#MyUnspokenPet bedtime stories with Cuddly


How we acquire our pets impacts what we know about their stories

What do you know about your cat's past? When you review the chart below, you'll find cats are significantly less likely to be adopted from breeders (APPA survey 2019-2020: Cats from breeders 3%; Dogs from breeders 19%) and significantly more likely to be taken in as strays than dogs (APPA survey 2019-2020: Cats taken in as strays 21%; Dogs taken in as strays 5%). Other acquisition sources are roughly equal between cats and dogs (from a shelter, from friends or family, etc). 




This means that for roughly 16% of pet owners (the difference between the figures for dogs and cats from breeders and taken in as strays: 3%-19% and 21%-5%), they know less about the history of their cats (finding them as strays) than their dogs (which they obtain from breeders with excellent records). The academic in me can't help but ask why so many cats are strays; it seems to me that if there were as many stray dogs as stray cats, the number of each taken in as strays would be roughly the same. The question about if there are more feline strays than canine strays is way beyond the scope of this post - but I have a few suspicions: people believe cats are just fine on their own without human interaction (which we've shown to not be true given the latest research on the feline-human bond: Do cats need human interaction ...  and Resources to keep cats in their homes) OR people believe cats can fend for themselves outside (data from UC Davis Veterinary School's Clinical Animal Behavior Service estimates indoor cats live an average of 15 years and outdoor cats only live an average of 2-5 years). The point that so many cats are taken in as strays - meaning those cats aren't 100% feral - begs the question: why are so many friendly cats on the street? Are people dumping them like Ellie was dumped? Or are they like Bear: born feral with inclinations to bond deeply with one particular human? 





The importance of shelters in caring for our pets before we met them

The 16% difference in where cat and dogs are acquired is dwarved by the percentage of dogs and cats adopted from shelters (APPA survey 2019-2020: Cats from shelter 43%; Dogs from shelter 44%). Almost half of pets adopted today come from shelters and rescues: that's A LOT of pets with unknown stories!! Many shelters and rescues rely on the generosity of their donors. Often, cats and dogs are brought in to a shelter or rescue with special needs - severe medical issues - or neglect or abuse. These cases truly tax the resources of shelters which must decide whether to help many or just one with the same donation dollar. 



How Cuddly makes a difference in the lives of shelters and rescues

This post is sponsored by CUDDLY.

Cuddly works with those shelters and rescues to help them fundraise for special cases (or general ones) and market to donors. Using the Cuddly platform, you can find organizations to donate money to - or wishlists for those same organizations that you can buy for on Cuddly. On Cuddly, you can also browse special fundraising cases of animals with special needs - severe medical issues - or neglect or abuse. These fundraisers for individual cats and dogs means the shelter or rescue housing them doesn't have to choose between one case or many; the shelter can fundraise for the special case or general needs so money spent on one doesn't detract from resources spent on the other. By sharing these pets' stories and making it easy to donate, Cuddly becomes THE voice for these pets and the people trying to save them. 

Shelters and rescues (over 2000 in all) - no matter how big or small - no matter their donation base or awareness of the organization - use Cuddly to make sure no pet and no pet's story is forgotten or ignored. When I read Cuddly's "about us page," what strikes me is that they fully recognize our pets rescue us. With people donating through Cuddly's platform, one might think that only animals are being saved - but seeing Cuddly's recognition of the power of these pets to transform the people who love them is unique. As many of you know, I found Bear on the street and adopted (and adapted) him to indoor life. So many people comment on how lucky Bear is that I rescued him - but what he's given me far outsurpasses my giving him a home; to read more about how Bear's changed my life: Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love. Cuddly is also great in that you can search adoptable pets from the shelters and rescues that use their platform: Cuddly is truly an all-in-one solution for shelters and rescues that use their platform.







With so many pets being adopted from shelters - with unknown stories - have you ever stopped to think about what your cat's life was like before you met? Have you sensed details of that story in your cat's behavior and personality? What words, emotions and experiences would you swear makes up your cat's unspoken story?



