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Jersey Boy

We had been talking about adopting a pet for a while. My husband grew up with cats, but I am allergic and I grew up with a dog, so a dog it would be. My husband browsed our local adoption sites, and that's where he found him. Junior was a then two year old currently in a foster home, looking for his fur-ever home. We met him and instantly fell in love. His big, soulful eyes and calm demeanor hooked us instantly. He came home with us a few days later. He had two surgeries for cherry eye, and was missing patches of fur on his belly. Junior ( now called Jersey) is stubborn. He doesn't always come when called, and he refuses to fetch. He won't eat until he feels like it. He takes up a lot of room on the bed. He fights us when it's time to put the leash on, and he tugs us on our walks. He showers us with kisses. He squeals with excitement and shakes his butt when we walk through the door. He loves to cuddle. We don't know his story before he came to live with us, but it doesn't matter. He is tremendously loved and will never know hurt. We smile when we realize he rescued us.

Marissa T.
Austin, TX

Casper, Survivor of the Wild

After the death of our first cat, my family and I adopted this beautiful cat when he was just a kitten in the parking lot of a CVS. There was no way we could ever realize what we were getting ourselves into, that we were going to witness a miracle in this icy blue eyed monster of a cat. We quickly decided that this beast needed a friend, so we adopted another kitten, Alfred, to keep him company. Alfred and Casper were the best of friends. They constantly fought for the top platform in the cat tree, and they still do to this day!

About two years after we adopted the kittens, we unexpectedly had to move away and could not keep both cats. It was a devastating feeling, having to decide which one to take with us and which to give to another family. It would be a long car ride down to our new home, so we had to choose who would be best in the car. Casper's uncontrollable energy forced us to give him to another family, who eagerly accepted him.

Fast forwarding about a year and a half later, a picture on Facebook pops up of a skinny cat, identical to Casper, aside from the weight. The people who found him were unaware whose cat this was, and where he came from. Casper was never skinny, he'd always been a massive cat around 20lbs in size. To see him so small was horrifying. The family we had given to had moved away and left him behind. We found out that he'd been living in the wilds of northern Maine for about 2-3 months without shelter or a solid source of food. I couldn't help but feel angry as well as guilty. The rest of my family felt the same, and we hastily met a family halfway to bring Casper to his true family and reunite him with Alfred and our dog Tobi. It was a success, Casper immediately recognized his friends, and started to rub against Tobi and quickly befriended Alfred once more.

Anonymous
Haverhill, MA

We Will Always Love Lucy

We first noticed a flash of white in the backyard. Some new creature was living in our yard but it never slowed down long enough for any of us to figure out what it was.

Then winter came and along with the snow there were occasionally fresh footprints along the sidewalk. Tiny footprints that told us that the streak of white was actually a cat who had to be beyond freezing. We started putting food out for our guest and winter turned into spring. The white flash became a more and more frequent visitor, finally perching on the ledge of our living room window and peering in with an expression usually associated with orphans in old movies pressing their noses against plate glass bakery windows. Attempts to coax her to get closer to us were rebuffed and we decided that the white cat seemed to be destined to be our permanent outdoor cat.

Until one day when I was sitting on our front steps when a ball of dirty white fur appeared from behind an evergreen and climbed onto my lap. I waited to see what this cat would do.

What she did was purr. And then follow me inside to see what was for dinner. We took the white cat, now called Lucy, to the vet and Lucy became the newest member of our family. After her rough life outdoors, she became the most indoor of indoor cats, not even looking out the windows when she walked past them. I suspect that she had enough of the Great Outdoors to last her the rest of her life, which unfortunately didn’t turn out to be very long.

Lucy spent almost exactly one year with us before getting sick and leaving us for good. We are thankful that Lucy finally decided to come into our house. We were so happy to have her, even if it wasn’t for long.

We loved Lucy and I know, once our hearts heal, we’ll love our next cat too because the joy of loving them almost makes up for the pain of losing them.

Almost.

