Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hawaii kittens get personal escort to new Oregon home

 •  Adoptables

By Leslie Kawamoto

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The kittens, peering through the mesh, fit nicely in a Sherpa bag, which went under the seat.

Photos courtesy of Leslie Kawamoto

spacer spacer
Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Relieved to get off the plane, Eric and I anticipated meeting the new owners.

spacer spacer

Last month I blogged about two black kittens that were found on the University of Hawai'i campus that needed a home. Even though they were young and adorable, no one wanted them.

There's a happy ending to this story! They now have a loving home in Oregon.

Oregon resident Sherry Wachter contacted me, saying she'd love to adopt the kittens. Wachter and her son Patrick, 13, recently lost their 20-year-old Siamese cat, Ginger, and were eager to give these two a home. A week later, I took the kittens via Hawaiian Air to Portland. The Wachters eagerly drove 250 miles to meet me at the airport.

How did the kittens do on their journey? They weathered it well, despite all the commotion before boarding the plane. TSA officials made me take them out of the Sherpa bag in the screening area and carry them while I walked through the scanning machine. They squirmed the entire time, giving me a heart attack, and were happy to get back to the safety of the bag.

On the plane, they settled down quickly. The bag fit under the airplane seat and they slept most of the time. I was able to give them some food and water midway through the flight. Every so often, I gave their heads a pat, to reassure them everything would be alright.

I was worried about how they'd react to the cold, so before I got off the plane, I swaddled the outside of their bag with blankets. It looked like my husband Eric was carrying a mound of blankets off the plane. I had the easy part: I carried their kitten toy, a plastic pole with a red feather at the end.

The Wachters were waiting for us in the baggage claim area. Eric handed the "mound of blankets" to Patrick, who was all smiles. I told Sherry how happy we were that the kittens will have a wonderful home.

Taking the kittens to Portland was made possible by several cat-loving people at the Advertiser and Scott Harada of the Pet Clinic, who provided their veterinary care and health certification at a major discount.

The new Oregon residents are adjusting nicely in their home in Milton-Freewater, a farming community. They are having a great time exploring and they love to play with everything they come into contact with. The Wachters named the kittens Lilo and Lila. Sherry has even bought them harnesses to let them wander outside for their next adventure.

Wachter is a children's book author. She's planning to write a book about their journey across the Pacific Ocean.

Life for these kittens is getting better every day.

Animal lover Leslie Kawamoto has been with the Advertiser for 19 years, or 133 in dog years. Check out her blog at www.HonoluluAdvertiser.com/Blogs.