arm down. He would then lay between my arms, put his head in my hand and go to sleep. I was his person.

We're not sure what happened to Tux. Our neighbors told me they have lost several small pets to the critters in the wooded area across the street. I've had many cats in my lifetime, but never one that has affected me like Tux. I miss my little buddy.

Mitchell
Moore, OK

Saving Stella

My boyfriend had been wanting a cat for quite a while. As we were both finishing degrees, it wasn't really feasible. That would soon change.

We had a roommate who was out bicycling one day when a man began talking to him. The man had a female kitten that he couldn't keep. He had picked her up after seeing a truck stop on the street and leave her.

Of course, our roommate said he could take her (without us knowing)! As soon as my boyfriend met the kitten, he was in love. I was out of town and did not find out about the cat until I was on my way home. I was tentative about taking on a kitten, but we compromised and kept her. :)

Stella was very loving and calm, never afraid of us. We took her to the vet and she was in perfect health other than an ear infection and some fleas. She has since warmed up to us and shown us her rambunctious side. We can play with her for hours and still barely wear her out!

Her interests include: bugs, climbing, her birdie, looking out the window, barely sleeping, and toes. Having a kitten in the house has really livened things up and we both love having her.

Anonymous
Collinsville, IL
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