12-29-14 – Going Home

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Going Home

Once upon a time, there were four little kittens living wild with their mama and their auntie.

They were living wild, but they were very well taken care of and fed by residents of an apartment complex. Unfortunately, the apartment complex had rules about how many cats could live in each apartment, so one of the residents called Challenger’s House and told Susan about the kittens and asked for help. Susan told Byron that there would be room in a foster home soon, and that he should see if he could catch the kittens.

Byron was able to catch one of the kittens, but before he could do more than that, the mama cat moved her kittens to another location.

Byron brought that one kitten, an adorable little black boy kitten, to Petsmart and turned him over to Winnie. He was just a sad little stinky mess (the kitten, that is, not Byron)(haha).

Winnie kept that little black kitten at her house for a week, and then handed him over to his new foster mom (that’s me), and she hoped that she’d be able to catch his brother and sisters soon.

Only a few hours later, after the little black kitten had been settled in the foster room, the phone rang, and it was Kathie telling me that Winnie had trapped two more kittens. I drove into Huntsville and picked up a scared, sad little tuxie boy and his even more scared tortie sister.

We named the little tuxie Jethro Tull and the little black kitten Thunderclap Newman and the little tortie Molly Hatchet. It took a while – what seemed like forever – but when I go back to read the posts from the end of November, we only had the kittens for about four days before I was reporting that I’d held both boys in my lap. They continued to be skittish, but by the time their last sibling, sister Lizzy, joined them two weeks later, the boys were both climbing into my lap without hesitation.

Lizzy, three weeks ago. (Um, what??? How is it possible that she’s only been with us three weeks? She’s such a little lovebug now!)

If this were a video on a news program, we’d switch from pictures of the scared little kittens, to pictures of a home in Oregon.

In Oregon, Stone Phillips would voiceover, Bonnie and Marc saw the little tuxie known as Jethro, and they fell in love.

(There’d be a picture of the cat heart emoji, because I like to think that that’s how they looked when they first saw him.)

So, as Stone Phillips said up there, Bonnie and Marc saw Jethro, who reminded them of their dear departed boy Rufio, and they decided that they wanted to adopt him. As it so happened, Karin – who transported Gus and Mike five years ago – was going to be in town for the holidays, and was willing to take Jethro back with her. The application was completed, Susan did the interview over the phone and checked references, and gave it the okay.

(Bonnie and Marc rescue tuxedo cats, because they – along with black cats – are the most euthanized cats in the country. They have – well, before yesterday they did – 7 tuxies!)

We were all set to send Jethro home, and I told him every night about his wonderful new home.


Bonnie and Marc usually adopt in pairs, so that the new cats have a “security blanket” in the form of a sibling. Marc decided that he wanted to adopt TC too – but he wanted it to be a surprise for Bonnie!

I was thrilled, but very worried that I’d blow the surprise. Somehow, I didn’t.

In fact, on Saturday I sent Bonnie this picture and told her I was sending a cuddle buddy in the carrier with Jethro, so he wouldn’t be lonely.

I put harnesses on Jethro and TC for a few hours each day so they’d get used to them. Jethro handled his harness just fine from the beginning. TC initially did this… well. Have you ever seen the way a cave cricket jumps? They bounce straight up in the air with springy abandon with no particular focused direction, just ::boing::boing::boing:: TC did that the first few times I put the harness on him, but after the first couple of days, he just gave me a dirty look and went slinking off to sulk.

I spent as much time with the boys as I could this last week, hugging and snuggling them, and telling them what a wonderful home they were going to, and how happy they’d be (and marveling at the fact that just 5 1/2 weeks previously, they were living wild and on the edge of feral!)

Saturday afternoon, I snuggled them extra, put their harnesses on, put them in the carrier, and headed for the shelter, where I handed them over to Karin (she had to leave for the Nashville airport super early yesterday morning, so it made sense for her to have them with her overnight.)

In the moment before I grabbed him to harness him up before taking him to the shelter. He suspected NOTHIN’.

Pretty boy, in his pretty purple harness.

“TC, why you sulking?”
“No way, you look fabulous!”
“I LOOK STUPID. Stupid harness!”

“He says he looks stupid.”
“What? That’s insane! Red is obviously his color!”

Little poser.

