REUNION OF THE DAY: Sophie the cat lost from Auckland Thursday 14 June 2018 @ 12:00
REUNION OF THE DAY: Sophie from Auckland
"Sophie was an abandoned stray who had a brother who seemed to look after her best he could under such conditions. We worked out they mainly lived by a chook house in the street behind us in Massey.
Sophie's brother (who we later named Louis) started arriving at our house in the mornings and I started feeding him.
Sophie only came out at night so I would put her food out when she arrived each night. After we managed to get Louis to the vet he lived inside but Sophie was too frightened to join him so we bought her a kennel to live and sleep in and placed it outside our lounge glass door facing us.
After having Louis for three years he died from AIDS and leukemia. Sophie looked for Louis up to a year as she adored him. Luckily she had started to come inside a few months before Louis' death and eventually I was able to pat her. If anyone came to our house she would run and hide for hours.
Just before our move to Ranui she had her first visit ever to the vet which was traumatic for her and then the move on top of that caused such stress that she wouldn't eat for three days. After being in the new home for two and a half weeks she was spooked by a gas repair man and accidentally got outside.
By week three there were days when I felt like collapsing with grief. We lost interest in unpacking and settling in the new house and lying in bed at night hearing the wind and the rain made us worry if she had shelter. My days were spent putting flyers in letter boxes all over, taking posters of her into places that had noticeboards, joining social media and stopping people walking dogs to give them a poster (dog walkers see a lot when out walking and walk at night also).
Last Saturday afternoon I was driving down a busy main road to start putting flyers in a street in Ranui when I saw a small greyish cat just about get run over and I thought it could be Sophie so after the cat ran back into a driveway I quickly ran into the area calling her name when a nice elderly man asked me was I looking for a cat, so I told him the story and that Sophie had been now missing for six weeks.
He told me I probably saw his neighbour's cat which was a small grey tabby, so I left thinking it wasn't her after all. I went and distributed the flyers and went home but for some reason I don't even know why but I wanted to leave the last flyer I had left in the elderly man's neighbour's letter box in case the cat I saw wasn't the cat the elderly man said it was and that Sophie might be in the same area.
I was just about at the elderly man's house when I saw Sophie coming out of the drive. I slammed the brakes on and ran in calling her name and there she was looking up at me and meowing (Sophie very rarely meows). She was so pleased to see me. She was frightened and miserable.
I phoned the West Auckland Cat Rescue lady who came with a cat trap but to my horror the trap did not go off when Sophie reached near the end of the cage where the food was. I went home so disappointed but Sophie knew I was there for her now. I took plenty of food back that night so she wouldn't risk crossing the main road in search of food and gave her my cardigan and one of her blankets to sleep on where she had obviously been sheltering in a little shed like building under a porch.
Next morning I had to place her food halfway in the cage. To my relief she was in the same place and was eating the food in no time. At five that night I was to meet the cat rescue lady again (a wonderful and amazing lady) and there Sophie was again in the same place. This time we had a more sensitive trap. Because Sophie is so scared of people I had to take the trap and set it myself next to where she had been sheltering.
To my relief Sophie was in that trap straight away eating the food and the trap door went down once she was near the end of the cage. When I got her home she was skinny but oh so happy and our pain was over. Sophie had got badly lost.
During all this I was amazed how people would stop to talk to me in the street when I was putting flyers out - wanting to help by looking out for her and wanting to know what Sophie looked like.
Social media and Lost Pet Finders have helped me through this daily ordeal. I am so grateful to everyone. I think of people still looking for their lost pets and knowing the pain they are going through my advise is to keep looking and to never give up hope. I never gave up." - Lorna
MOVING HOUSE WITH YOUR CAT Monday 11 June 2018 @ 13:00
MOVING HOUSE WITH YOUR CAT
We recently asked our followers about one piece of advice they would give to someone who is moving house with a cat. We all know that the process of moving house can be very stressful for territorial animals resulting in increased risk of them going missing.
