May The Force be with you Luke

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The URRKN Force is with you Luke!

Luke found himself in the shelter in early July after his mommy had to go to a nursing home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they gave him less than a month to find a new home! But something really special happened to Luke. The day before the one that was to be his last, his picture was posted on FB. A friend of the poster saw him, and the look of fear on his sweet face moved her to action. She contacted her friend and on the very day that may have been the last one Luke had, he was swooped up and taken to stay with his foster until he could make his long way home.

Signups for Luke’s transport took lightning speed. Signups for transport began on August 25, 2012 and by August 29th, Luke found himself in warp speed in less than a week thanks for our URRKN Jedis. Jedis from as far as way as Australia cheered as the transport was set for September 1st.

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Here is Luke saying goodbye to foster mom Jenni.  And let’s not forget his four legged stepbrother.

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Luke’s stepbrother tell him, “have a safe trip pal.  Don’t forget what I taught you!”

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“In the car and ready for a great adventure without as much as a peep from this good boy. Now I know I want him!”

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“Goodbye and good luck Luke!” With Laura Strickland, on Day 1 and the first leg is completed!

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First leg completed, transfer made! Laura Strickland is on the right, Angela Roberts on the left. Laura says: “Luke is on his way to Las Vegas!” A special thank you to Angela for driving 4+ hours one way in order to get Luke to the next conductor.

Angela met with Nadine Day to transfer for the Las Vegas NV – Cedar City UT leg. It was then onto Ruth Brandt for the overnight stay at the B and B.  Ruth had participated previously with URRKN when Bill Cosby, now named Schroder arrived in Salt Lake City and became a part of Ruth’s furever family.  Ruth had said she wanted to pay it forward and now she could.

Arrived at the B and B with Ruth Brandt.

From Ruth… “Luke made the trip to our house to have a sleepover in Price, Utah! We picked him up in Cedar City, Utah (after a 4 hour drive to get there!) and immediately turned around and came home! He is such a good kitty and never even meowed! I’m told that he hadn’t eaten or had any water all day long, and he still hasn’t yet, but I’m sure he will. He likes to hide a bunch, especially in tiny places, but he is a lover kitty for sure!”

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Luke is waiting at the door . . . “LET ME OUT!!!”  He was ready to explore his nighttime accommodations.  Ruth and her VIP guest would head out in the morning around 8:00 to take him to Provo for the next leg of his journey! ♥

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Investigating everything and looking for hiding places. Luke is very shy for such a big kitty!

Day 2,  Young Jedi Luke is ready for his next interplanetary transfer via Judy Kiel.

9am on September 2nd, Judy reported in stating “Luke is on his way to Brigham City. Ear drops successfully employed.”  Our young jedi was once again on his way to his destination.

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Can’t wait to get home.  But there was more excitement yet to come.

Just heard from Luke’s new Purrever Meowmy Cassie and she is now on the tracks to Dell, MT where she will meet Luke in just a few hours.  Luke will be changing trains in Pocatello, ID very shortly — his last stop before meeting Cassie.  The very capable conductor  for Brigham City to Pocatello was Mary Ann Hubbell.
♥♥ Luke, you’re almost home!! ♥♥

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One more transfer complete – check out those happy faces!!!  Judy Kiel to Mary Ann – two fabulous ladies willing to drive our VIP passenger!

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Jona Jacobson holds Luke in her car in Pocatello as she prepares to take the cat for the final leg of his transportation to Dell, Montana, where his new home awaits.

Breaking News!!! This just in!

The Idaho State Journal has requested an exclusive interview with our Young Jedi and his crew.  Check out this interplanetary article

Firth Woman, Logan couple help cat get to new home By Jimmy Hancock

Jona Jacobson said that when she saw a call for help to transport a rescued cat to its new home, volunteering was a no-brainer.

“I thought this was one way I could help cats without actually bringing every rescue into our house,” she said. “I figured I could do this and it would be my way of helping.”

