Many of you joined us on this journey last week when the news broke of Cat Man Chris’s newest “Halloween” rescue, Samhain. If not, here you go! The sweet little street stray really made him work to get her out of danger. But in the end, the kitten was safe in his arms within a day and her new life could begin. But then, Milo’s Sanctuary in Burbank, CA reached out with concerns about her health after seeing her photo. From just her domed head and bulging eyes, they knew she may need more help than Chris could provide. So plans were set into motion on the best way to get the lucky black kitten nicknamed “Sam”, to California from Tampa, Florida. That plan culminated in an exciting and lifesaving road trip.
Now, the first leg of that lifesaving road trip has been completed successfully–and adorably!
It wasn’t exactly an easy plan to coordinate though. At first, Chris was going to fly with Sam out to Burbank. But severe fires in Southern California and around Los Angeles halted many travel plans. But Chris could just fly further south and drive to Burbank. No biggie.
That is, IF Sam was old enough and healthy enough to fly. At about 8 weeks, she was just at the age limit of what some airlines will allow. BUT, because of her difficulties on the streets and her health, she was severely underweight. With this and her specific issues not yet confirmed, there was no way she could fly.
So, plan B was enacted. Sam would need to be driven from Tampa to Burbank. Again, it was okay, just a 2,500 mile journey at the last minute. But that’s not something that Chris could drop everything and do. Especially since our family has done that trip before when we moved from Tampa to Oceanside, CA in 2014. Not the most exciting trip and pretty worrisome when you have a kitten that may hate being in a car!
Not only that, work responsibilities flood our household at the end of the year. And as much as Chris would have liked to abandon caution to the wind and take a week off, he knew he couldn’t. With Cole and Marmalade annual events like Big Cat Rescue’s Wildcat Walkabout and KittyCon Tampa Bay 2019 each year, this is certainly our busy season. Oddly enough, working “for your cats” is so much more than a full time job!
But saving cats and kittens is what we do and what we love doing.
So Chris knew he had to figure out the best and fastest way to get Sam to Milo’s Sanctuary.
As luck would have it, Quentin, who is the son of Milo’s Sanctuary’s president, Michelle Hoffman, happen to be in Louisiana, And he just happened to be driving back to California within a few days. That was much closer and easier for Chris to do. They would “make the kitten trade” in Baton Rouge and Quentin would drive the remaining way to CA with Sam in tow.
Samhain’s first–and hopefully only–road trip was confirmed.
So Chris would drive the first leg of the road trip from Tampa, Florida to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It was going to be a 700 mile trip and was estimated to take about 10 hours. He would rent a car from the airport here, make the drive and then fly back from Baton Rouge. The return trip was thankfully going to be much easier for Chris. He would leave our house around 5:00 AM on Sunday, his flight scheduled to arrive back in Tampa at 12:30 AM Monday morning.
He packed all the essentials for a road trip with felines. Thankfully, since we’ve done this numerous times, he knew what would be required for the journey. A safe carrier, cozy blankets, a small litter tray (which is rarely used we’ve found), baby wipes, water and some kitten food are the basics.
But again, how would Sam react to the journey?
Chris was in for a happy surprise.
He picked her up from her foster’s house that morning and loaded her safely into the carrier. The sweet black kitten has only gotten more and more affectionate–and adorable–as the days go by. She clearly is happy and knows that she is in safe hands now.
During their road trip, they stopped every 2-3 hours for a snack and a bit of a rest.
Since we know that cats can be too scared–or just uncomfortable not being in their element–to use the litter box during a trip. They also tend to not drink water or eat too much. So Chris was sure to give her wet food with extra water in it so that she would stay hydrated.
I’m not sure how he managed to make the trip in the time frame, because LOOK AT THIS CUTIE!!! How distracting would she be?
Sam was absolutely a joy to drive with Chris said. Even if he looked a bit odd at the rest stops with his travel buddy.
I’d put my hand by the carrier at times when driving and she would play with it. She LOVES her little pink brush. Oh My Cuteness!
For bathroom breaks, I’d unstrap the pink carrier with lace frills and take her with me (got some funny looks). I think most people thought there was a tiny dog wearing a pink diamond encrusted collar inside. Not a tiny black kitten.
Chris road trip ended at Quentin’s home around 4:30 PM. He transferred Sam into his care, hugging her once more tightly before he let her go.
After just over a whirlwind of a week since he’d seen her cross his path while on a bike ride, Samhain was off on the next leg of her adventure. We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on her journey–cross-country AND what is sure to be an adventurous life!
Chris headed to the airport to catch a red-eye flight back to Tampa. I’m fairly confident that it won’t be long before another lucky cat crosses his path.