I am such a soul.
My two rescues are of the feline variety, though, truth be told, they are far more Viking God then cat...
Behold, Baldr Petrarch Van Clawson Tait the Magnanimous, also know as Baldr the Brave, the Beloved and the Kind, also know as Baldr.
His story always makes me well-up a tad: he was found, covered in fleas and starving to death, whilst wandering the mean streets of LA. A woman happened upon him after hearing rumors of a kitten hiding in a construction site. Unsure of what to do, she put him in her storage unit (mind you, it was August) and waited until his soon-to-be foster mother, Linda (an angel) could come and collect him.
Baldr selected me to be his human guardian when he was 9 months of age: he was shy, scared, and melancholy. He would hide under the couch, and run away when I approached him for the first few months. The sadness in his soul was painfully obvious and it seemed there was nothing I could do to make him happy. Thankfully, I'm a hopeful optimist and showered him with love and affection and kept telling him how happy I was that he and I found each other. I played laser tag with him and fetch as often as he'd let me. Slowly, slowly the chains around his heart began to fall away. Slowly he came to realize he was home.
Now, my little Baldr, is affectionate, blissful and honors me with face rubs (which often involve his wet nose rubbing against my nose whilst purring like a machine) and unwavering love. I could have easily given up, easily given him back to his foster mother, swearing we weren't suited to one another, and then dash off to get another designer kitty from a breeder, but I didn't. I knew, in my heart, that he needed me, and that I, in my way, needed him too.
Which leads us to Thordvach Falcor Taitson the Red, otherwise known as Thor... yep... that Thor...
This little fella was far more fortunate than his big brother Baldr. I'll never forget the first moment I saw him, at 3 months old, all ears and feet, resting soundly apart from his meowing brothers and sisters. Along with his siblings, Thor was left at a doorstep after their mother had been killed. His foster mother, the same wonderful Linda that rescued Baldr the Brave, agreed that Baldr was in need of a younger brother to take care of. The night Thor came home, he was all snuggles, energy and gumption; poor Baldr had no idea what had invaded his home...
Sadly, a week after Thor had settled into our cozy little home, his foster mother called and warned he may have a rather extreme case of ringworm (all of her other fosters had come down with it). It was an uphill battle, of epic in proportions. Had a poet been present, she would have sung songs of our journey fighting the dastardly virus as best as we could. Bi-weekly visits to the vet, lime/sulfur dips, a full body shave, meds meds meds, tears, quarantine, and sleepless nights later, he's healthy and as spunky as ever. His spirit never broke: he was just happy to be alive. There would have been many who gave up, especially when the vet warned we may need to amputate his wee right leg, but by golly, we did it, Baldr, Thor and I. And I wouldn't trade Thor for the world.
There is never a smooth, straight road, when it comes to any pet, and rescues especially need particular patience and care, but if you just trust that you and your rescue have found each other for a reason, and you'll find each other's rhythms soon enough, I can guarantee the love you will receive from those little sweethearts will be deeper and greater than anything else you'll experience elsewhere. All of your patience, energy, and hard work WILL pay off.