Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Cat "Lost and Found" - Twice!
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"©
Tinkia has rescued Little Guy not once, but twice.
Her cat is giving his "9-lives" a real test!
A little girl ran up to me at the end of the school day holding up an ill kitten, pleading, "Oh, you HAVE to take him, Mrs. Ossman. He has no home."
I "adopted" the kitten and drove it straight to a vet clinic. "This is a sick kitten," confirmed the vet. "Take him to the pound."
Instead, I took the kitten home and nestled him in a room with food, water and a warm towel. In the morning, he stretched his tiny white paws under the door, reaching and calling out to us. My husband said, "Look at his cute little hand. We can't take him to the pound. You wouldn't do that to a person." So back to the vet we went to have "the little guy" fixed up.
The vet's receptionist asked, "What's your cat's name?"
"We've been referring to him as 'the little guy'," I said. "His name is Little Guy." Thankfully, his health was easily fixable and he quickly overcame the starvation and ringworm. He grew into a beautiful Maine Coon with a spotted tan tabby coat of long, silky fur; long white "opera gloves"; tufted ears like a bobcat; and a fluffy-striped tail like a raccoon. At the time, we lived in the desert with roaming coyotes that consider cats a snack, so Little Guy was an indoor cat. When we moved to Cottage Grove, Little Guy could finally enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.
A year ago, just before leaving for the day, my husband said, "Don't leave the cat out." "But he loves to be outdoors!" I protested on Little Guy's behalf.
Hours later we arrived home, but Little Guy was not there. He's slept in every garage in the neighborhood, so he could have been anywhere. I yelled for him, "Little Guy! Little Guy!", to no avail. Days passed. I posted "Cat Missing" signs at the Humane Society, veterinarian clinics, Old Mill Feed Store, library, downtown storefronts, and telephone poles. As Little Guy was "WANTED", we put a sign up on the police bulletin board, too!
Weeks went by and friends suggested, "Let him go. He's gone. He's been eaten by a raccoon or a cougar." "No, I can't," I commented, "I know he's alive." One evening, I held his photograph to my forehead and prayed with all my heart, "Please God, please, let Little Guy be alive. Please bring him home!"
The very next day, one month exactly since he had disappeared, our phone rang, "We have your cat," a male voice jubilantly announced. I was shocked when he described where he lived. We live in town but he said, "Drive out of town for 4 miles and go around Cottage Grove lake. Go three miles, past the spillway, and we're across from the playground," he said. How did Little Guy travel so many miles from home? How was that possible?
"The man added, "Your cat's paw was caught up in his collar. He only had the use of three legs and wasn't able to catch anything to eat. My wife and I lured him out from under our house with patience and food. When we cut off his collar we were thrilled to discover his name, address, and your phone number."
As I drove out to retrieve Little Guy, I tried to imagine how he could have traveled so far. Possibly he crawled into someone's car and fell asleep? Or ridden under a truck? Or maybe a dog chased him and he walked that far?
When I arrived, the man instructed me to, "Go 'round back. He's under the house." I did so and sang his name, "Little Guy, Little Guy." Moments later, his face peeked out from under the house. He came out slowly, hesitantly, unable to believe his eyes. He probably thought he was dreaming. I petted him and carefully picked up his scrawny little body. I thanked the man and Little Guy and I headed for home. I chatted all the way, so my voice would reassure him that this was not a dream. Once home, he was instantly greeted by the rest of his family, including Mikey, the cat, and his favorite "sibling " Bear, the dog, who licked and sniffed him, and followed him around the house.
When I sit down to read, Little Guy loves crawling up onto my lap, purring and happy. He's glad to be home. I've rescued Little Guy twice. Let's hope that twice is it! I'm as happy to have this sweet kitty home as he is to be back!
Information is for reference purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition. It is not intended to substitute advice given by a veterinarian, physician, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare professional. Always consult a professional.
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