Bear Cat and Ellie Mae's #MyUnspokenPet Stories

Ellie Mae Kat: Are you ready?
Bear Cat Kat: For what NOW?
Ellie Mae Kat: It’s getting late!
Bear Cat Kat: I know! I need my beauty sleep!
Ellie Mae Kat: Come on, Bear!
Bear Cat Kat: Meh.
Ellie Mae Kat: Come on, Bear! You promised!
Bear Cat Kat: I did?
Ellie Mae Kat: YEAH! Earlier today – you were sleeping RIGHT THERE in your marshmallow bed and you told me if I left you alone we’d have a sleepover party tonight.
Bear Cat Kat: RATS! I must’ve been more nipped out than I thought! You were supposed to forg …. I meant LATER tonight!
Ellie Mae Kat: I did an internet search for everything we need for a sleepover/makover party.
Bear Cat Kat: {without any enthusiasm} Great.
Ellie Mae Kat: So let’s make sure we have everything!
Bear Cat Kat: Do we have to?
Ellie Mae Kat: Masks for facials … 
Bear Cat Kat: WHAT?! 
Ellie Mae Kat: Halloween face masks … for facials!!
Bear Cat Kat: For WHAT?
Ellie Mae Kat: These Halloween masks purify our pores and make our skin look healthy!
Bear Cat Kat: Are you sure?
Ellie Mae Kat: Well, it said to use masks to improve your skin … what other kind of mask is there?
Bear Cat Kat: Oh, who cares. At least with a mask over your face, I won’t have to look at you …
Ellie Mae Kat: Moving on … doing our nails!
Bear Cat Kat: This is all girly stuff!
Ellie Mae Kat: SCRATCHERS to do our nails …
Bear Cat Kat: Only if you promise not to tell anyone I used a scratcher instead of clawing Momma’s stuff.
Ellie Mae Kat: Well, okay.
Bear Cat Kat: Scratchers are for sissies.
Ellie Mae Kat: Curlers! For our hair!
Bear Cat Kat: Erm … I didn’t know curlers were skilled at hair?!
Ellie Mae Kat: What?
Bear Cat Kat: Curlers! Ice sport? You said they could do our hair! Do you have Olympic-level curlers or amateurs?
Ellie Mae Kat: Does it matter?
Bear Cat Kat: Do you have any?
Ellie Mae Kat: No.
Bear Cat Kat: Oh! Do you have snacks?
Ellie Mae Kat: Err … I DID.
Bear Cat Kat: But you ate them all?
Ellie Mae Kat: I was waiting for you to wake up from your nap and I was hungry!
Bear Cat Kat: We should watch scary movies! 
Ellie Mae Kat: Erm, I don’t know! 
Bear Cat Kat: Right. Life is one big scary movie for you. 
Ellie Mae Kat: You never know what might eat you!
Bear Cat Kat: Don’t worry! I have the best scary movie.
Ellie Mae Kat: Oh, no! I don’t know about scary movies …
Bear Cat Kat: This is stuff we see every day! Scary movies with vacuums, empty food bowls and claw clippers!
Ellie Mae Kat: You know I won’t be able to sleep for weeks after that!
Bear Cat Kat: {mumbling} You’ll never leave me alone!
Ellie Mae Kat: How about a REALLY scary movie?!
Bear Cat Kat: Momma naked?
Ellie Mae Kat: I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. NO! The scary movie of what it was like to live on the street and not have a forever home.
Bear Cat Kat: Huh. You have a point. That makes my scary movies look like cheap horror flicks.
Ellie Mae Kat: Oh! OH! I’ll go FIRST! I’ll talk about the time I spent on the street!
Bear Cat Kat: {mumbling} I might just get a nap after all.
Ellie Mae Kat: My littermates and I were named for fashion models by our foster mom! My floofy tail and soft black fur are consistent with being a supermodel.
Bear Cat Kat: Yes. You certainly love to put your tail in everyone’s face and strut around. The world is your catwalk.
Ellie Mae Kat: I like to show people how pretty I am!!
Bear Cat Kat: Lucky me. Where’s the scary part?
Ellie Mae Kat: I haven't always had people who love me, love to admire me and give me cuddles just because I want them. I was born and adopted out as a kitten in 2010. A girl has her secrets, so I won't tell you everything that happened before I came here.
Bear Cat Kat: THANK GOODNESS!
Ellie Mae Kat: By the time I was found outside, I was ready to settle down and know the love of a forever home again. The excitement and new things aside, forever homes are always the best. Besides, what good is fun if you have no one to share it with? 
Bear Cat Kat: And you LOVE sharing! You NEVER shut up!
Ellie Mae Kat: As you know, the street is a scary place. 
Bear Cat Kat: That’s true! I was born into a feral cat colony! For a while, my cat mom let me follow her around and she took care of me. My littermates laughed at me and called me a Mommy’s boy – but the world was too scary to tackle on my own. They - and the other cats in the colony - laughed at me and picked on me. Then one day my Mom said I had to go out on my own because she was in heat. I didn’t think it was that hot and I had no idea why the temperature would matter if I could stay with her. I was so scared! I begged and pleaded for her to let me stay and she said no! I didn’t know where to go or what to do! 
Ellie Mae Kat: EXACTLY! A cat never knows where her next meal will come from or who to trust. There are all these loud noises outside and it makes a cat very nervous! Do you know what was the worst?
Bear Cat Kat: I know you’re going to tell me!
Ellie Mae Kat: The worst thing is that I had no one to pet me or let me lay on their laps. Living on the street wasn't just scary, it was lonely too! I wanted a home with a full food bowl, safe places to sleep and lots of love.