Nell Musolf
MANKATO, MN

Mr. Peepers Miracle

Kitty Konnection, a local rescue, sent out a plea for homes for a feral cat colony threatened with poisoning. I agreed to take 2 as barn cats at our historic site. The little one arrived with a severe eye injury that was badly infected, he would die without immediate attention. The vet said the eye had to be removed. Because he was so small, and would be at a disadvantage, the vet didn't want to see him go back to being a barn cat. Turns out, he wasn't the least bit feral, rather he was a sweet, cuddly boy who was, likely, dumped, because of his injury and/or for being male. He recuperated at my house, gaining his name, Mr. Peepers because he does not meow...he peeps! Six months later, he is my one-eyed wonder -- nothing slows him down. He is the best little "bother" to his big sister, Merlin, my Bombay, and an all around wonderful boy. The moral of this story -- ferals are not always feral, special needs cats are special, and never underestimate the power of love and good medical care to change a life!

Michelle Zupan
AUGUSTA, GA

Izzy-Belle -- Rescued From Horror

I lost my beloved foster kitty Namir to feline infectious peritonitis several months ago. That meant I was a one-kitty home, which was not acceptable. But I waited until the time was right. Last week was the right time, and I decided to get a rescue kitty.

I went to a local no-kill rescue shelter and almost instantly fell in love with my Izzy-Belle. Her back story is horrific. She was abandoned in the bitter cold, and found herself literally frozen to a cement porch for many days. When she was finally rescued, she had lost one side of her fur and skin to frostbite, eventually the tips of her ears fell off, and she had essentially lost use of her hind legs due to being frozen in one position for a long time.

The rescue shelter took her in, tracked her microchip (her former owners refused to take her back!), and began the long and arduous road to rehabilitation. They had to replace bandages every day. Keep in mind, this is a rescue shelter -- this was a costly procedure. This shelter is an amazing sanctuary for many lost kitties.

When I went to the shelter, I was lovingly introduced to many available kitties, but I kept going back to my sweet Izzy. She came when she was called, and was wearing a fetching red feathered collar. I couldn't say no.

Izzy has fully recovered (although her ear tips haven't grown back, but that lends her a sweet, quirky look!). She runs around my house like a crazy cat, sleeps with me all night, and gives my other kitty, Titus Andronicus, a run for his money!

Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff
Belleville, MI

Meet Squeek!

In 2008, heading to work, I passed a business center and saw a small rat terrier attempting to tear into a discarded food bag. I pulled into the lot and the dog took off! I followed in my car as she ran the perimeter of the parking lot! She dashed under a fence and was now literally on the burm of the freeway, where she lived. I contacted a rescue who said they would send someone right out. 3 days later, there she was again, trying to get food. I pulled in again as she ran back to her "nest" off the freeway, out of my reach on the other side of the fence. After leaving my tuna for her I went got a bag of food and for the next 7 weeks I fed her twice a day.

I got lucky one Sunday, and as she twisted to bite a flea, I grabbed her. She was thin, cut up and literally infested with fleas. She was chipped, but her owners didnt want her back after being lost for 4 months. She was also terrified. I took her home and 3 baths later, she ate and fell asleep in my arms. She was terrified of men hid when I left the house and my husband could never find her. There was no way I was letting this one go to the pound!

8 years later, and this little beauty rules our house! She chases planes, our Great Danes, plays daily with her Squirrel friend and every single night, she hops up on our bed and must be touching my husband and gives unconditional love. In the am, I tell her to go wake up Poppy, and she runs to wake my husband up with kisses. Her name was Baby, but changed to Squeek. At mealtime, she runs outside, runs back and forth, and she Squeeks! My husband says its because she is so happy and secure that this is her forever home. Everyone always says how lucky she is. I say we were the lucky ones!

Kelli Driscoll
Whittier, CA

The Saviour

Years ago, I was a fairly wild teenager of 16, out of school and away from home and trying to support myself. I had come from a dysfunctional place and found it hard to settle down.

One afternoon, my neighbours kids told me about a white kitty that had been spending time up inside the engine of the cars in our apartment's parking lot for several evenings. He had no tags or tattoos, and nobody seemed to know where he came from. He was a greasy ball of fur when we finally coaxed him out from under a car and was half starved. He was scared, but seemed to know I was going to help him. After spending some time at the vet cleaning him up, deworming and neutering him, I finally got to bring my lovely boy home. The vet thought he was about 4 years old. I fell in love immediately with this green eyed boy and named him Sammy. He was my first cat, something I had always wanted to have.

Sammy was a major factor in me finally setting down. We bonded immediately and I knew I had to have a stable home in order to look after him. He was my biggest motivator. Eventually I was able to complete high school, get a decent job and then finally go to college. He was my rock every step of the way. He was my saviour as much as I was his.

