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Hondo from HOPE
HOPE for Animals is a no kill shelter that not only helps animals find great new homes but also helps the community.  How do they help the community?  By running low cost spay/neuter & vaccine clinics and helping keep more animals stay in their current homes, despite any hardship the owner might be going through, by their pet food pantry that works just like those food pantries for humans do.  They are currently celebrating their 3rd Birthday and all they are asking to celebrate is $1.00 donations to help keep HOPE for Animals running strong.  

You can visit the link to go to their webpage to watch their birthday video and learn more about the project.
Click here to visit HOPE For Animals - Ft. Wayne, Indiana  

Now that we passed that orange squiggle that if dragged on a string would make a great cat toy, I'll tell you two stories about some kitties that found a new home via HOPE for Animals.  

Hondo that sweet big boy pictured above was adopted by my son and I from HOPE for Animals when we spotted his picture and listing on Pet  That's also how we first learned about HOPE for Animals.  When we talked with Emilee Beard who handles the cat adoptions she told us about Hondo's history.  

Emilee had been approached by a woman who was having troubles providing food for her cats. The problem was really that she had too many (a hording situation).  Emilee brought her cat food and discovered a house full of cats breeding out of control owned by a lady who had very good intentions but was going about it in some wrong ways.  Emilee got the lady to agree to allowing her to have the older cats spayed/neutered, in return she wanted to take some of the younger cats to also be spayed/neutered but then placed into adoptive homes.  Instead of calling Animal Control who might have taken all the cats to a shelter who might have put them down.  Emilee decided to try to work with the lady instead and it worked out.  That was Hondo's first home situation.

Hondo came to us with a few small medical problems but not as much as you might expect coming from a hording situation.  HOPE for Animals had him neutered, health screened, shots and started treating for fleas and ear mites.  He is a bit special in that he has a delicate colon that means he has to eat kitten food not food for adult cats as his colon can't handle adult cat food.  Hondo is also a clingy boy in that he is very happy and content if he can see a human...any human but can get anxious if he can't see anyone.  He's very loving and playful but will follow you around the house sitting by you if you sit, sleeping with you if you sleep, and trying to "help" you with anything you do.  He does do laundry as he loves to play fetch. I can tap the side of the dryer and he will hop in it and hand me clothes to fold and put away.  He's also a master at UNfolding towels.  Hondo is a big fluffy mellow cat that is always great company.

Alli or Allison from HOPE for Animals
Alli or Allison was the second cat we adopted from HOPE for Animals. Alli is a pretty lady cat who also had a rough first home.  I believe the woman with two young boys perhaps didn't know how to care for an animal thus Alli was treated roughly perhaps more out of ignorance than malice. They had also removed all of Alli's claws (front and back) I didn't get to meet the former owner so would rather not pass any harsh judgement on her.  Emilee was trying to help Alli recover from her past, a past that made her act like a severely tramatized cat.  Alli suffered from PTSD like flashbacks that made her unpredictable, she was very fearful of humans and even other cats.  She felt most comfortable in the shelter of a cage or box where she felt protected.  Emilee was able to gain Alli's trust with gentleness and kindness but was afraid she wouldn't be able to place Alli in a permanent home because of her issues.  Alli can threaten to bite or more rarely actually bite when she has a flashback.  
Alli hiding her face from the camera as Emilee Beard from HOPE for Animals holds her.  This is the picture that touched me.
Alli hiding her face from the camera as Emilee Beard from HOPE for Animals holds her. This is the picture that touched me
I saw Alli's picture and story on the HOPE for Animals website, showed my son and we talked about her.  One of the pictures of Alli (above) showed her trying to hide her head in Emilee's arm pit and because Alli looked like a cat I owned in the past that also did that at first because she came from a home where there was suspected abuse, I was really touched by the picture.  I wanted to help Alli and I thought she might turn around if given a quiet home where she could try to recover and where she would be treated respectfully.  We were willing to try to help Alli.

Spoke to Emilee on the phone about Alli, told her more about my background with animals and said Dan and I would be willing to take Alli.  We had just tried a cute younger cat she had that was wonderful but Hondo was afraid of the little boy kitten and I found him too active for me to keep up with. (He wanted to escape out the door and once succeeded and really scared me.) I told her the kitten was cute thus would be easier to find a home for.  I felt Alli might be a better fit for us regardless of her issues, we could provide an environment where she could heal so we traded.  Emilee said we could try Alli and if it didn't work out she would gladly take her back.  

Alli came home with us and Hondo was immediately taken with the pretty lady cat.  Where as the little boy kitten scared him for some unknown reason, with Alli he took the role of protector.  Hondo was Alli's Knight in Shinning Fur.  She started following him around as he gave her a tour of the house and from that moment seemed to bond.  She stayed near Hondo at first treating him as a sort of body guard as she got used to us.  We had decided to just let her come to us at her own pace and IF she ever decided too, which we were at that point not sure if that would ever happen.  Yet if nothing else it seemed as though Hondo was happy to take care of Alli.  Surprize! There was a very loving cat contained in that gorgous fur as we soon realized.  

About the third night after she became part of our family, my son awoke during the night to find Alli perched on his chest purring loudly.  He didn't want to scare her so just closed his eyes and went back to sleep.  She stayed on his chest till morning only leaving when his alarm went off.  Later that next day, I was sitting in the livingroom watching a DVRed episode of Racheal Maddow's show when Hondo brought me a fur brush then settled into my lap to be brushed and watch the show together.  (He will come running if I shout, "Hondo!  Want to watch Rachel with me?" I don't know if he is a fan of Rachel's or just loves the brushing he can get while her show is on.)  Alli sat shyly at my feet looking up and watching Hondo.  When Hondo was done with me, he jumped down and sat by my feet next to Alli.  To my surprise, Alli then jumped into my lap not only letting me gently pet her but even brush her fur.  

Since then she has made incredible progress and has become a very loving kitty.  I can only imagine what she might have been like before her trama.  She loves to lap sit, she enjoys being the neighborhood watch while spending long periods of time watching out the front window.  She sleeps always now perched atop a sleeping human while Hondo plays foot warmer.  Alli and Hondo are quite the pair and it's been a good month now since she's had her last flashback.  She's become a very social cat as I think she might have been before that first home.  Allison made it back from her trama and found her forever home with her pal Hondo.  

That's the story of two cats from HOPE for Animals.  If these stories made you feel warm and fuzzy inside and if you have a spare dollar or two, please consider joining me in making HOPE for Animals' 3rd Birthday very happy one.  Supporting No Kill Shelters and expecially this one with all the community outreach programs it does is always a great thing! (Disclaimer: I am not at all affilated with HOPE for Animals, my only involvement with them has been adopting two cats from that shelter but I became a fan of all they do.)

Click here to visit HOPE For Animals - Ft. Wayne, Indiana

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