Bear Cat Kat: I didn’t know how I’d eat! I hadn’t learned that humans are mostly good yet either. Since I was born to a feral mom, I never knew about full food bowls and safe places to sleep. She hunted for me and kept me and my littermates safe. So after she told me I had to leave, I moved into a crawl space under a deck! There were lots of leaves under there so they kept me warm and protected.
Ellie Mae Kat: I promised to myself that if I ever got another home, I would never complain about my food bowl being empty. And I swore that I would NEVER poop or pee outside of the litter box. I never had, but I wanted to be clear that I would be on my very best behavior and that my people would love me and never let me go! 
Bear Cat Kat: Having people must’ve been nice!
Ellie Mae Kat: It was! Until they decided they didn’t want me anymore! They said I was too loud and too demanding! 
Bear Cat Kat: Well, that’s obvious … Momma calls you Yellie! Not to mention your howling when you can’t find your people. 
Ellie Mae Kat: I love being with my people and I don’t like it when they are gone! And I like telling my people about my day when I see them again.
Bear Cat Kat: LOUDLY.
Ellie Mae Kat: I also love laps. I don’t understand why any human wouldn’t want a gorgeous kitty on her lap! So my old people yelled at me because I was always getting in the way. I walked back and forth in front of what they were trying to do. For a long time, I thought they changed my name to “Stop being obnoxious!”
Bear Cat Kat: Huh. How appropriate. 
Ellie Mae Kat: Then, one day, I accidentally knocked over something with liquid in it! My lady yelped – which scared me and I tripped off her desk. I put my claws out to grab onto something – but it was the lady’s leg. She said I ruined her computer! But I didn’t stick my claws in her computer! I can’t forget the last thing she said to me before throwing me outside and closing the door to my house, “THAT’S IT!” “That’s it” what? I cried on the front porch for what seemed like days – begging my lady to let me back inside – but she must not have heard me.
Bear Cat Kat: {mumbling} Like THAT’S possible.
Ellie Mae Kat: It finally got dark and cold! I slept huddled up against the house – but no one ever opened the door. The next morning I was really hungry and I saw a tasty-looking bird! I chased the bird and almost got hit by a really loud roaring machine! I was so scared, I couldn’t figure out my way back home to see if my lady wasn’t mad at me anymore. She’d tossed me outside a few times before – but she always opened the door when I cried to her. At this point, it was WAY past my breakfast time! I chased a few leaves, ran from a few rude cursing squirrels and found a cylinder thing full of plastic bags with padding that smelled worse than your farts! I stayed there until someone picked up the cylinder and carried it toward a super huge version of the loud roaring machine that almost hit me that morning! I ran like my tail was on fire and never looked back! I found another cylinder to hide in – and there was some food there! I ate as fast as I could! A man was yelling at me to scram and get out of his yard. Truth be told, I was relieved to be picked up by animal control. As scary as the shelter was – with all the other cats and dogs there - at least I had food and a safe place to sleep. 
Bear Cat Kat: That sounds nice! I lived for days off bugs! I was too scared to leave my spot under the deck. All those leaves provided great protection and none of the other feral cats gave me trouble as long as I stayed under the deck!
Ellie Mae Kat: I wouldn’t call the shelter nice … I was scared and weird things happened! There was a HUGE door! Every so often one of the people at the shelter would grab a cat or dog and walk through that door into another room. I couldn't figure out what was behind that door! A cat paradise with endless laps, tuna and sparkle balls? Or maybe they kept the catnip behind that door? I was starting to feel left out and wondering when I would be chosen to see what was behind that door. But one day, the nice lady cat in the cage next to me was taken through the door and I realized she never came out again! This lady cat's name was "FL9829302." Isn't that a strange name?!? I don't particularly LOVE my name, but it's certainly better than FL9829302. When FL9829302 never came back to her cage, I started to suspect maybe I didn't want to go in that room and see what's behind the door.
Bear Cat Kat: Spooky! I wonder if there were tasty whole chickens behind that door!?
Ellie Mae Kat: If there were, I couldn't smell them!
Bear Cat Kat: The day I met Momma, she left treats out for me because I was too scared to let her touch me - I watched her every move from under my deck! My Mom always told me humans were trouble. But there was just something about Momma. The next time I saw her, I let her give me ear scratches. I realized she lived in a room behind the door next to my deck! I’d wait until the door opened and then I’d run from under the deck and Momma would greet me with yummy food and belly rubs! 