Jacobson, who lives in Firth, recently lost a Bengal cat she rescued from some unqualified individuals in the Seattle area who were breeding it for profit. It’s a loss she and her partner are still feeling, making Jacobson reluctant to bring any rescues home right now.

Her decision to volunteer brought Jacobson to Pocatello on Sunday, where she met up with Mary Ann and Jim Hubbell, who live in Logan, Utah, at the Maverick Country Store, located at 2100 E. Center St.

The Hubbells had picked up Luke earlier in the morning from someone in Brigham City, Utah, and drove the cat to Pocatello.

Mary Ann said she and Jim were pulled into the mix by her cousin in Illinois, who called her asking if she could find someone to help transport the cat from her area to Pocatello.

“I volunteered to do it immediately,” she said. “I decided it would be fun to do it ourselves.”

She said her and Jim had the shortest leg of the trip for the Utah and Idaho transport of Luke, who started his journey in Mesa, Ariz. The person from whom they picked up Luke drove four hours south from Brigham City to pick up the cat, only to turn around and bring him home for the night.

Mary Ann said the experience has been a good one, and one she said her and Jim would be willing to repeat in the future.

“I wouldn’t mind doing it again,” she said.

The move of Luke from Mesa to Dell, Montana, a small community in Beaverhead County, located in the southwestern part of the state, bordering Idaho, was organized by Tina LaBlanc, founder of Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network.

LaBlanc, who resides in Avondale, Ariz., organized the network last fall, its official start date being Oct. 31, 2011. She was prompted to do so after reading about Jack the Cat, a pet lost by an airline last fall while it was in transport. It was 61 days before Jack was finally found and by then he was so badly injured, his outlook was not good.

He died 12 days later, in early November.

But Jack the Cat served as a reminder to LaBlanc, a reminder of a time when an airline lost her cat. It was 1997 when LaBlanc’s husband was transferred from Germany back to the U.S. and in transport, one of her cats was lost.

“She was only missing for a few days and was located in another state,” LaBlanc said. “We were able to get her in intensive care and she survived, thankfully.”

But hearing about Jack stirred up all those memories and also shocked LaBlanc a bit, the idea that airlines were still having difficulty keeping tabs on an animal so many years after her ordeal.

“I thought, somebody has to do something about this,” she said. “Then I had that quiet voice in my head that said, ‘You are somebody, ’”That was all she needed.

One goal of the Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network is to link potential owners with cats — regardless of where in the country each is at — in need of adoption, thereby rescuing them from being euthanized. The other goal is to then get that cat to that new owner.

While she’s awaiting approval of her nonprofit status, she’s not waiting to get cats moved around the country.

“Luke is our 50th transport,” she said. “We are growing like a runaway train. It’s wonderful. It’s a lot of fun.”

And while Luke just happens to be from LaBlanc’s home state, that is far from the norm. In fact, she’s not only helping cats connect with people all around the U.S., she got people wanting to mimic what she is doing in several other countries.

“Most of our cats are actually from out East,” she said. “Once my nonprofit is approved, I have people set to go in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland and England. So we are set to go international as soon as we get that nonprofit status.”

Once a real estate sales agent, LaBlanc now dedicates her full attention to the Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network.

Like the Hubbells, Jacobson says she too is looking forward to transporting other cats in the future.

“Oh yeah, absolutely. It would be great,” she said. “To get little kitties to their new homes, I can’t think of much better when it comes to cats.”

POCATELLO Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2012 11:44 pm Updated: 12:30 am, Mon Sep 3, 2012.

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Mommy I’m home!  Jedi Luke with his furever Meowmy! Special thanks to all who participated!

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From Cassie Betz, “I just wanted to show you the goodies that Laura Strickland sent with Luke. That’s Stella, our chocolate lab, checking everything out. Laura makes these homemade items and they are loved by all who has them 🙂

When I took Luke’s crate out of the car at our house, Ricky-Bobby came running over and started rubbing all over it. I’m not sure if he even realized Luke was in there, but he seemed to be saying, “Welcome home, Luke! I’m your new brother!”

