What Steps to Take When Your Pet Goes Missing
My heart goes out to anyone who is the middle of searching for their four legged friend and to those that have had to endure the hours of wondering where they are, like myself, good God what a draining experience.
Winifred Luna Johnson is my seven month old kitten, the very first kitten I have owned and due to no kids, she's like our child. My husband and I have fallen deeply in love with her. She has finally gotten all of her shots, been spayed and until recently we've been taking her on daily leashed walks to get some fresh air.
Indoor cats live longer in general and with her bum eye we just didn't want anything to happen to her. However lately she's been meowing at the door like crazy so last Saturday we finally decided to let her outside by herself, without a leash. It was terrifying but she came back pretty quick, when we called she would at least show herself so everyday we've let her out to go to the bathroom and check out the World.
We've had a few scares where she was right at the front door waiting to be let in and a neighbor cat must have got up in her grill, she screamed but was fine, a day later I heard her fighting in the bushes but she came back like nothing happened, I kept her inside for the rest of that evening. A few days later I called for her and she showed off her friend, another cat from the neighborhood, they were having too much fun to come inside, when the hubs came out for a smoke she was sprinting back and forth and finally came inside, we could see her so all was well.
Yesterday I let her out around 10:45 am and by 1:45 pm I hadn't seen her at all. Totally abnormal...but yes I am also aware she's a cat! The hubs was at work, I had to leave for work and I was freaking out. I've never left her outside and taken off but there wasn't anything else I could do. I fixed stuff at the radio station, even putting out a plea on-air...thank you to the listeners that reached out. I was overwhelmed and came back to check, still nothing. The hubs took off early so I could go back and by 4:30 pm she still hadn't shown herself so I decided to start reaching out but where do I even start? I have never really done this before so I figured I would let you know how amazing this animal community is and how many options you have.
I first called the Yakima Humane Society. No cats had been brought in but they told me to send an e-mail with all the details to their lost and found page. Done. On that page it recommends posting on social media and from there fantastic social media warriors steered me in the direction of the other lost and found pet pages to put her mug on.
Yakima Valley Lost and Found Pets
Lost and Found Cats/Kittens of Yakima County
Yakima Valley Helping Lost & Found Pets
Sharing & Caring Lost & Found Pets Yakima County
I plastered her photo and story on all of them and was comforted by viewing the shares and messages, we just had to wait. 6 pm she still wasn't home so people suggested we put out her food dish, water and even her litter box. I was told stories of kitties that go on three day adventures and come back. Good to know but I was kicking myself for ever letting her outside.
Every 15 minutes we would open the door and call out to her and then all of a sudden she was in the middle of the living room!
Neither of us saw her come through the door but a portion of her was chilly so I have a feeling, she was getting some serious cuddles with one of the neighbor cats. I don't know if it was having the litter box out or the temperature dipping low enough she wasn't comfy anymore but it was the biggest relief in the entire world.
I spent the next few hours making sure I updated every place I could find that I had mentioned my lost cat and was still receiving messages this morning from concerned strangers who wanted to help. It was so heartwarming to know people care and I am truly grateful to anyone who reached out, shared, and gave me tips. I hope this never happens to you and if it does they will come back to you but at least you'll know where to start.
Get them microchipped and then actually register it, make sure they have a collar with their name, address and contact info and is there such a thing as a GPS tracker? Yes there is and we will be getting one for sure. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them.
For now the only climbing she gets to do is on the Christmas Tree indoors...for now.
FYI this is the last weekend get your cat or dog pictures with Santa or The Grinch at Earthwise Pet, it's by appointment only and donations will be provided to Wags to Riches Animal Shelter.
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