Wow! When I started this contest, I had no idea that I would wind up with 24 entries! I actually had more, since several families adopted more than one shelter kitty. I decided to combine those into one entry each, since the prize would go to the same family anyhow. So here are the shelter stories below — if the cat has a blog, I have linked to it. The poll is to your right — it’s so big I doubt you’ll miss it! And since there are so many entries, I have changed the rules a teeny bit: you can vote for your three favorite stories! I know it’s tempting to just vote for your friends, since there are so many kitties, but I urge you to read at least a few stories — they are all great! You can vote until June 23, midnight Pacific Time. I will announce the winner on my birthday, June 24 — the kitty with the most votes will get a PAWtographed copy of my first book!
Alice: I was a shelter kitten but my story is very boring. I was borned in a foster home, along with my brother and sister. It was a very nice home and the people loved and snuggled lots with us. When we were 8 weeks old we said goodbye to our Mommacat because she was going to stay with the foster peoples. The three of us were taken to the scary shelter and put into a CAGE. But we were only there a couple of days and we were all adopted on the same day because we were so cute! I got to come and live with my Momma and new big sisfur jane, who has taught me everything I know about living in the country. I hope my furblings got forever homes as nice as mine.
Harley (as told by Daisy): His mom was feral, and came to the shelter to be spayed and released. She was found to be full-term, so the babies got to be borned. The momcat was released and the babies went to foster care until they were big enough to live at the shelter. All of the kittens ended up with a bad case of ringworm that they had for weeks. Finally, all of the kittens were well and ready for adoption. My Mommeh was a volunteer at the shelter at the time. Harley was 6 months old when we adopted him after Pixie had to go to the Bridge. We do not know why no one wanted to adopt Harley for so many months! His name at the shelter was “Neptune.”
David: My name is David…and when I was adopted our town was still raising $$ to build a shelter…but the volunteers took a photo of me and put it up in the Post Office. My mom was at the PO every day and she spotted me right away, could not stand the thought of me living under a bush out by the A&P. She showed up with a cat carrier and scooped me up to my forever home….My old owners had left town to become pot smugglers. Every cat matters!
Isabella and Angel: Isabella’s story — I was found wandering the streets at 7 months old and taken to the shelter where I lived for 3 months. I got to go to the humane society’s thrift shop and live in the cages there and I spotted my mommy and daddy walk in. Mommy didn’t see me so was looking at another kitty but Daddy opened my cage, I fell into his arms and wouldn’t go back into the cage. I had found my furever home and my Daddy has been wrapped around my paw ever since! Angel’s story — I was brought into the shelter with my 8 furblings when I was just 2 1/2 months old. I was there for a couple of weeks when Mommy and Daddy had to come in and fill out the paper work to adopt Isabella who was at another location. Mommy wandered around the shelter and saw me sitting on the side of my enclosure watching all my brofurs and sisfurs playing. I was too sick to play. When I looked up and saw her at the door I ran to her cause I knew she was going to be my Mommy! They adopted me and Isabella on the same day. i was 3 months old, weighed 2 lbs and because I had tummy problems I lost 1/2 lb in the first few days of going to my furever home but Mommy and Daddy took good care of me so I growed into the pretty, floofy ladycat I am today!
Mr. Ed (via his human Deb): I have a few shelter cats but the focus will be on our most handsome Mr. Ed. Mr. Ed was adopted last May (one year ago) from the Lanark Animal Shelter in Smiths Falls, Ontario at the age of 20 years. I saw his post on their website and could not believe that a beautiful Siamese cat would be dumped at that age. When I arrived to look at him (cage was in the car ) his story was told to me. He was one of 47 cats rescued from a hoarder who had not taken care of them. He was half the weight he should have been and all his teeth has been removed because of lack of nutrition. He was sitting in the litter-box facing the back of the small cage and very depressed. I took him in my arms and he just stared at me. I told him right there that I would never leave him and he could always be sure of a loving home now. He is 21 now, full-figured and runs my home.
