Tag Archives: Paw of Jack

A Tail of One Kitty and Two Cities

Sometimes, transports don’t even make their way to our Imagine Home page.  This is a tale of one of those occasions.  Last Friday, a few of your Imagine Home Admins were on a seemingly impossible mission.  Early Friday morning, (and none of your admins are early risers by choice,) we received a frantic plea for help. Atlanta rescuer Chance Genovese had been contacted by a vet tech named Samantha.  A wee kitten of only 7 weeks had wound up, maybe abandoned, in Samantha’s yard.  Wee little kitten (now named Leo the Lion) was taken to the vet, and deemed pretty darn healthy for a 7 week old, except for one thing.  Leo tested positive for FIV. Now before you say anything, we know that it’s not necessarily a death sentence.  We’re also aware that in young kittens, it could actually be a false positive.

Let’s be honest, though, Atlanta is in the south.  It’s a great climate for what seems to be a culture of cat dumping; as a result, when kitten season starts up, kitten fosters are hard to come by.  Chance knew finding a rescue, sanctuary or shelter to take in Leo, a single kitten with a possible immune system compromising disease, would be nearly impossible, in the Atlanta area.  However, late on Thursday night, Chance encountered a miracle – what we at Imagine Home call “ the Paw of Jack.”

Chance located the Golden Paw Society in Huntington, NY. They had an opening and were willing to help. It was just a minor matter of her getting Leo from Atlanta to New York. It just so happened, Chance’s amazingly tolerant fiance, Daniel, has family in New York City. So the plan was for Daniel the rock star (not really, we just tend to hyperbole when it comes to cat loving men,) to fly to an airport near New York City with Leo the tiny lion. Here’s where Imagine Home’s part of the story starts.

 

atl to huntington ny

Wee Leo was in Atlanta, GA. Could we get him all the way to Huntington, NY? Stay tuned.

We were asked to find somebody to meet Daniel and drive Leo to Golden Paw.  Kelly, our Transport Director, and Noelle, our Jill-of-All-Trades, were determined to make this happen.  We have a soft spot for Ginger kittens. (Who are we kidding? We have a soft spot for cats!)  At the beginning of the request, it was thought that Daniel was going to fly into the Newark Airport.  So naturally, we started our search for drivers in that area of Jersey.

Driver number 1 has some health problems that would have made her journey difficult.   But she had a couple of great suggestions.  Suggestion number 1 was Jackie P.  As always, Jackie was thrilled about helping (she’s an FoJ!).  Not so thrilled about meeting at the Newark airport, but in the goal of helping kitties, Jackie was ready to help and we never needed to consult driver number 2!   Over the next few hours, the meeting place changed, and eventually, we learned Daniel was going to be driving into Staten Island.  Much easier than an airport, right?

The surprisingly large Staten Island. Home of few gas stations conveniently near the interstate!

The surprisingly large Staten Island. Home of few gas stations conveniently near the interstate!

Wrong.  Jackie had never been to Staten Island, and Daniel had only a passing familiarity with the Island.  So how to find a meeting place?   Ask a native. Daniel asked his brother for a suggestion, and was told about a park very near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.  There’s a big difference between men and women.  That difference becomes a bit more pronounced when arranging a meeting place.  Women go for the most public place possible.  Throw in bathroom access, and we’re in heaven.  So for Jackie (and Noelle, acting as the go-between/transport coordinator), the thought of meeting at a strange park near a bridge wasn’t the best idea of how to spend a Saturday night.  Enter Google, exitexplorer.com, and throw in a little roadnow.com for good measure.  Two hours later, we finally found a nice public place. Who knew that Staten Island has so few gas stations near the highway?  Noelle and BekBek now do!

staten island to huntington

Oh boy with the bridges and all the possible routes! What’s Jackie to do?

Saturday night rolled around, and the amazingly tolerant Jackie P. was armed with an address, a time, and a cell phone number.   Jackie met Daniel and Leo the teensy little Lion and headed East.

"Well that was fun! Now what?"

“Well that was fun! Now what?”

Finally, happily, and without a hitch, Leo arrived at Golden Paw Society.  He was now a New Yorker!  This tiny little kitten had a rough start in life.  Abandoned in the heat of Atlanta, roaming the world without a family to call his own, Leo relied upon the kindness of many strangers.  It took a village to save this tiny boy.  And now at the Golden Paw Society, he’ll be able to find the best Home possible, without the pressure of being in a high kill shelter, or living on the streets of Atlanta.  Your Imagine Home Admins send a thank you to all who made a difference in this small Ginger boy’s life.  This is just one tail of a time that it took many hands to make a difference.  We love those people who are able to adapt and persevere in order to help a kitty in need.  Stay tuned, there may be more tails to come!

