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Charlie

This rescue story is not entirely mine but I had a big part in it. When my son and his girlfriend were ending their freshman year in college, my son told me that they wanted to get a dog but the dog would have to stay with us until they had a place that would accept dogs. She had always wanted a dog but had never had one. They went to our local animal shelter and met Charlie. I went and met him also and thought he was a sweet dog but I asked the kids to wait until after Memorial Day because we were going camping. Charlie had been dumped on the side of the road in a crate. They asked how long they keep the dogs before they euthanize they them. The answer was 30 days and Charlie was on day 31. Of course I said get him now. He lived with us for two years and he still comes occasionally for overnights. He is the sweetest most loving dog ever. We all love him. And her parents love him as much as we do. He gets spoiled by two sets of "grandparents"

Anonymous
NEW WHITELAND, IN

Tokyo Overcoming Abuse

About a year ago I was passively searching for a companion for my year old cat, Crackers. So when I found Tokyo, she was the farthest thing from what I was looking for.

To start, she was tiny, about 4 pounds, and the vet estimated she was around 9 years old. She couldn't move around too easily and the second I brought her home she darted under a sofa and refused to emerge for over a day. Once I got her out, I realized that her undercoat was matted across her entire body. I sat down with a pair of scissors and spent the night slowly cutting through the mats, and learned that her inability to move was due to all of the tangled fur.

Because of her skittish and panicked nature, she was anything but a playmate for my other cat. I only saw her for a few minutes a day to sneak some food before retreating underneath an upstairs bed, and I was at a complete loss at what to do for her.

After shaving her down, I noticed patches of smooth skin where hair wasn't growing. A few months later when I took her to the vet for a checkup, I learned the truth about Tokyo. First of all, she was not an older cat as we had previously believed: in a period of six months her estimated age dropped from 9 years old to 3. Secondly, the smooth patches were places where she'd been burned. Discovering that Tokyo's behavior was due to a history of physical abuse, I turned to reading up on feline post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorders, researching ways to make her feel invited into family spaces and alleviate her anxiety.

In the past year Tokyo has gone from living under beds to being a happy and confident kitty. She loves to visit with people and sleep with me, and even plays sometimes. She still has a long way to go, but I know we have many more years together to grow her confidence in people and the world around her.

Sarah Cook
Austin, TX

Rexford T. Mutt learns love!

I had just lost my heart dog after 13 1/2 years. My neighbor worked at a Veterinary teaching school and got a dog in from "up North" for a neuter. She thought he might be perfect for me and sent a picture to her husband's cell phone. So Rex didn't make the trip back North and came home with me instead. Little did I know Rex was part of a seizure of 128 dogs that were hoarded. He spent the first four years of his life on a chain outside being fed only when someone remembered. He was stiff and fearful. He had no idea how to interact with people. He had no manners. He was not what I expected. And he was a runner. My challenge was to teach him to trust while breaking all of his bad habits at the same time. I remember one particularly bad day when I was at the end of my rope. Rex had jumped the fence again and would not come when called. He was no where in sight and after having walked around and driven around looking for him, I had given up. I figured he was gone for good. He did eventually arrive back home after a few hours of being gone. He came back in the fence in the same place he went out. (I taught him that early in the game so I I would always know which way he was going.) I kenneled him (more for his safety at the time because I really wanted to beat him) and we had a long chat. I asked him if he wanted to live with us. I told him if he did he had to start playing by the rules of the house and that included staying inside the fence. After our long chat, I set him free. And I told him it was his last chance. He did not leave the fence again after that day. Fast forward two years and a lot of work and love later and I couldn't as for a better friend and protector.

