Author: Maria

My husband and I were walking back to our house after dinner when we met this tiny, skinny kitten, about 2 months old, sitting quietly on an air vent of Banco de Oro building.

We approached her and she doesn’t seem so friendly. She was very timid and a bit scared. I pulled out cat food I always have in my bag and offered some food. Apart from being skinny and dirty, she doesn’t look sick. We waited a bit to let her finish her meal, making sure no by-passer would disturb her dinner or scare her away.

Sylvia, about 3 months old. She was skin and bones when we first got her.
Sylvia, about 3 months old. She was skin and bones when we first got her.

There are tons of stray cats in the streets of Manila (in the entire Philippines for that matter) and if we pick up everyone we come across with, we will have hundreds in a matter of days. As much as we wanted to help every stray cat in the city, we can’t take them all. What we did is to join an animal welfare organization, supported and participated in their various projects such as adoption events, education, spay/ neuter programs. That way, we can still help even if we can’t actually take the cats in. We then just moved to a more pet friendly condo where Nishi and Patrick were no longer a secret and can live their lives normally and comfortably.

So going back to the tabby by the bank – we thought she doesn’t exactly need our immediate help. Having 2 cats in a 65sqm condo feels already crowded, so I thought we can’t bring her anymore. But as we spend more time watching her finish her meal, I thought that place wasn’t safe for a kitten. The building is in a very busy road. Sooner or later, she will starve and will be desperate, she will cross the street and will get run over. Run over cats are very common sight on the roads of Metro Manila. I can’t remember a day of driving without seeing one – which of course, always upsets me. We were thinking to relocate her at some park in the area, but it isn’t really a permanent solution. Besides, if anyone sees us, they might think we are dumping the cat. It is not illegal but I do not want to show a bad example to anyone. I hate people dumping animals with passion! So guess how it ended up?

Sylvia spent a few nights in the vet clinic to make sure she's healthy before she socialized with other pupicats.
Sylvia spent a few nights in the vet clinic to make sure she’s healthy before she socialized with other pupicats.

We took the little brown tabby with us and had her checked by a vet. We said we will make sure she’s free from any disease before we bring her home and then work on just getting her adopted. We isolated her in a make-shift cage for a few days to be certain she doesn’t have any dormant communicable disease before we let Nishi and Patrick socialize with her. Nishi wasn’t very happy about it, I tell you. But she can’t do anything :P.

DSC_5338We fell in love with this brown tabby and named her Sylvia. My husband said she looked like a “Sylvia” to him. She has grown to be a very sweet, affectionate girl. She’s also a born hunter – by far the best hunter among all my cats. But careful, she’s very tricky. She’s a professional escape artist. It’s not that she’s not happy, but she just loves adventure. She has beaten every cat proofing system my husband built to keep them within our balcony and away from our neighbors. Eventually I found a fool proof way that kept her inside.

Sylvia Today
Sylvia just turned 4 years old. She’s very beautiful, a sweet slime ball happy and active cat. A proud member of the Pupicats :).

SylviaGrownUp2DSC_5675

Several years ago, a young woman began feeding a family of feral cats that she discovered near her office, just outside of Los Angeles, California. Each morning, as she would walk up to feed the cats, they would rush out to greet her, excited and hungry. One morning, she noticed something different about one of them. A young black and white male cat was missing his whiskers. They looked like they had been burned off. His fur looked a little strange, as well. Upon closer inspection, she noticed that there was a chunk missing from his right rear leg, as if something had taken a bite out of it.

Stubbs_amazing cat story

The next morning, when the cat showed up to eat, she noticed that his left paw was missing. It was at this point she figured out that the cat was gnawing off parts of his body that had been injured. She knew she had to get this cat some help so she contacted C.A.R.E who, in turn, rallied other members of the rescue community together.

It was a long, concerted effort to save this poor kitten. Although the rescue volunteers were equipped with traps, nets, and all the tricks that their experience with feral cats had taught them over the years, this little kitten wasn’t going for any of it. It was heartbreaking to see him every day, getting worse and worse. He kept gnawing at his feet until he had chewed off his front leg almost to the shoulder and his right rear leg to the knee. And, yet, every day he kept coming to breakfast, hobbling along to the food dish, with a survival instinct like no one had ever seen before. It was completely heartbreaking, yet truly inspiring at the same time.

This cat wanted to live!