Ellie Mae Kat: I was lucky. My original rescue was still listed on my microchip, so when the animal control people couldn't reach my humans, they called the rescue and the rescue came and got me. 
Bear Cat Kat: I imagine if your rescue hadn't kept their information on your microchip, you might've been euthanized to save space!
Ellie Mae Kat: Youth-nized?
Bear Cat Kat: Behind the door.
Ellie Mae Kat: What does youth-nized mean?
Bear Cat Kat: Never mind. Then what happened?
Ellie Mae Kat: 
I was checked out by a doctor - and other than yucky hookworms and a scar on my ear, I was okay. Not all cats are so lucky: those loud human machines, mean humans, contagious cat sicknesses, being exposed to the elements ... there are so many dangers for cats that have to live outside.
Bear Cat Kat: But when you live outside, you don't need to go to the vet!
Ellie Mae Kat: Don't remind me. All that poking and prodding by the kitty doctor annoyed me and I gave her my best stink eye and made sure she knew I was dissatisfied! She told me I'm pretty and a good kitty, but I only forgave her a little. To be honest, I was too worried about what would happen to me. Would I get in trouble because I made my humans mad? Was I going to a new home or would I just be dumped outside again? 
Bear Cat Kat: I can't believe I'm saying this ... but it wasn't your fault your humans got mad. Yes, you can be downright obnoxious - but you don't mean to be. You just love your people so much that you get a bit over-excited.
Ellie Mae Kat: Thank you, Bear. I know you understand because I've heard all Momma's stories of you getting into trouble to get her attention. And I've learned a lot of your tricks since I moved in! Wet nose in the sleeping human's ear? GUARANTEED REACTION! A claw up the sleeping human's nose? WORKS! Sitting on said sleeping human until she wakes up and pets you? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Bear Cat Kat: I'm a pretty good teacher. I should start a school to teach cats how to be cats. You'd be my first student.
Ellie Mae Kat: REALLY?!? That's really nice ... WAIT A MINUTE ...
{Pause} 
Ellie Mae Kat: Are you saying I need to be taught how to be a cat?
Bear Cat Kat: Err ... no?
Ellie Mae Kat: GOOD! Then I can go back to my story.
Bear Cat Kat: {monotone} Yay.
Ellie Mae Kat: After the kitty doctor, 
I ended up at the rescue's enclosures at a big pet store. It was lonely! I went DAYS without a lap to call my own because the rescue volunteers only came around once a week. And there were all these new smells and noises to get used to. Lots of people walked past my enclosure; occasionally a person peeked in my enclosure and I'd jump up and say hello by rubbing myself against the glass wall. I wanted a new Mom and a forever home so badly! I asked everyone who peeked in my enclosure if he or she would be my new Mom or Dad! I didn't get it. What was I doing wrong? I made sure to show people my pretty tail and dance for them! People smiled when they saw me - but why didn't any of these people want to take me home and love me forever? Is it because I'm a black cat? Is there something wrong with me?
Bear Cat Kat: Like ... {seeing Ellie's sad face} ... never mind. Now's not the time to insult you. I grew up not knowing cats lived inside with humans! The humans around us did their thing and we did ours! Well, until I met Momma. She's the only person to stop and take notice of me! It made me a little nervous at first. I never thought that she might be considering adopting me! But she had good noms and gave excellent belly rubs and ear scratches.
Ellie Mae Kat: I started to think that my enclosure in the pet store WAS my new home. Maybe I was there to make people feel better. But I was desperate for ear rubs, laps and being scratched between my shoulder blades. One day, a woman stopped at and peered in my enclosure. I did my dance for her and her face lit up. She turned around and ran away!  I got really scared. Did I do something wrong? Was I going to get in trouble for not making her happy? Was I going to have to live on the street again? Didn't the woman like me? 
Bear Cat Kat: No one insults my sister ... but me.
Ellie Mae Kat: Then I saw the woman jump up and down excitedly as she talked to one of the people who worked at the store. They looked at me and the jumpy lady pointed at me. Oh, no. What had I done wrong? The next thing I knew, the store employee, the jumping woman and one of the rescue workers were walking in my direction. The jumping woman came right to my enclosure and opened the back. I was dancing in my enclosure with everything I had! The lady lifted me up and cuddled me to her. It felt so good to be loved again. The woman spoke soothingly as she pet me for what seemed like days! I knew this woman somehow - but I couldn't figure out from where. All of this just seemed too good to be true so I kept poking myself with a claw to check if I was dreaming.
