How to assist unknown pets

Would you please do a favour on behalf of everyone who doesn’t know where loved-ones are?  Many don’t know what to do if they see an unknown cat and it doesn’t occur to some people that there is something they ought to do. With the WordPress website accessible to me today, I have looked forward to sharing these guidelines and ask you to please send them around.

One of my precious cats went on vacation two months ago, after I was busy clearing out my parent’s city home for a week.  I only let them out when I’m home, by day.  Half an hour after seeing Conan near the door, he didn’t answer.  In the morning, a mouse the other cats couldn’t have caught was at a door.  It means Conan was well and did his best to tell us he wanted to take a walking trip.  My cats have never done this so I have been worried but my peers have been praying for his safety and guidance home from the start.  Many people have told us about cats coming home after a long duration.  I know how much my baby loves us and have unshaking faith in how strongly he has been loved and cared for too.  A vacation does not mean you aren’t dedicated and bonded to your loved-ones.

Some cats are out so much, they don’t have a strong enough sense of home.  Feeding them outside and saying hello is not like sleeping, watching TV, or talking on the phone with animals at your side or being petted.  They have routines they look forward to.  Some absent cats are lost.  They might need help getting home but from what I understand, are very good at figuring out how to return.  We have left a litterbox outside since the humane society told us cats can smell their family’s litterbox a mile away.  If Conan needed a clue about which way to proceed, or if a reminder of home would take him out of vacation mode sooner:  he has plenty to smell when he is in range.  His family has no problem filling another one!

One night a cat bounded up to us in September 2011 and was here for our four kittens’ much-celebrated first birthday. The story was that this cat and her son were camping with their people near my town and took off to explore. This person was distressed to take her kids home. She returned on the week-end to search for them; a pregnant woman. She found the son but his Mother had headed towards us. This family lived an hour away in the city. You must not underestimate how much you can help, nor how near or far a cat belongs. This kitty was wise enough to ask for human help rather than walk down the highway. I am glad I knew to answer the call.  I gave her food and observed how eager she was. It doesn’t mean a neighbouring cat might not accept a treat enthusiastically, so I bid her good-night.

Sleeping under my car told me what I needed to know.  I looked for a tattoo in the morning and questioned neighbours to be sure.  The humane society told me she belonged all the way in the city but don’t release contact information unless they receive permission.  I believe our cat is in the forest rather than in town but I have told the humane society that anyone finding Conan should be given our contact information.  The phone number for the cat I helped years ago had no answering machine and the humane society only seemed to call once a day.  However I could call this girl by her name, fed her, and kept an eye on her.  This was not a cat who needed to walk home, or go anyplace around here but under no circumstances, should any cat be taken to an animal centre.  Some of these so-called shelters kill animals and sometimes you risk bringing them further from their home.  Consult animal centres for information and to report a cat is found but never hand them in anywhere.  A distraught person can phone animal places and be alerted that a pet like theirs is near you.

I worried someone might bring Conan inside, if he ventured around people.  However I put out posters and he has a tattoo.  Let a cat take shelter if there might be danger or discomfort; if he looks like he could use one night’s rest.  However be sure that he or she is not goaded to stay and is free to walk home.  If you aren’t on-line, as some of our folks aren’t: please check bulletin boards for missing pets.  After asking neighbours if they know the cat in your vicinity, post a notice about him or her.  Also call the nearest humane society or animal place. If there is no tattoo or you can’t approach the cat’s ear, a description will do.  A list of upset people might be searching for a cat similar to that. I am surprised by how many look like Conan.  Knowing my kitty intimately and having detailed photographs are very valuable, if a picture catches my breath for a minute.

I am also surprised, especially among caring people who want to help, how unobservent folks are;  two whom this similar-looking cat visited every day.  However it was nothing more than not knowing to watch for tattoos and neutering states when you see a kitty.  Guidelines like this should help.  I could hold the camping girl’s ear as long as I needed to read her tattoo.  It was the contact information rule that held back her reunion for a week or two, plus the time it took to walk about six miles to my home.  She seemed to know that the woods wasn’t the place to find help and she carefully navigated a highway and found us at a camp fire in our yard. In fact, it just occurs to me after all these years!  She had probably seen campfires with her family and associated this with them. Any light would be welcome too, if it matched your impressions of the people there.  She was relieved to see us and that was a clue that she wasn’t a curious neighbour, or a cat from a little ways.

The humane society had our permission to hand her family our contact details as soon as they reached them. I was starting to urge them to mail a letter, if the phone wasn’t getting answered at the time they called. Anything to let them know we had this kitty safe and sound. On week-ends, that pregnant lady drove from the city and continued searching where she had camped. She could have put posters in the nearby towns, in the event her girl wasn’t with someone who read her tattoo. The day came that we received a phone call from the girl’s parents, whose number it was and after, I spoke with the girl. I heard about the camping trip and happily agreed to look after her cat until she could pick her up on the week-end. It was wonderful.  I gave her a CD of photos from our kittens’ birthday, many depicting her cat relaxing with them!  I will share my elated, relieved story with you when Conan arrives, count on that!  :)

A woman phoned about a cat we know is monitored by a business.  He doesn’t seem to be ours, even if we didn’t think our boy is in the woods around here.  You don’t take a vacation from an adoring home to hang out with strangers.  I thanked her for caring and told her:  “You are the best kind of human being there is”.  She was touched and said she has a pet.  It was worth making the effort.  I believe her caring call is another positive sign to keep the good faith.  We know Conan’s love and his solid awareness of ours.



Ask neighbours if they know the cat visiting you and to pass your description on.

Look for a tattoo, usually inside the left ear.  Of course a collar is a no-brainer.

Check local bulletin boards and internet bulletin boards.

If a cat seems to be sleeping in the vicinity instead of home, offer water and food.

Most cats will rest and keep proceeding home.  Overnight respite is all right, particularly if your region is dangerous.  Make sure the cat is outside in the morning to decide how he or she will proceed.

If the cat appears to be lingering there, take a photograph.  Print a local alert that a cat has been spotted and post the alerts by internet too.  If you are not printer- or internet-savvy, handwritten alerts about spotting a cat are valuable too.


About RIEDEL Fascination

I cherish animals, plants, reading, music and free spirituality. I welcome you for articles, literary activities, and interaction! Surrounding ourselves with good people is a delight. I occasionally review at The Book Depository.
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