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Andrew Locke and Bob Sullivan

From Sept. 22-27, the posts in this blog about Rita's evacuation and devastation were reported and photographed by Bob Sullivan and Andrew Locke. Sullivan, 37, is MSNBC.com's technology and consumer fraud reporter. Locke, 34, in charge of MSNBC.com's editorial strategy, was on his second hurricane blog tour.

David Friedman and Miguel Llanos

From Sept. 18-22, the posts in this blog, examining Katrina's impact on the environment, were reported and photographed by Miguel Llanos and David Friedman. Llanos, 45, is MSNBC.com's environmental reporter. Photojournalist Friedman, 35, is a multimedia producer at MSNBC.com.

Kari Huus and Jim Seida

From Sept. 10-16, the posts in this blog were reported and photographed by Kari Huus and Jim Seida. Huus, 43, has been a journalist for 20 years and a reporter with MSNBC.com since 1996. Seida, 39, has been a media editor with the Web site since 1996.

Mike Brunker and Andrew Locke mugshot

From Sept. 2-9, the posts in this blog were reported and photographed by Mike Brunker, left, and Andrew Locke. A journalist for 25 years, Brunker, 49, is MSNBC.com's West Coast news editor. Locke, 34, has been a journalist for 17 years and is currently in charge of MSNBC.com's editorial media strategy.

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Hello, Miss Kitty!

Posted: Friday, September 9 at 06:03 pm CT by Mike Brunker

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Hello, Miss Kitty!

Thanks to an above-and-beyond effort by some caring people, Bill Harris and his feline of good fortune, Miss Kitty, were reunited Friday in his hospital room in Hattiesburg, Miss.

"I'm doing better; I've got Miss Kitty," Harris said by phone, moments after Slidell, La., animal control officer Horace Troullier and Donna Wackerbauer, a volunteer with the animal rescue group Noah's Wish, surprised him by bringing the yellow-and-gray cat into his room. "She jumped into my arms and she's stayed with me the whole time.

"I am so happy, I don't know what to tell you."

"We've got our miracle," Troullier told me moments later. "When he first saw her he said, 'That's my cat. That's my cat.'"

Even hospital staff and officials were running for cameras to record the moment, said Joe Brunksac, who videotaped the reunion. (The video will be available on Katrinablog, probably after midafternoon on Saturday.)

Troullier and Wackerbauer authored the moving reunion by driving 75 miles from Slidell to Hattiesburg, where the 63-year-old Harris, who suffers from chronic kidney failure, has been hospitalized since Monday. 

The mission of mercy was the latest bit of evidence that Harris' story of surviving Hurricane Katrina thanks to Miss Kitty's cunning in a crisis has moved everyone who has heard it. 

After spending half an hour with Miss Kitty, Harris reluctantly surrendered her to Troullier and Wackerbauer, who were returning her to the Noah's Wish animal rescue center in Slidell, where she will be well cared for until he is released from the hospital and finds a place to live.

"She walked right back into her cage and now she's curled up in the back," he said, his voice growing husky with emotion as he described what he was seeing.

Harris underwent exploratory surgery Friday morning and doctors at Forrest General Hospital determined he is suffering from internal bleeding of the kidneys and stomach. Follow-up surgery is planned over the next several days, he said.

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We have a positive ID! Sometimes there's a silver lining in the dark cloud. Folks, it really is Miss Kitty.

Posted on Sep 9, 2005 8:04:59 PM at: Brilliant at Breakfast