This story is one from my case files:
On October 8th I received a call from Matt whose cat had escaped from a car on the Massachusetts turnpike. The cat, Tino, is an indoor-only cat but he is very outgoing and is allowed access to a fenced patio. A family member had been driving Tino home, and while stuck in stop & go traffic, she opened the window for her dog, and the cat slipped out. Fortunately another motorist ran up and told her what had happened. Three days later I arrived with Sam Connelly of Pure Gold Pet Trackers and her search dog Salsa. Salsa led us under the turnpike fence into a neighborhood and around and around over about 1/4 mile radius. I rented Matt two surveillance cameras and a humane trap, and we set up two feeding stations at locations that Salsa indicated had strong concentrations of scent. He also put up many noticeable posters in the immediate neighborhood and later added at least 40 more posters over a 3 mile radius. For the next ten days, he got nothing on the camera and no animals eating the food. I found this very strange as I have always gotten pictures of at least the usual crowd of skunks, opossums, raccoons, and usually other cats too. Matt said that Tino was a very finicky eater and was only putting out his specialized diet (both wet & dry food) along with a bowl of used litter and one of his shirts. I don’t know if the choice of food had something to do with the lack of other animals at the feeding station. In part due to the complete lack of activity, I ended up having him leave the feeding stations in the same location longer than I normally would, and I was glad I did because on the 12th day of monitoring (and 15 days after Tino escaped), I got an excited call from Matt that he had numerous pictures of Tino at one feeding station over the past three nights. He also got a picture of a raccoon and a neighbor’s dog at that time. This feeding station was located behind a shed less than 100 yards from where Tino escaped on the turnpike. That night Matt set up a humane trap at the location and also sat out in the area talking quietly until quite late. The next morning he came back at the break of dawn to find Tino in one of the traps! The vet said that Tino looks healthy except for having a lot of ticks, and he’s now safely back home.