Brothers from another mother….

….now have the same Meowmy!!

Mateo and Snowball were rescued by Adopt a Buddy (aren’t those folks great?!?) and placed into foster care, just waiting for their furever homes.  Mateo was bunking with Linda in Westport, CT (yes, she is the same wonderful woman who fostered another URRKN alum – Peanuts) and Snowball was entertaining himself by unrolling and shredding toilet paper rolls at Arlene’s in Austerlitz, NY.  Both boys were just biding their time, waiting for URRKN to pull into the station and get them home to their amazing new home with Susan in Greece, NY.  Mateo on the left, Snowball on the right.

Since these boys were going to the same furever home, URRKN admin Tracy (who was heading up the transport) worked hard to send them together.  The Event was created and there was a flurry of offers from volunteer conductors to get these boys on the road.  It all came together and the train was scheduled to hit the tracks on Saturday February 18th.

Angela (an experienced URRKN conductor) picked Mateo up at Linda’s on Saturday morning.  Since they’ve worked together before Ang and Linda had the process down pat and Ang was on the road in record time.  Here’s Ang at Linda’s with Mateo:

 

Once they were all packed up and ready to go, Ang hit the road toward Austerlitz to drop Mateo off to the next conductor.  Ang had all kinds of plans to sing duets with Mateo on the car ride, but Mateo had other ideas and promptly curled up and went to sleep.  Oh well, next kitty, Ang!!

Next stop on this kitty train was Austerlitz, where Snowball was going to board the train.  Lizette met Ang at Arlene’s and Mateo and Snowball were transferred to Lizette for the next leg.  As much as Lizette was trying to avoid pictures, we tracked one down.  Here she is making sure her passengers are comfy for their next leg on the left and Ang saying goodbye to Mateo on the right.

After getting her precious cargo situated, Lizette jumped on the tracks and headed out to Little Falls to meet up with Mary.  Here’s Mary taking care of her two charges and making sure they’re safe and snug for the next part of their trip.

 

The train pulled out of Little Falls and headed toward Karin in Weedsport.  Meanwhile, this choo choo has been chugging along nicely all day.  A few snow squalls were reported, but nothing that these Upstate New Yorkers aren’t used to dealing with in the winter months.   The train arrived in Weedsport on schedule and the hand off was made to Karin – here’s Mary saying goodbye to her new friends:

Karin got the boys safe and sound into her car and headed out on the home stretch.  In about an hour and 15 minutes, these boys would be meeting their new momma!!  Here’s a picture of Karin carrying Snowball in to his new home:

Welcome home little men!!  You made it!!  But….the story doesn’t end here.

Later Saturday night, Susan posted that Snowball was not feeling well at all.  She was planning to take him to the vet that night.  The next morning, she updated us:  Snowball had conjunctivitis in both eyes, a urinary tract infection and a respiratory infection.  Oh no!!!  Poor Snowball 😦

URRKN’s jumped into action – a ChipIn was set up by Dina (who originally pulled Snowball from the shelter) and the generosity of our volunteers came through loud and clear.  Within one week, the ChipIn reached $625 -enough to cover the emergency care and hospital stay for Snowball.  You see, Snowball had to be admitted to the hospital on the 22nd for IV fluids and other care.  He came home on Friday the 24th and, according to Susan, seems to be 100%!!  As a result of this little guy’s fight for his life, Susan decided to rename him Ezekial.  A fitting name, aifinkso!

During all this time, Mateo was at home settling in.  Susan told us that he was quite the character, was sleeping with her every night and was practically attached to her six year old all day.

Susan posted two new pictures of her beautiful boys….what a difference a week makes:

Would YOU like to know what it feels like to help make this kind of difference?  Do you know anyone else who would like to experience the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from taking part in a transport?  Come on over to http://www.facebook.com/groups/URRKN/permalink/218034128294657/ and join us!!  We are 676 members strong this morning!  Yes – that’s even an increase from yesterday!!  We’re growing at an amazing rate – but we’re not done – and we still need YOU!!!  Choo Choo!!!

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Sully isn’t just a hero airline captain…

He’s beautiful, and he knows it!!  

HE is Sully.  And this is his story.