Armani (via his roommate JB): Armani is a gorgeous silver shaded persian, and he used to live with another family. He was dumped at a vet’s office to be euthanized. The woman that dumped him, had at least 3 kids under the age of 5 and was pregnant again. She told the vet to just euthanize Armani and that she did not want him any more. The vet took Armani in, but did not euthanize him. Instead he called the Frisco Humane Society here in North Texas. They came and got him and he went to a foster home. And that is how my mom met him and learned his sad story. Mom had gone to the foster home to pick up my newly adopted sister, CocoBean, and there was Armani. He was absolutely gorgeous! Mom had to make a decision on whether she was going to adopt yet another kitty who needed a home. Well, she did, and the rest is history. Armani is now famous and gets to speak his mind on my blog when I let him!
Zora: My name is Zora. Back in 2005, my owner (a doctor) said he had to move and needed to take me somewhere to be taken care of while he moved, so he took me to the Columbia County Animal Protection Society (CCAPS) in Magnolia, AR. He said he would be back in a “few days” and left his new address and phone number. When he didn’t return to pick me up, the staff started calling him, only to find out that the phone number had been disconnected. It soon became obvious that he had abandoned me. I was already 8 years old and had eye problem due to having pupils that were permanently dilated, and it seemed that everyone who visited the shelter wanted a frisky young kitten–not someone as old as me. I grew very depressed, but the shelter staff were wonderful to me; I was always being held in someone’s lap and getting lots of TLC, and my cage was very large with shelves for me to jump up on, lots of kitty toys, and a soft bed just for me. Somehow the papers on which my name was listed got lost, and I was renamed “Harriet” because I have a harelip. I soon became the shelter mascot, and was taken off the adoption list because the staff loved me so much. However, in 2007–when I was 10–the staff decided to put my picture on Petfinders.com to see if someone “special” wanted to give me a home. Almost immediately, a nice couple who Becky, the shelter manager, knew because they’d already adopted a kitten from CCAPS called about me, and came up to see me the very next day. It was love at first sight for both me and them! Becky decided that they were the “special someones” who would give me a wonderful home, and although she shed a tear when I left with them, she knew I’d found my furrever home. I am now 15, and my new meowmie and daddy send pictures of me to the CCAPS shelter staff every year so they can see I’m being treated like a queen. I’m so lucky they found me, but they tell me they’re the lucky ones.
Ernie: When I was about 6 months old, me and my sister ended up at the shelter when the landlord of the place we were living said we couldn’t live there no more. “No animals,” he said and he called the shelter to come pick us up. My sister got adopted fairly quickly, but I stayed at the shelter for about a month. Then I got sick…an upper respiratory infection…and the shelter people took me to the v-e-t who kept me there for a few more weeks. My mom read about me on petfinder.com and called the shelter people about adopting me. They told her I was at the v-e-t’s office because I had been sick, but that I was feeling better now. My mom drove over an hour to that v-e-t’s office to see me and immediately fell in love with me. A couple days later (because the shelter was closed) she called the shelter people to ask about giving me a forever home and the shelter people said I had been taken to the local Petsmart and my mom would have to go there to adopt me. That Petsmart was over an hour’s drive for my mom and she knew she couldn’t go there until the weekend…about 4 days away. My mom was so afraid that someone else would adopt me before she could get there. But the nice shelter people said they would put a “hold” on me and that no one else could adopt me except my mom. That following Saturday, my mom drove all the way to the Petsmart to get me. When she told the lady that she was there to adopt “Mister” (that was my name at the shelter), everyone clapped and got so excited!!! That was one of the happiest days of my life!! When I became an Island Cat!!