Bear Cat Kat: Haha. Jumpy woman. I know her - she's over there! She's my Momma! When I was still living outside, my Momma bounced with excitement when she saw me walking toward her. I knew to listen for the sound of her door opening since it was right next to my deck - and I'd come running!
Ellie Mae Kat:  A man came over to see what the lady was so excited about. He commented on how soft my fur is. He told me I was pretty ... DUH! He finally convinced the jumpy woman to let him hold me and he found the spot between my shoulder blades where I melt when scratched.
Bear Cat Kat: The first time Momma pet me, I wrapped my paws around her wrist and moved her hand to my belly to give me belly rubs! She seemed a bit ... hesitant - but I was persistent and she eventually gave in and pet my belly. I was so happy! I rolled on my back and looked up at her lovingly. Momma's husband at the time left for work early in the morning - and Momma always came out to feed me and love me.
Ellie Mae Kat: The man and woman talked to one of the rescue workers. I noticed the woman's face fell and I wondered why. The woman gave me a sad glance and they left. Wait, WHAT?! Wasn't I going home with them? Weren't they going to be my new Momma and Daddy? I'd aced the audition, hadn't I? What was going on?
Bear Cat Kat: When Momma came home from the store, she was so excited! I was only a little jealous that she and The Boy couldn't stop talking about you.
Ellie Mae Kat: You were? They did? That makes sense because the next week, they came back to the store. Unfortunately for them, I wasn't there - all the rescue's kittens from kitten season were in the enclosures since kittens are so much easier to place and have a better chance of being adopted [especially next to a six-year-old black cat (me!)]. I lived at my foster mom's house, but I couldn't stop wondering about MY happily ever after.
Bear Cat Kat: Momma was so disappointed 
you weren't at the store for them to spend time with. That's all she and The Boy talked about!
Ellie Mae Kat: I know that now! Later on the same day they showed up at the store and I wasn't there, my foster mom brought me back to the store to spend time with the man and the woman. Forget that! At the time I was mad they left me there the first time they met me.  I let them pet me a bit, but then I wanted little to do with them - I showed them what I thought about leaving me there! When I saw them playing with the kittens and laughing at the kittens' antics, I wondered if they ever really loved me at all.
Bear Cat Kat: I knew Momma loved me! There wasn't a doubt in my mind. She gave me ear scratches, belly rubs, lower back rubs and lots of food! If I'd known she might bring me inside, I might've worked it a little harder! I just had no idea cats lived inside beside humans. You were lucky to have a foster mom who loved you before Momma and Daddy came along.
Ellie Mae Kat: My foster mom was wonderful! But she had other cats and dogs that needed her more than I did. Maybe it was selfish of me, but I wanted to have my own lap whenever I wanted it! I didn't want to share my home with a bunch of other cats and dogs! 
Bear Cat Kat: But you got your happy ending! Maybe not MY happy ending ... but given our pasts, a sister isn't the WORST thing that can happen to a cat.
Ellie Mae Kat: A couple weeks later, my foster mom took me back to the store. I figured I was going back to one of the enclosures in the store since most of the kittens had been adopted. I regretted being mad at the man and lady and letting them think I didn't care they were around. Then before I knew it, the lady was back! I sat in front of the door begging my foster mom to let her in. The woman's face lit up when she saw my reaction to seeing her again. So many thoughts flooded my mind ... I'm sorry, I got mad! I'm so glad you're back! I love my foster mom, but I'm ready for my own home! Will you be my Mom? Can I sit in your lap for hours and show you how pretty I am?!?! After some discussion, the woman gave my foster mom a pile of papers and a check and the woman put me in her carrier and we were off. I wanted to believe this would be my forever home - but I was scared this lady was just taking me to a new foster home. I'd gotten my hopes up so many times and I didn't want to be wrong again. And I didn't want to end up back on the street!
Bear Cat Kat: The day Momma brought me inside, she grabbed me and put me in that same carrier she brought you home in. I couldn't believe I was in the slammer! I rocked that carrier like a twig boat in a hurricane. But after a vet visit, I was introduced to the inside! I was warm ... I had a full food bowl ... I had TOYS to play with and a Momma to snuggle next to me. I felt like I won the lottery.
Ellie Mae Kat: I hate being stuffed in a carrier and I hate car rides! On the way here, the woman kept talking to me calmly; it wasn't so bad. Next thing I know, my carrier was open and I was HERE! You were in full hissy mood and you didn't seem all that happy to see me. But my new Momma wrapped me in her arms and showed me how much she loves me. 