This just in from Cassie: “Getting Luke settled into his new digs and then will post pics. Thank you to EVERYONE who made this journey possible! I guess it takes a village to save a cat! :-)” ♥♥♥

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Here he is!! Luke is getting some lovin’ from my husband, Brent, in this photo. They love each other already!

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Here is our boy Luke eating! Yay! For the next day or two he will be staying in one of our unfinished basement rooms until gets settled in and used to us. Then we will introduce him to the rest of the house. Jenni, please don’t be alarmed by the chewed up corner of that crate……that one is ours. Yours is completely intact and will be shipped back to you this week. Thank you!

When Jona & I met up in Dell, there was a group of guys outside the Dell Merc that saw us handing off a crate with “something” in it. They were wondering what was in there, so my sister-in-law started telling them Luke’s story. They were amazed, and they all wanted to see Luke, so we opened up the car door for them to see him. I wish I had gotten a picture of these 4 Montana dudes all sticking their heads in our car at the same time. Hysterical! Luke’s first groupies!

One more update on Luke before bed. He has been exploring his room & finding lots of fun hiding places. We went to check on him once and couldn’t find him anywhere and went into a full-blown panic, until we looked up to see him sitting on a shelf above our heads with a smirk on his face! 🙂 He has been eating, drinking, peeing, & pooping, so all systems are working fine! 🙂 My husband thinks he should be named “Frank” as in Sinatra, because of those killer blue eyes…..

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Luke had a great night, and just got a chance to meet Ricky-Bobby briefly. No flying fur, just a couple of quick nose touches and that was it. Luke is still cautiously exploring his new environment and making a mental note of new places to hide. 🙂 The dogs are DYING to meet him, but we are holding off on that for a little while until Luke gets more comfortable. When I told him he wasn’t going to have to get back in the crate today, he did backflips! Well, not really, but I’m sure he was doing them in his mind!

Master Luke is adapting well.  Don’t you just love a happy ending?  In a galaxy not so far away, all is right with the world as another kitty has a furever home!

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This Little Mittens is a Very Special Kitten

Three little kittens lost their mittens … and one little kitten named “Mittens” has found her furrever home.

Can’t you just imagine waking up to little Mittens patting your face with those adorable white paws? Katherine Doctor could too, and that’s part of the reason she fell in love with this little one and opened her heart to give Mittens a home. Only one obstacle remained between Mittens and furrever: Mittens was in Shelby, NC and her new family was in El Paso, TX.

Don’t worry though, URRKN to the rescue and Mittens was given a ticket to ride the Love Train to her new home. With the engine rumbling quietly and the vehicles outiftted with catnip and toys…all that remained was for her conductors to drive her home!

Here we go Mittens, here we go.  August 18, 2012 was bright and sunny and a perfect day for a kitty transport.  The first leg on her three day tour was Shelby NC to Anderson SC and our fabulous conductor was Marlene Berry. Check out Marlene and Anita with Miss Mittens.

Hand off from Marlene to Nessa for the next leg; Anderson SC to Atlanta GA. Such a pretty lady – wait… all three are pretty!!!

Because real men love cats too, here is a pic of Nessa’s finance Mark along for the ride. We love our men participants because we can’t all be crazy cat ladies!

Made it to Atlanta with no problem other than the usual traffic. Here is Mittens hanging out with Nessa waiting for her transfer.

Such a snuggly baby – getting loves and rubs from Nessa.

Transferring from Nessa to Gretchen for the Atlanta GA to Oxford AL leg. The love train is moving right along.

Next pic is of Gretchen getting ready to leave – check out her conductor’s hat. That is really cool! Our conductors are always very stylish in their URRKN bling 🙂

The love train continued to roll south and before Mittens knew it, she was at the next transfer point in Oxford Alabama. Mittens was well on her way to becoming a true southern belle and was very polite as she changed hands from Gretchen to Randee Cole.

