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This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!One fall day while my husband was working in the backyard, he saw a little brown and grey animal dart from its hiding place when he got too close with the edger and run underneath our flower bush. It turned out to be a tiny brown, black and grey tabby.
We already had two rescue cats who were brothers who were quite a bit bigger than this tiny kitten and we were afraid they would kill her, so we set up a nice house for her outside and fed her. We hoped her mom would come back to get her. The mother was not found. We think she did as so many mother cats do… take their weaned kittens on a walk and leave them places. She left this cutie in our back yard.
KITTEN. PHOTO: PIXABAY/ILONA ILYES
We could tell she was wild, but she had a sweet personality and my husband was very patient and soon they got along well outside. We knew, though, at some point, we would have to trap her and bring her in because the winters can be brutally cold here in Northern Virginia.
My son and I went to our local animal shelter to rent a trap and we figured it would take days to capture her. We disguised it with flower stems from the bush she hid under and put some food all the way in the back. Then we went inside thinking we’d have to wait for days… it took 15 minutes!

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We didn’t even take her out of the trap. We carried her inside and set her where our cats could get to know her a bit. They did NOT like her. They hissed and growled, but I chuckled and told them, “Pretty soon, she’s going to be the princess around here, so get used to it, boys!”
We left her in the trap that night and took her to the vet the next day to get looked over, her shots, and, if she was old enough, to get spayed. They kept her all weekend. When we went back to get her they asked if we were going to keep her and we said we were. They asked what her name was… and since we found her under our flower bush, I figured we’d name her after the flower… so “Azalea” went down as her official name!
PHOTO: SHAWNA PEEK
It took a few weeks, but my predictions were right. Her brothers now know she rules the house and they even let her eat before they do. She sasses them a lot but they all get along very well now.
Later that fall, my friends and I were on my back patio chatting and one said, “Oh! Your hydrangeas are gorgeous! Mine are a different color!” It was then I realized my happy mistake. Because “Hydrangea” would be a silly name for my cat!
Story submitted by Shawna Peek from Purcellville, Virginia.
Azalea’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!