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Discussion Starter #1
Those who know, I'd love to hear...

And those who don't know, like me, what do you imagine? I find it's a natural need to build some kind of history for my cat...

Based on Prince's behavior, physical state when I found him and the little history I know about him, I imagine he was raised from birth by someone who was very, very loving, had an upper socioeconomic status, but also had very strict rules about what a cat was not allowed to do. She was probably a woman, and she probably was unable to care for him anymore due to illness and trusted him to someone who promised to look after him but didn't deliver, then Prince was unhappy and ran away. This person didn't bother look in the ads so they didn't see that I'd found Prince.
 

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I imagine both my cats have similar origins. I got them as kittens from the pound, and a shelter, respectively.

Apollo had two solid seal-point littermates, and both he and his littermates were all in good health, and had been in a home until they were ready for adoption. My guess is maybe some backyard breeder with a siamese or siamese mix bred their cat, or they had an unspayed outdoor cat that got pregnant, and they didn't know what to do with the kittens, so they were dropped off at the pound once they were old enough to be adopted.

Athena's story was a bit more harrowing. What I do know of her history from her foster, was that she had a very severe URI as a kitten and almost didn't make it (it's possible she had littermates that didn't make it, I'm not sure). She also seems to have lost her mother at a very young age. It sounds like she was probably in one of those situations where a rescue takes in a sick, pregnant stray cat that does not survive, and tries to save the kittens. Athena was one of the lucky ones who made it.
 

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Fay was a spoiled show cat who was traded by a breeder when she went beyond kitten

I shouldn't even tell you this because I was sworn to secrecy by my vet but it's just the internets. We can keep it between us. Mia is in the Kitty Witness Protection Program. She was confiscated from a breeder. She was a Queen who my vet say's was always caged because she was unfixed. I don't know why she was 'confiscated'. I do know her real name and date of birth but I'm keeping that secret.
 

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I know both Autumn and Mirage's origin's so they are no mystery. I can easily guess Cloud's. He and his sister were found at 4 weeks old in a bush. Either a stray mama was in the middle of moving her litter and an unknowing person took them assuming they were abandoned (which happens a lot) or something happened to poor mama. The rest of his life he has been mine basically.

I want to know Kent's story. He was found tied to the gate outside the shelter all alone as an 8 week old kitten. Why? What was his life before, and why did they do that to him? Why was he alone? He was assumed to be feral because of his fear of people. He stayed so well hidden in the shelter that, in fact, he didn't get neutered until he was a year and a half old. They scheduled his neuter 3 times, and the first 2 times they took the wrong cat because the volunteers didn't know who Kent was.

I do know that he was adopted before I adopted him. He was only there for a week, and was returned because he was considered unfriendly. What was his experience there? Kent has been so loving since I known him. Why did he hide from the world so much? He doesn't hide from anyone now. I just wish he could talk :)
 

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By the way MowMow acted when I got him I think he belonged to an elderly person. He was absolutely loved and adored. I think this because when I got him he had NO idea how to play. Toys were just stared at and fingers under a blanket were ignored. All he ever wanted to do was lay on me and purr. It took almost a year to get him to the lean mean attacking machine that he is now. Now he *LOVES* to play and wrestle.

Also, he must never have been yelled at or frightened by his owner. Because when I yell at him he just stares at me like I've lost my mind. I was in the bathroom once and I could see him climbing on the kitchen counter after my lunch. Yelling and waving my arms like a moron didn't work and when I threw the toilet paper at the plate (No, it wasn't aimed AT him. It was aimed to hit the counter and scare him) all he did was watch it bounce and then continue to eat my lunch (and leave me in the bathroom without toilet paper... I didn't think that plan out completely).
 

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MowMow - your bathroom story is hilarious.

as far as the question; right now i have two, one at home and one at work. pretty girl i imagine was abandoned by someone, not born feral. my logic for that is that not long after she showed up at my work she had developed somewhat of a bond with me, whereas the true ferals take a long time to develop any true trust. morriss was was definitely abandoned. he was just wandering around my neighborhood when i took him in 15 years ago and he was already altered.

i try not to give it much more thought because thinking about a person that abandons a cat makes me want to hunt them down and....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm enjoying this thread immensely. Please keep the stories coming, both known and imagined!!