Mittens was very alert and you could almost hear her thinking out loud… are we there yet?

Before two shakes of a cat’s tail, Randee and Mittens arrived in Tuscaloosa AL for the transfer to Candice Keene. Mittens was now more than half way finished with her first day’s ride. We are getting there little one. Onward and upward, here is Mittens chilling in Candice’s vehicle.

Upon arrival at Meridian MS, Mittens met up with her next conductor, a URRKN good guy; Patrick Milligan who would drive Mittens two legs. first to Jackon, MS and then on to Monroe LA where he would transfer Mittens to her first evening’s B & B hostess, Sadie Mae Joslin. There is light at the end of the tunnel Mittens.

We are grateful for all our conductors but it is extraspecial when someone volunteers to drive more than one leg! Finally Mittens was transferred to Sadie Mae for the last leg of the first day and her B & B. Almost there 🙂

Made it! At the B & B with Sadie Mae, hooray!

Noms noms noms… yummy!

Sadie reports that Mittens has been eating and playing and they are now bedding down for the night. Goodnight Sadie and Mittens. Katherine Doctor, Mittens first day is done! She’ll be home soon!

Good morning world. It is the start of day two of Mitten’s journey to her furever meowmy. Have to eat breakfast before we go!

So Mittens hit the road for the second day of her journey to her furever meowmy. Sadie Mae drove to the drop off point where she would continue her journey with Bee Dee Leggett. Here is a nice pic of Mittens at drop off. Sadie says, “We really enjoyed having Mittens last night she is precious!! She is very talkative this morning! Meow Meow Meow she says! :)”

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Bee Dee drove from Monroe, LA to Shrevesport where she met up with Arika Roy who drove our VIP passenger on to Tyler, TX. Everything went smoothly as the handoff was made to Bobbi Blanch. Mittens was now on her way from Tyler to Fort Worth. All the way she was super well behaved and very curious of her surroundings. One more transfer to Jacqueline Morin and our VIP was on her way to Midland. If you listen carefully, you might her say -boy Texas is a bigggggg state! Here is a great picture of Mittens. Jacqueline said, “Mittens was such a good traveler. She was purring and kneading her bed. That’s the way we like them!

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Abilene to Midland was next and after transfer from Jacqueline to Heidi Dobey they were on their way. Here is Mittens with Heidi, once again super alert and watching the mile markers roll by.

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So life sometime’s throws us a curve and they don’t always work out the way we plan.  As Heidi was traveling down the road, the unexpected happened and the transport changed.  At least 15 years prior while in the army, Chris worked with Candy Veroneau’s husband and Chris and FCM Tina and the Veroneaus were friends.  They hadnt spoken in over ten years but when Tina needed to make a transport change she called Candy who jumped right in to help.  Rather than to do the B & B, Heidi handed Mittens over to Candy who would drive the final leg which was over 305 miles.  Here is a pic of Heidi handing over Mittens for her final leg of transport.

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Candy drove all night back home grabbed a couple hours sleep as a B&B Hostess even though she was leaving on vacation.  Talk about a special lady!  Here is Candy the following day handing Mittens to her furever meowmy.  Why did she do it (Candy that is)?  Besides being a lover of animals and a good friend to the LaBlancs, she delivered Mittens so that pregnant mama Katherine Doctor could be with her husband when he returned  home from deployment!  As Candy was driving Katherine was posting.  She said, “In just a few hours Mittens and I will be meeting for the first time! Words cannot express how excited I am to see her! The whole URRKN process has been incredible! I have sproken with some wonderful people, who organize all of this, over the last few months, and I must say, you ladies are so awesome for all that you do! Also, a HUGE thank you to ALL of the wonderful volunteers that made this transport (and every transport) possible. It is so amazing to see people taking time out of their day to give kitties their forever homes. Mittens has had a tough little life, and she is finally getting everything she deserves…a good home with a loving family. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say thank you enough. This experience has been so great, and I look forward to the day when I can help a sweet kitty get home. We have been anticipating this day for months, and now it’s finally here! Choo chooooo, welcome HOME Mittens!!!

