I had to be up for nearly 48 hours straight with work and so when I got home today at four I ate a cheese sandwich and then totally crashed out. My doorbell rang at 7 and I leaped up, utterly convinced it was 7 a.m. It was my neighbours inviting me to come and spend time with them and the kids on a family outing and then to stay for dinner and a movie on Saturday. We’ve been doing the great item exchange of late. I wore one of the knee-length sweater dusters, beautifully made, to work today that my neighbour gifted me from her closet last week. I passed off my last full set of juice glasses to them (the kids break their glasses almost as often as Batya breaks mine) and some other things. It has been fun to come home to find a closet giftie hanging on my door.
I’m about to head back to sleep. Tomorrow I need to clean my apartment, find the damn lawyer’s name, and take Mousie into the vet — he had a month-long steroid injection just two weeks ago and already can’t eat.
Ronen will be sending me his pictures and video this week and I’ll get them uploaded as soon as I get them. In the meantime, I’ve finally discovered how to upload the videos I took (uploading via movie maker works like a charm to youtube but trying to upload them manually via my account fails every time).
Here is part 1 of the Great Cat Transport: Leaving Israel
The Great Cat Transport: Arriving in Arizona
The Story of the Great Cat Transport in pictures (overview of the entire odyssey):
Please “like,” share and spread around!
Who says things are black and white in the Middle East?! Here are some pictures of the Israeli Occupiers with names to help my Ema sort out who is who and which is which!
This picture has, on bottom left Flora who likes to explore the interior of walls!, Yafah’s sister Sparkle is bottom right, Puddin’ is on the shelf above them (left), Tzeekada (center), and Tzofia. On the top shelf is Flossie (Flora and Little Mouse’s sister).
Here we have one of the only two boys: Matan is the grey and white on the left, Tzeekada and Tzofia are the kissing cousins, and Flossie and Sparkle are up on the highest shelf.
Missy (sister to Yafah and Sparkle)
Smokey Eyn Echad (Smokey One Eye) and Tinoket:
The story of the Great Cat Transport of 16 rescued street cats from Tel Aviv, Israel to Austin, Texas in pictures. They went by car, plane (and what a plane!), and U Haul van accompanied by the world’s best vet, Dr. Ronen Winkler, and their person, Israeliminx. All of these little cats were rescued from dire straits. Some were taken in after having been hit by a car, one had suffered a stroke from heat and lack of water, several had been terribly injured at the hands of humans, and the others were bottled-raised having lost their mother in the first weeks of their lives. Follow their trip to a new home and sanctuary.
Lynne here. Knowing that the distance Yaeli, Ronen and the cats had to travel by both jet and truck, I was sure that they would all arrive in at least an exhausted shape, and I hoped no worse than that. They arrived just about on time here Friday, and the enclosure that I had built was not finished much sooner than that—perhaps it had been “completed” about an hour and half before they arrived. And, it certainly was not built according to my specifications and directions. We have hired this contractor for years though he was not ideal, and he has become more irritating, obnoxious and less professional over time. I will never hire him for a project no matter how simple or small again. Though disappointed in the enclosure, I thought that everything else was mostly ok… little did I realize the utter disaster that awaited us within a few hours.
We got the animals settled in the house, the new enclosure, the garage/outdoor enclosure, and we decided to pick up dinner from one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants. About 8:30 P.M. we did what we thought would be the final check of the evening. Yaeli was exhausted and ready for a shower and some sleep, but that was not going to happen for a long while. Within seconds of walking into the garage, Yaeli discovered to her absolute horror that one of the cats was trapped in the wall. Yes. The moron contractor left off a top piece of board that should have gone above the sheet rock that he put in a few years ago. My cats are not as adventurous as Yaeli’s group—not by a long shot. Yaeli’s cats are the most active, adventurous, spirited cats that I have ever seen at any time or anywhere. My cats did live out there for years without falling down the wall, but her cat managed it in an astonishing short time, and one other one was about to fall down, too. We arrived just in time to avert that.
We totally panicked. I mean that little cat was screaming inside the wall and was too far down to reach. She was wedged in and we could not see her at all due to the narrow space that she fell through at nearly the top of the low ceiling in that area. She could not get out and we could not reach her. I called the emergency number and was informed by a haughty agent that they don’t help cats. I called the contractor—on the phone (not the variety of insulting names that I was thinking of). He did not answer his phone. Next I called David, a local cat shelter manager who makes cat trees and items for cats, and who I had only contacted the day before to order a super nice cat tree. He told us what to do to get the cat out: Use a hammer to break a hole in the sheet rock below the cat and take the claw end of the hammer and begin pulling the sheet rock out… grabbing the cat before it could slip down further. Yaeli did that, but got a deep bite from the frightened cat while she was still in the wall. In spite of injuries, screams and hysteria on the part of the cats and us, we got the cats all out into the outdoor enclosure. It was not safe for them to be in that inside area. The cat sanctuary manager, David, called us back and offered to come over the next day and evaluate the problem, hoping to fix it the next day.
He came up with a simple solution and fixed about ten other small problems that he discovered that the contractor made. He fixed them all and double checked everything for safety. The contractor that caused the problem did not want to come out to fix anything, because it was the weekend and he was “tired”. Uh huh. He has lost this customer.
We have moved some of the cats around according to their needs, and we have two that have UTIs. One is on meds already, and the other will see the vet tomorrow. The cats are fixed up as best we can manage, but clearly the poor things are struggling to adjust. I know that they wish that they were home. Tomorrow, I will do my best to help them feel as comfortable and happy as possible in their new surroundings. I just got back from the pet store where I purchased new beds, toys, and a super amazing scratching pad that has a ball that rolls around on a track and lights up. Fascinating to me but I am not a cat… Anyway, Yaeli will be home soon and plans to post her adventures and some pictures on Wednesday or Thursday. Stay tuned, folks, and thanks for the encouragement with the cat resettlement.
We’re here and safe, first of all thanks to Ronen who was amazing. We got all the animals settled into their new homes. Wow yay! Ronen is on the airplane to his conference. Everything looked so wonderful and promising. But things are not always as they appear. And then all hell broke loose which we had to deal with creatively in the dark for over an hour an a half. There were wild chases, daring escapes, implements of destruction, tears, recriminations, sheer terror (on our part, not on the cats!) and much much more. Really, this is just totally unbelievable. I wouldn’t believe it if I saw it in a movie. More tomorrow from the hole in the wall gang.
Very fast as Ronen should be back with the U Haul at any minute. We got off the plane at 5:30, it took half an hour to unload the cats. There were two cargo vans. We thought one was ours but no, they were both for the other flyer. No one could find our rental car that was supposed to be waiting. The rental car companies all close at 6. We managed to reach U Haul and they said if you can get here in half an hour, we still have a van available. The airport called us a cab and Ronen is on the way to get it. They finally reached someone for the rental car company for us and we found out they delivered the van to the wrong airport. More details tomorrow! We are all here and safe and the cats are crying but in good shape. Hopefully, we will be on the road within the hour.