Nicole, could you direct me to Kent's story on this forum if there's a thread? I'm interested in how some people find a cat "unfriendly" who is obviously just scared...
 

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Pumpkin was a little 6 week old feral kitten when I adopted her, and Simone was either feral or extremely unsocialized. I adopted them both from one of the local no-kill shelters (a few months apart), and both times I know that they had just been brought into the shelter the day before. Pumpkin had 3 littermates: a red tabby brother, white and grey sister and a tuxedo sister, but I have no idea what happened to their mom. Their litter was called "Captain's kittens" because they were found on a street named Captain. It wasn't quite April, and I had been to the shelter several times looking for a kitten at that point. My sister was with me that day and we played with Pumpkin's litter for a few hours trying to decide which one I should get. The grey/white one was the only that interacted with me, but I was fascinated by Pumpkin's spunkiness. You see, Pumpkin and her brother were in the middle of an all out wrestle-mania body slam smackdown...my tiny baby would actually climb all the way up her cage so that she could leap onto her brother's back (he did it a few times too). It was so funny to watch, but I felt bad for her sisters that kept getting caught in the middle of their fun ;) I decided to get Pumpkin since she was young and would be easy to train; little did I know that she wouldn't quite outgrow all that wildness! Here's a couple pics:





Simone on the other hand was a case of me falling for his "looks"...he was just so pretty that I couldn't help myself :) All I know about him is that he had a black and white bi-color brother and they were both terrified of people. They were called the "Kroger kittens" after the grocery store, so I think they must have been discovered there. One of the shelter volunteers told me that whomever brought them in just made the remark that they couldn't keep them for health reasons. That's why I'm not sure if they were completely feral or somebody just couldn't/wouldn't care for them. As prissy and klutzy as Simone acts, I can't imagine him having stray or feral parents that survived to puberty. Anyways, it took me about 2 weeks for Simone to allow me to touch him, and he is still ridiculously skittish to this day with new people.

The day I brought him home (in Pumpkin's pink carrier)
 

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The only places I remember off the top of my head telling Kent's story is here:

http://www.catforum.com/forum/41-meet-my-kitty/139922-my-beautiful-babies.html
http://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat-chat/139895-do-you-sometimes-think.html

Let's just say that the people that ran the shelter at the time I adopted him were not in it for the cats. Kent was a kitten that was unsocialized so naturally he was scared. They deemed him at that moment, at 8 weeks of age, as unadoptable. They were shocked when I wanted him and asked me several times over and over if I was sure, thinking that I was making a mistake. They said that they would just throw a towel over him so that he felt hidden and ignored him. He spent the first year of his life living in a cage in the isolation room because of his fear, but then they needed the space in ISO so they kicked him out into general population. He was so ignored that when I adopted him he hadn't had any vaccinations except the first round of them when he was 8 weeks old. He was so petrified of everyone there that the day I adopted him after 30 minutes of trying to crate him they had to have me come in and put him in the crate. He wasn't aggressive, just incredibly scared, and apparently not worth the effort to the people there :(
 

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Blaze was a six month old feral kitten, he grew up behind a local mall dumpster. I can see his kittenhood was tough, having to fight for food, climbing into dumpsters, avoiding people that wanted him and his littermates out of the area. He's terrified of the sound of garbage trucks and plastic bags, no doubt because of his first six months of life carrying over his entire fifteen years of life.

Blacky was a semi-feral. I have no idea who used to own her, I don't know how someone could give up a kitty so sweet - that doesn't often happen around here; she's about the only cat outdoors I ever see. I know she was owned by someone though becase she was spayed and had numbers that were unreadable in one of her ears. Her previous owners either moved or neglected her causing her to turn to the streets. By the time we found her, she was at least two I'd say but she could have been upwards of ten for all I know. The vet thinks she's 8-12 but we've already had her 8 years! When we first started feeding her table scraps she had the overriding mindset of a feral - she didn't trust humans. It took her a year to allow me to pet her. She doesn't trust strangers outside, and she doesn't walk up to strangers even if they're inside. I think either her previous owners or once she was on the street caused her to be leery of humans. I think there was abuse somewhere in the past. I also think she may have had a close call with a car before or maybe even been hit by one dispite no sign of injury besides bad teeth (probably a sign she'd been on the streets awhile), she is very relaxed outside but if she sees a moving car anywhere near her she's RUNS the opposite direction. Which is great but I don't think that common in cats; they're more likely to run into one than away from one.
 

