Meet the Cats
Each one of these cats was rescued by Paws On Your Heart, and each one has some form of special needs, whether physical or emotional. Some of them are current sanctuary residents, some have moved into the house, and some have crossed the rainbow bridge, but each one has a special place in our hearts. People tell us that the cats who end up with us are very lucky, and it’s true that their lives on the street would have most likely been very hard, and probably cut short by disease, hunger or violence. It’s a sad fact that most of them would not be here today without our help. However, we feel equally blessed that these wonderful cats have touched our lives and taught us such valuable lessons. Click on the photos to read each cat’s story!
Blue is a very special cat, because he was one of the first special needs cats we ever took in. Because of his FIV, we had to treat him with caution for the safety of our other cats, but Blue led a full and otherwise happy life, proving that even cats with special needs can be adoptable! Click to learn more about Blue.
Bob arrived, with no tail, looking skinny and frightened as he hid under cars parked along a main road. We tried to figure out if he had an owner, with no luck, and since he was in a very dangerous situation, we decided to take him in right away. Bob also has special needs because of his tail, which is in constant need of washing and care. However, he is certainly a success story — since we moved into our new facilities, he has fattened up considerably, and though he was very skittish, he now follows Norm everywhere! In fact, he’s such a sweetheart that we’ve nicknamed him “Teddy Bob.” Click to learn more about Bob.
Champignon (meaning “mushroom” in French) is one of our absolute darlings, and she has been with us since she arrived in the middle of a snow storm with her brother and sister on Thanksgiving Day of 1998. When we found her, she was a tiny, terrified kitten huddled under a car behind the house. As soon as Niki laid eyes on her, her heart melted and she swore to do all she could to protect this helpless little kitty. Champignon is still a delicate girl, fragile and easily frightened, but she definitely has a fun streak! Click to learn more about Champignon.
Chip was a kitten that we cared for from very early on — he and his littermates were orphaned as babies. Yet, despite those hardships, Chip was one confident kitty! He was the biggest and strongest of his litter (which included Dale, ChouChou and Pixie), and the others always depended on him — you could say he was a boss kitty, but never a bossy one. However, even though Chip is normally very self-contained, he had a wild side as well, earning him the nickname “Lunachip!” Click to learn more about Chip.
Chop (full name Chop Suey) is an example of a cat who has been mostly rehabilitated but is still traumatized. He sometimes strikes out at other cats, especially when they are getting excited or playful. However, most of the time he simply wants attention, especially when others are getting it, and he’s not afraid to be pushy about it! He arrived with the rest of his litter — Chow Mein, Egg Roll and Wonton — and his aunt Shanghai, and despite being in bad shape when he came to us, he has been healthy his entire life, a real achievement for a feral cat. Chop also has a giant personality! Click to learn more about Chop.
Chou Chou belongs to the family raised by Ebony — him, Pixie, Chip and Dale. He is one of the big snugglers in that bunch, and his favourite place to be is sitting right on the back of your neck! In fact, you might even call Chou Chou needy — he’s always pawing at us to let him on our laps, but unlike Chop, he isn’t too pushy about it and won’t fight other cats to get attention. Chou Chou has also been quite happy with the transition to the new sanctuary facilities, since he loves the outdoors and can now go out into the pen whenever he wants! Click to learn more about ChouChou.
Chow Mein is the brother of Chop Suey, Egg Roll and Wonton, and like Chop, Chow Mein hasn’t quite been able to totally get over his bad experiences as a kitten. He has been frightened his entire life, and hasn’t ever taken to the group. He has one best friend: his brother Chop, and if he isn’t sitting off on his own, he’s sitting with him. But, Chow Mein does have one time when he opens up, and that’s when he’s stretching up against a wall! Click to learn more about Chow Mein.
Chubby was one of the sanctuary’s big softies (and we do mean BIG), and very popular with the other kitties! We rescued him from a shelter when we heard that he had little to no chance of being adopted, and sure enough, he turned out to be one of the sweetest cats we’ve rescued. Click to learn more about Chubby.
Curly was one popular kitty — it’s safe to say that everyone loved him, people and cats alike! In return, Curly was curious about everything and everyone: he was one of the friendliest cats in the sanctuary. He was also a special needs cat, struggling with diabetes his entire life. Also, his full name is actually Curly Tail, and, you guessed it, it’s because he had a curly little pig tail! Click to learn more about Curly.
Dale belonged to the litter of Ebony’s adopted kittens, along with Chip, Pixie and Chou Chou. Dale was a very photogenic cat, with a beautiful coat and those lovely whiskers! And she certainly loved to be admired. She was a loving cat who demanded (and received) lots and lots of attention from everyone — you could say she was irresistible! Dale was good friends with Chubby, and loved snuggling up to him, but her closest buddy was her brother Chip — they were such a sweet little pair. Click to learn more about Dale.