Anonymous
Bangor, ME

Tully Boy

After losing my 17 year old female, Tabitha, my 16 year old Toby needed a playmate. I saw a picture of this adorable tuxie on Craigslist. I picked him up, named him Tully, took him to the Vet for a clean bill of health then took him home. However, he hid in my bedroom all Friday night. Saturday morning came, still no sign of Tully. I finally saw him that afternoon. I laid on the floor and just talked to him. He would take a few steps toward me, roll on his back and look at me. If I tried to get closer, he would run away. Saturday night, I woke to a very warm furball snuggled tight to my stomach. Sunday morning, Tully was in hiding again. Sunday was the same as Saturday but Sunday night I had another warm furball tightly snuggled to me. After almost 3 years together, weekends are Tully snuggled in my lap or he's trying to groom me. He still runs away from me if I catch him off guard but I know he loves his fur-ever home with me, his older sister and his younger brother.

Anonymous
Bellevue, MI

Miranda and Bonnie

Back in June 2013 I read a post on my local cat rescues Facebook page. They needed someone to foster a mom cat and her 3 kittens 2 boys and a girl.

I contacted them and offered to foster them. They were happy for me to foster them after a home visit. A day or so later they arrived at my house and I fell in love with them.

It didn't take long for them to figure out how to escape from their crate and up the stairs and pretty much hide anywhere.

After a few weeks the 2 boy cats were adopted by a lovely family, we were sad to see them go, but happy they had found a loving home.

Months passed and there was no interest of anyone to adopt mommy and her little girl. So after a long think and chat with my boyfriend we decided to adopt them. We contacted the cat rescue team and they were over the moon with our choice.

Three years later they are part of our family and fight for a spot on my lap.

Audrey Staunton
Galway, Ireland

DAISY ALLOWS ME TO BECOME HER DADDY

The year was 2001 and I was newly sober. The nurse and my good friend from the VA Hospital DeDe in Boston knew I wanted a cat for my new apartment, so she asked the secretary Paula from the clinic to go with me to Angell Memorial Animal Hospital to adopt a cat. We went to look at the cats up for adoption. There were so many nice cats to choose from, but I kept going back to one particular. Every time I approached her cage she would come and rub against it and give me a soft meow. I had to take her home with me. I was told that if I wanted that particular cat I would have to wait because she needed to have her front tooth removed because of an abscess. I new I wanted her so I would wait the extra day. When I was filling out the paper work and was about to pay the $100 fee, Paula said that DeDe wanted to give it to me as a gift and she paid the fee for me. The next day I picked up Daisy. She was a calico and I fell in love. She was 3 years old. She was with me through some major moments in my life, like the death of my mother. She was my best friend. This past June after about a years battle with kidney failure, I had to put Daisy down. She was 15 years old. I couldn't bear to see her suffer anymore. I held her in my arms while they administered the shot that would end her life. I sat with her for about 15 minutes and cried my eyes out. I cried all the way home and was depressed for weeks. Finally a friend had told me about a woman who needed to give away her one year old Siamese mixed, so I adopted Lucy. I still miss Daisy very much, but Lucy has filled my life again with so much love and joy.

David Donchek
Boston, MA

Patience pays off

I wanted to be prepared for my first cat - just a quick trip to Petsmart to pick up a few basics before I started looking at shelters. They were having a rescue event and a grey fluffball named Nelda with beautiful green eyes caught my attention. She stayed quietly in my lap while I peppered her foster mother with questions and learned that she was about 5-6 years old, and she'd been on the streets for a few years. She'd given birth in this woman's mother's garage and all of her kittens (including her foster baby) had been adopted long ago. Nelda had been making the adoption circuit for two years. She'd been adopted and given back for "talking too much". I made an emotional, impulsive decision and decided that she would be my cat.

The next morning, awaking to a pee puddle in my bed and stepping bare-footed into the poo on the rug, I thought I'd made a horrible mistake. I was in tears. But I held out. She was skittish and clever, souvenirs from her time on the streets. She purred when she approached me and loved cheek scratches,. It took 6 months to be able to pick her up. Gradually we made progress. One night I woke to find her curled at the foot of my bed. After a year she'd regularly curl up by my shoulder at night. 16 months after adoption she hopped up into my lap for the first time and curled up, contentedly purring and turning over to show her fluffy belly. I felt like she had accepted me fully as her Person and she has been my chatty, affectionate, playful companion ever since. She tolerates my kisses between her ears, makes me laugh with her saucer-wide eyes while playing Stalk-and-Pounce, and always has a sassy comment that brings a smile to my face no matter how bad my day at work was.

