The Adventures of Brownie

One kitty in need, and more people than I can count on his side.  But it wasn’t always so.

It was never learned how he got there, just that he was, and he was in dire need of help.  Apparently downtown Los Angeles is a repository for homeless kitties, too many to count. Brownie was one such kitty. But he was seen by the right people, angels of mercy and love, they came to his aid.  Let’s start at the beginning of what we do know.

Shannon had just started a job in an office in downtown LA and  some of her co-workers came to her desk talking about a cat outside the building.  In the late afternoon she went to check on the cat and cried when she saw him.  Being a kitty person herself, she had food in her car.  She took him 2 cans of food and said that he was so hungry that eating was painful.  He whimpered while he ate.

Brownie as first seen by Shannon. (photo courtesy Shannon)

Brownie as first seen by Shannon. (photo courtesy Shannon)Brownie, shannons first siting 2

In steps our second angel, Melissa.  She had seen Brownie and had started taking food to him.  She took canned food but also took some dry food and would shake the bag to get him familiar with the sound so he would associate it with being fed.  Being concerned about the predators that would and could and did harass Brownie, she lured him to a bush and taught him to stay there out of sight to keep him safe.  Between the dogs, the hawks, and a certain very mean homeless man Brownie was constantly in danger.

 

Brownie's home in LA (photo courtesy of Melissa)

Brownie’s bush in LA (photo courtesy of Melissa)

Shannon only worked downtown 2 days a week.  So she enlisted some of her co-workers to feed and watch over Brownie when she was not able to be there.  She also enlisted a homeless man to feed and watch over Brownie when she could not be there and went on the weekends to make sure he was fed. Melissa was there 5 days a week.  Well, it just stands to reason that these 2 strangers should meet.  One day Shannon saw Melissa in the bush, feeding Brownie.  She approached Melissa and so began their joint efforts to save this beautiful homeless kitty, as did their friendship.  In the 6 months that they cared for Brownie, they also spent time contacting rescues and fosters to try to get him in a safer place.  They tried to find Brownie a home.  On this front they were woefully unlucky, at least at that time.  Then, in desperation, Shannon posted about Brownie on the Crazy Cat Ladies Unite Forum.  Now watch carefully, for here enters our third angel. All the way in distant Montana, Michele sees Shannon’s desperate post.  She begins to talk with Shannon while searching for a place for Brownie to go.   Things began to tumble in a veritable wave that was building in an exhaustive effort to save Brownie.  Moving quickly now, our fourth angel appears on the scene.  Michele knows a lady in Illinois that is a respected rescuer and well known cat lover.  Michele reached out to Chris to see if she could take Brownie in.   Well, I don’t think I have to tell you what Chris said.  But Brownie now must be captured, vetted and made healthy enough to travel. That was not as easy as it sounds.  Brownie, though trusting Melissa and the homeless man that fed him enough to let them pet him, he still did not trust them enough to be picked up or held.  On the day they went to capture Brownie, another lady showed up with a trap.  She is an independent TNR person, and had hoped to capture Brownie, neuter him, and release him into a colony where he could be kept safe and was assured of being fed.  She loaned her trap to Melissa and Shannon and it took them 3 days, hours of laying in the dirt, never leaving the trap, to entice him into it.  Once they had him though it was straight to the vet.  Brownie was taken to an amazing vet, Dr. Odama of Veterinary Health Center. They donated all the boarding and spent lots of time rehabbing him to be social.  Shannon’s co-workers even donated money for the vet bill.  It was then that we learned that Brownie is FIV+.

Brownie had a spa day to get ready for his big adventure! (photo courtesy of Melissa)

Brownie had a spa day to get ready for his big adventure! (photo courtesy of Melissa)

 

Relaxing at Melissa's, just waiting on that trip to the airport.

Relaxing at Melissa’s, just waiting on that trip to the airport.

 

Patiently waiting, and of course, getting love and attention.

Patiently waiting, and of course, getting love and attention.

