Lost Kitty

One day last week I couldn't find my cat - it was to the point that I was running around the house with the treat bag calling her name like a crazy woman.

I even sent the dogs after her like bloodhounds ...which they are not.

I was panicking, thinking perhaps she had gotten out the back door and gone for a tour of the neighborhood. She doesn't ever go outside, so the thought of her wandering threw me for a loop. She wasn't in the back yard and she still wasn't coming when I called.

She finally came wandering out to the living room a couple of hours later, looking at me like nothing had happened. That's when I started doing some research to find out what to do if she ever really did get lost. Shudder.

The most important thing we can do for our pets is make sure they are micro-chipped. If they end up wandering into a neighbor's yard, they can take her to the vet and be scanned for a chip. Your contact information is registered nationally so that wherever she ends up, you can be found.

Second, make sure they're wearing their collars. I don't usually have Cay's on because it jingles in the middle of the night, but this little incident has made me change my mind. Check the tags to make sure they have the current information on them and you're all set.

Keep access to the outdoors closed at all times. This can be difficult when you're letting dogs in and out or you have children, but being aware of where she is can make all the difference. Also secure all of your window screens from the outside so your kitty won't fall out the window and run away scared.

If your cat does happen to escape, start by checking the little places a kitty could hide in - tires. old cars, buckets, fallen logs - anywhere she could wedge herself in. If there's a way she could get out of the yard, start asking neighbors if they've seen or heard her, taking a picture with you.

Leave some food on the porch and check frequently to see if she's returned. If not, consider calling local shelters and posting her description on the Internet's lost kitty sites. Believe it or not there are actually pet detectives and cat behaviourists whose job it is to find lost animals.

As a last resort, call the local vet's offices to see if she was brought in by a Good Samaritan for injury care. They may just be waiting to hear from you.

These are worst case scenarios, but something serious to be prepared for. An ounce of prevention is worth so much more in this kind of situation.


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