On Aug. 22, 2011, my husband and I returned home from our European vacation and went to pick up our 7 year old pet cat named Dusky from our daughter’s house in the downtown area. We live uptown. When Dusky was put into the car in his carrying case, he somehow managed to push open the latch door of the case and run out the open doors of the car. The three of us, my husband, daughter and I, pursued him but because he was so scared he just took off and we couldn’t find him. This was an unfamiliar area for him so we were very worried he wouldn’t find his way back to our daughter’s house. We searched for him every evening and week-end for several weeks without any results. We put up posters and notified all the animal shelters which sent us daily pictures of cats that were brought to them as ‘found’ cats.
As a baby kitten, Dusky had had a microchip put under his skin to identify him if he was ever lost. We received a few phone calls and pictures that looked like him but no luck. We were heart-broken because to us he was part of the family. Dusky was a sweet cuddly indoor cat without any sense of the outdoors and all the dangers lurking about. We worried about him and how he could possibly survive other animals, cars, buses, subway, weather, food, water, etc. Some days we gave up hope, others we hoped beyond hope. We wouldn’t put or throw anything away that belonged to him.
During the second week of Oct. (Sukkot), my husband and I travelled to Florida to be with friends and it was strange that one evening we both dreamt about Dusky. When we returned on Oct. 22, exactly two months from the day he was lost, Aug. 22, I retrieved my phone messages and there were two calls; one from a woman who said she thought she may have seen our cat and one from a downtown animal hospital who said that they had identified our cat because of the microchip. While I was on the phone listening to the voice messages, our daughter opened the front door of our house, with, you guessed it. She had DUSKY. She had kept him a week after he was found without telling us so as not to spoil our vacation and have us come back earlier. As you can imagine, we were overjoyed and were eager to know how he had survived for so long (two months) and how he had been found.
What we learned was a wonderful story of the kindness of strangers – how people got together and helped each other with one goal – to save this little cat and get him to his rightful owner and home.
IT IS A STORY OF SURVIVAL – HOW THE WILL TO SURVIVE IS VERY STRONG EVEN FOR LITTLE ANIMALS.
And it is also a story of hope and miracles. Even when we had our days of hopelessness, we didn’t give up hope completely and for us all, what occurred was a miracle.
On Fri. Oct. 14, a young woman named Wendy was walking home from a coffee shop. As she passed a small learning academy school, she heard some soft meowing and saw this little kitten approach her from under a hiding place behind the school steps. The kitten continued meowing and began petting her leg. Because she was in a hurry and allergic to cats, Wendy had to leave the kitten and continued home but she still kept thinking about him. An hour later she walked back in the same direction to meet a friend for pizza and when she neared the school, the same thing happened. The same little kitten approached her, meowing and petting her. Wendy again left him but this time she came back carrying some pizza and gave the kitten the meat from the top of the pizza which he ravenously gobbled up because he seemed to be starving. Wendy decided to phone her friend Donna who lived in her apartment building and also had two cats of her own.
Donna had Wendy bring the kitten to her place where she kept him in her bedroom for the entire weekend while she slept on the couch. Because he was so little and thin and hardly able to move, they thought he was a kitten instead of a cat. But the whole building fell in love with him. All the neighbours visited and some wanted to adopt him. They called him King! But of course they still wanted to find out if he belonged to anyone, if he was lost because he didn’t seem like a stray kitten. So another friend, Jody, walked with her dog to search for posters. She found one poster on the ground that was torn with only a picture and no information. She thought it might look like Dusky. She didn’t give up and went searching for more posters and actually found one with the picture and our names, phone numbers and information to take him to a vet to scan his microchip. On Monday, Donna took off work and took him to the animal hospital where he was identified and examined. He was found to be dehydrated and anaemic, had lost a lot of weight, one molar tooth was chipped and the gum around it was bleeding. Even the vet first thought he was a kitten instead of a seven year old cat. The hospital then phoned our daughter who took him to her home and nurtured him for a week before we came home. When we found out about all these wonderful people who had helped, we wanted to meet them in person to thank them. We brought over some food and flowers and spent time with them at their apartment where they told us their story.
Dusky is recuperating. He needs a lot of rest, a lot of food and water and a lot of affection but his personality hasn’t changed. He’s still sweet and loveable but now we also know he’s strong and a survivor! IF Only He Could Talk! To tell his side of the story.