Animals are carefully loaded in a transport for out state adoptions 900x389
Kinship Circle loaded 15 cats into the back of an SUV for a long haul from New Orleans to St. Louis. Baby Noah, a Katrina castoff from Plaquemines, came home with director Brenda Shoss (and spends time happily sprawled across Brenda's keyboard).

Other kitties went to foster with Nancy Lupia's Felines Forever. All have since been adopted. Pregnant kitty Rita gave birth, so Nancy had yet more cats to place. But she found homes for all.

The cats left NOLA securely crated under a canopy of blankets. They all hunkered down for long naps – except the kittens. We heard: Crash, bang, boom from the only crate that moved as we drove.

At trip's end, each feline emerged from a tidy crate. Then we got to the kiddens: Capsized bowls, confetti newspaper, tangled towels… They stared at us as if to say, "What? You got a problem with this?"

They slept just once over 14 hours. "Shhh," we whispered, "The kids are finally asleep."

Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Katrina 2005-2008
This Is Baby Noah. Is he gorgeous or what? He's home with Brenda Shoss, after a 14-hour drive with 15 more kitties from the New Orleans area. Kinship Circle transported cats for out-state adoption, as part of an animal aid trip. Baby Noah now gets to know Mandy (Lhasa Apso), Isaiah (big orange tabby), plus more of Brenda's furkids. He also explores upstairs rooms where he and Brenda are temporarily quarantined for a bad bout of ringworm contracted in NOLA.

It's all new for this kitten of Katrina, born amid residents unable to cope with animals as they rebuild. Baby Noah was a no-name kitten who wound up at Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). His name reflects the NOLA term of endearment Baby, and the epic floods, Noah. Plaquemines is a narrow penninsula bound by the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. Katrina winds struck at over 150 mph. Levees crumbled and water gushed in at 20 feet or higher.

Recovery here seems even slower than elsewhere. The area is exotic, almost other-worldly. Sugar cane fields stretch for miles. Oil rigs cast shadows on the sky. Huge ships glide into Gulf ports. But it's a nightmare for animals left behind or born post-Katrina. Rural areas are sparsely repopulated. Schools, homes and businesses are skeletal remains. FEMA trailers emerge from fields, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Katrina 2005-2008

Baby Noah gets to know his new animal siblings at home with Brenda 900x549 So many new friends makes Baby Noah sleepy 900x518