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Of the near 20 personal cats we've kept during the 18yrs of our marriage ... every cat/kitten except for 2 were feral and found their way to me from some dire and/or near-death circumstance or another. Many of the kittens/cats I've fostered have come to me in similar circumstances, too.

Almost all kittens and cats came to me as unhandled and/or feral. I can only recall a few who showed signs of having had positive human contact before they came to me.

I have never chosen a cat, they have all chosen me. Some were found as kittens, some were injured or ill, some were facing threat of death and some just showed up in-need ... and when I helped them ... they stayed. I have had two cats *bring* me their litters of kittens.
 

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I really like reading all of the stories posted here so far! It's nice to see there are still quite a few good people out there with kind hearts.

I've got 7 cats and know quite a bit about were they came from luckily. So warning...this will be a bit long :p All are indoor only cats now too and spayed or neutered.

My first cat named Weasel (all black) was rescued by my sister at a restaurant she worked about 7 years ago. Weasel, along with the rest of the kittens, were going to be gassed by their owner (locked in a garage & car turned on). The daughter of the cat owner who brought the kittens in to try to give away instead. They were very young still...according to the daughter they were born around June 20th. We got Weasel a little after the 4th of July. She was named after Frank Zappa's album "Weasels Ripped my flesh". She was a feisty kitten..and still is as an adult. She bites first, asks questions later when pissed (as a few vets have found out). She also uses her teeth to play and show affection a LOT. She became my cat when she got very attached to me... many times literally attached to my hat or shoulder after climbing me. She's about 10lbs, and tries to keep the other cats in line by handing out occasional beatings, and giving them "angry baths"... She loves to be carried around over my shoulder and sleep right next to my face at night.

Angus (black and white cow-cat) was a stray kitten possibly from a feral colony when he was trapped. He bit someone on the long hot car ride to the animal shelter about 50 miles from where he was found after he was trapped. He was quarantined at animal control after the biting incident. He had been there for about a month and a half, and was likely going to be put down soon. Animal control made sure to tell people he had bit someone, so I'm guessing he was viewed as not being too adoptable. I still can't imagine him ever biting anyone. He purred the entire trip home and for almost the entire first week I had him, including trips to the vet. He's never shown a bit of aggression towards a person, even when a vet is taking his temp or something like that. He and Weasel are great pals. He's about 10lbs too and lanky. He loves his toys and to play chase with the other cats. His spot on the bed is right behind my head, unless weasel isn't in front of my face, then he's there.

My next two were Penelope (P-Nut) and Mohan (Big Mo)...the first set of twins. I got them a little more than 5 years ago. P-Nut is black and white, but with a Siamese type body like her Mom (small head, big ears, long tail). Mo is spotted and stripped white & brown with crossed and light sensitive blue eyes.

My dad while taking a walk near my condo saw a very thin Siamese cat he didn't recognize, so he followed it. She had a litter of sick kittens (she was sick too) in some bushes. They were around 5 weeks old when we found them. We retrieved all of the kittens from the bushes. Three of the four were easy to catch. P-Nut wasn't..she was hiding deep in the bushes and not happy to be picked up. We found homes for the 2 Siamese looking ones after they were weened (my sister's friend took them), found a home for the mother shortly after, and I took P-Nut and Mo.

P-Nut is about 15lbs now (she was around 18 at one point..a little chunky). 14-15 is about the right weight for her. Her mother had a big frame for a female Siamese. Big Mo is 17lbs. He's long, tall, and my sister swears he's part bobcat :p When I first got them they had some nasty protozoa infesting them (coccidia). The mother probably should've weighed around 12lbs or more, but she was only 6 lbs. She gave everything she had to keep those kittens alive. The kittens were all under 1lb..except Big Mo. He was 1.1. It took a looong time and tons of vet trips, including some emergency trips, to get rid of that coccidia. Not to mention a lot of laundry detergent and carpet cleaner.. They are all healthy and happy now though! Big Mo is the dominant male of the household and I'm currently working on trying to find a way to stop him from feeling the need to bite the next of my other cats and hold them in place (especially my timid small female cat). P-Nut is a sweet cat who will headbutt my other cats to try to get them to give her a bath. P-Nut likes the foot of the bed, and Big Mo isn't big on sleeping on the bed. He prefers the cat condo or the back of the couch near one of the 3 food dishes. Occasionally he'll burrow under the covers though to sleep.

