Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets [Pictures]
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut.
Email the following information to email@example.com: pet name, owner name, how you met, pet's age, hometown, breed (or best guess), favorite activity, favorite food, funniest moment or sweetest story. Feel free to add your own creative categories, too -- anything that will shine a light on your pet.
• Unleashed: a blog for animals and the people who love them
Image 1 of 100
Mystery Cat( Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun / August 26, 2014 )
Four years ago, Steve and Sharon Ward noticed a dirty and emaciated stray cat hanging around their Perry Hall house. They'd begun leaving food outside for another stray cat, and the second one soon caught their attention.
"She was very skittish," says Steve. "She would peek her head around the corner but always run if we tried to approach her." They dubbed the kitty Mystery Cat, and when the first cat stopped coming around, Mystery Cat kept eating outside the Wards' home. That went on for six months.
"She'd hide in the bushes at the edge of our yard and when she heard us open our sliding door, she would emit a very loud, clear meow because she knew she was about to be fed," says Steve. After a lot of debate, the Wards decided to adopt her if she'd come in, which turned out to be easier than anyone imagined.
"On New Year's Day 2010, we opened the sliding door," says Steve. "She ran in the house, scurried right under our couch, and hasn't been outside since." As it turned out, a neighbor had kicked Mystery Cat out after deciding she wasn't wanted anymore, turning her out to fend for herself instead of taking her to a shelter.
All's well that ends well, though. Mystery Cat has made herself quite at home, playing with toys, enjoying games of fetch with a favorite rubber ball, and cuddling on the couch with her humans, which is a far cry from begging for food outside. And the humans in the house have a message for their beloved pet's former owner.
"To that neighbor," says Steve, "All we can say is 'Thanks.'"
To have your pet - including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like - considered for Collared, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Kim Fernandez, for The Baltimore Sun