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Kittens under the porch

Last year when I walked outside, I heard sounds coming from the opposite side of the house. So I walked across the yard to check it out. Sitting under the downspout in a perfect row were four little blue-eyed kittens looking up at me! Their mother had kept them under our front porch.

I left them where they were because I figured their mother may come back. I went inside and called the local no-kill shelter. As I was sitting inside, I could hear something going on by my porch and came out to find my neighbor putting them in a box! She said the mother had abandoned them so she was taking them to the local shelter. I knew they'd be euthanized there because they were too young to adopt. They just don't have the resources there to deal with kittens that young. So even though I wasn't ready to care for them or to take them to the no-kill shelter yet, I told her I'd take care of them and brought them into my house.

I had no idea what I was doing or how old they actually were, but I put them in a bathroom, bought kitten food, made up a little litter box, and put water out for them. They ate like they hadn't been fed for days! I took them to the vet, and she kept putting them in her pockets, saying they were hers, then gave them a clean bill of health. They stayed at my house for a couple of weeks until the vet had room. Together we found homes for all of them.

And together with the no-kill shelter, we trapped the mama, had her spayed, and let her go again.

Nancy
Loveland, CO

It was love at first sight.

We really didn't need another dog. We had rescued three pitbull mixes and through a lot of patience and love had achieved a calm and peaceful household. Then it happened. On a Facebook page we saw an 11 month old puppy that had been found on the streets of Manhattan. She was about to be put on the dreaded "list". We kept checking the post certain that someone would snatch her up. After two anxious days we inquired about her status. We just couldn't get that face out of our minds. The rescue contacted us within five minutes. They were desperate for someone to adopt her. Before we knew it, we were meeting Jenna in a parking lot two hours from home. It was very evident she had not had any boundaries or training. Our other dogs were very patient and tolerated her high energy and crazy antics. Patience and consistent training has transformed this little girl into a treasured member of the family. Even though we didn't need another dog, we believe it was meant to be.

Donna
Cobleskill, NY

Adventures with Capt Jack

Meet Capt Jack. As a puppy-beyond adorable. I knew he was our next dog. As most rescue stories start, it wasn't a happy one. Dumped on a cold country rd at nite in Dec., 6 - 8 weeks old. Country vet, whose wife happened 2b hubby's high school classmate, took him in. She posted pictures, hoping to find his 4ever home. Hubby saw the pics &I cajoled that we could foster. He agreed to foster, but I knew we were his 4ever home and the "fostering" was a ruse. We went to meet Capt w/our other rescue pup Chloe, whose start was just as rough.

Chloe & Capt BFFs instantly. Loading Capt in the car, my husband realized this was forever-not foster. The vet's wife, thrilled he was ours, she saw red flags w/him & was she right! Had challenges galore. Capt was very different from our 5 previous rescues. He was scared of men, men &the dark, strangers, the vet. Has fear aggression. Curious about everything and afraid of it all. Lunges at people $ tries to nip. Bullies around the house & terrorizes our 2cats. Mortal enemies are critters, he chases & on occasion catches. He's expensive w/double knee surgeries. Ripped toenails so badly, needs vet visit, to stop bleeding, snip & wrap foot. He's on Prozac. Doped for vet appts. Incredibly stinky gas. Can't handle temperature extremes. Lays on air conditioning & in front of furnace wall vents. Survived the great "XmasTree Massacre of 2012." Pulled glass bulbs off tree and chewed them. Littered the room w/glass shards. Hates delivery peeps.Battled neighbor's cat ended in defeat & left Capt a bloody mess.He's cute but not cuddly, a terrible combo. People always want to pet him. Not the brightest bulb on the tree, but sure is the cutest. Cute can get you far.

On top of all that & his many other quirks--we love him fiercely. Our vet has said time & again, Capt Jack is lucky to have us. Most other peeps would have given up & likely euthanized him. Capt Jack long may he reign!

Robin R-T
Columbus, OH

Feral Family

Back in 2001, a coworker spotted a kitten peering out from under a juniper bush behind our office building. After some investigation we determined there was a litter of kittens under there and after watching all day, didn't see a mother return. We left food for them every morning for the week it took us to locate a cage to trap them with. It took 3 cans of anchovies and most of the day but 1 by 1 we caught 6 kittens. None of them were very happy to be handled and there was a lot of hissing and spitting as they were transferred to a carrier. A quick trip to the vet the next morning revealed that they were about 9 weeks old and healthy. They were adopted by myself and 3 other coworkers so none of them wound up at a shelter. I took Smokey (the first and smallest) and Bandit (the last and biggest) home with me. I was worried that they would stay feral and unfriendly but it didn't take them long to figure out how lucky they were to be found. Purring, play-time and lap cuddles became a daily routine. They've been great companions for the last 15 years & I cherish every day I get with them!

Anonymous
Denver, CO

Update on our rescue Madalaine

Madalaine adopted us and came to us with babies on board, yesterday morning she delievered five very healthy, very feisty kittens. Momma and babies are all doing well. We had to intervene with the thrid little one as she was not breathing when momma got the sack off, with a little help she quickly came to life and is the most rambunctious of the lot and the most vocal. Momma has been very good with her babies and seems to trust me enough to let me help when necessary. I take great comfort knowing this is the last litter she will have to deliever and that she nor any of her babies will ever have to worry about a safe place to sleep or food for their bellies.

Mary Kirwan
Pontiac, IL

The Cat That Chose My Daughter

Our 19-year-old cat passed away. She was mostly my cat, and I said I didn't want another, at least not right away. But my adult daughter Sarah really wanted—needed—a cat, so she, her dad, and I went to the shelter. Early on we looked at a 3-year-old named Sassy, who reached out and grabbed Sarah's shirt as if to say “take me.” We looked at a lot of other cats that day but finally came back to Sassy. She had been at the center 3 months after being returned by someone who said she was “unpettable.”

