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Min-e hidden in the basement

Several years ago my teenage son began acting furtively. Don't all teenagers at some point? I didn't think too much about it. He went to school, had a job, played video games...pretty typical stuff. But after a few days of him disappearing to his basement room for the thousandth time I asked him what was going on. He told me a friend of his had found a kitten but her parents wouldn't let her keep it. Another friend took the kitten home, but those parents objected as well. As it dawned on me that he was hiding a kitten somewhere in the house, I was struck by two conflicting thoughts. I was proud of him that he didn't just leave an animal to fend for itself, and a little dismayed that he had not come to me immediately. Maybe he thought I would take her to a shelter.

But instead he introduced me to Min-e (his spelling) a blue Tortie with enormous eyes, and an enormous attitude to match. The vet has "fiesty" written on her chart (it's an understatement). But we love her, and I'm still proud of my son for being an animal advocate when many would have turned their backs on her and left her to an uncertain fate.

She's pictured "helping" us prepare for hurricane Irma. Eight days without power wasn't fun, but we all made it though just fine.

Rhonda
Casselberry, FL

PORKA-MY-CHOP

I came to look at a horse for sale and there he was tied to a tree. He was wearing a burnt oil soaked rag to help with his mange.It was cold out, getting below freezing at night. All he had was an igloo dog house with some hay in it to keep him warm. My heart broke for him. How could I get him away from those terrible conditions? We already had several rescue dogs. I didn't sleep the next 2 nights just thinking how I could save him. On the 3rd day I was offered Porkchop because he was in the way of the owners child care business as none of the clients could pet him because of his skin condition, an embarrassment I suppose.I snatched him up and took him straight to the vet before they had time to change their minds. I never learned why they named him "Porkchop" , but I don't think it was for a good reason. He has been happy and so grateful ever since. Porkchop has blossomed into a handsome dog who has been with us nearly 14 years. It is a mutual love affair.

Anonymous
Clermont, FL

Phoebe Lee has a forever home

We had lost our beloved Dakota Rio on August 20, 2017 after 18 years of love and loyalty. The house got very quiet so in October we thought we'd go to a rescue shelter and look around. Kody had been a pure bred Tonkinese but we wanted a rescue this time. We saw Phoebe, and one other kitten, and just took one look at her face and knew she was the one. We brought her home and two days later she got very sick. We took her to the vet three times that first week. She had an upper respiratory infection, high fever, wouldn't eat, was sneezing a lot and we didn't think she would survive. We put her in a steamy bathroom, kept her warm, washed her congested nose so she could smell her food and eat and snuggled her as much as possible. She got somewhat better but we decided to get a second opinion. The new vet diagnosed her as having herpes, ordered eye drops and lycine powder to put in her food. She is doing well right now but this isn't curable; just treatable when any symptoms pop up. We love and adore our sassy little girl and would do anything for her. In return, after just six weeks, she is comfy, rules her domain, and makes us laugh. She is our gorgeous, precious sweetie and we hope she'll live a long and happy life with us.

Judith Rubin
Tucson, AZ

Walkabout Taz

I first met Taz as tiny orange flash zipping around the common area of my daughter's first apartment. We couldn't find an owner so when the weather turned in October, which in Colorado means freezing temperatures, she brought him in, and got him his shots and a neuter.

Fast forward two years and she was moving up to a larger apartment across town. By then she had added another cat (Chris) to her little cat family and off they all went to the new apartment. It was snowing quite heavily by the time she got there but finally unloaded the last personals and of course the cats. Then she set about unpacking.

She decided to treat herself to pizza and spent the rest of the evening unpacking. As she settled in for bed she couldn't locate Taz, but assumed he had hidden in a box somewhere. In the morning she still couldn't find Taz and panic descended.

Realizing he must have slipped out when the pizza man came all hands were called to search for Taz. We concentrated on the areas between her new place and her old, thinking of Homeward Bound and his instinct to head back home. Weeks went by and our hopes dwindled. But every morning I scoured the animal shelters websites searching all the sad faces, hoping against hope.

Until one morning...There! It had been exactly 30 days and we really didn't think we'd ever see him again, but the fuzzy picture looked spot on, although it stated he was discovered in the opposite direction we had spent so much time searching.