Bear Cat Kat: If I remember correctly, it wasn't ALL happy and good ...
Ellie Mae Kat: Oh, the bath. I HATE GETTING WET and my Momma gave me a bath. I ALMOST thought about running away and finding my foster mom. Luckily, Momma hasn't given me another bath, so I can forgive the first and only bath.
Bear Cat Kat: Momma did that to me too when she brought me inside!
Ellie Mae Kat: But you don't mind getting wet!
Bear Cat Kat: That's true! I got rained on enough living outside! Living inside is so much better.
Ellie Mae Kat: Living inside IS so much better! My Momma and Daddy love me and I've turned this place into my forever home. I love laps! I love sparkle balls! And I love tuna! I like to tell my humans what I think about stuff. I even kind of like you ... sometimes. Though you're a bad example. And you think I'm too nice. We don't exactly cuddle - but we play together sometimes - and I've learned that sometimes you just don't know - maybe we will one day.
Bear Cat Kat: It took Momma a LONG time to decide to adopt me! She was worried about her 15 year old cat with multiple health issues ... and a bit of an ... attitude problem. Momma fed me for over a month before making the decision to adopt me!
Ellie Mae Kat: Maybe it seems like it took Momma forever to make up her mind to adopt me, but she did that because adopting a cat is a big commitment. One must be prepared financially, emotionally, practically and realistically. You didn't get along with the cat Momma had when she adopted you so she worried that might happen again. Momma took the time to really consider what was best for her, you AND me. I'm glad she took a little longer to adopt me and weigh all the variables because that means it really will be forever this time. I know she didn't adopt me just because I'm cute - which can always change when reality sets in. She adopted me because I was the right cat for her. Momma will admit that I looked nothing like what she would've looked for in another cat - but my heart beats alongside hers as if it always has.
Bear Cat Kat: Can you imagine what our lives would be like if Momma never found us? As much as I hate her brushing my teeth and clipping my claws, I know without a doubt that she loves me.
Ellie Mae Kat: She took a chance on both of us - but we give her so much love - unlike anything she ever experienced before. It makes me sad that so many cats are forgotten in shelters or foster homes. No cat should die waiting for a forever home - or because a shelter doesn't have money to give that cat the medical treatment he needs. That's why I'm glad we're telling our stories to raise awareness for rescue pets - and Cuddly. Cuddly helps cats like us find their forever homes - and Cuddly's fundraisers and wishlists help shelters take care of the animals in their care until forever homes are found for every single cat and dog.
Bear Cat Kat: Can we sleep now?
Ellie Mae Kat: Can we cuddle?
Bear Cat Kat: Don't push it.
Ellie Mae Kat: Don't you want to tell YOUR story? 
Bear Cat Kat: I already told all the important parts of my story - except that Momma and I have shared a life for over fourteen years. Some people like to tell Momma that I was lucky she rescued me. Fortunately, Momma always replies that I rescued her and saved her life. You know THAT story from Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love.
Ellie Mae Kat: Can we have another sleepover?! Bear?!?
{Light snoring is heard}
Ellie Mae Kat: Bear?!? He's asleep! That was fast! What am I going to do with these Halloween masks? There's no reason my pores and skin should suffer just because Bear doesn't care.
{Momma Kat walks in the room and sees Ellie with a mask on}
Momma Kat: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Bear Cat Kat: Wha?! What's going on?! 
Ellie Mae Kat: Bear's awake!
{Bear sees Ellie with the mask on}
Bear Cat Kat: AHHHHHHHHH!
Ellie Mae Kat: It's just me, guys!
Momma Kat: I'm not even going to ask.
Bear Cat Kat: Learned that one the hard way, right?