The rescue group had named the cat “Stubbs”. They were determined to save him before his infection from his injuries spread. His mother, “Scarlet”, tried to protect him by standing guard at his hiding place when he was sleeping or hiding- and this is how everyone figured out where Stubbs disappeared to after he ate. When rescuers tried to catch Stubbs or grab him, Scarlet put herself in between him and everything else and would hiss and spit in an effort to keep anyone from hurting her kitten.

For three days, the rescue group stayed on site, sleeping in their cars at night, trying desperately to find an opening to rescue the injured kitten. Finally (with a little help from KFC Original Recipe chicken used for bait) they were able to catch Stubbs.

He was immediately taken to an animal hospital. The diagnosis was shocking: someone had set this cat on fire! All four of Stubbs feet and lower legs were badly burned. As the days had passed, the pain and dying tissue had motivated him to gnaw off parts of his own body. The vets did what they could to save Stubbs limbs but one of the back legs was gone (up to the knee) as well as his left front leg (up to the elbow).

Through much nurturing and care, Stubbs recovered enough to be placed in to a foster home. There he received the love and attention he deserved and he blossomed in to the most delightful cat one could imagine. It wasn’t long before he found a permanent home of his own with a happy couple and their cat Eliza.

If anybody deserved a happy ending, it was Stubbs. What a strong and amazing little cat!

In July 2013, in the town of Lac-Megantic Canada, an unattended 74-car freight train carrying crude oil ran away and derailed, resulting in the fire and explosion of multiple tank cards. Forty-two people were killed and five more were missing and presumed dead. More than 30 buildings in the town’s center, roughly half of the downtown area, were destroyed. A hundred and fifteen businesses were destroyed, displaced, or rendered inaccessible.

The municipal water supply for Lac-Megantic was shut down because of a leak inside the blast zone, requiring trucks carrying drinking water to be utilized during clean-up efforts. Residents were evacuated from their homes and many businesses had to operate from temporary locations outside the downtown area.

It was the fourth deadliest rail accident in Canadian history. The tragedy crippled the town and brought its residents to their knees.

Amidst the chaos and devastation, no one heard the soft cries of a cat left helpless and alone. No one was there to tend to its needs as it sat trapped and alone inside one of the abandoned homes.

Mario_Blog5On September 22, an incredibe 79 days after the disaster struck, the poor feline was finally found. A worker named Mario spotted the male tabby cat’s silhouette in the window of the house. He called Francoise Belle-Isle, of the local animal refuge, who helped lure the cat out of the house with a cage trap.

Francoise herself is a heroine. She worked 14-hour days following the derailment helping displaced families with pets and those looking for their missing pets. So, she was thrilled to be able to add this poor cat to her list of survivors.

The cat had been holed up without food, water or companionship for more than seven weeks. No one has determined how he managed to survive for so long on his own. He was suffering from such extreme dehydration when he was brought in to the veterinarian that there was some discussion about putting him down.

But Francoise would have none of that. This cat was a survivor!

She gave the cat a new name (Mario) and, in the days after his rescue, she was by his side as he showed remarkable improvement thanks to a protein-rich diet supplemented with iron-enhanced baby cereal. The vet expressed surprise at the remarkable results, considering his long time spent in seclusion.

Mario proved he had a fighting spirit when his energy continued to increase. Day by day his health improved until, finally, he was acting like a normal happy cat.

Today, no one would recognize the scrawny sad cat that was found in that abandoned home. His body and spirit have made a full recovery thanks to the help of a true angel. Francoise still keeps in touch with the hearty tabby. He has a new home now and enjoys sunning himself in the patch of sunlight that streams through his favorite window.

Just as the town of Lac-Megantic stayed strong to re-build itself from such a tragedy, so has Mario, the “Miracle” cat.

There are hero’s that serve to protect our country every day. All the men and women who serve our country in the military risk their lives so that we may sleep soundly each night. Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott is just one of those hero’s. He risked his life while serving in Afghanistan but it’s the risk he took for a cat named Koshka that’s getting him attention these days. This is one of the amazing cat stories.

Jesse first met Koshka on base in the Maiwand District of Afghanistan. Koshka was the unofficial mouse catcher on base and, though there are many animal lovers stationed there, Knott noticed that Koshka wasn’t being taken care of like he sound have been. Jesse found the cat with his fur covered in paint on more than one occasion. Other times, he would find that someone had taken clippers and shaved portions of his back.
Koshka

Jesse was concerned for Koshka’s welfare so he made room for him in his office, even though soldiers aren’t allowed to have pets. The two became close and Jesse found comfort in having Koshka greet him each day as he went to work. The cat made himself at home, curling up on top of the file cabinet or stretching playfully over Jesse’s computer keyboard. Koshka seemed happy with the new living arrangement and Jesse felt good knowing he was keeping the cat out of harm’s way.