It all started with this amazing woman named Trish.  Trish is a foster parent for Adopt a Buddy in New York (foster parent = amazing!).  She fell in love with Sully, a 6 month old Maine Coon, and saved him from a shelter in….Michigan.  In stepped the amazing Jessica, who took care of getting Sully vetted.  He had to be treated for an Upper Respiratory Infection, which isn’t uncommon for a kitty from a shelter.  Soon enough, the URI was gone and Sully was ready to go!! 

The “event” was created on February 3, 2012 and placed into the capable hands of URRKN admins Dionne and Noelle.  Trust me, these ladies ROCK!   Immediately offers of help started pouring in and possible routes were coming together.  The goal was to get Sully home to Trish on Saturday, February 11th….just 8 days away.  Dionne and Noelle were working feverishly to coordinate all of the wonderful volunteers, but on Thursday, February 9th, the difficult decision to postpone the trip for a week had to be made.  There were several factors in place – a few holes in the transport, some questionable weather being forecast and an attempt to piggy back THREE, yes THREE, other kitties into the same transport (more on those kitties to come later!)
 
No rest for the weary, though.  Inevitably, when a transport date gets changed, there are going to be some hiccups.  Dionne and Noelle kept plugging away and by Tuesday, February 14th, the route and drivers were set!!  Happy Valentines Day Sully – you’re almost home!!
 
I know, I know…enough babbling – you want to see the photo journal of Sully’s trip….who am I to stand in the way of you enjoying Sully’s ride? 
 
Jess (the physical rescuer) hit the road in Allegan, MI with Sully and headed for Elaine in Novi, MI.  Elaine would then head out to Toledo, OH to meet Emily.  Jess tagged along on that leg too – we think she just wasn’t quite ready to hand this sweet boy over.  Here’s a picture of Jess and Elaine with Sully in Toledo (on left) and one with Emily saying hi to her new passenger (on right)
 
From there, Emily headed out to meet Virginia in Strongsville, OH.  Little did the Sully-meiser know that he was about to meet not just Virginia, but also two of Virginia’s two human kiddies.  He looked pretty happy when he got there!!  I think he’s trying to flirt with Virginia, don’t you?!?
 
Virginia took a few more pictures of Sully before they headed out to see Chris in Kent, OH.  (If you like these, (she also took the one at the top of this point) check out her FB page here too….http://www.facebook.com/pages/Virginia-Taylor-Photography/166424581639?sk=wall) Not only is she a transporter, but she’s an awesome photographer too!!
     
Here’s Chris meeting Sully for the first time in Kent, OH – who doesn’t love a man who loves cats?? 
 
It’s pretty unanimous in our group – we ALL love Chris :).   Anyway, I digress.  Chris snapped up Sully and headed toward PA to meet up with Joy in Dubois.  Now, don’t be too sad for Chris having to say goodbye to Mr. Sully.  You see, when he and Joy met, they actually SWITCHED kitties.  Yup….Chris handed Sully off to Joy, but Joy delivered her very own special package to Chris – JAMES!!!  But, I’m not going to tell you about that now – you have to wait – this is about Sully!! 
When Joy took over Sully’s care, she headed toward Bloomsburg to meet Jeannie.  Joy was making good time and got to the meeting spot a little early.  No worries – gave her time to play with Sully a bit – and Joy took a bunch of pictures.  Here are a couple. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When Jeannie got there, Joy said goodbye and Jeannie said hello – and off Jeannie and her husband went – headed toward Teresa in Scranton, PA.  Picture on the left is Joy with Jeannie and the picture on the right is Jeannie with Teresa.  
Teresa sprang into action and headed out on the last leg.  The one that would take Sully from Scranton, PA to his home with Trish and her family in Middletown, NY.  Late that night, the post we all were waiting for:  Sully was HOME!  Here is is meeting his family (and with Teresa saying goodbye) 
 
Want to see more pictures of Sully in his new home??  So do we!!  Head on over to our facebook page and let Trish know – we want Sully!  We want Sully!!!  🙂
 
What a great day this was!  Sully got home and you can see how happy he and his new family are!!  But Sully was part of a record breaking day for URRKN.  THREE other kitties also got home that day!  But you’ll have to stay tuned for their stories – keep an eye out for James, Snowball and Mateo – coming soon!!
 
