Open Thread: Kitty Rescue

From commentor John Smallberries:

This is Fuzzy Cat, or Fuzzy Grumbles, depending on the mood she is in. She is one of four salvage cats we have – one was left on my wife’s front porch in a box as an undersized kitten, one came from the humane society as a kitten, and one was adopted from the sons of a good friend of my wife after he died unexpectedly.
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As for Fuzzy, we took her in when she was around 10 years old, nobody knows for sure. She had been abandoned by people on our street when they moved, and became rather feral. At first, she was feeding from the porch of a family with two cats who left dry food out, but when we started remodeling our house, we got her to come over and eat in the back yard while we were feeding a couple of strays that we had adopted. The other two were, unfortunately, run over but Fuzzy, who is very very smart, was way too careful.
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As she slowly got to know and trust us, feeding went from “drop the bowl and get 25 feet away” to “put it down, I will come over and you will back off” to “you can pet me while I am eating but I will show displeasure” to the point where after we got the house closed in but before we moved back she would come in, eat inside, and deign to spend the night sleeping on our bed. Yes, for a period of about two months, we remodeled the house for a stray.
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Now, she comes running up when one of us drives up to say hello, tail in the air and all rubby against the legs, has taken to begging for pieces of chicken, sleeps on my wife’s lap in the front porch, and spends the night either on the rug in front of the stove or under the dresser in the bedroom. She still grumbles and growls, and only will allow a limited amount of petting, but has remembered how to purr. At meal times,, she becomes very excited, and there is usually a bit of agitation with a lot of paw waving between her any my siamese, the Humane Society cat who my wife has designated a kleptoparasite that tries to eat out of all the food bowls. When she is begging for a piece of chicken or turkey she comes in, sits by the refrigerator and gives you the look she has in the photo. She chases a laser beam like no other cat we have.
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She has a territory that includes the our front porch, the neighbors rose bushes, and the front porch and landscaping of the lady across the street. Wanda says our two houses are the Bed and Breakfast for Fuzz – she sleeps on Wanda’s porch (bed) and eats over at our place (breakfast). She has lived with us for about 5 years now and can be a real pill, but a real sweetheart too, and we love her just like the others.



Open Thread: Cat (Plus) Rescue

From commentor Chris S:

Tara and I have two special rescue kitties with their own distinct personalities and quirks. Here is Aisha, a Siamese (darker), and Amiya, a Balinese (lighter), snuggled up in their favorite spot in the house: our bed after we get out of it in the morning. They’re moderately healthy cats, but both suffer from kitty viruses picked up from their SPCA shelter stay where Tara worked as an outreach coordinator. They’re very well-behaved cats and they don’t care much for human food or get on counters. I could leave a steak sitting on the counter and they don’t care. However, Aisha can smell watermelon and strawberries before you can even take a bite and she loudly demands her tribute. Amiya is the princess and has effectively claimed me as her own. She sleeps next to my head or my feet at night, pouts and cries when I leave for work, and gets very pissy when I’m gone for a few days. To the point where she won’t even acknowledge me for a day or so when I return.
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We’ve recently adopted a young brittany spaniel mix from a rescue center and get him on August 23rd. We’re very excited to open our home to another wayward animal that’s just looking for some love.

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Speaking of weird dietary quirks, over the past 40 years I have known three cats, in three different states, who would kill — or at least bite your hand — for jelly-donut filling. All three were old-fashioned “Louis Wain” round-faced, plush-coated girls of great beauty and extremely random background. Always wondered if it was an actual genetic glitch or just my pattern-seeking instincts.

Best wishes (keep us posted) on your new soon-to-be-housemate, Chris!



Open Thread: Rescue Dog

From commentor Michael:

This is Lucy. She is three now. My fiance got her when I went to Iraq. (I am a cat person, nominally, so this was the ultimate outflanking maneuver) Lucy was six months old and 45 pounds then; the shelter estimate she’d grow to be 90. She’s a Boerboel (South African mastiff), probably (some kind of mastiff, certainly). She’s also the sweetest girl in the world, totally content to lie on her back and accept belly rubs virtually all day. A stranger’s just a pettin’ you haven’t cajoled yet.