NOTE: Ellie's story is mostly true from what we were told, however, we have fictionalized parts of it to present an entire story. Of course, she hasn't told us about what it was like at the shelter and some of the finer points of her story - we used artistic license to speculate what she might've seen and thought. Bear's past is more mysterious as I first encountered him in our yard by the deck he'd made his home. Unlike Ellie, where we know her birthday because her rescue kept her records, Bear's birth date was estimated by our veterinarian at his first visit. The only thing I can be relatively sure about regarding Bear is that he was born into a feral colony and followed around his all-white mother - with this arrangement ending sometime before he and I met.



The fundraiser we hope you support

As Ellie shared, she was picked up by Animal Control and taken to a municipal shelter. Thankfully, her original rescue's information was on her microchip - and when the shelter couldn't reach the family that adopted her - they contacted All Paws Rescue who pulled her out of the municipal shelter before she lost her life. Not only that, but Ellie's foster Mom was wonderful in caring for her - and wonderful in giving me the time necessary to make a lifetime commitment to Ellie Mae. In honor of her foster Mom, Linda, I've chosen to highlight All Paw Rescue's fundraiser on the Cuddly platform. Recently, the store where we first saw Ellie decided to discontinue their relationship with All Paws Rescue (they chose a much higher volume shelter instead) - meaning no more in-store displays of cats up for adoption. Therefore, with fewer cats on display at a store - and some tragic kitten deaths - All Paws Rescue is especially in need of assistance to help the animals in their care. 

Linda, THANK YOU for loving my sweet girl until I found her. And thank you for giving Ellie Mae more love than most cats get in their forever homes. I know I've thanked you profusely over the last three-plus-years since I brought her home, but a thousand thank yous will never be enough - Ellie Mae is the sweetest, most loving cat I've ever met and she adds endless love and happiness to our family. At this point, I can't imagine my life without her in it! Even more than all that, I love that you follow our blog and keep tabs on Ellie Mae - she's truly one-of-a-kind and it means the world to me that you see it in her too.





What you can do

Donate:
Please donate to the All Paws Rescue fundraiser we highlighted - or any other fundraiser or wishlist on Cuddly's platform! I will be completely honest - if you are upset by pictures of pets that have been hurt - please tread lightly. In searching for pets and organizations to donate to, some of the pictures are graphic. I could not take the pictures displaying the worst of humanity - as in the horrible cases of abuse or neglect. I feel guilty because I know these pets can't turn away and not look at the reality of their situation - nor can the people trying to help them. For this reason, I truly tried to make myself look at ALL the pets - but after a horrible panic attack and severe nausea, I just couldn't anymore. I'm sorry to my readers and Cuddly for not being able to examine every pet's case and story.

Adopt:
Don't forget that you can use Cuddly's platform to find adoptable pets! If you are looking for a new furry friend, you just might find your perfect match with a local shelter or rescue that uses Cuddly to share the cats and dogs they have available!

Tell your cat's #MyUnspokenPet story:
Would you like to tell your cat's #MyUnspokenPet story? Let's get people talking about their cats' (and dogs!) stories! To participate, share your cat's story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the #MyUnspokenPet hashtag. It's okay if you don't know many details of the story - use what you know about your cat's (or dog's) personality - what you think he or she would tell you if he or she could - and write her or his story to bring awareness to the cats and dogs still waiting for forever homes!

Read others' #MyUnspokenPet stories:
Check out the #MyUnspokenPet hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see the stories of other cats' and dogs' #MyUnspokenPet story. To review other posts from the campaign or learn more about the All Pet Voices + Cuddly's campaign: #MyUnspokenPet.



Sources: 



© 2020 Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat - Published by K. Kern. 
All text, pictures, images, and other content are original and copyright by Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat [K. Kern], 2015-2020. No content on Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat may be used without the owner's [K. Kern] written permission. If you see this post posted on a site that isn't Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat, please contact cats@mommakatandherbearcat.com. 

38 comments

  1. We're so glad you are both safe, now. Ellie, Lexy can relate.... her humans dumped her outside when they moved. So mean. But you're both safe now.

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    1. Well ... not ENTIRELY safe from each other ... but you have a point!

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  2. Not much beats a special cuddly home for shelter pets, we really need the love!

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  3. Bear Cat Kat: Scratchers are for sissies.

    DOOD !!!! eye total lee heer ya...thiz iz eggs act lee why eye uze CLOTH !!! ;) mackerull

    and ellie; ewe iz WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better off with jumpin ladee
    than nastee witch PC purrson N even tho it taked a month oh sundayz; we iz glad ewe iz rite wear ewe
    iz at ♥♥♥

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    1. Hahaha. I was thinking of you, Mackerull, when I said that! ~Bear Cat

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  4. You're so cute snuggling together ! We're so glad you are both safe and have a great forever home now ! Purrs

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    1. {GASP} That's SNUGGLING?!?!? Err ... umm ... RATS! ~Bear Cat

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  5. I wasn't going to do much blog wise at all, but I had to respond to the dear story of Ellie and bear, whom I love.
    Thank you for this wonderful story of your two little ones. You know I mean it.

