After doing everything possible to find my missing (indoor) cat, turns out she was under a neighbor’s porch just two doors away! My next-door neighbors found her this morning (April 8th) — the woman who lives there had been giving her treats — and with their assistance, they caught her and brought her home and said “Happy Mother’s Day!” I burst into tears. Don’t give up; it’s true what they say about indoor cats; they can be hiding nearby and won’t make a peep. I was out on our street last night at 2 a.m. and I was outside that neighbor’s house calling for her (and jingling one of her toys), but heard nothing. I honestly couldn’t believe she was hiding nearby; there has never been a single sighting of her. Some people told me she’d probably been attacked by coyotes (and there are coyotes near us). And I tried to trap her but only caught raccoons.
Dinah is thin as a rail, you can feel every bone, but otherwise she seems fine. She doesn’t appear to be dehydrated (we’ve had a lot of rain and there’s a stream/small pond nearby so I think she was OK for water). I’m not sure how much longer she could have gone without food; I doubt she’s had any. (She only weighs 5.5 pounds now and was 7-8 before.) After scarfing down a dish of food, and meowing constantly for 15 minutes to demand lots of back scratches, she curled up in her favorite bed under a lamp, as if she’d never been gone. She did try to sleep but she’s very agitated and got up again almost right away. I think I’ll take her to the emergency vet just for a checkup.
One month later:
Dinah had two trips to the vet, mostly because she needed fluids and for tests, but she’s fine now. It took her about a month to regain most of her weight (she was down to 5 pounds), and she was exhausted. But she recognized home as soon as she came in the door and was obviously very happy to be back. For the first few days she wouldn’t let me out of her sight.
Looking back at all the things I did to try to find her (from setting out raccoon traps to posting newspaper/Internet ads and checking local shelters), the most effective was simply putting up posters/flyers in the neighborhood and making sure all my neighbors were looking out for her. And not giving up!
Later I found out that one of my neighbors a little farther away had seen her right after she went missing, but didn’t know at the time that I had lost a cat. They called me after they saw one of my posters, but she was gone by then (chased by a dog).
Deborah from Ontario
(Originally shared on Missing Cat Assistance Yahoo! Group)