Looks like Lucy has your number, sir…
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Open Thread: Cat Rescue

From commentor Mary G:

This is Sophie. I got her on Feb. 1, 1991, at the Pasadena, CA Humane Society. I had lost my first cat six months before and told myself I was just going in to see how the shelter looked after a major remodel. Yeah, right.
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The volunteer opened cage after cage and handed me cat after cat. I could not pick one over the other – I wanted to take them all home.
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She put Sophie (then called Misty) back into her cage and started to open the next one, but Sophie stuck her leg through the wire and tapped me on the shoulder very gently with her paw. That did it. She still taps me with a paw if she wants food or attention, but only on the left leg and arm, never the right.
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She had no use for any other human being. She didn’t want me to pet her if I was standing up or sitting down, but if I was lying on the sofa or the bed, and no one else was around, she would snuggle and purr and demand scritches. She sleeps on my hip at night.
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She knew my car and when I got home from work, I’d see her head peeking out between the curtains, and as I came up on the front porch, she’d run to the door. But once I unlocked the door, before I could open it, she would run back behind the coffee table and look away like she couldn’t care less if I was there or not.
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A year or two ago, out of the blue she decided she was a lap cat after all, not with me, but my mother. The second mom sits down, Sophie climbs up. Who knows why, she’s never even seen another cat in a lap.
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Her kidneys have been bad since she was three years old, but I feed her the special food from the vet and they’ve held up so far, thank goodness.

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Open Thread: Good (Rescue) Dog!

From commentor Carnacki:

Lucy looked up at me with her lovely dark brown eyes as she greeted me at the back door this evening. Her tail thumped into the metal cabinet like a drum. I bent down and kissed her forehead and scratched her behind her ears the way I always have.
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Lucy was 9 when we adopted her two years ago. She was already old with gray around her eyes and throughout her muzzle.
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She perked up when we walked through the rescue shelter looking at the various strays. She was in the last cage, a black Labrador-German shepherd mix that weighed nearly 100 pounds, a senior dog brought in by an elderly woman who had to go into a nursing home because of her health and could not find anyone to take in her dog.
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It was July 7, 2007. 7-7-07. A lucky day, we said.
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Ms. Carnacki wasn’t certain we should get such an old dog and had not thought of us getting such a big dog. But there was something about the way that Lucy lit up when she saw our three daughters and us. We took her outside on the leash and she moved like a puppy, happy to be outside and licking the children with her long tongue. She won all of us over and we took her home and it was as if she had always lived with us. She wasn’t a pet. She was family.
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A week after we had brought her home with us, I strained my right hamstring while running intervals for exercise. I had decided I was going to milk it for the weekend and put off the jobs on my to-do list. I was on the sofa with a horror movie on the television at 2:30 a.m. and my feet propped up. Lucy lay on the floor next to me, her head resting on her paws while I gently scratched her head.
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Suddenly she jumped up and raced into my oldest daughter’s bedroom barking fiercely. A neighbor’s dog was barking in that direction and I thought Lucy was answering him. My fear was she would wake my daughter. Unlike Lucy, I was a fool.
Read more



Open Thread: Cats & Dogs

From commentor Phillygirl:

Here’s the timorous but loving benny, taking in the sights of my little back yard. one advantage of having an old, fat cat is that he can’t jump over the wall. he is forever safe.
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Senior catz are deserving and grateful, too. I got my Benny from some rescue people who were at their wits’ end. Benny, age and history kind of mysterious, performed miserably on adoption days, cowering in the back of his cage and trembling when touched. Also, he was fat, and thus, like chunkier senior humans, not so visually appealing. No matter! After hiding under a rug (!) in my house for a week, he slowly began turning into a pet. Within a few months, he was a cuddler, a licker, and a belly-rub enthusiast. Mostly, these guys just need to feel safe. Then they will reward you richly, with devotion and sometimes with small, dead rodents. Get to yer shelter tomorrow.

