Lost Cat Gets Flight from Seattle to his Family in Ohio

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Itty Bitty Kitty at Kitty Harbor

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Itty went missing when his family moved. A rescue group helped him and an Alaska Airlines employee flew him halfway across the US to his new home.

Offers to help poured in when Kitty Harbor Seattle posted at Facebook on July 25 asking if anyone could provide transportation for a cat who needed to rejoin his family hundreds of miles away.

Kitty Harbor wrote:

“Kitty” needs to hitch a ride to Ohio. His family was packing for their big move from West Seattle to Ohio, when their beloved “Kitty” slipped out of the door while the car was being loaded. Desperate to bring him along, the family delayed moving for two weeks, searching the neighborhood. During those weeks, the boom of Independence Day occurred and likely scared Kitty even more. The family could delay no longer and left mid-July.

A few days later, Kitty was spotted by a neighbor, who caught and brought him to Kitty Harbor last Saturday. The 14-year old cat was in poor shape, starving, a fresh deep gash in his neck and a bloody mouth with teeth missing. His cuts were cleaned, disinfected and mended and he has put on weight. Holding him today, he purred deeply and leaned into me, tucking his head under my chin and relaxed.

His parents are very anxious to be reunited with him, but their extra funds were depleted with the move. We’re hoping a kitty fan is, or knows of someone who is, traveling from Seattle to Ohio (Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit) sometime in the next month, whether by car or flight. Kitty has asthma, which precludes plane cargo travel, but several airlines will allow a cat in a carrier on the plane for an additional $75-$125. Please message us on Facebook if you have an idea or way to help reunite this family. We’re not asking for money, just someone who is willing to pick up a kitty hitchhiker for an incredible journey. Thank you!

Several people offered their help, and Kitty Harbor got about ten firm offers to fly Kitty from Seattle to Ohio and his waiting family.  A plan was into place: Kitty, whose full name is Itty Bitty Kitty, would fly to Chicago on August 1 with Alaska Airlines employee Robin Yong, who was touched by the cat’s predicament and his family’s worry and wanted to help. Robin would meet up with Kitty’s petmom Beth Lewis and hand-deliver her beloved cat. They set up a meeting in Lafayette, Indiana,  mid way between Chicago and Itty’s new home.

Meanwhile, Itty Bitty Kitty would receive treatment for his wounds and for extreme weight loss. Dr Jan White, at Renton Veterinary Hospital provided medical care to Kitty over two days for a nominal fee that Kitty Harbor calls “nearly free.”

Alaska Airlines told the story on their blog writing, in part:

Joined by her spouse, Jane, they took the red-eye, luckily getting the last two seats on the plane.

Yong arrived in Chicago just after dawn, rented a car, and drove two and a half hours to Lafayette, Indiana. Lewis drove two hours as well from Dayton, Ohio. There, Yong turned Itty Bitty Kitty over to Lewis, who, on seeing how much weight he had lost, was on the verge of tears.

“Robin was incredible. She was just an angel for doing this. I can’t even find the words to thank her enough,” said Lewis.

After that, Yong returned to Chicago and did a bit of sightseeing before catching a flight home the next morning.

As to why she did it, Yong said, “We have two cats and I couldn’t imagine being without them. They really are part of your family.”

Since getting to his new home Itty Bitty has gained weight and his wounds are healing nicely, according to Lewis. As to if he’s escaped at all lately? Lewis said she isn’t taking any chances. “I don’t even let him see the door!”

Kitty Harbor shared more on the adventure, telling that Itty created a bit of what they called “in-flight entertainment” by reacting to the plane’s takeoff with “an explosive poop situation.”

Itty’s escorts said, “We’re more than happy to bring Itty home to his family. We just thought how horrible it would be to be away from our pets for so long. It was clear from the reunion how happy Itty Kitty and Beth were to be together again.”

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Beth Lewis and Itty Bitty Kitty, at the meeting place in Lafayette, IN

 

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Itty Bitty Kitty gets cuddles from his traveling companion at the airport before the flight

 

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Waiting at Seatac airport, ready to go

 

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Together again

 

1 thought on “Lost Cat Gets Flight from Seattle to his Family in Ohio”

  1. I am a volunteer at Kitty Harbor and it was such a great feeling to know we were able to get Itty back home..Delyn text messaged me the note from his human and the top photo and all I could do was smile and cry happy tears. Thank you for sharing Itty’s story.

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