The Kitty Who Loves Pit Bulls

January 10, 2012  

A cat helps take care of a sick pit bull rescued from Hurricane Ike

By Dee Cochran

I didn’t wake up on Friday, Sept. 18, 2008, thinking I would be getting another dog. Instead, what I did that day changed my life forever. Hurricane Ike had come and gone, the Texas coast was a shambles, entire communities were just gone, and a hobbled Texas shelter sent out a plea for help. By 10 a.m., my friends and co-workers had decided that we should help as best we could, and we left in a caravan of vehicles containing as many borrowed crates, leashes and collars as we could get our hands on.

We took 17 dogs that would have been euthanized that day and found homes for all but one. She came home with me. She was tiny and thin and had great green globs of mucus coming from her eyes and nose. She was coughing a wet, raspy cough, which at times seemed to go on forever. I would have to blow in her nose to get her to catch her breath sometimes. She coughed up large amounts of phlegm, but she was so very happy and loving, and she had a new friend: a one-eyed, one-nostril kitty named One-Eyed Willie or Will for short. It has been said that my house was much like the Island of Misfit Toys from that classic children’s Christmas movie, but instead of misfit toys, I had misfit critters. The abandoned, the unloved, damaged or just too special all come to live with me.

Just as I was now sleeping with a sick puppy, resting my hand on her side to make sure she never stopped breathing, I had done the same type of thing years earlier for a tiny little kitten with a face only a mother could love! This tiny little black and white tuxedo kitten was dumped in my yard by his mother and left to die. He didn’t weigh a pound and fit in the palm of my hand. He had several obvious issues, and I was concerned that he might be suffering from a cleft palette. I let him cuddle in my hair/shoulder on my pillow that first night to keep him close and warm. That was a huge mistake because now he thinks that is where he should sit and sleep always!

The vet was concerned about Will’s condition as well and told me, “Dee, you really can’t save every one,” but Will’s mouth was normal, and I began the task of feeding him every three hours and letting him sleep with me. When I brought the sick puppy home, I let her sleep in Will’s spot. He didn’t mind – he just snuggled in next to her and helped me keep watch.

We named this little white pit bull puppy with the heart shaped spot above her tail Emery. The vet couldn’t readily diagnose her illness, as the radiographs looked more like a foggy morning than the chest cavity of a puppy. Where there should have been a heart and lungs, there were just wispy gray clouds. After a consult with Texas A&M’s vet school, she was diagnosed with acute interstitial bronchial pneumonia, and we were told her little lungs would never fully recover.

She would get winded just going outside to potty and she always wheezed. She also showed some signs of abuse – her tongue was split and looked like a snake’s, and there was a deep lightning bolt wound on her left shoulder. She required antibiotics and lots and lots of rest. She would nap with her kitty, and he would lick her eyes and ears. She would lick him back. He would stand on his back feet and wrap his front paws around her muzzle, then hold on and lick her nose. She loved it!

Emery was truly a special creature. She was always happy, and when she wagged her tail it started at her neck and went all the way out the end of her tail. We lost Emery on June 28, 2011, just two months shy of her third birthday, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and even cry a little. Will does have other doggie friends, but he doesn’t have the same relationship with any of them as he had with Emery. There will never be another dog like my Em.

I think Will just really loves pit bulls though because now I catch him napping and cleaning Chico, my newest pit bull rescue.

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17 Responses to “The Kitty Who Loves Pit Bulls”
  1. WOW a great story with a happy beginning and a sad but happy ending. Will is the best friend an animal could have. God bless you & your misfit creatures (by the way I love that Christmas movie). Run over that Rainbow Em and tell my Max we miss and love him!!

  2. tinkertoy62 says:

    oh i love this story -and especially the way one eyed Will is described as a loving sweet Misfit in the land of the Misfit Toys…Emery had a good good friend and was so lucky to have a wonderful 3 years full of nothing but LOVE..continue your attempts at filling up your “island” of misfit toys! each one is so precious! love it! thanks for sharing!

  3. jbostwick says:

    God Bless You.

  4. ayurveda says:

    Dee Cochran you are really great taking care of different animals all the time, I want to let you know that working with pets is all about. There is more to it than you may think.Just saying that you love animals isn’t enough.really liked true great story thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Iluvmypibble says:

    My kitty BIanca absolutely LOVES my pittie Savannah. They sleep, eat, drink and play together NON STOP all day long!

  6. Judithg says:

    My pittie Berry loves cats beyond love! Her favorite is Joe, a 10 year old rescue. They bat at each other and we play “pittie vs. kitty” games. She also loves Goosh who is a rescue at 14 years old. Goosh bites her nose but gets disgusted and gets up and leaves. Berry acts wounded when she’s rejected by the cats!

  7. bakercon says:

    What a heartwarming delightful tale. My heart breaks for the loss of sweet Em, but I’m glad she knew such love and caring in her short life span. LOVE the pic of Will with his new rescue. These dogs are a wonder, they teach me every day.

  8. beyond_5 says:

    Animals oftentimes know more about selfless compassion than people. What a wonderful ‘tale’.

  9. rn4pitbulls says:

    OMG, what a touching story. What a wonderful mommy you are <3. Kitties and Pitties, it was always meant to be 🙂

  10. RebeccaStanger says:

    My pit bull loves loves LOVES cats! We have two kitties, and over the past couple of years they have learned to really love Rikki the pit bull! Especially Antonio–every day he seems to snuggle a bit closer to his doggie sister–a couple hours ago he was smooshed right up against her with his tail swishing affectionately against Rikki’s side. <3 <3 <3!!!!

  11. Judithg says:

    My two pities love to go upstairs to the game room. they think it’s a huge treat like going out for ice cream or something fun like that. When they go upstairs, they run and chase and collapse afterwards in a heap:)Today Berry sneaked up and I asked her to come down; she didn’t want to and sat at the top looking at me. I sat in the middle of the stairs and pretended to cry a little and she was down in a minute worried and giving me love. I grabbed her wonderful pittie face and just gave her lots of kisses and hugs. these two little foundlings mean so much to me that just writing about them fills me with joy. I will post pictures of them as soon as i get a chance.

  12. MichelleScott1 says:


  13. CrisPorter says:

    We have two kitties (one grey tiger female, one male b&w tuxedo) and one black pittie. They all get along for the most part but are all young and still getting to know each other. One day I believe they will eventually all cuddle.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @CrisPorter They probably will, given the ‘velcro’ nature of pit bulls. They love to cuddle up against a warm body.