Tamir: My Mom was furry sad because she had just lost her Himalayan kitty Tabriz from CRF. She went to a wonderful place in New Jersey called APAW (Animal Placement Agency of the Windsors) and spent HOURS there playing with me and playing with my tuxie brother. She was so torn between the two of us or both of us. Auntie El was there too and she always remembers how long it took. At the time Mom knew she was getting a Birman kitty in the summer and was already pushing the kitty limit in her townhouse. I remember that my Mom had on a yellow warmup suit with big, long strings on it and I had such fun playing with them and chewing and climbing them. Finally Mom made the decision to take me. My bother and I had been left at the shelter in carriers and were there for hours before anyone came…we hated the carriers. As soon as they put me in the PTU I started to scream! My Mom almost turned around ’cause her heart was breaking to hear me suffer so much, but she continued and I finally quited down. I was skeered of my new brother Baschert and he used to beat me up a bit, until I grew up bigger than him! Mom still wonders what happened to my brother. Auntie El says God sent me to Mom ’cause sometimes I do “inappropriate” things and nobody but Mom would put up with it. I really love my Mom!!
Joy: My name is Joy, and just after I was born, someone put me inside a bag and throwed me and my brothers away in a garbage dump. Fortunately, I was rescued and brought to a shelter located in the back yard of a Hospital. Once, I saw a man seated in one of the yard’s benches. He looked strange, so I got closer to take a look at him. He looked very sad and I felt bad for him, so I jumped next to him in the bench. He looked at me and gave me a smile. He scratched my head and I began to purr. I think it’s safe to say that we liked each other from the beginning. Later I learned that the man was sad because his dad passed away that day in the hospital, so I am glad I could give him a little love. The best part of the story is that the man returned to the shelter a week later asking for me! I was very happy to see him!! He adopted me and named me Joy (he says I was joy in a very sad moment in his life). Now, I have a new brother (also adopted in the hospital shelter) and we couldn’t be happier!!
Rusty: Jan came racing into the shelter one day after seeing my photo in the newspaper and adopted me — sight unseen. She thought I would be perfect company for her mother since her mother’s skin was delicate and I don’t have front claws.. Boy, did she get a shock when she came back to lift me out of one of the top cages. I’m huge. But I was the perfect cat. I could rub against her mother’s legs all I wanted without tripping her and I wasn’t afraid of her wheelchair. We only had about ten months together but we really bonded and I miss her. Actually, Jan spent her Thanksgiving dinner funds on adopting me, so I always say I was her mother’s final Thanksgiving dinner.
Sadie: There are three of us here but I’m the only one that came from a shelter. I was born to a feral cat but when she was trapped no one could find us. When I was about 6 months old I had a litter of my own under a travel trailer next door to where my mom was caught. They all died and I disappeared but about a month later I was back and had another litter in the same place. They used my kittens to catch me, I went to the shelter with them and when they were ready they were all adopted within days of each other. My one boy kitten even went home with mom’s cuzzin, Jeff. I liked humans okay, they fed me when I was outside and some even pet me. I was shy and hid when anyone came to the shelter to see me. Mom sat by my cage for hours, playing with other cats and talking to me until one day I started talking back, but only to her. After another few weeks of hiding from everyone else and just talking to mom she decided I had to come home with her. I love mom and dad and even tho I hide at first when other people come over I will eventually come out and see them. Just don’t try to touch me until I’m ready.
Grace and Hobbes (via their human, Lin): We don’t really have an exciting shelter story to tell, but we always get our kitties at the shelter where my aunt works. I call her our “Cat Pimp” because she is always trying to get us to take in more kitties! Grace came from a rescue home near us. She lived with a bunch of kitties and I still don’t know how that woman got away with having so many kitties in an urban home. Either way, Grace was all over us and the kids and we took her home. That was probably the last time she was cuddly towards any of us!! The Vixen. Hobbes came to us after we lost our Henry–he was only 3 years old when his little heart blew a clot (he had a cardiomyopathy that we didn’t know about). We were all so sad that we went to the shelter that same week to bring another kitty home. Everyone had a kitten in their arms and when I leaned over to see one in a cage, a certain orange stripey paw whacked me on the head. I picked him up and it was love. He had been in a foster home, but when he got to the shelter, he got a bad upper respiratory infection. He had to have a lot of medicine for awhile to get better. Hobbes made us all remember our Henry and feel better about giving another kitty a home. You can never, ever replace a kitty you lost.