Candy and Katherine at the transfer point.  Can you hear Mittens saying, Mommy I’m home!

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Everyone loves a happy ever after story and this one is as good as it gets.  After arriving home, Mittens spent a few hours sniffing out the house and then decided to hid behind the couch for a few hours.  Katherine reported that she is getting a little more brave, and is now hiding under Katherine’s bed.  She promised to take pics once Mittens reappears.  Poor baby has had quite a journey and needs some serious R&R!

And we’re out of hiding! She’s been hanging out and lovin’ on mama!

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As this journey has come to a happy ending, Mittens says thank you to URRKN and all our drivers, conductors, cheerleaders, transport teams and friends for making this black and white beauty’s dreams come true.  She is finally where she belongs – a final tribute – she is at peace with her new sister, Kitty Jr.  There’s no place like home!

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Won’t you come home Bill Cosby, won’t you come home!

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This is the story of Bill Cosby, also known as Schroder.

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BC traveled as a VIP on the same weekend as Mittens and DG. He then had an extended stay in Atlanta before he became a flying angel riding the love plane to Salt Lake City and into the arms of his furever meowmy.  Check out the story from a very clever blogger!

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“The three ingredients of a successful union between two . . . humor, commitment & undying love.” Bill Cosby

No trip is too far for URRKN and this special needs kitty!

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Bill Cosby (the cat) was surrendered to the Foothills Humane Society in North Carolina along with about 30 other cats and kittens. Flea infested and many of the kittens sick, Dana Mayer set herself to the insurmountable task of healing, in more ways than one, this major influx to her small shelter. Bill Cosby (the cat) is about 2 years old, and among his other problems when he made it to Dana, he was found to be FeLV+. Now Bill Cosby (the cat) was found by Ruth Brandt who lives all the way out in Utah. For various personal reasons, she KNOWS that Bill Cosby (the cat) is the perfect fit for her and her family. Let it be known that her son actually requested that they save a kitty for his birthday. When URRKN received the request for the transport and learned that Bill Cosby (the cat) was FeLV+ it was decided not to risk his health by such a long transport. To keep Bill Cosby (the cat) from traveling such a long way in car after car after car our resident airline guru was contacted for help. An extended B & B had to be located and secured in Atlanta, GA where Bill Cosby (the cat) can rest at his ease until our special angel can fly with him to Utah around the end of the month. “Bill, you’re going home.”

It takes a special person to adopt an FELV+ kitty. Bill Cosby has been given a new lease on life.

Kind words from the New Adoptive Meowmy Ruth Brandt.
“We are SOOOO excited! Bill Cosby (aka Bill the Cat who will ultimately be named Schrodinger once he gets home) is coming home, FINALLY!!! We have been waiting and waiting as patiently as possible! So far we haven’t needed Depends, but between now and then, who can say????? LOL

The dad of our family, Darrin, has cancer, and grandma has chronic leukemia, so we are no strangers to cancer and special needs. We certainly understand handling family members with TLC, and will love our newest family member with the same love and care that we are used to.

My deepest love and thanks go out to anyone and everyone involved in this adoption and transport. This is one special kitty. I have felt his spirit across the continent, and I know he is for us. We are ready and willing to love him as soon as he can get to us. In fact, we already do love him. He is in our hearts even now. ♥♥♥♥♥”

Special Cheers from the sidelines. URRKN has the best cheerleaders anywhere!

“Cheering for Bill from the cornfields of Iowa.” Jes Pint-Size
“I’m gonna have to buy a set of pom-poms, because I am doing a lot of cheering!!” Trudy Bledsoe
“I’m not on the route, but I will be cheerleading the whole way! ♥” Deanna Muzzy
“Love the name :). Not near me but safe travels to everyone involved.” Jennifer Bliesener
“Not in my neck of the woods but i’ll be cheering from the sidelines :-)” Lisa Kollman

Bill Cosby started out his journey on August 19, 2012 from Columbus, North Carolina.  Conductor Dana Mayer was at the wheel.  She drove this VIP to Greenville, SC where she met up with Cheryl Parker Brown.