(Since I a full-figured ginger of a certain age, I think that Benny is a fine, handsome fellow!)

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And a bonus story from commentor JCT:

I’m reading this crashed out in our RV with my own pack of beagies. We actually bought the RV because we couldn’t bear to leave them behind…
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We rescued our first beagle mix a few years ago – supposedly for our young son, but Shadow bonded to my husband and we decided to adopt a sister for her. I went to a rescue day at a vet to get a young beagle, only to fall in love with a scrawny, scarred old girl named Trixie. No one was paying any attention to her, but my daughter noticed that as Trixie walked up to the puppy cages they all ran to her like she was their mother- no matter what the breed. When we asked about her the rescue folks were so thrilled, they thought she would never be picked. She had been found by the side of the road, apparently abandoned by one of the fucking puppy mills in the area. It is hard to describe how beat-up she looked, when I brought my husband out to pick her up he looked at me like I had lost my mind. She was of course, a fabulous dog, adored everyone, slept curled up with my son every night in their private ”beagle pile” and just adored chew toys – I think the poor sweetheart had never had toys before, she used to hide them in a pile under our bed. 3 months of love and joy later she became a little short of breath and by the end of the month we had to have her put down while I held her because she had metastatic mammary gland tumors thanks to her previous life as a puppy machine. For months we were finding hidden toys. 8 years later we still have her purple leash and collar. Just last night the whole family was talking about her, while we were surrounded by our current beagles – both of whom sleep in our bed, one with her head on the pillow like a baby.



Open Thread: Senior Pet Rescue

From commentor Tony S:

My wife and I were dog owners as kids. When we moved to our house here in Peekskill in 1999, the place came with a dog. The place was an estate sale, and we insisted the super-elder beagle, Gypsy, be part of the package…
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Since then, we’ve tried to adopt older dogs whenever possible. We find them much easier to deal with than puppies, and quite grateful. We’ve had 11 dogs in 10 years. People ask us how we can deal with the short time we have with the senior dogs, but it’s much more painful thinking of them trapped in some shelter somewhere, or put to death simply because they’re not wanted.
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Here’s a pic of the current crowd. From left to right, they’re:
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Snarls Barkly, our most recent arrival, who is an estimated 9 years old and was left in front of a police precinct in the South Bronx at 4:00 am on the night of February 14th in a condition the ASPA described as “filthy,” with a broken tail, infected ears and a large tumor on one leg. It was three weeks before he would get on our bed; he spent most his time until then lying on piles of leaves in our backyard. Now he spends 90% of his time cuddled between our pillows.
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Field Marshal Montgomery Marshal Fields. Monty was in a family where the father died suddenly when his replacement heart valve failed. He went from having run of the house to being locked in a cage 14 hours a day, and cracked up in the process. He has papers of some kind, and is our only purebred. His favorite game is “I love you, don’t touch me. OK, now you can pet me. But I’ll scream.”
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Twinkle Toes. Twinkles was found tied to a lamp post on our city’s main street. She’d been there so long her paws were bloody. By virtue of seniority, she is our home’s alpha, and she knows it. She is also a differently abled puppy. She must have been hit by a car at some point. Her front paw is held together with a bolt, and her back leg is held together with a wire. Must have cost a bunch to fix her, and she wound up on the street.
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Jessicur Lynch. You can guess the time we got Jessicur. Her breed was listed as a mountain cur. She’s our guest terrier. She was sent to kill shelter in West Virginia for slaughtering chickens. Now she likes to leave dead mice as gifts for us on our bed. She’s the youngest dog we’ve adopted, and one of the craziest. I have the scars to prove it.
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When people are adopting dogs, they should really think of seniors. They’ve wound up abandoned through no fault of their own and deserve homes.

(Keep those photos & stories coming, folks — we need the respite! And why have I not received any cat pictures yet?)