"Land! This could be interesting."

“Land! This could be interesting.”

"say! what's down there? I go look."

“say! what’s down there? I go look.”

"Is this my glamour shot?"

“Is this my glamour shot?”

Imagine Home’s Month of Gratitude, Day 2

Today, we express our gratitude for Jack the Cat.
The story of Jack the Cat is a sad and cautionary tale, but there are also many layers to what happened.

Our lesson of love from Jack

Our lesson of love from Jack

First, the story, directly from Jack’s Facebook page FAQ section, found here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/jack-the-cat-is-lost-in-aa-baggage-at-jfk/updated-faqs-10211/158135107609782

“1. How was Jack lost?
The bottom line is this: we don’t really know at this time. Here is what we do know: On August 25, 2011, Karen checked Jack and her other cat, Barry, into the American Airlines system to fly on her flight, but travelling as “checked baggage.” Each cat was flying in its own crate. She went through the TSA system with them, reloading them into their carriers and securing the carriers per AA policies. She then said goodbye to them and went up to the passenger area to have something to eat before the flight. Approximately 30 minutes after leaving the cats, she was called by a baggage supervisor to come back to the baggage area because one of the cats had been lost. When she returned to the baggage area, she saw the empty carrier that had contained Jack. Barry was still secure in his carrier. After walking around the baggage area and calling for Jack for over an hour, Karen was advised to take the last flight out and they would call her as soon as they found him. She got on that later flight with Barry. Jack has not been seen since.”

This is the outside layer of Jack. This is the part that makes us cry.

The next layer of Jack is the day that he was found. October 25, 2011, 2 months to the day from being lost.

The very worst, most heartbreaking layer to Jack’s story was November 6, 2011, when it was determined that Jack was suffering, and he was helped to cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. Jack had starved for 2 full months. His aunt posted the following on that sad day:

Dear FoJs:

It is with tears that I must tell you that Jack has gone over the rainbow bridge. (continued in 1st comment) He was with Karen yesterday, and his condition was worsening. He was treated overnight, and she (and I) both had extensive conversations with the vets at Blue Pearl regarding his condition. Jack had extensive wounds on the back of his body, and the wounds were unable to heal because his skin had deteriorated due to the malnutrition that occurred while he was lost. Despite antibiotics, the infections were worsening, and his skin was continuing to deteriorate. He needed surgery to treat the wounds, but there was not enough available skin to close the wounds after the surgery. The vet compared his skin condition to having severe burns over 50-60% of his body. The vet was very clear that she had conferred with every possible doctor regarding options for Jack, but none of them left him with a substantial chance of survival and all of them involved him suffering. Jack had been through so much, and the last thing anyone wanted was for him to suffer more. Jack was bathed in love and crossed over just a few minutes ago.”

In between those heart wrenching days, miracles occurred. JFK Airport was shut down because of Hurricane Irene. Karen, Jack’s mom felt helpless. But through the miracle of Facebook shares, search parties were organized to do the job that airline employees were not doing. Lasting friendships were started during those dark days. That’s one happy layer to Jack’s story. The searchers became a group called “FoJs” or “Friends of Jack.” They have reunions, some meet more casually, and still others created discussion groups and grass-roots movements on a variety of topics involving cats.

That’s yet another layer of Jack.

Then there is our layer. Your Imagine Home admins arrived at our layer in a round-about way, through another group. That group shall not be named here, as it is not worth mention, other than to say that it taught us what we did not want to do. Here we stand, in honor of Jack in all that we do. Jack opened our eyes to the sad plight of animals everywhere. The germ of an idea that came about because of Jack grew into what you now see as Imagine Home. We are still nowhere close to realizing all of our dreams and goals. We dream of a day that we no longer have to teach people that animals are not playthings to discard and mistreat at will. We also realized somewhere along the way that the hearts of those who love cats sometimes need healing. We believe that by healing hearts and minds, we can also heal the souls of the helpless cats that we strive to help. (*what we call the paw of Jack.)

And the other layer to that layer? We realize that we are nowhere without our friends, fans and followers. We thank you all. And today, as we do every single day, we thank Jack the Cat for teaching us that there is no such thing as “just a cat.” Look at the layers of love that Jack built. ~noelle~