By the way – Sully traveled about 796 miles over about 15 hours with 8 different drivers.  This wonderful homecoming would not be possible without all of the volunteers involved in URRKN – from the founder of the group, to the admins who keep things running smoothly, to the amazing drivers who step up and take time out of their day to get these kitties where they need to go.
 
Want to help?  Know someone else who might want to help?  Come on over to http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/URRKN/ and join us.  As of right now, we’re 644 members strong, but we need more.  We need  YOU!!!

Five little kitties….sitting in a row….

Wow!  Our little group continues to grow in leaps and bounds!  As of this morning, we are 484 members strong!!  Who knew there were so many crazy cat people out there???

Of course, with continued growth, there are continued learning experiences.  We’ve added admins to the group to help facilitate all the activity and keep things running smoothly.  There are fifteen of us working diligently behind the scenes to make your URRKN experience a wonderful one.  We are from all parts of the county, so you can pretty much count on at least one of us being available to you throughout all times of the day if you have questions.  Keep in mind, however, that we do have outside responsibilities, although we would love to be able to dedicate ALL of our time to this amazing work.  (Anyone know who has that winning PowerBall ticket?!?!)

We currently have FIVE transports pending!  FIVE!!  How amazing is that??  We have two admins dedicated to each transport; working tirelessly to coordinate our fabulous voluteers in an effort to get these kitties home.   Unfortunately, though we have soooo many members now, we still have some big gaps in some parts of the country.  A few of these kitties are still sitting and waiting for their transports to come together because we don’t have enough drivers along their route.  If you’re not already part of our group – come and join us!  If you are already a part of our group, but have some friends out there who haven’t jumped on the train yet, send them our way.  Maybe YOU can be the missing link in some of these transports.  http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/groups/URRKN/

Something else the admins work hard at every day is keeping the URRKN page a happy place for our members to visit.  In order to do that, we have established very specific posting guidelines for what goes on the wall of the main page.  We know that everyone who has found their way to our page loves kitties (you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t).  We also know that everyone here has a passion for saving kitties (so do we).  However, to many people,  the posts of pleas for help for kitties who are at risk are just too heartbreaking to see every day.  Many of us (me included) just cannot deal with the heartache that comes with knowing that for every one kitty that we might be able to help, there are thousands that we’ll never be able to reach.  I personally choose to stay away from the death row posts because one of two things is guaranteed to happen – I am going to end up with 100’s of cats and be featured on an episode of hoarders, or I am never going to leave my house again because I’m wallowing in the depths of my despair at not being able to help. 

Yesterday a wonderful woman named Catherine Bugg, a transporter just like us, lost her life while transporting a puppy.  While the story of the tragedy does not belong on our page, we did want to acknowledge her loss.  I’m posting a link to the article here, if you choose to read it: http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/rescue-world-suffers-tragic-loss-with-morning-fatality#ixzz1m9I4W3jH  RIP Catherine, although I didn’t know you personally, your dedication to animals proves that you were an amazing person. 

I know many of you may think, “why not?  why doesn’t this belong on the URRKN page?  We just want to honor someone who does what we do.”  While we agree, Catherine’s memory and her work should be honored, we just felt that to allow a post that would elicit sadness (and possibly fear) would lead us down a slippery slope.  If we allowed this post to stay, it would open the door for other requests for sad posts.  Is it unreasonable to assume that there will never be any sadness in life?  Of course.  But is it unreasonable to have at least ONE place in our world where we know we can go to escape that sadness?  Absolutely not.  For that reason, we will continue to take the hard line on the “sad” posts and they will continue to be deleted (with a note to the poster from an admin when it happens).   We continue to encourage you to post pictures of your own kitties (we all LOVE to see kitty pictures) and other upbeat/optimistic items on the page. 

We have been humbled by the outpouring of love and affection from all of our members.  I know that I, personally, have gained many new Facebook friends through this page.  It’s wonderful to be in a place with other like-minded people (and not have people saying “it’s just a cat”).  With so many people in one place, with diverse personalities and interests, we’re bound to continue to have those times where we just are not going to agree on everything.  All I can ask is this:  if you find yourself in a situation where your feelings have been hurt or you just don’t understand why something happened,  please reach out to one of our admins.  We will do our best to work through things with you.  We don’t want to lose anyone over something that could have been avoided.  We love you all – you’ve become our family.