Purrmeister: I was called Nemo in the county animal shelter. Me and a sibling were left in a box in the parking lot at night but were too young to be in the shelter so were fostered for a few weeks. I think they neutered me too young while I was fostered, but my new human-love is taking excellent care of me now so I can be a big, strong healthy guy. This amazing human-love learned about me on Twitter, which led her to my photo on the shelter’s web site — aren’t I cute? I know she fell in love because she came and adopted me the very next day!! Now I’m called Purrmeister and I have to share with a big orange cat she calls “Red Kitty” who I plan to outgrow someday, even if he does seem pretty big right now. I also share with a really mean, witchy black girl cat who hisses at me every time I look at her…and man, you should have seen how she reacted the other day when I climbed into the litter box with her. You’d a thought the sky was falling!! But the secret is, thanks to me, all the cats in our house now get more wet food, yum!! I’m learning to be a total love-bug kitty, and I’m going to grow up to be a really big kitty some day…BUT meanwhile, I avoid the big white dog here ‘cuz she tries to bite…I guess she’s old and maybe I bug her because I just have too much energy.
Thomas T. Bombadil: I was three years old when I came to the shelter with my kitty sisters. My person had to go to a nursing home and nobody else wanted to take care of us. We all got sick when we first arrived, but my sisters recovered quickly. But I was so heartsick that I couldn’t fight off the germs and the shelter staff had to force-feed me and I had to go to the v*t all the time. Some time during that difficult era, Mama heard about me and came to visit me. I was so lonely in the isolation room that I cried all the time, so Mama got to know me by voice first. Anyway, I fell in love with her and started purring as hard as I could–even with snot all over my nose and stuff. Mama promised she’d take me home once I got better. She visited me as often as she could, and her love gave me a reason to keep on fighting to get well. One day someone else decided to adopt my sisters and me all together. Mama heard about this and she tried to be happy for me ’cause we were all together. Then, about two weeks later, Mama got a call from the shelter: “Are you still interested in Thomas?” Mama said YES YES YES, and asked what happened. My sisters had forgotten who I was and we had to fight all the time, so the other people kicked me back to the shelter. I was totally in shock–what did I do wrong? But Mama rescued me and helped me to recover from my grief and heartbreak, and her other feline roommates, Sinead and Siouxsie, gradually got used to me. I’m so grateful that Mama decided to adopt a grown-up cat, and now I get to help write a cat advice column and my new kitty sister, Dahlia, is my snuggle-buddy. I couldn’t be happier!
Cambria (as told by her human, Beth): My name is Cambria, and I found my forever home just last month at 7 weeks old. My mom was a feral cat, taken in by the Billerica Cat Care Coalition in MA. They trap, spay and release feral cats. I had just been born with four other siblings when we were taken to the shelter. I was the smallest and pretty shy. My siblings tried to play with me all the time, but I was even a little too nervous to play with them. My foster mommy Theresa took great care of me for a short time, taking me to vet appointments and making sure I had a clean bill of health; (I DID!) One Saturday morning, my siblings and I took a trip to the local Petco for a Meet and Greet. I was very curious and watched every person who walked through the door at Petco. When my mom and dad walked in, I sat up straight and opened my eyes wide! They talked to my foster mommy and took me from the cage into their loving arms. We played and cuddled together for a half hour on the Petco floor. Finally, I heard mommy ask daddy, “Is she the one?” and daddy said, “YES!” I instantly pooped with excitement all over daddy’s Red Sox shirt. (Sorry, dad!) They gave me one last week with my siblings and then took me home after buying me great toys to play with and things to climb on. After just two weeks, I have become so comfortable. I am no longer a shy kitty. I love people and love to have my belly rubbed. I am so happy they rescued me!!
Moe (as told by his roommate Spunky Doodle): Here is my older brother, Moe’s shelter story: My human saw him in a tiny cage at PetSmart and every week when she went, he was still there. He was 8 years old and a big furry black and white spotted cat. She felt so bad for him that she adopted him from the Parma Animal Shelter. It was her first cat so when he wasn’t eating for a couple weeks, she thought he just needed to get used to his new home. Then it was a month that he didn’t eat so she called the shelter and they hooked him up with their vet. Moe had fatty liver disease but the vet took him to her home for a week and force fed him. He lived and my humans were so happy to get him back. He never had that problem again and lived with them for another 7 years.