Thank you, your response was truly amazing! We received so many great tips and valuable suggestions, that we decided to combine them all into one handy checklist that contains the wisdom and experience of so many people. It is a must-have for every family sharing their home with feline companions. So share it around and print/save it into your cat’s personal file (don’t have one? Time to make one) for future reference. Here we go…
“Moving house with your cat” guide.
CATTERY ACCOMMODATION. If you can afford it, place your cat with a cattery for a few days while moving.
Hazel Luckstedt recommends: “It is a good idea to put them in a cattery on the day the removal man comes. The removal of the furniture and the strange men really freak out most cats. I leave mine in the cattery until the furniture is safely in the new house. When you bring them home to the new house there are familiar things and smells which help to settle them in their new home.”
“We too put ours in a cattery. They are indoor cats and don't want them escaping through open doors during moving.” adds Wendy Goffage
KEEP THINGS UNDER CONTROL. If cattery is not a option, try following these steps provided by Toni Farlow:
“3-4 days prior to moving leave [your cats’] carriers out for them to get accustomed to.
On the day of moving, keep them in a room that won’t be accessed until you finally go.
Put them in carriers and take to new home. DO NOT LET THEM OUT YET!
Put them in a room that won’t be accessed while shifting furniture. Shut the door and leave them in the room in their carriers until all removalists have left. The cats can be let out of their carriers now but DO NOT LET THEM OUT OF THIS ROOM. Let them become accustomed to this room and its smells over 2-3 days. This gives them time to regain confidence after moving from their old home.
Depending on your cat’s confidence level, gradually let them explore more rooms a bit at a time. This could take 1-3 days or 1-3 weeks! ONLY THEN CAN YOU LET THEM OUTSIDE IF THEY ARE ALLOWED.” - Toni Farlow
Clare Dolphin also reminds you may need to “Wear earplugs for the drive…”
TAKE TIME TO ADJUST. So many of you have emphasised the importance of giving your cat enough time to get used to the indoors first by keeping them in for at least 2 weeks before allowing them to explore the outdoors.
Jan Kelly says: “I always keep them inside until they are comfortable in their new environment. Depending on the personality of the cat this could be any time between 4 - 14 days”
Christine Vimini adds: “Do not be tempted to let them outside, no matter how much they’re used to going outside and no matter how much they whinge. They must bond to the new place & that can take time. Depending on your cat, at least 2 weeks, up to 4 indoors.”
“If you think you’ve kept them inside for long enough, give it another week” suggests Kimberly Skilton
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS. Once your feline friend is used to the new house, you can take him or her outside to start exploring the surroundings:
Samuel Merlino says: “carry them around the block a few times or take them on a lead, if they don't like the lead then walk alongside them keeping an absolute HAWK eye on them so they don't get out of your reach… They should get familiar with the smells and the route home IF they do ever get out. And believe me, cats will find a way to get out! The thing is to make sure they are familiar with the territory so they know the way home and the safe places to hide if they get scared.”
Gill Youngleson also points out that “If other cats come into his new territory, you need to help your cat establish his by clapping loudly and frightening other cats away. It’s worked for two big moves.”
Deborahlea Harrison adds: “be on the lookout for other neighbourhood cats that may have already staked the place as territory as this is when cat fights happen.”
Another great idea is provided by Cathy Donaldson-Serkin: “get to know your neighbours asap. And tell them about your cat family member”
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. Once you are confident about your kitty going outside on their own consider this advice:
Judy Lidstone says: “don't feed before letting out feed when they come back inside”
Anna Purgar also adds: “When you finally let them outside don't pick them up and place them in the middle of the lawn. Just open the door, sit with them so they can explore and feel secure.”
HELP TO RELAX: Many people reported to have great success with the following handy tricks:
Vivienne Timmins says: “Mum use to smear butter on their paws, her logic always was that they can't stand the feeling of it on them and will automatically groom and lick to clean off, which leads to being tired followed by sleep and thus starts the acclimatising to their new surroundings, new smells and noises that are in the background as they sleep.”