Then, on December 8, 2011, a suicide bomber targeted a military convoy near Knott’s base. Two soldiers, close friends of Jesse’s, were killed in the attack. It was a difficult time for Jesse and he found himself in a state of deep depression. One day, while sitting at the desk in his office, he broke down sobbing.

Suddenly, Koshka was at Jesse’s side. Jesse looked at Koshka with tears in his eyes. The cat offered comfort in the only way he knew how. He reached out his paw and pressed it to Jesse’s lips, then climbed in to his lap and curled up to share his companionship. That was the moment that Jesse decided that Koshka needed to leave Afghanistan.

“Koshka pulled me out of one of my darkest times,” Jesse said, “so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places.”

The soldier was unable to get his feline friend on a military convoy, so he forged a plan with a brave local interpreter who agreed to take the cat to Kabul. The plan was risky. If the interpreter was discovered helping an American, the repercussions could be deadly, for he and Koshka. The journey to move the cat halfway across Afghanistan, through countless Taliban checkpoints, was fraught with danger. But, the interpreter got Koshka to the Kabul airport undetected. There, Knott’s family (huge animal lovers, as well) paid $3,000 to fly the cat to their home in Oregon.

Since Koshka’s rescue, Jesse has left Afghanistan and is stationed in Washington State. When his military service ends, he plans to reunite with the cat that helped him through one of his darkest times.

After traveling many miles across country, the love that saved them both will have come full circle.

We’ve all heard the saying “fight like cats and dogs” but, very often, we find that friendships are forged across species. Many cats and dogs co-exist together happily in homes across the globe. Sometimes, their bond is stronger than we realize.

March 2013
Cole_cat storiesIn Wilton, CA, a fifteen-year-old cat named “Cole” alerted a couple that their home was burning down. The door to the man and woman’s bedroom was closed to keep two of the dogs out but the couple heard Cole howling and scratching at the door. They awoke and opened the door to find the house filled with smoke.

The couple headed out the back of the home to find windows exploding and flames leaping out from the house. Cole headed in the other direction. Once the couple was safely outside, they saw both dogs running from the house . . . with Cole right on their heels! He had gone to find the dogs and usher them to safety!

A lot of cats would have hunkered down in a corner and hid from the strangeness of the smell. But, luckily Cole reacted loudly enough to wake the couple up and give them enough time to escape before the house was engulfed in flames. The extra act of finding his canine friends just proves that Cole is a true hero in his own right!

April 2013
Izzy is a little terrier mix who owes her life to Sammy the cat. Though the two live together in their house in Ohio, Izzy and Sammy’s owner says it might be a “leap” to call them “friends”. Often, Izzy can be found hassling the cat when it seems that all Sammy wants is a nice quiet nap. But, Sammy showed that his feelings for his canine companion actually run pretty deep.

It was a sunny Wednesday afternoon when Izzy wandered out of her yard for a little sight-seeing adventure. Unfortunately, the little terrier mix was attacked by a larger dog whose territory she wandered in to. The larger dog grabbed Izzy and shook her in its mouth, the sharp teeth puncturing her abdomen. That is when Sammy came running to the rescue!
Sammy put himself in front of the larger dog and puffed up and starting hissing. The big dog became distracted and dropped Izzy and went after the cat. At that point, the family was able to get Izzy to safety. Sammy got away be running up a tree. Ironically, Izzy often chases the cat but obviously Sammy felt some loyalty for his furry friend to place himself in danger of the bigger dog.

Izzy suffered a hernia, bruising and muscle trauma in addition to the punctured abdomen, but she is expected to make a full recovery. Thanks to Sammy’s life-saving efforts, Izzy will be able to chase and pester her for many more years to come!
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Though some might fight like “cats and dogs” many more, it seems, only wish to be friends. We could all learn a thing or two from our pets.

My friend found an old newspaper article from 1898.. She finds these little snippets of history so intriguing! It is interesting to read about people’s daily lives back then and relate those events with how we live today.