The 5th cat I got was after I moved to a larger house (4 cats in a 900sq ft condo was too much). I got Moxie about 10 months ago. So she's about 1 1/2 years old now. My sister was working at a no-kill shelter at the time, and they had rescued a younger cat from a hoarders house...the hoarder was apparently not a nice person either. My sister described her as "that nasty lady". The poor little cat wouldn't come out from under her bed during normal hours at the shelter, so no one ever saw her to adopt her. Their loss! My sister took me there after hours to see all of the cats, and especially to see this younger cat who was terrified of everyone... Her motive was to get me to adopt the cat of course...it worked! After leaving the cat's area she stood at the gate yelling for us to come back. I had to adopt the poor little thing. I just wished I could've taken her home right then. They wouldn't adopt a cat out without it being spayed yet though, which is understandable and really a great idea. So I got her after she was spayed.

She's still pretty timid, doesn't like people's faces being near her, or people over top of her, but she's coming along nicely, and is a great little cat. As long as I move slowly around her she's OK with me bending over to pet her now, and will roll around at my feet afterwards to get belly pets. She's about 8lbs, and a gray striped tabby with awesome orange eyes. She loves getting drinks out of the kitchen faucet and watching the water come out of it. Most nights she sleeps right up against my side.

And now we get to the 2nd set of twins. My sister, still working at the no-kill shelter, was fostering some 1 week old kittens that were very sick, and going to be put down by animal control. Their mother was no where to be found. Someone dropped the kittens off at animal control. Animal control didn't have anyone to take them, or the resources needed to do anything for kittens that young and sick, so they were going to put them down. My sister got them from Animal control on behalf of the shelter she worked for. She fostered them, bottle feeding them, helping them poo, and all of that. They had some nasty bacterial infection that almost killed one of them, and resulted in a trip to an emergency vet to save it. My sister did an awesome job saving these kittens lives. She became attached to them and didn't want them to end up being adopted out to some strangers. So she adopted the 2 males, and I adopted the two females.

One is a striped brownish tabby named Tifa. Her favorite thing is to be held upside down and get belly pets while drooling all over the place...which she's doing as I type this. The other is a black and white long haired cat with orange eyes named Midna. She likes standing under the faucet getting completely soaked in the process. If she hears the kitchen sink come on she'll run from wherever she is to sit in the sink and play with the water. Tifa likes to sleep either on my neck (poking me in the eye with a paw), or on the opposite side of me that Moxie is on, pinning me in one spot on the bed. Midna prefers draping herself over top of me so she's sleeping on me and purring so loud her body shakes...and of course drooling. They pretty much get along with all of my other cats, and especially with Moxie.

So there you have it, the back stories for my 7. I think 7 is enough...or I'll need to find a bigger house again. That..or a bigger bed at least... :)
 

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I love these stories!

We adopted Coda and Allegro at 6 months old from a rescue...they were in one of the Petsmart display cases. A note was on their cards at the time saying that they were found as strays, but when I emailed the rescue to ask more about them, they said they were brother and sister from the same litter and had been in a foster home. I highly doubt they were every outdoors for any great length of time. Allegro is way too playful and kittenish and trusting (from the very beginning), and Coda thinks she's a fashion model and puts on all sorts of airs. They are terrible at catching the feather teasers. They wouldn't last a week outdoors. When I saw them, I asked to visit with them. Allegro was just fooling around with a toy on the floor and totally ignored me, but Coda realized that I was her ticket out of the cage, and she WORKED IT like the supermodel she is. Instantly, she crawled into my lap and purred, and she spent the next 20 minutes walking on my shoulders, rubbing her head against my face, trilling, and purring for all she was worth. Since they were siblings and I'd heard how kittens do well in pairs, I called my husband and said "there are two cats here that we should adopt." He said "TWO??" I replied, "yes, BOTH." Petsmart was about to close so they couldn't do an adoption (and we totally weren't prepared to adopt 2 cats that night--I was just at Petsmart to check out toys for my parents' dog!), so we called before they opened the next morning and said "We want Petey and Penny [their names before we got them] for sure, we're coming in after work today to get them, so can you please, please reserve them for us??" They said yes, and it's a good thing we reserved them, because they told us later that "some weird people" wanted to adopt them, and they were able to say that no, they were already taken. :) Jake had never even laid eyes on them, so after work, he went in the room to play with them while one of the employees led me around the store to get all the supplies we needed. We had a fully-loaded van with a cat tree, litterboxes, scratchers, toys, food/water bowls, beds, etc., and we put them in the huge carrier that we had just purchased (the poor little things looked so confused!) and they cried and grabbed at me through the bars as I drove them home on the seat next to me.

