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Lucky the cat returned home safe after missing 4 weeks

by Ina
(Las Vegas)

Lucky on his favorite outside chair

Lucky on his favorite outside chair

Lucky on his favorite outside chair Lucky likes nothing more than sleeping and eating He enjoys drinking water from the garden hose

Lucky our cat really got lucky after he was missing for 4 weeks

Our cat Lucky is a grey tabby who was rescued from the local shelter in 2006. He was with us for 2 years when he suddenly went missing one night without any sign or trace for almost 4 weeks.

I know many readers may not agree with me, but while it is more dangerous for our cats, we allow them to get the best of both worlds: they can frolic outside in the garden during daytime and will be locked in safely at home during the night. They never roam far from the house, mostly snoozing lazily on the cushy sofa in our backyard.

During one summer night in 2008, Lucky was not in the backyard when it was time to go to sleep, so we left the cat door open that night to allow him a safe return at anytime. In the morning there was still no sign of Lucky, and by lunchtime I really started to get nervous. Lucky is on the heavy side and he loves his food, so it was odd that he would be out all night without coming home to eat..? By the evening without any trace of him I officially freaked out.

Lucky was now officially missing. We started printing missing pet sheets and plastered them all over the community; we talked to all the neighbors; we went to the animal shelter every two days (this is a kill shelter and cats don?t make it longer than a few days once they are offered for adoption, so it's important to go regularly for a chance of finding your beloved pet). We posted ads in all local papers. But after one week, there was still no sign of Lucky, not even a single sighting by anyone!

I was devastated. I lost my appetite, a few pounds, and any interest in work or fun. My husband grew pale and thin too. It was like we were missing a beloved child. We both never thought that we would get so emotionally attached to our cats, but there it was: the excruciating, churning feeling in our stomach, filled with worry and pain about our lost child. Is he safe? Did someone just like him and take him home? Is someone hurting him? Lucky is a very friendly cat, so it would be easy for anyone to snatch him and run. The worry and insecurity about Lucky?s destiny was growing worse every day.

Being out of my wits after 10 days, I signed up with a professional helper: Lisa from Feline Finders. I had found her online and called her for help, being entirely out of ideas what else I could do to recover our Lucky. Feline Finders is using trained dogs to pick-up the missing cat?s scent and then follow it to the kittie?s hiding or trapping place. Lisa's K-9 team works around Arkansas, but they can fly out to any place in the US for a cat rescue. I decided to use her phone consultation and it really helped us get new ideas, and above all, new hope and inspiration to never, never give up looking!

So on Lisa's suggestion we bought a wildlife camera that can be set-up to take pictures of anything that moves in the dark. We set-up a feeding station with the camera in position, and hoped to get some sightings of Lucky in the neighborhood. Finally there were some sighting calls: a grey tabby was seen every morning around 4 am in someone's garden. So my husband grabbed the camera, food, and set-up shop in the garden with that kind owner's permission. Like a spy, he camped out a 4 am to get a peek at the cat that had been seen. We had about 3 different cats on the camera and saw a similar one, but none of them was Lucky.

Now Lucky was missing 3 weeks and our hopes grew bleak. On top of that, I had to travel to Uruguay for a business project, so I could not even be home any longer to help with the search for Lucky. We were devastated.

My husband relentlessly continued the search and camera/food spying around the community while I was working overseas. Lucky was missing for 4 weeks now and our hearts sank more every day.

Then one day, when I came back to my hotel room, my husband called me and shouted into the phone: "Listen to this! Then he played me a voicemail that we had on our home phone that day: "This is the animal hospital on Charleston. If you are looking for your cat Lucky, we have him here. Please call."

I could not believe what I just heard and asked Muk to play it over and over. Then I started crying and wept incessantly for 10 minutes ? out of joy! I simply couldn?t believe it: our cat Lucky had been brought to the animal hospital by a compassionate soul, and since he was microchipped, the hospital was able to scan him and they found our number!!

This was like a dream come true? an unbelievable joy unlike I had experienced before! Lucky had been gone for almost 4 weeks, and here he was home again, looking almost unchanged, just very confused and a bit frazzled. Needless to say that we didn?t let him and Tiger outside for almost two months after that!

It turned out that Lucky had been found about 5 miles away from our house. He must have gotten into the car or had been driven away by someone. His collar was still on but the tag was missing when he was found - strange. After about 3 weeks into his departure, he had showed up in the garden of another cat lover, and what a great choice he made! This wonderful lady started feeding him, and then taking pictures and posting these around her own community, thinking that he may be someone's lost cat from nearby. When no one called, this amazing cat lover trapped Lucky with food and carried him to the next animal hospital to get him scanned. And that's when the dots connected! Lucky had been microchipped by the animal shelter and I had kept our records current, so the hospital called us right away that they have our lost cat - what an incredible joy that was!

