I just couldn't wait any longer. I got the cats fed and/or pilled. Got myself dressed. I double checked I had everything, then left the house at 8AM knowing full well I'd arrive at the PETS Transport drop off location in Danbury 30 minutes early. I needed to get my hands on Noelle and Amelia. I wanted them off that big truck and into a warm, quiet car...really, into my lap. I've seen only a few photos of the girls and heard stories about them, but today, Connie and I were finally going to meet them. It's been so long since I felt the joy of rescuing a cat. I really have missed it.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Look familiar? Yep! Transport day is here!
There were only a few cars in the parking lot when I arrived. The car next to me, a subaru from NY had a couple in it holding a small beagle. I thought how nice it was that this dog was getting a new buddy today and how much things would change for that dog-hopefully for the better.
I listened to the radio, which in my car is rather daunting since the reception isn't so great. I heard about a new book that sounded interesting, but already forgot the title. I was just too excited. I kept scanning the parking lot for the truck and for Connie's car.
I watched Connie's SUV pull into the parking lot. I watched her navigate past some geese who were waddling around in the the parking lot. As Connie got closer, I waved at her. She saw me and I could see her jumping up and down in her seat! It was a hilarious sight. Connie is the perkiest person I have ever met. Her energy and good cheer is contagious and it made me feel even more excited.
There was already a truck form PETS in the lot, but I checked with them and they said the cats were on the next transport to arrive (any minute). I tried to stop Connie from getting out of the car, into the cold rain, but the second she parked, she was out of the car, ready to RUN over to the truck. I got things sorted out with her and we both sat in her car while we continued to wait.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. One of Kyle's team brings out someone's new dog.
The transport was right on time and as it pulled up, Connie said she was going to start crying (again!), just like last time. Seeing people meet their new pet for the first time is very moving. I think the lousy weather and the fact there weren't many people to pick up animals made it less emotional for us. I saw Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS and the guy you see featured on Animal Planet's “Last Chance Highway,” get out of the truck. I met Kyle at a Conference a few years ago and we had a good chat about moving cats north. He's a really sweet man. We said hello and I told him to watch the weather. Bad storms are due this afternoon and he said he'd keep safe. Since we were second in line we didn't have to wait long for the girls. As usual, they were the ONLY cats on the transport. It's always full of dogs, but cats are rarely moved. Yes, there's a big whoopdeedo about bringing cats anywhere since there's an overpopulation problem for cats nationwide.
In the northeast, we don't have a problem with dogs, so it's “ok” to move them without hearing a peep from local rescuers, though some say the pit bulls, which are often sitting in local shelters, get overlooked because folks can get a Lab or a Golden from the south. Honestly, I have gotten the most lovely, friendly and even stunning cats from the south and the odds are far greater they will be euthanized and have less chance to find a home than cats up here. Of course, if I had the space or foster homes, I'd rescue local cats, too. The best I can do right now is help network local rescue groups with folks here who need help with their cats.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Kyle and our first look at Noelle.
Kyle lifted Noelle out of the carrier to put her into our carrier. She looked scared, but we only saw her for a second. Another moment later, Kyle had Amelia in his hands. Connie and I were vibrating, we were so anxious to get the cats. Kyle handed me the paperwork and Connie took the carrier. We got into Connie's car. Noelle was meowing, not really crying. I carefully lifted Amelia out and gave her to Connie and I took Noelle.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hi Amelia!
Both cats were frightened, so we just held them and petted them and let them settle down. Suddenly we were in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything. We just wanted the girls to relax and we wanted a chance to get to know them a bit before Connie took them to Animals in Distress's shelter in Wilton.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia is a show-stopper, she's so gorgeous.
We held them for a long time before I even tried to take a photo. It was lovely to see them. Amelia is stunning. Her eyes are bright green and many of her toes are white on a black paw. She seemed interested in all that was around her and after a few minutes began to settle down. Of course Connie and I decided we wanted to take the cats home with us, but we knew we tormented ourselves knowing we couldn't.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. White toes! Hee hee.
I noticed the people who were in the car with the dog were back, but the car was empty. Then I realized it was because they gave the dog BACK to be transported back south. Connie and I were heartbroken. I think Connie wanted to get out of the car and smack those people. It was very weird because they drove a little way, then stopped suddenly just in front of the transport. I said I thought maybe they were reconsidering. They sat there for a few minutes. The transport started to leave and they followed it out onto the main road. It was very sad. I hope that dog will be all right.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia sees the geese in the parking lot.
Noelle was finally settling down. I wanted to get some photos, so I put Amelia into the crate and gave Noelle to Connie. Noelle started to call out to Amelia and turned to look for her. She clearly did not want to be away from Amelia-even for a moment.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.
Maria had warned me that Noelle had bonded very strongly to Amelia. It was clear she was okay with us, but she needed to be close to her surrogate mother. I took a few quick photos, then offered Noelle some food. She ate a bit, but when she heard Amelia eating in the carrier in the back seat, she got very squirmy. I took the hint and put both cats with their food, together.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Noelle was a bit nervous but didn't mind being held at all.
The next thing I saw shocked me. Amelia was eating. Noelle was at the back of the carrier, afraid. Then she came over to Amelia. She didn't walk under Amelia, rather Amelia put her front leg over Noelle, as if to protect her. Noelle felt safe enough to eat some food
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia protects her little ward, Noelle.
I grabbed a few clumsy photos. If you look carefully, you can see Amelia's leg over Noelle. Noelle ate like that for a few moments, then they ate peacefully side by side. I said to Connie that we've got to adopt those two cats out together. She agreed. What a pair they are! The love they obviously have for each other is deeply touching. Of course it will make them harder to adopt. Connie is determined to see they stay together.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.
Even though we had two carriers, we left the girls together in just one so they could snuggle up on the last leg of their journey. It'll be a bumpy few days as they get used to their new living situation, but I have a feeling that they won't be at the shelter for long, anyway. These lovely ladies had us both smitten. I'm sure there's a family out there who will feel the same as we do.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I just LOVE Noelle's sweet face.
I was very happy to meet the girls. I had a good time talking to Connie. I hated to see them all leave for the shelter. My joy lasted until I walked in the front door of my home, had a huge fight with Sam, then he left for New York City, to visit his Mother in the hospital. Tomorrow it will be two weeks since she was admitted. It's unlikely she'll be going home any time soon.
Meanwhile, I'm left to wonder if Sam will be coming home any time soon, as well.