A woman who saw Miami firefighters rescue a kitten from a storm drain on Local 10 News has traveled across the country to take her home.
On September 9th, 2015, I flew almost 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to Miami, Florida to adopt Storm, the kitten rescued by Miami firefighters over Labor Day weekend from a dirty storm drain.
I had originally seen the Storm story break on ABC Local 10 Miami news and the images of her all wet and and covered with dirt broke my heart. I felt an immediate connection to Storm and started to do diligent research to find her whereabouts.
I discovered that little Storm was being treated at Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami and that they already had a established a waiting list of prospective adoptive parents for her. I emailed David at the clinic and explained why I wanted to give home a Storm. I wrote: ‘When I was a young girl, I managed to rescue a small litter of kittens in a storm (stuck in a rock bead crevice), so you can imagine why this kitten’s story means so much to me. I am a happy cat owner myself, however I do live in Los Angeles at the current moment. I would be willing to fly out to Miami and carefully transport Storm back to me and my fiancé’s home – we are very loving cat parents!’
I continued to call and follow-up about Storm’s progress and eventually, David sent my email to a manager at the clinic and after a few more attempts at checking-in, they decided to make me Storm’s new adopted kitten mother! Words can’t describe how overjoyed I was, but I will try… ok, I cried a little. The hairs on my arms stood straight up and I screamed incredibly loud! I looked at my fiancé and said, “Honey, I know this might sound nuts, but I’m flying to Miami to pick up our baby Storm!” He was definitely surprised but excited that I was happy.
I arrived in Miami on Sunday, September 20th, with a borrowed kitten carrier and a carry-on. I was only staying over one night, so I wanted to pack light. Miranda, the woman at the clinic who was handling my adoption, was sweet enough to send me a picture of Storm while I was on the plane about to take off! Once again, tears…
My great friend, Angela, who lived in Miami with her husband and 2 daughters were kind enough to pick me up and drive me straight to Knowles Animal Clinic (it had just started to rain). The minute I saw Storm, I was overwhelmed with excitement. She was a lot tinier than I had expected and she let out the cutest little MEOOOW! What a ball of energy she was, too. She immediately tried crawling over and around my shoulders!
The kind staff at Knowles gave me her medication (she had been treated for an eye infection after her rescue) and we headed back home to get Storm acclimated to me and get her fed. Throughout the night, Storm wandered in and out rooms, and underneath beds and small dark areas until she finally came around and let us pet her. My biggest concern was her appetite. When I had first picked up my other kitten, Chloe (now, a big, well-fed home cat), she was too scared to eat for almost 3 days! Luckily, Storm adapted well and ate half a can of kitten food!
The next morning, I was contacted by Jeff Wiensier from ABC Local 10 Miami News and asked if he and his crew could come by and do an interview with me. I figured if it could help get the word out about kitten/cat adoption, then I would be glad to, so he and his crew swung by my friend’s place around 11:30 a.m. Jeff was happy to be re-united with the kitten whose story he had covered a few weeks prior and picked her up to say hi. He asked me why a woman would travel 2,700 miles to adopt a kitten. After telling him my personal childhood story about rescuing some kittens during a storm in South Dakota and not being able to keep them, I summed it up with, “Sometimes something just pulls at your heartstrings and you do something about it.”
He asked, “Do you think what you did would be considered crazy by others who hear the story?” I told him about one of my fiancé’s friend, a screenwriter and non-pet owner, who saw a picture of an adorable rescue kitten the other day and booked a plane flight to pick her up. “So, obviously there are other people out there who are doing the same thing. If it makes me a “crazy cat lady,” then so be it, I’m just happy to have her home and safe with me.”
The following day, Storm and I headed to Miami airport and said goodbye to my friends. Large cumulous clouds had been hovering above and it made me a little nervous about flying, but I held my head up and tried to stay positive. We went through security and headed to our terminal. Storm was crying a bit, so I kept talking to her and she eventually calmed down. As we were about to take off, it started to storm outside – literally. Really, universe?
The lights in the plane turned off, the plane started moving on the airport tarmac, and the pilot announced for the flight attendants to prepare for take off. I finally felt relaxed and started to nod off when suddenly, two flight attendants run up to me as the airplane lights turn on and ask, “Do you have a kitten?” “Yes,” I answered. “It’s escaped on the plane!” she yells.
I jumped out of my seat, as the plane was still moving and everyone was staring at me, and ran to the back of the plane to try and find her. With crazy focus and wild fear, I scooped her up, held her close to me and quickly returned to my seat. I apologized for her escape. I actually wasn’t sure how the little Houdini got out, but I assured them, she wouldn’t again. The plane started to slow down and for a moment I thought we were going to make headlines again for Escape Rescue Kitten Stops Plane During Miami Storm! Thank goodness that didn’t happen.
All of a sudden, I saw a plane from outside my window seat touch ground and take off again! What was going on?! Things had gotten scary and no one knew what what going on. The caption mentioned that the plane we saw had a missed landing. Apparently the storm at that moment had hit so hard that the wind shield factor and the heavy rain could have compromised the take off. You could tell that everyone was a little scared. He announced we had to wait out the storm until we could try to take off again. I had never flown in a Storm and neither had the woman next to me. I wondered for a moment; if Storm hadn’t escaped, would we have taken off if in the storm and had problems? I’ll never know to this day, but the woman next to me turned to her fiancé and whispered, “Storm saved us.”
I finally got home after 1 a.m. today, Tuesday, September 22nd, and I’m beyond blessed and happy to have us both home safe in Los Angeles. Things got rough and scary last night, as I’m sure my kitten was reminded of the day she was rescued, but it turned out it was all just part of my purr-fect Storm.