She went to the Humane Society first thing and, nooooo, the little orange cat in the kennel wasn't him. She turned to her friend sobbing, we thought for sure it was Taz and the stress of another disappointment was devastating.

Then out of the corner of his eye her friend spotted somthing, he said "Abby, look!" as she turned she saw two orange paws several cages down frantically reaching for her.

And there he was!! In all his glory. Our Walkabout Taz.

Rhonda
Casselberry, FL

SHE CHOSE ME!

WENT TO A LOCAL CAT RESCUE' TO LOOK FOR A 'KITTY FRIEND' FOR OUR OTHER 'KITTY', AND WAS TAKEN TO A ROOM, WHERE THERE WERE MANY TO CHOOSE FROM~I WAS LOOKING FOR A 'RUSSIAN GRAY' AND SAW ONE~~SO I SAT DOWN TO PLAY WITH HIM~~HOWEVER, A LITTLE 'BLACK & WHITE', CRAWLED ON TO MY LAP AND STARTED TO PLAY WITH ME~~THEN SHE WOULD RUN OFF AND PLAY WITH THE OTHER CATS~~THIS WENT ON FOR ABOUT 45MINS. TO AN HOUR~SHE KEPT COMING BACK TO ME AND FINALLY, JUST SAT ON MY LAP~~~WHEN WOMAN ASKED~~'WELL, HAVE YOU CHOSEN YOUR 'KITTY YET?'~~~I LOOKED AT HER AND SAID~~'I THINK I'VE ALREADY BEEN CHOSEN'~~AND WE HAD MY BABY~'MINZY' FOR 15+YEARS, BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY~~15 BEAUTIFUL, MEMORY FILLED,LOVING YEARS WITH HER!~~NO WONDER THEY CALL IT A CAT RESCUE!

LOPAKA
PORTLAND, OR

Best Rescue Pals

Mr. Troubles was a semi-feral neighborhood kitten I caught and got neutered. He ended up being my $1000 cat with hip surgery. About six months later Belle showed up in my yard 7+ weeks pregnant. 11 days later she delivered 12 puppies, 11 of whom survived. 8 weeks later all of the puppies were rehomed and Belle seemed to gravitate toward the cats....she picked Mr. Troubles as he had picked her. They've been best buds for the past 5 years.

Belle has since also adopted 3 more semi-feral rescues who seem to know she's there to hang with them when she's outside. She's also adopted another young male tuxedo cat name The Zoid who follows her everywhere she goes and she actually plays with him. I get a little concerned since she weighs 58 pounds and he weighs 6 but it's all good for them and she's never hurt any of them even by accident.

Vicki Perizzolo
Riverside, CA

Rufus Gets Into Trouble

Since I told you about Pip, I think I should share a story about Rufus. Rufus is my constant companion. I work out of my home and at least 80% of the day while I am at my computer, he sits on my lap. If I get up to do something, he jumps down, hops in my chair; when I return, he jumps back on my lap. I can switch my legs around, he doesn’t care.

So, Rufus is very sweet. He is adventurous, but he’s not especially bright. He gets himself into troubles he can’t get himself out of. I have open kitchen cabinets and when he was younger, he would jump up into them and nestle himself among my big spaghetti pot or my gravy boat. Then he would meow for me to get him down because he was afraid to jump down himself. He would often get himself into situations and not know how to get out of the problem he had caused himself.

The best situation that Rufus got into was one I was able to catch here on camera. I know a lot of cats love to get into Christmas trees, and I’ve heard stories, but I didn’t have any firsthand experience until I had Rufus. I had decorated the tree; (by the way, after I brought these cats home, I switched from my expensive glass ornaments to plastic ornaments. I didn’t trust my cats when they were kittens, and after 12 years, I still don’t trust them with the tree) I was in my office and I heard an odd sound from the living room where the tree was. I went over and looked at the tree and there was Rufus, perched on the top, holding on for his life. Oh My! Luckily, I remembered to grab the camera and take this shot before I got the step ladder to pick him off the tree. Fortunately he hasn’t done this prank again. He’s getting a little old and sore now. But he still loves sitting on my lap, he’s in on it right now.

Laura Batzer
Milwaukee, WI

The Story of Pip

I have always had a cat in my life. So, I have lots of cat stories. My favorite one concerns one of my current cats, Pip.