Forte is a different story. He was discovered in KY on the streets when he was 12 weeks old by one of the junior volunteers of a rescue there, totally by himself. His fur was matted and filthy (they said he looked like a dead animal at first), he had worms and fleas, and someone had shot a BB gun at him early enough in his life that a BB was lodged in the base of his tail and his skin had already formed around it. (For whatever reason, they didn't take the BB out, and my vet said it's not an issue, though you can still feel it in there.) Yet despite his hard circumstances, they said he was very sweet and friendly, so the jr. volunteer took him in. They neutered, vaccinated, tested, and dewormed him, but no one adopted him--they said that black kitties almost never get adopted from their rescue.

I found him on Petfinder when he was 7 months old. They had him listed as a Havana brown/Bombay mix, though I'm pretty sure he's just a DSH black cat. They were going off of his bone structure and his personality...they said that he was the best, friendliest cat they'd ever had in their rescue...he loved cats, dogs, kids, everyone. We needed a cat who was GREAT with other cats, because Coda is a bit temperamental. I fell in love with his pictures, and their volunteers met us in Louisville in a bowling alley parking lot (since we were 4 hours away from the rescue), and the volunteer climbed out of the car holding Forte in her arms, and she just handed him to me (while the other volunteer had my husband sign paperwork). Apparently he had just sat in her lap the whole way, and the instant I held him in my arms, he was purring. I sat with him in the back on the ride home, and he was so good. :)

Oh, and you can TOTALLY tell Forte was a street-smart kitty the first couple months of his life. We can't even play teaser toys with him because he ALWAYS outsmarts and out-speeds us and catches the toys instantly and won't let them go.

Aww, now I'm getting a little nostalgic. :') Great thread!
 

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It's so lovely to hear all your stories.

We adopted Tammy (who lives with my parents) from a Cats Protection shelter when she was 6 months old. She and her brother, Ginger (who we also adopted, but he tragically went missing at 18 months old) were taken to the shelter at 6 months as they had "left the cute, playful kitten stage" and their previous owners had grown bored of them. We brought them home little over 2 weeks after they arrived at the shelter. It became obvious that they had been treated aggressively by their previous owners, and would cower and hide at any sign of a hand or a foot near them (if my Dad happened to walk past, Ginger would be terrified he was about to be kicked). It took them a few months to settle in and realise we would never hurt them. Tammy is now 10, she'll be 11 in May. She's the most gorgeous little black and white cat in the whole world! She even went onto my Dad's lap for a cuddle last week- the first time ever! So even after a whole decade cats can still be adapting!

We got Evie from a breeder who bought her as a kitten to be a Breeding Queen, but she was never 'bred from' in the end. She's a Ragdoll and is the most affectionate cat I've ever seen. When we got her she was covered in matts, underweight and had an infection. She tried to hide under a piece of furniture in the breeder's house- the woman grabbed her by the fur (yes, the fur- definitely not the scruff, it was her bottom/tail area) and pulled her out. Evie yelped in pain. I was distraught- the breeder passed Evie to me and I did not let go. She was mine forever, never to be mistreated again. My Mum visited last week, meeting the girls for the first time, and she commented on how Evie jumps away whenever a hand approaches her, which is so sad. She only really trusts me and her Daddy.

Mitzi Moo came from a truly lovely couple who had four Ragdoll's- 2 boys, 2 girls. Mitzi was being bullied by their older male Ragdoll and after a year the couple made the heartbreaking decision to find a new home for Mitzi as they didn't think it was fair to keep her with 'the bully'. She had a little sister called Princess, who was so lovely. It was apparent Mitzi was very loved and well cared for. Her owner cried when we left with Mitzi.
 