Eventually over the next few years I got a couple of other cats, and Sammy welcomed them all into the family. He was always loving and gentle and slept with me every night. I don't think I could have asked for a better pet.

He was my baby for the next twenty years, but by the age of 24 he began to fail. It broke my heart to see him dying. I finally got the courage to take him to the vet to end his pain. It was brutal. I was there while he slipped into unconsciousness and then death. I will never forget him.

Anonymous
Calgary, AB, Canada

Coming out of the Shadow

It all started with a new roommate and her cat Shadow. It wasnt long after they moved in that I realized Shadow was just a small ball of fear. There was no getting close to her let alone a pat or rub. Her owner assured me that was how she was and had been since she got her. Soon after I discovered her owner was using drugs and I asked her to leave.She asked if Shadow could stay until she got on her feet.I agreed,although I wondered how she would react being around the rest of my cats as she was never allowed outside of her room. It has been a rough ride for us all...Shadow scared and spending her time in my bathroom.Her first interaction with my pug was a game changer,she had never seen a dog in her life! He just sniffed her,she let him know dont come any closer,lol! One morning she wasnt in her usual spot in my bathroom and I started looking for her,my linen closet was open and there she was curled up on my towels.I reached in to pet her,expecting the usual snarl and paw swipe and to my amazement,she let me touch her! That was the beginning of her getting to know us and coming out of her shell of fear.She now roams the house freely and has been spotted playing with a few of my other cats.She even comes into my room looking for me,she hasnt got up on the bed to join us,but I have hope.I can only imagine what she has been through,but she is now in her furever home and I havent heard from her other owner,and thats a good thing!

Red
Canton, OH

Voodoo from Haiti

In Haiti on our last day of teaching art in a church compound we heard a dog screaming. Rushing around the corner we saw the janitor violently “sweeping” a puppy out with the trash across the pavement. A crowd of people were laughing and became even more entertained when we intervened. As I knelt by the puppy who was lying still with eyes open I saw that he was starving, had little hair and what I thought was mange and a jewelry chain which had grown into his neck. We then saw that his back leg was broken and “vet” was found who only gave him a painkiller and wanted $400, we gave him $40 and he left. I cut the chain off the pups neck and he breathed in a deep gasp of air. In the morning we found another vet who came and washed him, medicated him and taped up the broken leg. I went online and made contact with the International Humane Society who recommended we try to get him out of Haiti and helped us every step of the way. After a long ride to Port Au Prince we got him to a vet clinic where he stayed for 3 days. The little guy was so happy to see us when we came to pick him up! The hotel was kind enough to let him stay in our room and we spent a week getting the required paperwork together and signed and bonding with this sweet little, cuddly, indomitable spirit we named Voodoo. He sat quietly in his carrier through 2 flights back with us to Colorado. He now runs in the mountains with his best bud Lalu the boxer and when people say “he's so lucky” we say say “no, we're the lucky ones”.

Beth Evans
La Veta, CO

My Little Monster

I like to look at Petfinder sometimes, just for fun. One day, I was sitting in a boring college class, and I came across his little face. He was listed as a pekingese, but he's actually a Japanese Chin, and his name was Lawrence. He was scheduled to be euthanized due to mange. There was just something about his little face, the way he stared so earnestly into the camera from behind the cage door. I wasn't really in a position to bring home another dog, but I did it anyway. At the shelter, I came to find out that he had been dumped by people who "found him." The shelter staff believed that they had, in fact, been his actual family that didn't want to admit that they were dumping their dog. I quickly renamed him Ares, and proclaimed that he was a foster. But as time went on, I realized that Ares wasn't exactly the kind of dog that people wanted. He was weird, awkward, and he humped EVERYTHING. I also noticed that he was incredibly empathetic and very snuggly. He was particularly in love with my own pekingese mix, Thor. So much so that, after a few months of "fostering," I decided that Ares had already found his home. Ares was still a nuttball, still awkward, and completely apathetic to house rules. It was because of this that he eventually gained the name "Loki Meili." Loki for his nuttiness, and Meili because he is really very sweet, and Meili is a norse god with the nickname "the lovely one." I understand why they couldn't keep him. He's weird, and he doesn't listen to anything. He is, however, the sweetest dog I have ever met. I don't know what I would do without him. He and Thor are best friends, along with their new brother, a corgi named Ulysses. I love this boy, and, as nutty as he is, I wouldn't change a single thing about him.

Dani
Dallas, TX
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