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Cat Rescue Stories

Updated on February 9, 2015
Diane Cass profile image

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

Meet Tiger the Railroad Cat

Tiger became a part of our family in August of 1996. We lived in rural Vermont at the time. One Saturday, we packed up the kids and went to our church. There was a cool wild area behind the church where the boys group had built rope bridges, paths through the bushes and small camping area near the railroad tracks. My husband and boys went on back to do some site maintenance, while I went inside to work on some things for choir.

Shortly after we arrived, the boys heard a plaintiff, loud "mewing" in the bushes near the railroad tracks. Soon a tiny kitten came bounding out of the brush straight for my son, who scooped him up and took him to dad. The poor little kitten was only about six to eight weeks old. There were no other cats nearby and the nearest residence that might have had cats was a farm over a half mile away. There was no way this kitten had wandered over to the church from there.

The boys brought the kitten to me saying "Look what we found". Poor thing. He had been abandoned behind the church by some heartless person. He was too young to fend for himself and would have died if we hadn't happened to go out to the railroad tracks that day. We took him home, fed him and gave him a name..."Tiger".

Tiger is the dignified king of the household. He presides over his humans with dignity and grace. On occasion, he will bless us with his presence and come near for a pet and a purr. He really is very sweet, it is just above his dignity to fawn over humans. I am lucky. I am his favorite. He will come and sit with me, and no one else.

Tiger is in his senior years now. He's getting a little arthritis. It's getting harder for him to jump up onto couches and climb the stairs, but he can still put the youngster cat Darby in his place. Tiger is healthy and happy and we are so glad we found him by surprise, all those years ago, by the railroad tracks.

Heartwarming Stories of Some Famous Rescue Cats

Here are two of my favorite stories of amazing cats the beat the odds, with a little help from a friend. Amazingly, the cats aren't the only rescue. The humans who took them in found that the cats rescued them as well.

Meet Darby Our Rascally Rescue

In 2004 one of our beloved cats died bone cancer. It left a huge hole in our hearts and it wasn't long before we began to look for a new kitty to fill it with. Our local classifieds had an add for a free kitty. We called and went to visit. What we found was heartbreaking.

Darby was less than a year old at the time, but not quite a kitten either. The home he had been living at was not suitable for him. The people had never owned a cat before and didn't know how to care for him. They had a toddler who liked to grab Darby by the collar and drag him around the house. The mom finally decided enough was enough and listed the ad to find a better home for him. She was actually worried that her child would accidentally kill Darby.

When she put Darby in my arms he literally melted into me. I could tell he was not feeling well, as well as being very insecure and scared. There was no way we were going to leave Darby at that house. The lady said she had given him all his shots and wormed him, but had no papers. I'm pretty sure she never did anything of the sort. So, Darby came home with us.

Poor Darby. We could tell that he was sick. His tummy was bloated and distended and he farted, horrible, stinky farts all the time, along with loose stools. These are all signs of worms, so we took him to the vet ASAP! The vet confirmed the presence of worms, gave Darby all of his shots and checked him over for injuries. He always cried painfully if you touched him near his backside. His legs, back and tunny were no touching zones, and still are, even though the vet couldn't find any apparent reason for it. It took Darby over 6 months to get well. He still has a delicate tummy and no-touchy spots, but he isn't a little stinky gas bag anymore. THANK GOD!

Darby is such a loving cat. He loves his people and wants nothing more than to be in the same room as we are, preferably sitting on my chest so that I can't see the computer or the TV. He needs a cuddle first thing every morning from both my husband and me, and comes back often for more throughout the day. Darby is a talking cat. He chirps at the crows through the window as he watches them in the yard. He purr-meows so it always sounds like he is singing to us. His favorite thing to do when he wants attention is to jump up where he can reach our face, and he reaches out with paw and taps our lips. That means, "Hey you...LOVE ME"! Have you ever seen Simon's Cat on Youtube? That's Darby to a tee.

I love Darby so much. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he would have died if he had stayed with that other family. Now, we enjoy a spunky, charming, incredibly loving cat. Darby...I love you!

Simon's Cat - Cat Man Do

I love Simon's Cat cartoons. Darby is SO MUCH like Simon's Cat.

