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2012 September 24-25, Monday-Tuesday
7 dogs and 51 cats transported to Oregon, Idaho, and California

Cat rescuers are a very special kind of people. While dog rescuers typically work with several dogs at a time, cat rescuers seem to always be working with several tens of cats at a time! Cat House on the Kings of central California and Simply Cats of Boise, Idaho are no exceptions. When Lynea Lattanzio of the Cat House first proposed this transport flight to me, I expected we would be transporting the usual number of cats that we typically fit comfortably into our single-engine plane ‘Bessie”  -- between 25 and 35. But when I told Lynea that Bessie was down for repairs after Hurricane Isaac and that the plane I thought I could rent out in California for a long-distance transport was a twin-engine Cessna, she was pleased no end, because that meant we could take about 50 cats and maybe seven to ten small dogs, too!  And it turned out that she was right.

Seven of the cutest small dogs I’ve ever seen -- whose breeds I could not identify but surely spanned at least 10 varieties -- met us at Reedley airport in central California around 11 am on Monday.  Along with them were 46 cats and kittens, in about 20 crates.  Way too many large crates even for this hefty, emptied-out airplane. Time for Plan B! We picked out the largest and tallest crates, and began deciding where we could place the cats inside them, among the remaining smaller crates.  Then we took all of the crates into the airport office, where we could accomplish these transfer in a closed area. No worries, though, the cats were immensely docile and tolerant of the whole process.  They didn’t even protest at being a good bit more crowded then they had been at the start.  We got the total number of crates down to 16, and filled the airplane cabin to the gills. All fit -- except one dog crate. So “Spam”, an adorable little  golden-colored long-haired something-or-other, would ride with just a leash and could sit between out seats, in front of the crates and behind our chart box.

We planned to head directly for Hillsboro, OR, to drop off the seven dogs first. Then to Boise with the 46 cats. Because we had gotten such a late start, we decided to spend the night in Boise. The next morning, the plan was to bring five unadoptable cats back from Boise to live out their lives in sanctuary at the Cat House.  They also wanted us to bring back some donated cat food. So every leg of this transport would be full and put to  good use.

Within ten minutes of our smooth departure from Reedley, northbound for Oregon, Spam decided the only place for him was on my lap....

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See the rest of the photos and videos and read the article here!