Victor Tabbycat and Nina Torbie: Victor — I’s a shelter cat, too! When I was a little kitten, I was lefted on the shelter steps in a shoebox. That shelter had too many kittens so called anofur shelter to come take some, or else. Luckily, I was picked to go to the 2nd shelter. They tooked me to my firstest doption fair when I was 8 monfs old. It was at a PetSmart. I haded a cage all to myself when a woman came by sayin “hi” to all da kittehs. I wanted to dopt her, so I reached out an tapped her arm. She said, “Well, hello there!” I looked into her eyes an purred. Someone gotted me out an I snuggled into da nice woman’s arms. I purred an purred an purred. I looked into her eyes an said, “You’re da one I’s been lookin fur my hole life.” She was babblin on bout a mean cat at home who wouldn’t like me, but… an her man mite not like it, but… I just purred away all them worries. So she tooked me home. Bonnie-cat hated me fur 2.5 years, but dat didn’t matter cuz I adopted myself the bestest people efur. Nina — I don’t know how it happened, but I was picked up as a stray kitten and taken to the humane society. I was pretty little and the world seemed full of people and kitties and doggies much bigger than me. I learned to hide under my blanket so I’d feel safe. The people laughed and called me a turtle! Then some people from another shelter thought that if I was fostered in a real home, I might become braver and come out of hiding. Well, I got braver, but still hid a lot. Then they took me to a big cat adoption event! I was in a cage but we were stacked outdoors. Of course, I had a blanket to hide under, but by the 2nd day, I was kind of enjoying the fresh air. That’s when a nice man with a soft voice came by. When he said hello, I licked his fingers (mmm) and purred. When his family came to see me, I licked their fingers (mmm) and purred at them, too. They took me home, where I smelled their silly boy kitty. They gave me a box and blanket in the bathroom and plenty of food, water, and litter. The boy kitty patted at the door, so I hid under the blanket. When the people came in the next day, the boy kitty pushed in, too. I stayed under my blanket, peeking out, and purred at him. He inspected my litter box, then turned and touched noses with me! After that, Victor was VERY friendly (sometimes almost too friendly). He was happy to have me be his friend. I stopped hiding under blankets all the time (but beds are definitely for hiding), but I was still cautious because it’s a big world for a little kitty! When I licked Dad’s fingers, I had no idea I was picking such a great family and brofur! Now I get lots of skritches and treats, and I can play and chase and groom with Victor whenever I want. I only go under blankets now when we play “blanket monster.” Purrs and finger licks (mmm), Nina
Herman: I’m Herman. I used to live with some people who didn’t take care of me and took me to the shelter when I got sick because they made me an outdoor kitty, but didn’t get me vaccinated. I was due to be put to sleep because I have both FIV and FeLV, but a nice foster lady said she would take me and try to find me a home. Karen Jo saw my picture on a flyer and decided that we needed each other because we were both sad and lonely. We started to bond at first sight and now I have a great forever home.
JayJay and Simon (formerly Bubba), as told by their human: Several months after I put my ginger cat down, (he had a painful terminal disease), I was just browsing around petfinder.com when I came across a bad breeder situation in Atlanta, GA (I was living in VA at the time) . The breeders were being forced out of business due to their unethical treatment of the cats & as a result the local shelters had a surplus of bengal cats & kittens. I fell in love with a kitten named Ivan & begged the local shelter to let me adopt him — which they did, I just had to come down to get him. Unfortunately, the poor little cat had eaten some tainted food (during that huge pet food recall by Menu Foods in 2007) which destroyed his kidneys & he had to be put down before I could adopt him, Naturally I was devastated! A few days later, the shelter called to tell me they had another kitten from the same breeding rescue that had just been born — this time I convinced them to let me fly him to me & that’s how I adopted JayJay! my second story is about my newly adopted meezer boy (Simon) — I had come across a situation where 6 beautiful siamese cats were dumped at a high kill shelter in KY. While helping to spread the word across the blogosphere about these cats & their awful situation, I was drawn to one of the kitties. So I contacted the rescuer & asked to adopt him — she agreed but asked that we both drive halfway (4 hours away) so that we could meet & she could give me the cat. Unfortunately things didn’t work out & I ended up having to drive the full 7+ hours — both ways — in order for the poor kitty’s transition to be as smooth as possible & cause the least amount of stress. Now he’s home with me & we are well on our way to settling in together (with my two other cats, Nico & JayJay).