From Cheryl Parker Brown: Bill Cosby’s (the cat) Love Train is pulling out of Greenville, SC headed for Commerce, GA!!! Chooo- Choooooo!!!!! >^..^<

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In Commerce, Georgia Dana transferred BC to Karen Bridges who would take him to Atlanta.  There the transfer was made to Nessa Delacroix.  Nessa is holding BC in his carrier during his transfer.

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Karen Bridges and Nerissa Delacroix.

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Bill Cosby in his private room here at Delacroix B&B with Nessa & Dante Delacroix.

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After having a long stopover it is time for BC (Schroder) to head to Atlanta Hartfield’s airport to complete his journey to his furever meowmy.  August 24, 2012 was the day Ruth would finally get to see her baby.  Here are Nessa and Bryna at the airport.  No one knew what was coming next!

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Another of Nessa with her son who gamely came along to wish safe travels to BC.

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He looks so innocent doesn’t he.  Well that wasn’t going to be the case going through security and the TSA line.002Not the best pic but BC was not happy when Bryna took him out of his carrier.  You see, TSA has to scan the carrier without kitty in it for obvious reasons.  You have to hold kitty, walk through the machine, then wait for them to swab your hands before you can put the cat back in the carrier.  Thank goodness for harness and leash rules at URRKN!  BC came out with no problem but wasnt going back in at all!  A TSA supervisor saw Bryna struggling with him and instructed her to put him in the carrier, walk through and then they would screen BC in a private room.

Here is BC in the private room – he was Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde – he popped out of the carrier and began to explore the room like nothing had happened.  Tell that to Bryna who had BC scratches where he struggled.  Good thing she was stronger than him, endured the scratches and wouldnt let him go!

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Finally the carrier was screened and BC was free to go.  Only problem is he wouldnt go back into the carrier without law enforcement assistance.  It took two TSA agents and Bryna to finally secure him.  And off she went.  The funny thing is that once he was back in the carrier, he calmed down and was even purring and rubbbing the carrier.  Once on the plane he went to sleep and didnt wake up until they landed!  He was almost to Ruth.

Meanwhile, here are Ruth and her son waiting for the plane to land in Salt Lake City.  Hubby was the one that was taking the pics.

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Flight has landed and Ruth and family still had a few hours to drive back home.  Here is the happy reunion with their new baby.  Finally! We found Bryna and Schroder! United at last! (not the airline!) J Delta is the only way to fly!

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Taking a closer look at BC (Schroder).  He was more than ready to go home.   A little better look . . . peek-a-boo! I can’t wait to get my paws on this kitty!

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Too pooped to party – before driving home.

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At home . . . So, what now?

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But I’m not sleepy!

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All’s well that land’s well.  Some parting comments from Ruth:

“After we made our 3 hour drive home from the airport, Schroder just wanted to explore the house, and that’s what he’s doing now. He and our doggie have met, and Schroder is very capable of asserting his authority, you’ll be happy to know! Our doggie, Miracle, is very excited and freaked out, but I’m not the least bit concerned about Schroder’s well being. I’ll leave it to Bryna to tell the story of how well this little spitfire can take care of himself! LOL I’m just really hoping that Miracle and Schroder will become fast friends in a hurry. Sibling rivalry isn’t my favorite thing!!!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Everything is great for now. I’ll continue to post updates and let everyone know how things are going. This has been a really great day and I just need to thank everyone who has been involved – all of the wonderful people involved in transporting BC/Schroder, all the incredible people involved with URRKN. You all have a special place in my heart. This is one special kitty cat, and he needed my family as much as we needed him. All I can say is thank you.”

For URRKN, from Bill Cosby (and Robert Frost – 1920):

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.