Christine Gillie explains: “Supposed to work because the logic is they lay back and clean themselves… so relax and accept it as home. I have always done it immediately on bringing them into the new home”
Samantha Moreland also adds this tip: “Cats have glands on their cheeks, rub a face washer on their face and then rub their scent in your new house, will help them settle faster as it will smell like them”
BRING FAMILIAR THINGS. Bring to your new house as many things from the old house as you can.
Nola Squeak Brewer recommends: “Make sure you have their usual bedding for them to sleep on… don't wash it as they need familiar smells to help them settle and feel at home”
Diana Bassani also adds: “don't wash a sheet or blanket that has your scent on it for them to cuddle up with.”
PLENTY OF TLC. And of course don’t forget to give them love and attention throughout the ordeal.
Kat Katrijn says: “Don’t get so caught up in your own moving-stress that you forget about spending time with them. They need to be ensured that the bond you share didn’t stay behind in the old house.”
SUPPLEMENTS. Try special cat pheromones to help your cat feel more calm and relaxed in the new environment:
Sharon Young recommends: “Plug in some feliway. You can get it at the vet. Sprays happy pheromones into the air to help keep your cat calm. Also good when introducing new cats.”
“If they are very stressed get some Rescue Remedy and put it in their food. Works really well to calm them down.” adds Kellie Mayne
CONSIDER KEEPING INDOORS. We strongly encourage you to consider keeping your cat inside on a permanent basis or think about setting up an enclosure for you little buddy:
Mel Brown make a great point: “Moving to a new house is a great time to change the rules on the family moggie. Cats are protected from being hit by cars, fights with other cats potentially catching feline aids, attacked by neighbourhood dogs, being poisoned, stolen or lost. New homes, new rules, keep your moggie inside.”
“I built a cat run they aren't that expensive if u want kitty to have outdoor time” adds Fiona Mcdonald
Jenni Moore also says: “Keep them indoors ALL the time. They are safe & so is the wildlife outside.”
UPDATE PERSONAL DETAILS. And last but definitely not least, make sure everything is updated with your new details.
Jan Jolly reminds: “UPDATE ALL DETAILS!!! Before the move...microchip, vet, contact numbers etc…”
Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your insightful input in creating this “Moving house with your cat” guide.
REUNION OF THE DAY: Jack the cat lost from Christchurch Thursday 31 May 2018 @ 13:00
REUNION OF THE DAY: Jack the cat lost from Christchurch
"Jack is our 11 year old British Shorthair who became disorientated and found himself lost after we moved house in April. He is a gorgeous boy who loves routine and never strays far but moving from Prebbleton where we lived in a large house with a large garden, to a two bedroom townhouse in Somerfield was a bit daunting and confusing for Jack.
The move also coincided with the start of the school holidays and I was worried that he might be in someone’s garage and that the family may have gone away for a couple of weeks.
Another factor which would not have helped was that we put Jack in a cattery for five days while we unpacked as we didn’t yet have a cat door. Unfortunately on the first day home from the cattery he did go outside – and he didn’t return.
Because he is such a homebody who doesn’t take easily to strangers and is scared of children, I realised he wouldn’t make himself known to people and therefore we were worried about him surviving for too long on his own - being older and also being used to the comforts of home. We also figured he would probably be easier to find at night.
What did we do to try to get him back ? We printed a few hundred flyers which we dropped into letterboxes in the area. We placed an advert on Trade Me, we joined Lost Pet Finders, rang all the vets in the local area, contacted the SPCA and Cats’ Protection League (mainly for advice on what to do).
We were given valuable information on how to entice Jack home – like leaving an article of our clothing outside or his favourite rug that he likes to sleep on, or (if you have any) some of his kitty litter that he may pick up a whiff of. It was also suggested that we look for him late at night or during the early hours of the morning when he would have more confidence to be out and about rather than hiding in bushes.
The good news! We were driving home from the Court Theatre 6 nights into his disappearance, when my husband saw him run across the road. He was only one block away from home! When he heard me calling him he stopped on the footpath and waited for me to pick him up. Relieved and overjoyed (all three of us – I think I can also speak for Jack) we took him the short distance home in the car. He was hungry but apart from that he was in good shape.