This article that a friend came across was from the Ann Arbor Argus-Democrat and it was published on December 16, 1898. The caption read: “Cat Saves Baby’s Life”

A pet cat saved the life of an infant near Hooker Glen, NY, the other day by killing a large rattlesnake which was approaching the baby. The mother, Mrs. Robert Snow, had taken the child a short distance from her home and seated it on the grass while she picked berries. A large pet cat accompanied them, and the mother of the babe, alarmed at the rattle of the snake, turned around just in time to see the cat seize the reptile as it was about to attack the babe. The cat killed the snake instantly within two feet of where the child was sitting.
cat stories

Though this article was written a long time ago, it is certainly not the first time one of our feline companions as put themselves in danger to save someone we love.

In January of 2013, an Australian woman was woken by her hissing cat to find a python wrapped around the arm of her 2-year-old daughter.

The mother, Tess Guthrie, thought she was having a nightmare when the hissing sound began. The toddler was sleeping in bed with Tess at that time. Tess said she awoke to find the 6-foot python wrapped three times around her daughter’s arm. Tess moved to pry the snake off her arm but, before she could, the nonvenomous python bit the toddler three times on her left hand.

Her daughter, Zara, was screaming and there was blood everywhere from the bite wounds. The cat continued to hiss and crouched low in front of the snake; in an “attack” position. The cat and python seemed to “square off” with the cat hissing continually.

Tess called for help and waited for someone to arrive. Not once during that time did their loyal family cat leave Zara’s side. Only after help arrived and the toddler was extracted from the python’s grip, did the cat finally stop hissing.

Zara was taken to the local hospital where she was treated and released. The coastal python (or “carper snake”) was captured by local wildlife officials and eventually released back in to the wild.

Snake invasions are nothing new down under, but Tess will never forget the terrifying events of that night. It was a shocking way to wake up from a deep sleep. Tess is so thankful that her cat was there to alert her of the danger her child was in and take the protective stance it did toward the snake. She is convinced her cat was protecting her child in the best way it knew how.

Our feline friends offer such love and companionship but it is a whole other gift when they protect us with their lives as well.

They say that cats have nine lives. But, the truth to that statement is revealed when you hear of a cat escaping certain death . . . and walking away unharmed! These stories show how incredible cats can be.

September 2013
Wasabi was chasing a mosquito around owner Stephanie Gustafson’s apartment when she chased the insect right out the window. The problem was that Stephanie lived on the 11th floor of an apartment building in Juneau, Alaska.

Stephanie watched in horror as Wasabi fell from the window. She ran downstairs immediately and found the poor cat huddled about 15 feet away from the building next to a metal box. She was bloody and soaked from the rain. Wasabi was quiet and her paw was limp. Stephanie rushed her to an emergency veterinarian clinic for midnight X-rays.

Wasabi was found to have a fractured radius and some broken bones in her elbow. After getting a cute pink cast on her paw, Wasabi began the healing process. In six weeks, she was back to her old playful self. Curious as ever!

Gloucester the cat

March 2012
In Boston, Brittany Kirk owns a white fluff-ball of a cat named “Sugar”. Sugar has always been very laid-back and calm. So, when Brittany moved to her 19th floor high rise on Storrow Drive, she wasn’t surprised when Sugar just settled in and simply starting grooming herself.
Brittany was in for a shock when she realized that her normally quiet cat went to investigate the window. After falling between 150 and 200 feet, the workers at the Animal Rescue League examined the cat. Though Sugar was found to have minor bruising on the lungs, she had no broken bones or cuts and no serious injuries at all.

JULY 2011
In New York, the owners of an Upper West Side apartment reported that their cat fell 20 stories and crash landed on the pavement. Gloucester, better known as “G” to his owners, walked away with barely a scratch.

Gloucester’s owner, Barry Myers, adopted “G” when he found him in an abandoned building over sixteen years ago. It was Fourth of July weekend, when members of Barry’s family mistakenly left a window cracked when they went away for the long weekend holiday. Barry and “G” had lived in the apartment for years and Barry claims that “G” has never seemed interested in the window. He has never peeked his head out or leaned out to get a better view of something . . . nothing at all. So, it was a mystery why “G” decided that this was the weekend he was going to investigate closer.
Passersby, who witnessed the cat falling, call it a “miracle” that he simply got up and walked away.

Wasabi Cat

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According to a local veterinarian, when you are 10 floors or above, you actually have an increased chance of surviving the fall because you have a chance to right yourself and get ready to land. Cats are able to relax, orient themselves in a flying squirrel position with the legs spread out, and it slows their descent. It truly is amazing when you think about it. No wonder they say that cats have nine lives!

