On Christmas Eve, Jinxy, an indoor-only short-haired black cat, managed to slip outside unnoticed. Her owner, Jazzy, searched the neighborhood for hours each day, distributed flyers to many of her neighbors, and put posters up and down her street. Over the next two weeks, she received calls of several sightings, but none proved to be the missing Jinxy. Meanwhile, Rhode Island had its first big snow storm of the year with at least 10” on December 26-27. Then on January 10th, Jazzy received a call from a neighbor two houses down that they might have seen Jinxy on their porch. Jazzy started putting out food and trapping at her neighbor’s but only caught other cats. On January 11-12, there was a second big storm dropping another 12” of snow. This was followed by a snow and rain mix on Jan 17-18 and another couple of inches of snow on January 21st. Temperatures throughout December and January often dropped into the teens at night and on January 15th, it dropped all the way down to five degrees.
On January 16th (three weeks after Jinxy escaped), I drove out to Rhode Island to help Jazzy in her search and rented her two wildlife surveillance cameras. She put one camera up outside her home and the other at the neighbor’s house with the most promising sighting. On January 22nd she found several pictures of Jinxy on the camera and she again stepped up her efforts to try and trap her at the neighbor’s. Jazzy made frequent trips to her neighbor’s house to check the trap and add fresh food since the wet food kept freezing. During one of these trips around 8pm, she arrived to find Jinxy walking towards the trap. When Jazzy called her name, Jinxy initially ran and hid, but she was meowing at the same time. Jazzy got down flat on the ground and continued to talk to Jinxy. She was purring as she came back out to eat the food, so Jazzy crawled slowly towards her. When she picked her up, Jinxy didn’t fight or try to get away, and Jazzy put her in the trap and carried her home.
All told, Jinxy survived below freezing temperatures and three snow storms with a total accumulation of nearly 30” of snow. She did have a small amount of frost bite on her feet and an injury to her tail, but she is now safely home thanks to Jazzy’s persistence and never giving up hope.
Source: Compassionate Pet Services case file