On Monday, I teased about telling you something this week that would “re-sweet” Valentine's Day. My Valentine's Day post was about two Winnie's Wish kitties being chosen by a couple in Los Angeles. For two months following that post, I've been searching high and low for a way to get Hershey Bear and Frosting to their new home. Over and again, we would have the beginnings of a transport only to have it fall through. It was discouraging, but my biggest fear was that Mary and her husband would eventually give up and adopt from somewhere else. I am always amazed when some wonderful person who does not live near me decides to adopt a Winnie's Wish kitty. Clearly, it would be MUCH easier for that person to go to a local shelter. Sometimes the person feels a connection to a certain kitty here. Sometimes the person adopts from Winnie's Wish because he or she wants very much to support me and my work. In my part of the country (as in so many unfortunately), cats and kittens are a dime a dozen. I would never find enough homes for the kitties I take in if it wasn't for BOTH local AND long-distance adoptions. I've said it SO many times on this blog. The single most wonderful thing that can happen to me in my rescue work is for a wonderful home to come into the life of one of my Winnie's Wish cats or kittens.
As I plugged away at trying to find transportation, many of you offered the names and contact info for transporters. I checked into them, and nothing came together. Jeanne (Random Felines, and my official transport coordinator) was going crazy trying to make something happen, too. Weeks went by. I worried. But Mary NEVER ONCE balked for even a minute. She steadfastly assured me that they were in for the long haul. Even when I was sometimes less than sure, Mary would say that we would find a way.
At one point, I heard from someone special – someone who had adopted from me in the past. In fact, Lana adopted TWO of the Fantastic Fifteen – Jasper and Soapy. I might have mentioned before that Frosting is one of the Fantastic Fifteen; she is the LAST of that group. I was having a Facebook conversation with Lana one evening, and I said that I guess we had just gotten really lucky that the transport for Jasper and Soapy (to southern California) had come together so quickly. Jeanne had arranged that transport, and she did tons of driving for it, too. Now, it seemed, no matter what Jeanne and I did, it just wasn't happening. Lana messaged back – Let me see if I can find a second person to fly with. I'll just take a weekend and fly out to you, pick up the cats, and fly back. It'll be a ton of flying, but if we can do some kind of chip-in or something, I'm willing to do it. I'm so happy with my Jasper and Soapy. I want to pay it forward. She started looking for a flyer #2 (only one cat can travel with one person).
While I was emailing with Mary about this possibility, and Mary was looking into using all of her rewards miles to help with the airline travel, Jeanne had another possibility brewing. She emailed me NOT to get my hopes up. Here's the story and its various connections.
Jeanne met DeLynn when they both volunteered at their local humane society. They have been friends for years.
Jeanne volunteered for Best Friends (https://bestfriends.org/) about 3 years ago for the first time. The following year she took DeLynn along. DeLynn fell in love with the place, and later her entire family took a vacation out there. A job opening came up and her husband applied - and GOT the job. He moved out in the spring, and last summer Jeanne helped DeLynn drive out (taking 2 cats and one of their dogs). Once out there, DeLynn got a job in Cat World where they care for all of the cats in the sanctuary. She has gotten to know several people, and when she saw Jeanne's post on Facebook about the transport, she started asking around.
Janet moved from Michigan to Utah to work for Best Friends. DeLynn found out that Janet was traveling back to Michigan to pick up her remaining two horses. She would be returning to Utah via a route that would bring her FOUR HOURS FROM ME. All I had to do was get Hershey Bear and Frosting to her as she drove back cross-country. Perfect.
Now that would put the cats in Utah. At that point, DeLynn was willing to start driving towards Las Vegas to meet up with someone most of you will know – Trish from Katnip Lounge. Trish would drive towards DeLynn. They would meet up and Trish would bring the cats back to Las Vegas. Mary and her husband could drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to pick up their chosen ones. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I am so deeply grateful for each and every piece of this picture. Many people tried to help over the last two months. I am grateful for every attempt, every idea, every almost-transport. I blogged once before about some of the people who were trying to help. Today, let me say this. Thank you Lana for that fantastic offer. Thank you Jeanne for continuing to drive yourself crazy looking for (and finding!) a way. Thank you Janet for being willing to add a couple of kitties to your drive back across the country. Thank you DeLynn for scouting folks out for us, and for your part of the actual driving. Thank you Trish for filling a hole in the transport, getting the kitties close enough for the new mom and dad to come and get them. Thank you Mary and Husband for sticking this out and seeing it all the way through. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing two Winnie's Wishers.
I took Hershey Bear and Frosting to the vet yesterday for rabies vacs and health certificates (necessary to travel across state lines). I leave on Saturday driving north in Illinois to meet Janet as she drives west. She is scheduled to arrive in Utah Sunday night. DeLynn will drive on Monday to meet up with Trish. Trish will drive down to Vegas. Hershey Bear and Frosting will be with their new family and in their new forever home by late Monday night. Amen.
Have a great weekend!