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Murphy was adopted as a kitten from the SPCA by a family that lives in a neighboring town. They adopted another kitten 2 months later. Turns out Murphy wasn't a fan of having another kitty around, and after 1.5 years of seeing them compete, they decided to return Murphy to the shelter because he was by far the more lovable of the two, and they figured he'd have an easier time getting adopted. That's where we came in. :)
 

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John MT, you have a really big heart. I have seven cats too, though they go out...so it doesn't seem like that many. Except at feeding time, when they gather in the kitchen and look like twice as many...
From your description of their sleeping positions on top of and draped around you, are you getting any sleep? :p
 

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Samantha must have been owned by someone who had a full household...cats, dogs, kids, lots of visitors. Nothing fazes this cat. Nothing. When I brought home Rochelle, and later Alice, she just looked at them, looked at me (I swear, if she could have shrugged her shoulders she would have!), and walked off. When I take her to Petco, she walks up to any size dog with the confidence of an alpha, but the temperament of a lamb. She is the most tolerant animal ever and takes everything in stride. Her previous owners had her declawed but not spayed, and then abandoned her. She became pregnant, was taken in to the shelter, had her kittens and was spayed, and the rest is history. :) She's only a little over two, but she seems wise beyond her years.

Rochelle is a little tricky. I know she had a home at some point, but I can't even guess how long that lasted. She was found as a stray and brought into the shelter at around 4 months...we adopted her at about a year. She spent most of her life either on the streets or in the shelter. :( Her personality had been severely affected, and when we first brought her home, she was so skittish and hid constantly. At about a year and a half now, she's become a happier cat, and I am so proud of her progress.

Alice's story is a rather sad one. I rescued her from a terrible situation when she was about 7 months old. I was asked to help a friend of a friend with ideas for re-homing her cat because she was moving soon and couldn't take the cat with. So I go over there and find a moving truck already there, and the front door wide open. I ask "where's the cat...?" and the 'owner' (I use the term VERY loosely), pointed to a cardboard box. I opened the box to find a sickly, urine-covered, skinny little tortie cowering in the bottom...no food, no water...it was about an 80 degree day with full sun. I picked her up immediately, gave the girl a piece of my mind, and left with the cat. I told her that she "had no business owning an animal if she's going to abuse it like this", and she just shrugged...the thing that made me the angriest was she had this smug look on her face the whole time. She never cared. After bringing Alice home, and getting her to the vet ASAP, I found she had a bad URI, had a terrible case of intestinal parasites, and was way too thin at only 6 lbs for her height (she's tall and I'm sure the parasites didn't help). Obviously, she had been mistreated for quite some time. It took over two weeks, but she responded really well to the bombardment of meds, and recovered quickly. At a little over a year, she's a spitfire, and seems to have forgotten her painful past and just how cruel humans can be when they just don't care.

Also, he must never have been yelled at or frightened by his owner. Because when I yell at him he just stares at me like I've lost my mind. I was in the bathroom once and I could see him climbing on the kitchen counter after my lunch. Yelling and waving my arms like a moron didn't work and when I threw the toilet paper at the plate (No, it wasn't aimed AT him. It was aimed to hit the counter and scare him) all he did was watch it bounce and then continue to eat my lunch (and leave me in the bathroom without toilet paper... I didn't think that plan out completely).
OMG, hahahaha! Now, that was a funny story! XD
 

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Wow, poor Alice. What a mean-spirited lady to do that to her. I hope she gets what's coming to her.

Happily, you have more than made it up to Alice.
 

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Wow, poor Alice. What a mean-spirited lady to do that to her. I hope she gets what's coming to her.

Happily, you have more than made it up to Alice.
I reported her, but never found out what happened with it. :? I lost my other friend in the process though because of it...apparently I stepped on some toes. Knowing that, I still would have done the exact same thing. Humans have to speak up for the animals because it's obvious they can't do it themselves, and I would have felt terrible if that lady did that to another animal and I had the opportunity to do something about it. I feel almost like I was supposed to go to Alice that day...like it was fate that brought us together, because I almost didn't go that day because I had so much to do (she most likely would have been a dumpster kitty at that point :( ).
 

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THose are the people who make me hope that karma and reincarnation are real...... they deserve to come back as a cockroach or an abused animal so they know how it feels.
 
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