my luxury street cats are making yerida on a private jet

Wow how they have come up in the world!

In the next two weeks you will probably hear more than you ever wanted to about the Great Cat Transport from Bnei Brak to Austin, Texas. Provided, with everything I have to do, that I’ve got time to spit much less write. Here, in a nutshell is the deal:

In two weeks me, Ronen and 16 of my cats, along with the incredibly generous and wonderful woman (and her sweet little dog) who has offered us transport on the 15 person private jet she had chartered originally just for herself and her pooch, will be hitting the friendly skies. The cats will not be flying in cargo but actually on the plane, taking up the passenger seats we three are not in, the extra stewardess jump seats and a quiet one will even go in the pilot’s cabin.

We will fly first to Greenland to refuel and change pilots and then on to Scottsdale, Arizona. That is where the luxury part of the trip will end and a most likely hellish 17 hour road trip in a U Haul truck will begin.

I spent 5 hours today with Ronen ironing out the details and we still have the “getting from Arizona to Austin” part of the details to work out and a ton of stuff to do still.

Here is the sweetest part of it. When Ronen called me on Sunday to tell me a mystery elderly benefactress had offered to transport him to a conference, as she was also returning then, and she was willing to bring along my horde of cats. At first, he thought we might could bring 8 or 10 but after he talked to her again she was like, no, no bring them all!! Almost all will go — only 4 will still be here with me because of medical needs. Ronen and I have had about 40 rushed phone calls trying to work out details since then and I just got a vague “I talked to her about your cats and she said to bring them along.” BUT until just two hours ago I had no idea who this mystery benefactress was.

I was like, so Ronen, who is this wonderful woman and how did all this unfold? Well, she knows you, he said. She WHAT? I know her? Who is she?!

This is how it all went down. She is a client of his and when he mentioned in passing that he was going to a conference in Las Vegas soon she said her return date was close to when he would be traveling and offered to take him most of the way on the private jet she had hired. He asked, in passing, how much it costs to rent a private jet and said he was asking for a rescuer he has known for a decade who is trying to figure out how to transport her horde of kitties to the States and that maybe renting a private plane would be a less expensive option than what we’ve currently come up with. (For the record, no renting a private jet is not cheaper. Think $200,000 one way). She wanted to know more about the rescuer. So he told her how I had basically fed the cats of north Tel Aviv for years until I moved to Bnei Brak and had personally paid for several hundred to be spayed and neutered and others to be vetted when in need.

Where in North Tel Aviv?, she wanted to know. Well Dizengoff, Yermiyahu….Does she have long blond hair? Ahh yes, she does. You don’t mean Yaeli do you? You know her? Yep we used to talk a lot of evenings when she was out with her dog and I was out feeding the critters. Then on the bus ride home I realized that hey, I was the one who suggested she take her dog to Ronen because he is the best vet ever. What comes around, goes around and in this case was came around is an incredibly generous and wonderful gift for these 16 little cats!!


17 responses to “my luxury street cats are making yerida on a private jet”

  1. Tiger Mike says :

    What kind of plane? (It’s probably more like $20000′ not $200000)

    • israeliminx says :

      Tiger, I don’t know yet what kind of plane it is but Ronen talked with them (I am paying them only a $5000 cleaning fee) and the price to hire it is $200,000. What I am paying is a steal compared to the cost of sending them cargo with United Airlines ($33,000) or getting the bulk rescue discount offered by Terminal4pets (between 18-24 thousand dollars). The total costs will be about $12,000 to get them to Austin but that includes having them all vaccinated again and the country vet exit papers (Israel exit requirements), chipped, new transport durable carriers, the cost of the U Haul truck and gas, and flights back for Ronen and I.

    • Lynne says :

      Tiger Mike, is this type of jet SAFE?

      • Tiger Mike says :

        I’m assuming it’s something like a Gulfstream 550. Very safe. And I was figuring what it would cost to operate that plane on this route. It would burn about 20,000 pounds of jet fuel. At 6.8 pounds per gallon, that would be 2941 gal. Jet fuel is somewhere around 6 per gal. That would be $17’647 for fuel.

        Obviously there are more costs than fuel. You have to pay the pilots. There’s matainance. The charter company has to make a profit. I still think $200,000 is way more than it actually costs.

        A Boeing 777 would burn about 130,000lb of fuel on that route. That would cost about $114,705 for fuel. This aircraft is much smaller.

        Yael, POST PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Erin Rawls says :

    WOW. Just WOW. That is a news story right there. And THANK G-D you don’t have to use United. Not sure if you have heard about the this in Israel but there have been numerous instances of animal abuse and neglect (some unfortunately resulting in pet death) on the part of United on both domestic and international flights. Frankly it’s kinda put my thinking of aliyah on hold because I will not put my dog in a situation where he is possibly left for dead on the tarmac or made to spend the weekend stuck in the shipping area of an airport with no food, water, or bathroom breaks. Oh yeah. that’s what United is doing…

    • israeliminx says :

      Erin, wow that is terrible! If you make Aliyah, however, you fly El Al and they have a great track record for transporting pets (two of mine flew cargo with them when I made Aliyah and they were very well treated). I came on a Nefesh b’Nefesh flight (highly recommended, especially if traveling with pets) and one of the families brought a entire menagerie with something like 7 cats, 3 dogs, a couple of rabbits, and an iguana — along with their 8 kids!

  3. Tiger Mike says :

    Yael, are you trying to get any news coverage about your impending Cat Airlift? I know a journolist for Arutz-7. While I don’t think this would be their type of story, this person may know some one who would like the story.

    Whenn we come to Israel, we are undecided if we will bring anyn of our three cats. But its nice to know we could. (One of our cats is an orange tabby called Gush Cat-tief. We got her just as the Gush Katif was being forcably evacuated. As she is orange, the name seem to fit.)

    • Larry007 says :

      Yes, Yael, this story is definitely something that must get news coverage. Maybe it will bring more people to your cause.

    • israeliminx says :

      Tiger Mike, wow news coverage would be great! It would definitely help to raise awareness of the plight of street cats here in Israel and, of course, mine in particular. If we got some news coverage, perhaps some of the readers would even be moved to donate toward defraying the cost of this colossal move of little animals or toward our goal of getting a sanctuary set up in Israel.

      And Mike, you’ve can’t leave Gush Cat-tief! We left Gush Katif and just look what happened!!

  4. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    For you Yael, an article that should interest you.
    Pet Lovers Beware: When The Drugs Don’t Work” at

  5. Paul says :

    KARMA baby !!!!!!

    🙂 🙂 😉

  6. Jake from Philly says :

    This is great news! I’m so glad to hear that these babies will have a comfortable flight to their new home.

    • Lynne says :

      Jake, I am as busy as a bee over here getting ready for them. My contractor is coming over today to help me design an enclosure for two of them. I’m working with the space that I have to get a comfortable, safe place for them. Yaeli should post pictures on her blog of the three that are adoptable —using a flier format—so maybe you all could print the fliers out and put them at your vet’s office? There are three that are sociable and would make good pets. Some are medically fragile and others are semi-feral, and those must stay with Yaeli. That is, in fact, most of them. She can post pictures once they are settled and you all can see them in their new place. It is temporary though, as she plans to create a sanctuary for them. I just wish the sanctuary could be in Israel… maybe later though. That could be our goal.
      I hope that all is well with you and that you are managing to stay warm in this cold weather that we have all been having.

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