It all started back in 2005. We had 3 cats: Beau the 18 year old male, along with Leo my orange tabby male and Agate our tortie female. Life was good. But then around Thanksgiving, Beau was sent over the rainbow bridge due to health issues. Then a week later we discovered that Leo had liver cancer and he died suddenly. It was such a shock; I had lost my two boys. I was devastated.

We waited until after the holidays, but right after, in early January, I rushed to the humane society to bring home my new boys. And there they were; two 9 month old brown tabbies were waiting for me. They became Rufus (I liked the name) and Pip (after the character in Great Expectations). Our family was complete again.

But there was something about Pip. He never filled out like Rufus. And he and Agate just seemed to not get along very well. They both just acted prissy around each other. I mentioned it to the vet who just said that Pip was one of those odd cats. So a year went by. I had looked at Pip’s bottom and thought to myself, this is not a male cat. So during the next annual checkup the vet confirmed that yes, Pip is not a male, she is a GIRL! You can imagine our shock! Our tabbies were no longer “the boys”. We were stunned for a day or so, and then everything fell into place. Once we acknowledged she was a she, Pip blossomed. She is 12 now, she is Princess Pippy and she rules the house. Pictured are Rufus (left) and Pip (right)..

Laura Batzer
Milwaukee, WI

Smokey blew in during Hurricane Irene in 2011

During the height of the storm, I noticed something grey and furry slink around the corner in the kitchen. With the storm at its worst, I decided to pretend I didn’t see anything. After the storm passed, I discovered it was a young cat, well groomed and neutered, so my husband tried to put him outside so he could “go home”. The cat totally freaked out about being outside and kept scrambling to get back in. If we closed the door with him still outside, he returned through the pet door on the opposite side of the house. We decided that perhaps he was an indoor only cat and put up posters on every corner for a 3-mile radius as well as in pet stores, notifying the police department, shelters, etc. Since our elderly girls, Princess and Minuit (also rescues), were receptive to sharing their home with him; we decided to let him stay till he was claimed.

No-one ever did claim him. After a year we took him to the vet for immunizations and to be micro-chipped. Once he was confident that he was “home”, he started following my husband outdoors to hang laundry, put out the trash, etc., and then followed him back indoors. He loved to roll on the carpet in front of the fire in the winter, lounge in the windows in the summer, and cuddle with me at bed-time. We were blessed to have his comfort when our girls crossed the rainbow bridge within a short time of each other. Unfortunately in 2016 we had to bring him to the rainbow bridge when fast growing mouth cancer caused him to be unable to eat or drink. My heart was broken as this was the first time in over 30-years we didn't have a fur baby. They will all be forever in our hearts!

Eileen Moreau
Manchester, NH

Puerto Rican Princess.

While vacationing at our timeshare in Humacao, Puerto Rico during March of 1996, in a 2nd floor corner unit, next to a tall tree, a kitten climbed down from the tree to greet my husband in the early morning while reading outside, begging for a free meal. Of course he found something for her and the visits became more frequent. There always were a lot of strays in the area and we always fed them while vacationing there for years. This one was different. She seemed to be more used to people and would let you pet her and cuddle a bit. After a couple of days, she was hanging out with us and our friends, both indoors and outdoors. As time came close to leaving for home, I couldn't bear the though of just leaving her, amongst the many other strays, so we found a local vet to have her checked out and get her shots and a "good health" certificate. We called the Airlines to find that if we could put a pet in a carrier under the front seat, we could bring the pet on board - which is what we did. There is a small tree frog in Puerto Rico called Coqui, so that is what her name would be. She didn't grow much from the small size at about 6 months old, estimated by the first vet. It took a bit to get her acclimated with our 2 other cats, but it all worked out. When we went back to Puerto Rico the next year - all the strays were gone - they had been "taken care of", sadly. We were blessed to have gotten Coqui home when we did.

We had Coqui for almost 20 years, losing her mid-January, 2016, when her legs just wouldn't hold her up any longer. She ruled our house, especially when she was the only kitty in the household. Coqui truly was our fiesty Puerto Rican Princess!

Reggi Baika
Salem, NH
Snuggle Paws Plush Fleece Pet Blanket
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