The pic is blurry, but seriously. Is that a good color on him, or what?

Last few minutes of play time.

Yesterday, I was kind of on pins and needles, hoping that there’d be no issues with the flights. Luckily, everything went very smoothly. The boys made it there safe and sound, and Bonnie was completely surprised when Marc told her that she was not only getting a little tuxie, but also a little house panther!

On Facebook, Bonnie reported:

TC and Jethro were travel sweethearts…on the drive from Portland to Salem, Jethro never stopped purring and TC cuddled up in my arms and slept. Once home, they’ve eaten, played, eaten some more, been loved and posed for family photos. They are two special boys!

And she sent pictures of them. LOOK how relaxed!

LOVE. IT!!!!

Tomorrow is going to be a TC-and-Jethro picfest, so I can share the rest of the pictures I took of them while they were here (they are very photogenic boys!) I know that Bonnie and Marc will update us on the regular, and I know without a doubt that those boys are going to have a wonderful life in Oregon!


Well hello, Stefan. That’s quite the rough life you’ve got going on for yourself, isn’t it?



2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2011: Charlie Peppers finds himself in a pickle.
2010: No entry.
2009: He’s the happiest boycat on earth.
2008: No entry.
2007: I AM McStupid.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-29-14 – Going Home — 29 Comments

  1. The bear Home Sweet Home pic of Jethro…. how incredibly beautiful and perfect! such a poser and Bonnie has your photo taking skills as well! Look forward to updates! Happy life boys!! Lucky kitties and humans!

  2. I think I am a little choked up! Love the pic where you put the stuffed black kitty in with Jethro. Excellent trick! πŸ™‚

  3. What a wonderful story and how you managed not to bust with the secret I don’t know! I’m so happy for the boys and their new family!!!

  4. Such a happy ending (and beginning) for these two guys.

    I’m in love with Molly, I wanna kidnap her from you so bad =)

  5. What a great post! I love success stories but will sure miss these guys. Maybe it’s just me but the best kittens come from this time of year. I will have to look forward to more kittehs and updates soon.

  6. When we went in to take the boys their early (5:30 am) feeding, Princess Leia decided to join us…we try to introduce one Tuxedo at a time so it’s not too overwhelming. Leia was totally fascinated with Jethro and TC, as they raced around the room, playing with each other and everything not glued down. There was NO hissing just teasing (on the boys’ part) and confusion (on Leia’s part). Oh yeah, did I mention that those two sweet boys haven’t stopped purring?! We are so totally in love with TC and Jethro and forever grateful to Robyn and Challenger’s House for bringing them into our lives. πŸ™‚

    • I am so glad the baby boys were immediately comfortable in their new home! Thank you for adopting them together.

      I have to ask…do you have a Han Solo kitty? πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, fantastic ending of the beginning of their lives and wonderful beginning of the rest of their lives. As you said, it is almost impossible to believe the difference in their lives since November. I wish all the stories could end this way but at least we have people like you, Robyn, and Marc and Bonnie and all the adopters to make sure at least some of the stories have this great happy ending.

  8. I’m so happy for the boys! They looked like they were already getting spoiled and loved to bits. Happy new beginnings for them and it’s always great to see two kittens getting adopted together. Now you’ve got an all girl band here.

    • They haven’t been TNR’d yet, but it’s definitely in the plans!

      I love the Cute Transport Network – Dorian is one amazing woman.

  9. Love this post!! happy endings are fantastic, so glad this all worked out, and updates already too…thanks!

  10. It seems Stefan now has a last name — Smugfang. In fact, his full name now (in my head) is Sir Stefan Smugfang the Sleepy!

  11. Such good news-tuxie love! I now want to see a picture with all of their tuxies in it. That is now my favorite pic of Stefan-he knows he won the stray cat lottery.

    • I want to see a picture of all the tuxies too! A home with 7 (now 8 + TC?) tuxies sounds wonderful to me! (Though keeping up with my two plus two tabbies is more than enough for me!)

  12. I did not know that sad statistic about Tuxies and black cats(I had heard it about blackies, but not tuxedos). I have 2 Tuxies who are complete lovebugs. And my vet even commented that most Tuxies have great personalities. I will keep that in mind when the time arises for me to get another kitty.