Stuart, the cat, was your favorite so you entered him in a photo essay contest. Below is the photo you sent and what you wrote:
How Stuart Found Me
I was working as “the” staff of a small Humane Society in Milledgeville, Georgia in the year 1998. On April 1st of that year I had a rare day off, but as fate would have it, I came into the shelter because I had to return a carrier from someone who had borrowed it.
We did not usually take animals from animal control, and vice-versa, and I cannot publish the things I was thinking when I saw the AC truck pull up front of our modest trailer that morning.....The officer on duty from AC walked in holding a box. The box was mewling faintly.
He asked if we could take these kittens since their own shelter was already overflowing with kittens and these were only 1 ½ weeks old. He said that he had rescued them on a tip from someone who noticed that a man was “feeding” kittens to his Rottweiler dog. Some had perished, but four of them were still alive.
My shelter director looked agonized, since we had no way of caring for young animals 24/7 in the shelter itself, and could not adopt animals out until they were 8 weeks old–old enough to spay or neuter. We could foster them out, but all of our foster homes were full, too. She had made a few phone calls at this point, to try to find help, but nobody could.
While this was going on, I hovered over the tiny babies, their eyes still closed. I put my hand near their huddle, and a couple of them crawled toward my hand. It had been a hard few weeks, with way more euthanasias than usual, and way more than adoptions. Tears rolled down my face uncontrollably at the thought of taking these little creatures to be destroyed. I wanted them to live. No more dying, NOT TODAY.
I took them home. My husband asked why...I told him I wanted them to have a chance to live, and I was their only hope.
We fed them every 2 hours, helped them excrete, and cleaned up big messes that came from such little creatures. One kitten began having seizures and was put to sleep very early in my care, but three survived.
At 8 weeks, the shelter had even more cats and kittens, than before, and I was told to bring the kittens in to be put to sleep. In my mind, there was no way I would let that happen. So I adopted them all, at full adoption price, had them spayed/neutered and vaccinated; my home, now had six felines ruling it!
Stuart has always been the outgoing one, the one who wants attention and likes sitting on my lap...or “sharing” my pillow in bed, sharing the computer desk, sharing the couch, or sharing wherever I happen to be at the moment!
Stuart is my heart, and I will be with him in this fight for as long as he needs me.
This is a beautiful story of my daughter's favorite cat, who had diabetes and Vickie had to give shots twice a day. Unfortunately, Vickie died in September 2012 and Stuart was still living then. I am sure at this writing, 12/12/2014, that Stuart is with Vickie now since he was 14 years old at the time of her death.