Dweem (whose real name is actually Delbert), was brothers with Jerome, and the two were virtually inseparable. They were going to be left behind in the woods when their owners moved, but luckily we were able to get to them in time, and it’s a good thing because Dweem suffered from a neurological condition that caused him to be imbalanced, bad at judging distances and prone to falling over. However, despite all these challenges (including his small size), Dweem was a quiet, confident leader among the cats. Click to learn more about Dweem.
Ebony is a cat who still carries the emotional and physical scars of her former street life, even though she is now living in the safety of the sanctuary. When she came to us, with her little frozen-off ears and timid face, we were asked to pair her with the litter that was Chip, Dale, Pixie and ChouChou. The kittens had lost their mother, and in a sad coincidence, Ebony had lost her kittens. It was a challenge to convince her to accept them, and even today she can get suddenly snappy with them or us, but it is our mission to give emotionally traumatized cats like Ebony sanctuary for life. Click to learn more about Ebony.
Egg Roll belongs to the same litter as Chop, Chow Mein and Wonton. However, Egg Roll’s story has a twist: before we were able to take her in, someone else took her and disappeared for the day. The next day, he brought her back, and she hadn’t eaten that entire day. Luckily, no harm was done and Egg Roll has grown up into a happy, healthy cat. In fact, she has never had a health problem! She is also a sweet kitty; she has an adorable meow and loves to roll around whenever she’s being petted. Click to learn more about Egg Roll.
Flash Gordon was born to a feral mother along with his siblings, and to this day, the whole family remains rather shy and nervous. Flash often looks as if he wants attention, but mostly he shrinks away when we try to pet him. However, when he does let us pet him, he actually loves it. One unique and endearing thing Flash does is to walk all over the place meowing as if he’s announcing important news to the whole sanctuary! Click to learn more about Flash.
We found Foop one day when Niki was looking out into the back alley and saw a small animal up in a tree with its arms wrapped around the trunk like a raccoon. As Niki drew closer, she saw that it was a frightened kitten and called out to him. Within minutes, Foop was in the yard, and nowadays he is a sweet, endearing kitty who loves to lie in people’s laps and chase string around. Click to learn more about Foop.
Futzillator was separated from his mother as a kitten, trapped in a rooming-house basement full of junk and furniture piled up to the ceiling. It took hours to find him, and he was sitting in the back of an oven perched dangerously on a pile of junk. But when Niki climbed up and pulled him out, she found the sweetest-looking little tabby, and to this day Futzillator is an adorable cat who loves playing and following Norm around. But, Niki likes to describe him as “3/4 adorable, 1/4 crazy,” still carrying some of the psychological baggage of his bad experiences. Click to learn more about Futzillator.
Halo was a very difficult cat to catch — when we moved facilities, we tried to trap her for a long time with no luck. Fortunately, we managed to track her down and she has since undergone a remarkable transformation. Whereas she used to be very elusive, nervous and shy, since moving into the new sanctuary she has relaxed substantially. We’ve been able to pet her, and soon we might be able to move her out of the feral room and in with the more socialized cats. She is also a great mom! Click to learn more about Halo.
Jerome was Delbert’s littermate, and he always liked to hang out with his brother and Chubby. In fact, Jerome depended on Dweem emotionally, despite the fact that he was a much larger cat. Jerome was always very sensitive, and nervous to play with other cats. But, once he got going, he was an absolutely crazy player, and it was always nice to see him come out of his shell. Click to learn more about Jerome.
KittenKitten was born to two feral parents named Puff and Nonny. We saw the family running about at feed stations for a while, and when someone expressed an interest in adopting them, we began reaching out to tame them. She is still very nervous, but has somewhat adapted to life off the streets In particular, she has always loved sleeping on the back of Delva’s computer monitor. KittenKitten is soft and sweet, and has the most adorable habit of meowing her little heart out all the time, with that unique voice of hers! Click to learn more about KittenKitten.
KittenMitten is KittenKitten’s brother, and was almost adopted with her, but their prospective owners disappeared shortly after agreeing to commit to it, and they have been with us ever since. When we first took him in, he was terrified, but Niki went on a campaign to win him over, and now he is quite a big baby! In fact, one of his favourite things is sitting on Niki’s shoulder. Though he isn’t quite comfortable being with the larger group of cats, mostly sticking to himself or with his sister, he is proof that hard work and trust can make a huge difference in a feral cat’s life. Click to learn more about KittenMitten.
Mimi is the sister of Champignon and Taz, the family who arrived that one special Thanksgiving during a snowstorm. Mimi has always been a tough little kitty, confident and independent. She is usually solitary, except when she is hanging out with Champignon or Taz, but even they sometimes get the boot! And she is certainly active — she likes to climb all over the place like a cute little tabby monkey. Even though you can hardly get her to sit still, she loves getting people’s attention, raising her head to nuzzle whichever hand is reaching out to pet her. It’s no wonder she’s Norm’s sweetheart! Click to learn more about Mimi.
Our beloved spokescat Noodle really is the poster child for feral cat rescue. When we originally found him he was frightened and abused, he had been thrown out of a car and left to his fate, but today you would never know that Noodle had that history. All that is the result of the kind of hard work and dedication we devote to all of our cats! Click to learn more about Noodle.