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  6. We are glad you both have a safe and loving forever home now, Ellie and Bear. Cuddly is doing a wonderful thing. We love how they're helping shelters and rescues.

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    1. They make it really easy for people to find places to donate and adopt pets!

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  7. What good info today, thanks so much for posting about Cuddly. You two kitties are super cute today!

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    1. I know I'm cute. ~Bear Cat
      BEAR! He meant to say THANK YOU! ~Ellie Mae
      No. I didn't. I meant I KNOW! ~Bear Cat
      How rude! Like I'm NOT cute! ~Ellie Mae

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  8. Bear "a sister isn't the worst thing that can happen" that made me giggle
    Hugs Cecilia

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  9. So glad both of you were rescued off the streets. I think you won the cat lottery with your mama.

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    1. You mean she won the human lottery to end up with us, right? ~Bear Cat

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  10. We completely believe the percentage of stray cats taken in. Two of our three were strays.

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    1. We believe it too! As you read, that's where Bear came from! And we would've taken in Ellie if she'd stopped by our home. I just don't understand how so many cats end up on the street!

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  11. This is such a wonderful campaign Cuddly has created, and every single story I've read has made my eyes leak!

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    1. So few pets get a voice ever! Us blogging cats are spoiled in that we have an audience!

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  12. I am sorry you two had rough starts, but I am glad you ended up in a loving home. Most of my cats had to fend for themselves before we rescued them. XO

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    1. It makes me so sad that so many cats have to fend for themselves because a human or ten couldn't be bothered to care.

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  13. This is another brilliant post! It was good to hear of Ellie Mae's experience the way she "remembered" it. I think it made more impact that way by keeping the reader engrossed.

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  14. I hadn’t heard of Cuddly until this blogger campaign push. I think it’s great! When we adopted Harley, I shared on the blog what I thought his life was like before going to the shelter. I’ve also kicked around stories in my head of what it was like for our other cats. It’s kind of fun yet also sad to think about. I’m glad Ellie Mae ended up in a great home!

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    1. This is true - especially when our cats display strange quirks!

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  15. We are so happy for you that you found such an amazing Mom and that you are all taking care of each other. We can feel the love you all share.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. Yes, we definitely take care of each other ... though not always in a way one appreciates ;)

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  16. AMARULA: I sure can relate to your stories (even your terrible sister's story Bear! I almost actually felt sorry for her!) My human rescued me when she was living in South Africa for two years. Though I would NEVER tell her I am actually she brought me home with her to Canada!

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    1. My journey wasn't quite so long! My Momma was living in Virginia when she found me! When she moved back to Missouri, she was already mine so you can bet I was coming along! She jokes that I lasted longer than her marriage - but had she not gotten married, she never would've met me because she never would've left St. Louis. ~Bear Cat

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  17. Ellie, your story sounds very similar to mine. Before Mom and Dad adopted me, I was staying with a foster mom as I waited for somepawdy to give me a forever home. And before that, had been given up by two different owners landing me in shelter after shelter. I'm a pretty easy going kitty, but not having a stable home for a long time was worrying. Mom and Dad rescued my new sisfurs, Myrna and Esmeralda from my neighborhood earlier this year. Their original humans, whoever they were, let them down. But Myrnie and Esmay are happy now and I don't mind having them around. Purr purr purr.

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    1. I remember hearing your story from your Mom, Valentine! I can't understand what causes people to be so cruel and to treat cats as disposable. We bet you were terrified. We know Myrna and Esmeralda are in the very best of paws ... err ... hands. Life on the street is so hard and I wish more people understood just how scary it is for us kitties.

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  18. Hi Bear, and Ellie, and Momma Kat! *wavy paws* At my house, just about all of us are ex-strays adopted out of our Mom's backyard. There was an office park and a small cat colony there. We all found our way to our Forever Home by listening to gossip around the dumpster that told of a wonderpurr place where we could eat all the time, and sleep in soft comfy beds. And it turned out to be true. Even my feral fursibs are enjoying a nice life. It's so important to give those a chance who, at first glance, might not seem adoptable, but actually are, if they're given a chance. Love and Purrs, Dori

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    1. We thought of you all when we read how many cats are adopted as strays! We think your Mom is first-class all the way - and she has EXCELLENT taste. We know God blesses her for loving so many of His wonderful creatures.

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  19. I love hearing about your stories, lovely girl!

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    1. I love that you listen! My brofur can be a jerk and talk and talk without listening to ANYONE! My Momma listens MOST of the time but Bear has a way of stealing her attention. ~Ellie Mae

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