She quickly became Sarah's cat. Unpettable—ha! The photo shows her cuddling Sarah's arm while getting belly rubs. Maybe I reminded her of one of her several previous humans who didn't treat her well, but she didn't warm up to me. Sarah was planning to move out and wondered if Sassy would want to stay, but it became very obvious that not taking her was not an option.

It's now 3 years later. I'm still not her favorite, but she is a bit friendlier. Sarah is so happy that Sassy chose her that day.

Joyce Lynch
Austin, TX

Belle the Beauty

We had just lost our 13 year old German shepherd mix to old age and decided to go to the shelter to see if we connected with anyone. We hadn't gone 5 kennels before coming across a skinny, frightened lab/pit mix. The workers didn't know much about her because she had just come in the night before. They said animal control workers have seen her running around for weeks around the town fending for herself. We had an amazing connection with her immediately and had to have her. We brought her home and named her Belle! She is so smart, knows so many tricks, absolutely loves her daddy (they have a bond like no other) and has adopted a dachshund puppy and raised him up as her own (they are inseparable). Unfortunately, she shows signs of former abuse. She was very skittish and freaks out over even the slightest change. She has grown so much from when we first brought her home, she doesn't have as much of a fear of the things she use to. We are working every day to encourage and teach her. We are so happy to have her in our lives and constantly look forward to the antics of our beautiful Belle.

Alexis Freeman
Keystone Heights, FL

Mama cat saves her tiniest kitten and now can't stop cuddling her. There's just one thing missing...

I rescued Summer from a feral colony when she was eight months old and pregnant. At first she was very shy, but I worked with her every day, gaining her trust. Soon she learned that humans meant good things to eat and a gentle scratch under the chin.

Just when it seemed like things were turning around for Summer, she went into labor…but it didn’t go well. I rushed her to the vet, who told me they would have to do an emergency C-section. As they prepared for surgery, I braced myself to lose all of the kittens. And then, against all odds, three tiny miracles were born. All of the vet techs and both vets were there, and all of us were moved by the experience – one of the vet techs was even in tears.

Splash was the smallest and weakest of the three kittens. I worried that she might not make it, so I gave her extra feedings from a syringe. Summer took extra special care of Splash and was very protective of her baby. Summer had grown attached to me, but she let me know that she didn’t want me to take Splash out to feed and weigh her – she wanted her baby to be close to her. Summer groomed her and cuddled her and always made sure she got enough to eat.

Thanks to Summer, Splash survived.

Eventually, the kittens grew up, and Splash’s two siblings were adopted together. Summer grew even more attached to little Splash and I often would see them snuggling together.

Splash and Summer’s remarkable story is now missing just one thing: their forever home together.

Summer and Splash are currently being fostered in Richmond, Virginia and are looking for someone in-state to adopt them. They have been up for adoption for several months and are continually overlooked because they are shy at first and will need some time to adjust to their new home... but once they do, they are loving, gentle cats.

To learn more, please visit their adoption profiles at care-cats.org/summer and care-cats.org/splash.

Anonymous
Richmond, VA

Gentle Protector

I had been wanting a dog for many years until my husband and I felt we were ready. We had agreed on a big dog that was good with children, ideally a lab. There were no dogs who fit our needs in the main area of the local shelter so when we asked if there were any other dogs, they brought out a darling mid-size black dog who had just come out of quarantine. He was so gentle and loving that we adopted him on the spot. On the ride home he fell asleep on my lap, claiming me as "his human." We named him Bra'tac after a character on the sci-fi series Stargate SG-1. We soon learned that he was not a 6 month old lab as we had been told, but an American Staffordshire Terrier/Australian Cattle Dog mix who was already at least a year old.

I have struggled with depression for many years and Bra'tac has helped me so much; he never leaves my side. Some days when things get tough for me, he will sit at my feet rather on his big comfy bed to reassure me that he's there for me. Some days he actually gets me out of bed, as if to say, "That's enough, Mom! Come play and we can be happy together!"

A few weeks ago, Bra'tac probably saved my life. We were taking an evening walk together when someone started walking in our direction on the sidewalk. I thought nothing of it, but Bra'tac didn't agree. He growled, which is something he never does. After all, he loves everyone! I listened to his instincts and immediately took a different route home. When we got back, he became extra affectionate and protectively sat on my feet later that evening.

He may not be the large dog we had in mind, but he is perfect for our family and I couldn't ask anything more from a four-legged companion. He has saved me from danger, and lifted me up on my darkest days. We saved each other. Thank you, Bra'tac.

Beth
Milwaukee, WI

Husky Heaven

I rescued my first Husky in the early-90's from a pound. It was a love-hate relationship as I learned about the breed. Since getting married, my wife and I have rescued 6 more, over the last 25 years. They've ranged from 6-months to 8 years old. I've taken up to 10-hour drives to get them, where they looked the most pitiful. We love them as kids, and have seen lots of the emotional/physical trauma that can be done to these beauties[our current red one, is full of birdshot]. They've all become success-stories, have been the most loving and amusing company. They're not for most people, but I've/we've come to understand their quirks and impulses. They've also lived very spoiled and unusually long lives for the breed, with all being so doted-over and cared for. We wouldn't change a thing. Winter is coming...and they can sense it. This is our current four...Jake, Sonya, Trinny, and Sara.

Michael R.
Chesterfield Twp., MI
Knitted Paws Cozy Slippers
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