Rest in Peace Tiger

Sweet Tiger
Sweet Tiger | Source

Update on Tiger 2015

I am sorry to report that our beloved cat, Tiger was laid to rest. On Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, we said goodbye to our beloved friend. The past year saw a few challenges for him. Not the least of which was an attack by an unknown animal that left his back foot broken in two places, and a sizable hole as well. I can't stress enough how plucky this wonderful cat is. At the age of 17, and with arthritis, he fought off whatever it was and made his way home. After two weeks of intensive care at home and at the vet, he was back on his feet, climbing stairs and jumping up on couches as if nothing had ever happened.


On Thursday night, February 5th, we said good night to him. He was perfectly fine. Nothing wrong whatsoever. In the morning though, it was a different story. He didn't meet me at the bottom of the stairs to beg for breakfast. As I fixed his breakfast, he sat by the piano and meowed as if to say, "Why are you putting it there, I can't make it that far". Now that was very odd. Nothing comes between Tiger and one canned cat food meal of the day. I called him over and noticed immediately that something was very wrong. He was walking very strangely, like he barely had control of his legs. When he finished eating, I picked him up and sat with him on the couch. He didn't purr at all (also odd) and seemed to just hug himself close to me. When I put him down, he tipped forward and tumbled in a somersault into a heap on the floor. OMG! What is wrong with our poor Tiger!???

An immediate trip to the vet revealed that something was terribly wrong. Something neurological. There was no way to pin-point it without very specialized instruments (cat scan, MRI, etc...). We tried some minimal treatments to see if infection or inflammation was the culprit. Nothing worked. He continued to deteriorate. He couldn't stand up, had attacked of muscle twitching and strange head tiling. Occasionally, he would cry out in a very loud, guttural meow. I don't know if it was pain, or terror, but whatever it was...it was very alarming.

Saturday, we held a family meeting and decided that Tiger had lived a very happy life of 17 years. Quite long for a cat. He was loved and adored by all of us, and we couldn't stand to see him in so much distress. We made the difficult decision to end his suffering and give him rest and peace.

We think he had a stroke or something like that. It was just all so sudden, it was hard to take in. The vet said that that is very common, especially with cats. They tend to hide what is wrong with them until they can't hide it anymore, but by then it is too late. At any rate, he is sorely missed. I've had a lot of cats over the years, but I've never had a cat who has been with our family for so long. It is just heartbreaking, the loss we feel.

We buried him under the peony bush. It was his favorite place to lay in the summer. In the spring we will put a memorial of some sort to mark where he lays. My son wants to use a railroad tie in some manner, since we found him by the railroad tracks. I think that's a good idea.

How to Help Feral Cats

Every community has feral and abandoned cats. People have the mistaken idea that cats can take care of themselves if they are just dumped any old place. The farm we used to live near in Vermont was the constant recipient of unwanted cats dumped overnight in their barn. No thought was given as to whether the farmers WANTED or NEEDED anymore cats, or to the rough life that a barn cat leas. It is better than being in the wild, and most farmers care for and adore their cats, but the cats work hard for a living, and face dangers from farm equipment and being underfoot of 1,000 pound cows. Find out what you can do to help feral cats find a better life in your community.

Have You Ever Taken in a Homeless Cat or Shelter Cat?

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    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @coryguy52: Oh wow! What a story. Jasper is so lucky, in so many ways. Most of all, you found each other and it seems it was meant to be. I love happy endings, don't you :)

    • profile image

      coryguy52 3 years ago

      Being the animal lover that I am, it really warms my heart to see so many kindhearted people saving these kitties from certain death. My "Jasper" is a rescue kitty himself. One day we found ourselves at the local Animal Rescue League just looking at the cats. We had recently put our Siamese to sleep due to illness. I guess I was trying to fill the void that Chester left when he died. So, we're looking at all of the kittens and young cats when my GF called me over to the very bottom cage where this little gray kitty about a year old cowering in his cage.When we asked to see him the staff person said that he was "unadoptable" due to severe abuse he suffered at the hands of his previous owner. The story is that this "man" threw this kitty in a plastic trash bag and was going to toss him over a bridge when a police officer saw him and stopped him. The cop then brought this poor animal to the shelter where he just wasn't doing well. The only reason he was still alive was because this was a no kill shelter. Well, I insisted to see him and when they took him out of the cage he was shaking uncontrollably. I held him up to eye level and even though he was petrified of me, he just for no reason reached over his little head and kissed the end of my nose. That was it, he came home with us that very day. And after about a month of hiding in the basement he finally came around and lives the life of royalty. The best food, bottled water, and a truckload of love. Jasper has become more than just a pet, he's family. Sadly though, even to this day he runs and hides when he hears me handling a plastic bag. He follows me like a dog and sleeps on my lap as well as in bed. I don't mind though, he's a wonderful companion and loves me unconditionally. (I'd still like to get my hands on the S.O.B that almost killed him!!)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tiger reminds me of one of our cats that unfortunately ran away when we moved house, we have not seen him for over 2 years. Hopefully someone was kind enough to take him in. Anyway you have made a really nice lens here great stuff.