One busy morning, a client rushed into a veterinary hospital where I was working with an injured cat. He had seen the cat in the neighborhood for weeks and had tried unsuccessfully to befriend it. Following a trail of blood he found the injured and scared cat under his house. He carefully rescued and rushed him into the hospital. We assumed the cat was feral.

He was very thin, dirty, flea ridden and had a badly broken leg. Because he was in such terrible physical shape the decision was made to euthanize him. His rescuer and veterinary staff felt that it wouldn’t be fair to amputate the leg and release him to fend for himself. It was a sad moment and I was thinking about the horrible fate of homeless animals. I had just given Cassidy a tranquilizer and sat by his cage talking to him. Although we hardly knew him, it was important that he not leave this world unloved.Then he purred and licked my hand, hardly the actions of a feral cat.

Cassidy2This cat needed a second chance. I began to think that if he was euthanized, it might be the end of the story – that he would die a nameless stray cat, a victim of animal cruelty. Animals need us to be their advocates and that is why I decided to speak up on his behalf. I asked the doctors if they could reconsider, this was not a feral cat, but a loving and sweet cat and that deserved a second chance. We tested him for FeLV/FIV and Xrayed his leg. He had been shot several times.

When stable, the cat now known as Cassidy, had his leg amputated. The surgery was uneventful but afterwards Cassidy began to have seizures. Following the seizures, he was unable to hold his head up and had severe neurological issues. Round the clock monitoring was needed to make sure he got his medications, ate well and was kept clean. This was a project that the entire staff helped with. Often he could be found in the arms of staff members who just wanted to hold and love him. Slowly he began to have more control of his head and limbs and could eat without assistance, but he was still unable to walk. A remarkable cat, Cassidy remained cheerful and sweet throughout his ordeal, purring loudly. I decided to take him home to do physical therapy. In the weeks of rehabilitation at my home, we fell more in love and I decided to adopt him.

Cassidy’s loving and calm nature has made him many friends. He was inducted into the Oregon Animal Hall of Fame, an award given by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association for his bravery and contributions to society. Later that year Cassidy was awarded a Diamond Collar award by the Oregon Humane Society! When not spreading joy in the community, Cassidy can be found snoozing happily with his human and cat family who clearly adore him!

 

In February 2013, a severe storm overtook the town of Saratoga Wyoming. The winds blew fiercely and people stayed indoors trying to avoid the nature’s fury. A local motel owner was looking out his office window when he noticed a cat hanging on the limb of a tree. The branches were swaying wildly in the fierce winds and the poor cat’s cries could be heard over the howling of the wind. Before the man could react, the poor cat lost its grip and was thrown viciously to the ground. He lay there for a moment before getting up and walking away, but with a very pronounced limp.

Turtle_cat

The next day, the motel owner noticed the cat crouching under the front porch of his motel. He called the local animal rescue group and reported that the cat was hurt and needed help. Because the rescue group was over 40 miles away and did not have a veterinarian in their small town regularly, they asked the man more probing questions about the cat’s health. He told them that the cat was eating well and could walk but was limping “pretty badly” but that the situation didn’t seem “urgent”. He agreed to take care of the cat until the shelter staff could send someone to get the cat. Due to more severe weather conditions in the area, 10 days passed before they went to pick the kitty up.

When the staff arrived at the motel, they were greeted by an adorable cat that was purring loudly. He seemed very affectionate and social. His limp was still very pronounced but he didn’t let his injury stop him. He immediately tried to jump on the counter to get closer to the staff. He missed the counter and fell to his side but got up and limped back to rub himself against the legs of the rescue group. This cat was certainly all heart!

They immediately took the cat to a veterinarian in Rawlins, Wyoming. An X-ray was taken and the cat was examined by Dr. Hones. The doctor explained that the x-ray revealed a broken leg. She said that the poor cat must have been in tremendous pain but that, at this point, the leg was nearly completely healed. Luckily, the break had been clean and, so, would heal fully and the cat was expected to make a complete recovery.

The sweet cat was placed in a foster home with a retired nurse who brought him back to good health. He was named “Turtle” due to his gimpy gait, and the fact that he loved hiding under blankets and peeking his head out to play. His limp completely disappeared over time and his active, playful nature came shining through.

Turtle was eventually adopted by a local store owner. He spends his days socializing with the customers, snuggling in the silk scarves on display, or draping himself over the store owner’s keyboard while she tries to get some work done.

No one would ever know the pain and hardship the poor cat faced in his young life. Animals are so resilient! Not only do their bones heal . . . but their hearts do as well.