Noodle (our original Noodle, this one’s a girl!)
Noodle is the Paws On Your Heart matriarch — she has been with us for 18 years! She is the oldest cat in the sanctuary, but she is still tiny, almost like a kitten. She appeared at our doorstep one very cold week as a tiny kitten. She was too young to have escaped from a house, so she must have either been born on the street or deliberately put out. She sat on the doorstep, looking up at the peephole, determined to be brought home, and so we took her in. Since then, she has spent most of her life perched happily on Delva’s shoulder, curled up in Delva’s lap, or sitting on Delva’s computer desk. Click to learn more about Noodle.
Onyx was a strikingly beautiful cat: sleek and black, with piercing eyes. We adopted him from the Humane Society in Ontario, who were having a very difficult time finding a home for him, simply because he was a black cat, and thought that they would have to put him down. Why no one wanted him is a mystery to us, since he had a very nice personality and show-cat looks. A slip-up by his former veterinarians led him to develop diabetes, which some severe problems to the point where we almost lost him. But Onyx surprised us all, becoming a minor medical miracle! Click to learn more about Onyx.
Patty was another one of our special needs cats who proved to be an amazing companion! Instead of having a chronic medical condition like Blue, Patty was missing her hind leg — not that she ever let that slow her down! When we found her, she was reported to be a neighborhood terror, but we weren’t the least bit surprised to find out that she was a complete sweetheart. Click to learn more about Patty.
Pixie is the sister of Chip, Dale and ChouChou, with Ebony as their surrogate mother. One way we can describe Pixie is to say that she is mischievous, playful and full of personality! Even as an older cat, Pixie will play at the drop of a hat, dropping down onto her side and kicking her feet while wrestling or chasing string. You could say that she loves playing and attention so much that she isn’t afraid to be a bit demanding when she asks for it! Especially when she’s asking for attention from Norm, whose ear she loved to chew when she was a kitten, quickly winning Norm’s affections. Click to learn more about Pixie.
Shanghai is the aunt of Chop, Chow Mein, Egg Roll and Wonton. Norm met her while out on a walk, and had to protect her from some passing dogs. He went to the nearest house, finding Shanghai’s sister and the kittens. It turns out the owner wanted to get rid of the cats because the family was going to get a large dog, so we offered to take all of them. But before we could come back to take them, the owner got rid of the kittens’ mother, leaving them with their aunt Shanghai. Though she was frightened and skinny when she came to us, now she is a beautiful healthy cat, proving that hard work and extra care really pay off. Click to learn more about Shanghai.
Swag is one of our sanctuary’s biggest success stories. When he came to us, he was a small, extremely sickly kitten, and his chances weren’t looking very good. But with plenty of care and love, Swag beat the odds and grew up into a happy, healthy cat. Click to learn more about Swag.
Tawny was in a litter with Swag, Troublemaker, Teeny, and Little Chip. They were born to a feral mom named Girl Puff, who we have never managed to bring in. All five kittens were very sick right from the beginning, and it looked as if we would lose them all. Teeny and Tawny in particular were extremely badly off, even though Tawny was one of the most beautiful cats Niki had seen. We tried everything possible to save them, but sadly, Tawny didn’t make it through. Click to learn more about Tawny.
Tazzy showed up on Thanksgiving of 1998 in the middle of a massive snow storm. He and his kitten siblings were abandoned by their parents, and left to fend for themselves on the street. Fortunately we were able to take these kittens in, and Tazzy and his two sisters, Champy and Mimi, thrived with all the attention. Tazzy did remain shy, nervous, and self contained, but was very loving when he felt secure. Click to learn more about Taz.
Tiffany showed up one day in the middle of winter at one of our cat colonies, looking very timid but desperate for shelter. She was thin and fragile, and we tried to win her over as quickly as possible to try and get her inside. We eventually succeeded, and set about trying to find her home. Unexpectedly, one day in the springtime, a man showed up at our house saying that we had his cat. We were delighted that Tiffany was going to return to her proper home, but the man told us something very disturbing that made us rethink our original plan of giving her back to him. Click to learn more about Tiffany.
Troublemaker is the sister of Swag, Teeny, Tawny and Little Chip. Though she was tiny and skinny when she came to us, she was still a beautiful little kitty. The reason she is called Troublemaker is her habit, when she was a kitten, of escaping the enclosure we had built for them so that their feral mother could access them to nurse, but so that we could also get inside to socialize them. She was indeed quite a troublemaker! These days, she behaves like a princess, and wins everyone over instantly. Click to learn more about Troublemaker.
Wonton is another great success story for our sanctuary, though she does have some special needs unique to her — a chronic clumping issue in her fur. Wonton arrived with the rest of her family: her mother Shanghai, and siblings Chop, Chow Mein and Egg Roll. When we first saw her, she was quite skinny, but has since turned into a butterball! Wonton is still very shy and takes a long while to become comfortable around someone. But when she does get comfortable, she wants ALL the attention! Click to learn more about Wonton.