As you know, we have many pets, including two cats, Liesl and Sweetie. On January 26, Sweetie got outside and went missing. We didn’t see her leave, but a door that was having trouble closing and a cat not seen all day, quickly led us to the conclusion that she’d stepped outside and very likely the door closed behind her, she was startled, she darted off, and she was lost. The is the second time Sweetie has gotten lost outside. The first time was shortly after we got her when the screen of the window she was sitting in on an unseasonably warm December night fell out. It was 5 long days before we got her back using a havahart trap. That was over 5 years ago.
This time we did not get her back in five days. We had the havahart, hung posters, knocked on doors, poked around in neighbors’ yards, wished and hoped, but to no avail. I especially thought of her during our snowstorm and the miserable rainy days. The only thing that comforted us was knowing that we didn’t see her dead, and also a couple of neighbors said they thought they had seen her. Eventually though, we did give up hope.
Sunday night we got a call from a neighbor that he thought he may have just seen her down the road (in the opposite direction of where we’d been focusing our search efforts.) We raced down there with the havahart and some wet cat food and thought we saw her. We set the trap and came back an hour later to find all the food eaten, but the trap didn’t go off. Set it again, came back, caught a glimpse of her, moved the trap, checked a couple more times before bed, and then went to bed. In the morning as soon as I woke up I ran down there and there she was!! I kind of still can’t believe it. She was gone for A MONTH. A month! out in the wilds, surviving. In this case, I believe the wilds were a mere less than 1/4 mile away, in a very safe and sheltered outbuilding/barn. Curiously, it is the property where she was born. Back when it was a feed store and they had barn cats, she was a kitten born there. But the store closed and they need homes for the kittens and we took her. Now the property is owned by someone, but he is only there very occasionally, so likely wouldn’t have seen her.
She is very thin, but given that she was very overweight it was like a dramatic and unpleasant diet for her. I say very thin because I can feel her ribs and her neck is visibly smaller, but she is still weighing in at 8lbs. She was very very hungry and wolfed down food as soon as we gave it to her. And she is very, very happy to see us. So much purring! and needing to cuddly up next to us and be on us, and curl up on the bed. And purr.
We took her to the vet tonight and had her looked over. She’s in pretty good shape. In fact, her fur even looked pristine and white. She did have quite a few ticks and was given some flea & tick medicine and deworming stuff.
We think that Liesl actually really enjoyed being an only cat. She upped her affection and seemed very happy. She’s probably mad that Sweetie came back. We’ve been keeping Sweetie separate until we get an all clear from the vet, but they did have one reunion sniff. Then Liesl hissed at her.
We’re so so happy and relieved and thankful! I wish she could talk and tell us all about her adventures and what it was like for an indoor kitty out there in the big world all by herself.