One lesson we have learnt is that we did not spread the net far enough when we were walking around streets calling his name. He was very close to home but unfortunately we were looking in the wrong direction as we ASSUMED that he would have gone in that direction (which he didn’t – he went the other way).
After we found him we kept him in for two weeks. Now he has a brand new cat door and once again he is back into a routine and doesn’t stray far. He’s an older boy who likes to structure his day mainly around sleeping – on his rug on our bed during the day and on his rug in our living room at night. Now that we have been in our new house for six weeks he is confident in his surroundings and is never too far away to hear me calling him.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who cared about Jack when he was missing – and that includes Lost Pet Finders who provided amazing support both practically and emotionally, to help us find our much loved boy. I have realised how many kind people there are in our city and in my opinion pet lovers are amongst the nicest people around.
Ps: the photos are recent and depict what Jack does during the day now that he isn’t exploring the neighbourhood and getting himself lost." - Trish
REUNION OF THE DAY: Frankie the lost cat from Hamilton, New Zealand Monday 28 May 2018 @ 13:00
"What a roller coaster of emotions it has been this last week. Frankie is our 2.5 year old tabby with absolute personality who disappeared unexpectedly on Sunday 13th May.
He and his brother Leo have been a part of our family since they were 10 weeks old. We couldn’t resist them both at SPCA and had to get both of them. Frankie has real character and to get our attention he would try to trick us into thinking he was hungry again. He would jump onto the bench look at us and then push something off all the while getting our attention as if to say “come on feed me will you” We missed that so much even though at times it got annoying.
Every time we drove home we would be wondering if he would be home, every time we fed Leo we would wonder if he come from around the corner and be there too but he wasn’t. Our home wasn’t the same without Frankie. I would call him every night and every morning to see if he would come. Sometimes wondering if he would ever come back.
We shared the Lost Pet Finders post on our local facebook pages and got lots of well wishes, we knew people would let us know if they saw him. One person resent us a post which looked so much like Frankie but sadly wasn’t.
We all missed him so much. We prayed every night that he would come home, but he didn’t not till early Saturday 19th May he bounded through our cat door into our bedroom and meowed very loudly. I said to my husband rather loudly thats Frankie he said “No its not thats Leo” i was sure it was Frankie and so turned my torch on from my phone and sure enough it was Frankie wanting food and lots of attention at 1:15am. His pads were very red but after food & sleep he has settled back into our family. Ours prayers were indeed answered.
We just wanted to thank you for your website, getting lots of encouraging comments and suggestions. We appreciated the daily emails of what we could do to help bring Frankie home." - Ray
REUNION OF THE DAY: Sophie the cat from Christchurch Thursday 24 May 2018 @ 13:00
REUNION OF THE DAY: Sophie the cat from Christchurch
"We would love to say a big thank you to all those watching out for Sophie and for your good services!
We have had her for about 5 months from the Cat Protection League and she is 8 months old. A most affectionate, loveable , sensitive and intelligent little cat.
Sophie disappeared through her cat flap last Friday night. She was not herself and I believe it was because her main care giver had to go away for a meeting a day or so before, for 12 days. I’m sure it stressed and unsettled her.
The strain and anxiety for us was horrid to say the least, especially fearing she was hurt and suffering. We got posters put up everywhere and alerted neighbours and friends - and some ‘in the know’ put her onto Lost Cat services for us.
The love and support and reassuring stories from friends and services was amazing. We heard many stories about how others felt when their cat was missing and got hope through this that their cats sometimes just went walkabout.
She came home on Monday night about 10.30pm through the cat flap. We rang the neighbours earlier to search their large property and sheds again as she was last seen walking on top of the wall by one of the occupants. We think this may have unearthed her hiding place or may have been accidentally locked in.
Our welcome when she was discovered was over the moon! She was thinner, very hungry and thirsty and wouldn’t let us out of her sight. She just wanted to cuddle up and cried out until she tucked up with one of us all that night.
Thank you for your interest and kindness and helping others in time of distress. Attached is a favourite photo of Sophie not long after we got her. She is just as she looks!" - Love and gratitude from the Carmelite Sisters.