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      livingfrontiers 5 years ago

      We have a feral cat that I feed, and he lives in a cat house we bought for him. He would be unhappy in our home, but as long as he is fed and warm and fixed, he is a good chipmunk hunter!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We have a homeless cat as a regular visitor each evening. We feed him and try to get him comfortable with us but it is a slow process. Really good lens!

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      I took in a homeless kitten eight years ago. She runs my house now.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      I won't, because I'm allergic. You have beautiful cat pics on here!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      So many cats that people adopt come from such awful beginnings. I think every cat we ever had came in as a rescue too and as I read the squidoo lenses it is easy to see how many are out there.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great lens with much good information about rescuing cats. I love the Simon's Cat cartoon. So true. I know Scarlett O'Hairy rules the roost for sure.

    • rickmac lm profile image

      Rick McBride 6 years ago from Dallas

      Great lens, Diane. Thanks for including the lens about my beloved cat Specs. And thanks to Susan for all her work with feral cats.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Diane, this is a beautifully done lens, and I'm sure it will be a great help to Susan in her continuing effort to help these poor cats. Thanks for sharing.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @sdholloway: Why, thank you.

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      sdholloway 6 years ago

      Wow. I'm in awe of the work you've put into this. What a beautiful lens.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @tracy159: That's wonderful that you were able to keep them together. Cats who grow up together can have a very strong affection for one another. I think it is tragic when they have to be split up. Kudos to you Tracy.

    • tracy159 profile image

      Tracy Smith 6 years ago from Maryville, TN

      I just love cats. Our home is not a home without cats. One day I hope to find a teacup cat, but for now we have two cats from our local shelter. They came from a bad situation together and the shelter was worried they would have to spilt the cats up. Not with us around. We adopted both cats who love to sleep hugging each other. One only wants to be petted on his time.. the other wants to be held like a baby all the time.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 6 years ago from Connecticut

      May this lens motivate others to take action and help animals in need. We adopted two cats who showed up at our doorstep and decided that they wanted to live with us, and our dog was adopted from a shelter.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      Great lens! I love Susan's pictures. She captures the kitties so well. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Diane, I love to read of people's kindness to animals. What a difference people can make when they open their hearts.

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 6 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Beautiful lens, Diane! And, what a nice tribute and help to Susan. You know we're "dog people" but we love other people's cats. :)

    • Snakesmom profile image

      Snakesmom 6 years ago

      We have adopted our last two wonderful pets from shelters. I think shelter pets are the best, they seem so thankful to be out of those cages. Great lens!

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @Joyce Mann: Thank you Joyce. Susan is so amazing. I really hope this lens helps her and her cats.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 6 years ago

      Thanks for helping to promote the rescue of cats. It is so sad how many are left in shelters. Great lens!

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @priscillab: I know. It always makes me sad to think of how many cats go homeless. There are such simple things that people can do to help.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you for stopping by Pegs. Don't you just love your kitties? I just can't live without mine.

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 6 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      What a helpful and much needed lens. I always associate the phrase "feral cats" with Susan. Great job, Diane.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Aww, sweet kitties. I've adopted several cats from the shelter.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @jolou: Thank you so much Joanne for stopping by to comment, and lensroll my lens. I'm still new to Squidoo and it is so encouraging to me when people take the time to comment.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I love this lens! I adopted two cats from a shelter many years ago, they had been picked up as strays. I had many years of enjoyment with them. Tiger is a lucky cat to have found a good home and people to care for him. Lensrolling this to my Roxy the cat lens.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Oh such cute kittens! My Mister cat came to us homeless and he's been such a joy. I always want to adopt more but my Princess wouldn't allow it!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Wishing your friend luck in her efforts, and the same to you in your support of her. What cute cat products you have featured!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Ah a topic I hold near and dear to my heart. Nicely done! :)