We invited that kind lady for dinner and thanked her from the bottom of our hearts. And for Lucky, he turned out to be lucky indeed. The vet said that he did not suffer any injuries or even weight loss from his escapades, so someone must have fed him all the while. We don't know how he traveled 5 miles away, if it was an accidental ride or if someone had dropped him there on purpose. We don't know why he had a collar but no tag on, like it had been removed by someone. The vet mentioned that she has seen cases where scornful neighbors trap cats and then drop them somewhere in the wilderness, to get them out of their own gardens, or because they are just bad people. None of that could be confirmed. We only know that the reunion with our beloved boy was the most wonderful experience, and we are grateful for that.

Most days, Lucky is sleeping on his favorite couch now inside the house, and my heart is still skipping a beat when I think back of the time when he was missing.

It is wonderful to recognize the emotional relationship we have with our pets. They are not just companion animals, but truly full, loved and loving family members.

Comments for Lucky the cat returned home safe after missing 4 weeks

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Jul 06, 2015
Missing Cat
by: AnonymousCindy Flood

Thank you for your story, it gives me hope for our missing tabby, We've had her for 13 yes, She has been missing for about 4 weeks to, She is dearly missed, We been looking every where we have lots of woods so its hard, got her picture all over the web and on the shelters list. Thank you for your story

May 04, 2015
Cat returned home safe
by: Christina David

Your story of missing cat is very emotional. It makes me think about the fact that is it possible for human to love an animal like this. I never have a pet and I don't like to keep one but after I have read your story, I think I have to keep a cat or dog to see how it feels and how we attached with them. I hope you will add more essay in future. Thanks

Apr 05, 2015
That was a heart touching story
by: Anonymous

That was a heart touching story i must say. I was touched to go through it. This was nothing but a miracle. I just remember my dog which was gifted by Matthew M. Gonzalez on my birth day. It was missing for one year and returned after such a long period. I am extremely happy to know about your cat return home.

Feb 11, 2015
by: kelvin

I know you Audrey I am the one who gave you the Billy to you. We have created a small organization that helps to find out the missing pet. I have started this EMR software companiesin the California. We are going to expand this organization worldwide.

Feb 10, 2015
oh jesus
by: audrey

that was the similar story of my cat. his name is is Billy. he is very naughty. he was missed for about 3 weeks, i was so sad. but then a guy after three weeks came home with Billy.help he got him from the highway.

Nov 16, 2014
14 months missing
by: Anonymous

Our cat went missing 14 months ago,as you can imagine, we thought he died. He returned one morning all skinny and boney.He was so happy to see all of us,and we were estatic to see him ,he had a relaxing day in the sunshine and curled up into a ball at night time, but sadly he fell asleep that night and died,just before he died he looked up at his favorite friend a white maltese dog and me... he stopped breathing,he was at peace and home ... RiP Tommy 9 YEARS OLD.

Aug 18, 2014
Missing my Buddy
by: Sharon

Thank you for posting this story about your Lucky. I am missing my orange and white tabby, Buddy. It has been 2 weeks since I saw him casually walk through the fence at our new home. I have done everything I can think of: flyers, pet amber alert, FB page, Craigslist, newspaper ad. Nothing. A few phone calls about sightings of orange tabby cats but the callers were not sure if the cat had any white markings. I have gone back to my old house too and not found anything. I am not sure what to think as he left freely. I have had him for 11 years. He is chipped thankfully, but no collar. As you wrote in your story I am also heartbroken and anguish all day and night. It is difficult to even leave the house for work. I have become obsessed with possibilities of where he might have gone. But your kitty survived and hopefully mine will as well. Thank you.

Mar 04, 2014
Your Story gives me Hope
by: Debbie

17 months ago I rescued 4 one week old kittens from under my shed. Finding out that everyone we called from friends, family & rescue groups no one could give them the care they needed & we know what would have happened to them if we took them to a shelter. Never owning a pet before I decided to learn all I could about kittens & bottle fed them for the next 6 weeks. I never in a million years thought I would feel this way about an animal but they are all my wonderful children. Now I am so heartbroken, almost paralyzed with fear. My sweet baby boy has been missing for 2 weeks. I can't eat, I can't focus on anything else but finding him! I've done everything I can think of just like you did with Lucky but still nothing. What am I going to do without him? my other cats are depressed because Bel is gone, we are all a mess here. Reading your story gives me a little bit more hope that our little boy will return to us unharmed. Thank you for sharing

Jan 18, 2014
Missing cat is visiting
by: Lea

My baby Josie went missing December 21, 2013. I think she came back today. A cat that looked just like her came by the house 3 times, I would call her name and she would meow each time. She came to the front of the house twice and to the back yard once. But when I go to pick her up she runs. Tonight I have put her bed outside with her favorite purple hippo, I can't put food out because of other animals. Could this be her? It really looked like her.