I like to think that she was patiently waiting for me, in those years in foster care.

I aim to make sure that patience was justified.

Lauren
Hoston, TX

Mamma's Boy

I was ready to add a kitty to my household and was looking for a red tabby male. The local pet store had one in their adoption center so I went to look. The red tabby completely ignored me no matter how much I tried to get his attention. In the cage next to him was a 4 month old blue tabby medium long hair baby boy. Not what I was looking for but I asked to hold him. When the sales person handed him to me this little guy wrapped his arms around my neck and started purring. That was it, he stole my heart. After deciding to adopt this guy I tried to hand him back to the sales person. Nope, he didn't want any part of that. He hissed at her and swatted her hands away then wrapped his arms around my neck and held on tight. Of course I took him home.

I named him Winston and he quickly bonded with my 2 small dogs. He fit perfectly with us. But true to his actions at the pet store he wanted nothing to do with anyone else. I had to lock him out of the bedroom when my daughter came to visit just so she could see him, hiding under the sofa. When I went out of town for 10 days my friend came over to care for him, the only way she knew Winston was there was having to scoop his box and fill his food bowl. But with me he is a lover, jumps into my arms, demands my attention if I dare to walk by without giving him a pet. He loves to play fetch, yes he brings the toys back for me to throw again. Winston is my boy, we were meant to be together. He wasn't what I was looking for but ended up being everything I could ask for and more.

Cindy
Ordway, CO

Sabrina

They say that we do not find our animals - they find us.

One summer night in July of 2009, I was supposed to pick up my daughter from a party. I needed the address from her, but my cell was dead and I could not find the charger. So I drove to a local park where there were pay phones. While talking to my daughter, I see a beautiful gray tabby cat meowing, and pacing back and forth. At first I thought she was lost, as no way was this not someone's cat.

She sashayed up to me and rubbed up against me. I petted her and it was a mutual case of love at first sight. No way could I leave this beautiful creature in the middle of a park with no food or water. She let me pick her up and put her in my car. Every cat I have ever owned has been petrified of cars. But not this one. She sat on my lap the whole time, with her dainty paws up on the window, looking out with excitement as if to say, "I'm going to a new home!"

The cat hid underneath our furniture for the first week. All you could see were these two huge glowing green eyes glaring at us, so we named her Sabrina, as in the teenage witch. Sabrina's belly was a little chubby, so we figured her to be pregnant. After two months and no kittens, we took her to the vet, and the vet tech comes out into the waiting room, announcing that Sabrina is actually a boy, and she (he) had worms, which is why her (his) belly was swollen. From that day on Sabrina was our he-she cat.

For five years Sabrina was the light of our lives, until she got sick in 2014 and had to leave this world. Two years later we are still going through withdrawals. Her nickname was Bina.

jeannie
ronkonkoma, NY

Chloe & Kirby - The Joy Cats!

Chloe and Kirby are our rescue kitties! Our beautiful Chloe was found in a dumpster in Sherman Oaks, Ca. - Kirby was from a shelter in Santa Monica. We just can't imagine our lives without our adorable little buddies - they bring so much happiness and joy into our lives. They truly rescued us! We had taken so many iphone videos of our cats that our friends started telling us "you need to share with the world." So we are doing just that - making music video parodies with our PAWESOME kitties. We have received so many nice messages letting us know how much fun people have had watching. We belong to a Facebook group - "Rainbow Bridge Cats" - where people who are grieving kitties go for support. We share all of Chloe & Kirby's antics on the page and have received dozens of messages letting us know that they've brought a smile and have helped with the grieving process. We are so proud of our little cuties and would love to share them with your audience! Here's their music video parody of Adele's "Hello" with purrrrfect new lyrics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2nAflFSjv8

Thanks for all you do Jackson!

- Naomi Thorne

Naomi Thorne
Novato, CA
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