Pixie Pie: My name is Pixie Pie: Queen of the Night and Flying Carpet by Day. I’m not exactly sure how I ended up in the shelter, but, just before Christmas, there I was looking for a forever home! My soon-to-be mom was trolling the PetFinder listings, looking for a Somali cat. As far as I know, I have no Somali cat in my lineage, but I managed to get myself to the top of the listings anyway and she knew immediately that I should be a part of her family. My soon-to-be dad was not so sure. He was worried about how the King of the House — Beauford Cat — would react if a new kitty joined the household. Mom and I knew there was nothing to worry about. I fluffed my tail, ignored the old guy’s initial sputtering, and now we are the best of friends! I sure wish mom & dad had more room for more shelter cats …
Sir Trooder Lioncourt: I was found with a bunch of feral kitties in Kentucky. I was smart though and became friendly with the people that were feeding us all. When I finally let them get a hold of me, they brought me to this great shelter. I was in pretty rough shape — matted fur, diarrhea, an upper respiratory infection, plus some nasty fat Kentucky ticks. They thought I was de-clawed because my claws dont come out. It just so happens though, that prior to me being there, they think I had broken my ankles and they did not heal correctly, so now I limp. I was quiet famous on Petfinder, most of the folks there knew me as Nowhere Man, and a bunch of people took interest in me but noone could adopt. I then traveled from the south to Massachusetts. One day, I was at an adoption fair and this nice lady came to visit with me. She seemed upset and she cried a little as I sat with her (she had lost her kitty TT a few months earlier). I put my paw on her hand to say it was okay. Next thing you know I came home with her! Life is great now. I am now known as Sir Trooder Lioncourt. ::bows::
Fin: Mom had been desperately searching for a kitten for months when she saw the shelter advertise little old me. It was love at first sight for both Mom and me. We’ve been a happy family ever since.
SugarBear: I was (still am, but non-functioning…got snipped you know) a stud for some one whom I thought knew my worth . After fathering litters of kittens one day no one came to talk to me or pet me or feed me or even give me water. This was perplexing and more frightening as I got weaker and more and more matted from my long hair. One day someone came to adopt one of the really cute kittens. She had been over previously to adopt my nephew. She was ready to leave when the breeder guy said–if you want you can have that one for free–pointing to me. By then I was a mess and couldn’t even stand up. She came over to look at me. I felt so bad and was so lonely. She lifted me up carefully, said to the breeder guy she wouldn’t give him anymore of her money and was he going to be in trouble. Then she walked out the door with me. I spent a few months at the vet’s in a cage, but I didn’t care. I got food and water. They cleaned my teeth, gave me medicine and shaved me. I looked funny but felt real good! Then I went home with the lady to live with my nephew for a little while. One day another lady came by and picked me up and pet me and laughed when I purred then said say good bye to your nephew, popped me in a carrier and I was in another house. Another shelter cat named Tiger lives there and also a really cute girl named Carnation. She’s my girlfriend, but doesn’t know it yet. So it took some getting used to but the lady feeds me and plays with me and gives me treats when I sit in a special spot in the kitchen. She pets me and calls me SugarBear all the time because I’m so sweet. What’s not to like? Tiger’s ok but we are very respectful of each other’s space so to speak. All in all, I’m ok now. I’ve stopped hissing and snapping and pretty much lay around or look outside or play. Us shelter cats just need someone with patience who can see the cute kitten inside us. Right now, life is sweet.