Thank you again for riding the LOVE TRAIN!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7REahHuNQK8

Now Boarding – Southern Meow Ways, Flight 1641

Aimee what you wanna do?  I think I could stay with you.  For a while maybe longer if I do  – Ok, I’ll stop singing now, my kitties are getting mad (they don’t think I can sing very well)

Let’s recap – pretty little Aimee was rescued by Sharon.  Take a look at this pretty little girl.

Rebekah and her husband Mark wanted to adopt Aimee.  Sounds simple, right? 

Wellllll – Sharon lives in Georgia and Rebekah and Mark live in Texas.  But, who’s about to let 1000+ miles stand in the way of the love of a furry little girl?  Not these folks!!  For about a year, Rebekah sponsored Aimee and Sharon provided the love.  Then in January 2012, Sharon and Rebekah came to URRKN for help.

As we always do, once the adoption is confirmed, an EVENT is created.  And THAT is when the fun starts.  Our amazing network of volunteers gets to work!  People were popping up all over the place offering help.  Deanna, Judy, Christy, Andy….the list goes on.  Sadly, because the trip was so long and we’re so new, we were finding HUGE gaps on the map of this transport.  We even tried looking at different routes.  Admin Marti (the map guru) plotted out a few different options, trying to pool together our volunteers in the most efficient way.
 
And then it happened.  An angel named Bryna jumped in with the best news ever.  A flight from Atlanta to San Antonio, with Bryna as Aimee’s escort!  I know what you’re thinking…Aimee on a PLANE?!?!?  Scary images of George and Jack immediately come to mind.  Have no fear.  Aimee wold be able to fly in the cabin, safely in her carrier, under the seat, close to Bryna the whole time.  Wooo Hoooo!!!  All aboard the Dixie Express!!
 
Now the plan shifts from recruiting drivers from Georgia to Texas to getting Aimee to the airport to meet her angel Bryna for her quick flight home!  The original plan had Andy picking Aimee up from Sharon and keeping her overnight on February 1st.  He would then take Aimee to the airport so she could catch her flight.  Unfortunately, due to unforeseen issues, that plan did not work out as well as we thought it would.  Some wires got crossed and the meeting was missed.  But did we panic???  Noooooooo!!  Because we are URRKN and we know that things will work out.  And, sure enough, another angel stepped up.  Enter Victoria.  Victoria was a friend of one of Sharon’s friends and she stepped up to help get Sharon and Aimee to the airport by 7am.  Yes, you’re reading that right….by 7am!  That means Victoria had to roll herself out of bed really really early to pick Sharon up at 5am to make the 2 hour trip to Atlanta!!  Now if that’s not kitty love and dedication, I don’t know what is!!!
 
Sharon and Victoria got to the airport on time.  Here’s Sharon saying goodbye to Aimee
Bryna takes over.  Now, just because she has four feet and fur, Aimee is not exempt from screening at the airport.  Here she is with Bryna (check out the TSA guy behind them…who says the TSA doesn’t have a sense of humor?!)
 
Aimee and Bryna get through security and are safely on the plane.  Here’s Aimee traveling in style
Bryna was such a good escort – she was keeping us all updated on the flight.  Around 9am we got this update:

We are on the plane with only 2 hours to go. Aimee is napping right now and snug as a bug in a rug :). I took a few pics that I will post when I get home. Onward to San Antonio

And about a half hour later:  She travels better than small children – not a peep out of her – if I didn’t have 4 kitties of my own she would fly back to LA with me! Just kidding Rebekah but she is a love!

And then, just after noon: Aimee is now at her forever home! Rebekah’s husband met me at baggage claim  Here’s a picture of Mark meeting Aimee

Later that night, Rebekah posted: Thank you everyone who help get Aimee to her new home in Texas! She’s a little bit jet lagged but still purring along!

Now, we’re still waiting to see some pictures of Aimee in her furever home (hint, hint Rebekah, if you’re reading this!!), but we could all collectively take a deep breath and sit back and revel in the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that another kitty safely got home (and it even happened by air this time!).  Enjoy your new home Aimee!!!!

Stay tuned – we have more transports pending.  Lots and lots of good stuff going on over at URRKN.  If you’re reading this and haven’t already checked out our “little group that could,” come on over to Facebook and join us!!  http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/152819051482832/205327076232029/?notif_t=group_activity