In the mean time, plans were being made to get Brownie to Illinois.  How was that to happen?  Well, Chris reached out to the only person she knew that could possibly be able to pull off such a feat.  Yes, I’m the next one in line. Chris was still willing to take Brownie in spite of his FIV status but I contacted Jessica of Keeper Kitties Rescue in Michigan and she stepped up to the plate.  So now we had a place for Brownie to go.  He was spending his time getting fat and sassy at the vet’s office but we had to be able to get him to Michigan.  My next plea went out to Davica, our angel in the skies.  She quickly agreed to accompany Brownie from LAX to O’Hare. As part of a 27 hour transport, saving the lives of 2 kitties, Davica arrived in Chicago at 10:50 pm on Friday, December 6, 2013.  It was a close call though due to delays coming out of New York but Davica had help making her connection.  Brownie got a police escort so he could make his flight! This is what Davica posted to us, ” Someone who works at airport remembers me from a blind dog I transported out of LA..he saw me running and told a lot of people to run with me to get attention so they hold flight..POLICE SAW AND AIRPORT WORKER SAID ITS CATLADY CATCHING FLIGHT FOR KITTY AND POLICE WENT IN FRONT WITH SEGWAY TO TELL THEM CATLADY IS COMING LOL..we made flight”

At LAX waiting for Davica. (photo courtesy of Melissa)

At LAX waiting for Davica. (photo courtesy of Melissa)

 

Snuggling with Davica as they wait to take off from LAX (photo courtesy of Davica)

Snuggling with Davica as they wait to take off from LAX (photo courtesy of Davica)

 

Late night landing. A bird's eye view of O'Hare. (photo courtesy of Davica)

Late night landing. A bird’s eye view of O’Hare. (photo courtesy of Davica)

Our next angel, Karen, is there with her husband to meet Davica. Once in her safe keeping they headed home to Gilbert, Illinois for the night to spend time snuggling our brave boy Brownie.

Safely at O'Hare in the arms of Karen. (photo courtesy of Davica)

Safely at O’Hare in the arms of Karen. (photo courtesy of Davica)

 

"Hey! I like this place! They have food!" (photo courtesy of Karen)

“Hey! I like this place! They have food!” (photo courtesy of Karen)

 

"Food AND a big nippy mouse! All for me!" (photo courtesy of Karen)

“Food AND a big nippy mouse! All for me!” (photo courtesy of Karen)

The very next morning found Brownie on the road to his next angel, Teri.  Teri had the distinct honor of taking Brownie to PawPaw, Michigan to meet Jessica! Perfect place to make a transport transfer!

Onward to Michigan! (photo courtesy of Karen)

Onward to Michigan! (photo courtesy of Karen)

 

Almost there! This is Teri. (photo courtesy of Jessica)

Almost there! This is Teri. (photo courtesy of Jessica)

 

And our Keeper Kitty Angel, Jessica. (photo courtesy of Jessica)

And our Keeper Kitty Angel, Jessica. (photo courtesy of Jessica)

Brownie has now made it to Michigan. He is enjoying the comforts of Jessica’s home and resting up while she is out shopping for a special bed. Shannon had bought him a bed that he loved but it would not fit in his airline carrier so had to be left behind.  He will make his way to an extended foster tomorrow.

It really does take a village.  One very scared, emaciated, sick and lonely kitty is now safe and he did a wonderful thing.  He brought together all these people.  It started with 2 strangers, scared and anxious and in tears for him much of the time. It snowballed as the efforts grew more intense and desperate.  Friendships and lasting bonds have been made in the saving of Brownie’s life.  He will  never know what he brought together.  But I can tell you that he is grateful all the same.

Resting comfortably at Jess's in a borrowed bed from the Princess of the house.

Resting comfortably at Jess’s in a borrowed bed from the Princess of the house.

 

This entry was posted in Blog, Musings on by .

About Kelly Radcliff

A tiny little house panther, abandoned, middle of winter. His little meows could be heard outside my window where he was attempting to stay warm next to the heat and air unit. A call to my landlord told me that his people had moved away days ago. That was in December of 2011. I couldn't keep him, though I wanted to. So I found him a home. In New York. I'm in Tennessee, so I had to find a way to get him there. He arrived on Christmas Eve. That is how I ended up doing what I do. There are so few advocates, rescues, fosters, adopters, and transporters and way too many kitties. I can actually do very little of any of those if at all. But I can help put a transport together. I can bring the right people together. I can inspire and can make people see that they can do something. And along the way I have made many friends, and found my sisters. Imagine Home is a creation of love. It comes from our hearts and lives in our souls. We will always be here, for there will always be kitties that need us.

4 thoughts on “The Adventures of Brownie

  1. Michelle

    Happy tears!!! So many rescues turn away FIV+ cats, so I’m very personally touched when I read stories like this. You see, until the past horrible year and a half, I was “mama” to five FIV+ boys that had absolutely nowhere else to go. They were all seniors, and with good care, lived a normal kitty life span. My last FIV+ boy is at least 15 now.

    All of that said, I just wanted to say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in saving this boy’s life.

    Reply

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