Jan 05, 2014
Spike / Missing my loving boy
by: susan from colorado springs

My male longhaired tiger cat has been missing since the 1st of Jan 2014. The bad thing is, he didn't go missing from his own home, my brother was cat sitting for me over the holidays and when he went to bring my cats home,( Spike has a brother Stewart at home, missing him something awful) Spike jumped out of the car. I have had cats come home before after being gone for weeks, but with him not knowing where is was, I fear he's really lost. I have posted on craigslist, Facebook, been to the animal shelter I don't know what else to do. HELP I MISS MY BIG LOVING BOY

May 06, 2013
Depression and Happiness
by: Anonymous

It has been now 24 hours since our cat has gone missing overnight. I am afraid that Megan will never come back because we found her as a stray cat 2 years ago in our side yard. She had a flea collar on but not chipped. We put out fliers for the next two weeks after we found her and then took her in. She was pregnant and had 8 kittens and 6 of them went to great homes, one went to our grandmother and the last one couldn't bare to leave his mom. Greyboy has been sitting at the front door all day and didn't even eat. We put fliers up everywhere but nobody has seen Megan. I have 4 brothers that have cried because of this. Please, I need ideas fast before it is too late.

Mar 21, 2013
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for sharing this story. Our cat has been gone for 18 days. It is so pain and agonizing to think of her out there all alone, as she had never been outside before. We are praying and believing for a miracle.

Nov 29, 2012
Good luck with finding your kitties
by: Ina

Hello Shelley and Anonymous writer:

I wish you the very best of luck to get your kitties back! I had given up hope entirely when Lucky was lost almost 5 weeks, but thanks to a kindred soul and his chip we got him back safe and sound.

Also do visit your local shelters every two days. Here in Las Vegas cats are kept for just about a week, so that is important to find your cat in case someone turned her in.

My heart goes out to you - all the best!

Nov 25, 2012
missing manx for 3 weeks
by: Anonymous

I have been missing my manx for about three weeks; almost had her microchipped but didn't have the money at the time when she was spayed. She is 1.7 years old. Beautiful intelligent indoor/outdoor cat. Feral cat beat her up and I have not seen her after short glimpse of her two days later under crawlspace. Due to fighting with roommate, I am moving, but will be within biking distance to keep checking for awhile. I am doing this alone and it is very hard emotionally and otherwise as I also do not have a vehicle. I am trying to get a local radio station to do an announcement and have done all the things recommended missing pet specialists have detailed for me to do.

Anyway, I relate to the feeling this owner described, not eating, not being interested in your usual things and being obsesses to where neighbors close their blinds when you go by and keep their own cats indoors now fully. They informed me the feral cat my roommate was caring for seriously beat up their cats and a racoon frequents the area.

Nov 25, 2012
lost cat
by: Anonymous

I live in LaMarque Texas and my cat came up missing the day before thanksgiving. I am devastated, lonely, and thinking the worst. Her name is Emma and I am sick over this. Emma has never left my house! She was spayed and was a home cat! The neighbors have not seen her We have a not so cat person in the neighborhood and has cages in his back yard. That is my fear. I will be a the shelter tomorrow looking for her! The shelter is closed for the Holiday. I am just heart sickened. Please pray for her return.


Jul 10, 2011
The fun and the safety - all at once
by: Ina

James - thanks for posting! I feel with you. My two kittie boys are only allowed out in the daytime now and they have to stay inside for the night. Nowadays they even come on cue when I open the patio door and call them!

That way, I think, they have the best of both worlds: the fun of being in the garden, lounging in the grass and enjoying the many sounds, and afterwards they are safe indoors.

Jul 08, 2011
by: James

A happy ending to an emotional story! I'm glad you got him back after such a long time. My beloved cat went missing for 2 days, and considering he's been an indoor cat for the last 2 years I was scared to death! I just kept having images of him lying dead from wild animals, or lost in a foreign place meowing for his owners to help him. Luckily he found his way home, and I never found out where he got to! Now that we live in the countryside, he seems much happier to go roaming around the fields & catching butterflies, but we always bring him in at night to protect him from the foxes. I love my cats so much!

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