Orange Tabby's Catnap Panics Owners
The following is a must-read for any of you planning to embark on road trips with your pets in tow. And, it's a must-read for anyone looking for a feel-good story to jump-start your day.
By LaMoine Roth
Published: Friday, June 26, 2009 8:12 AM CDT
Several weeks ago I was out of town. Regardless if I am home or on the road my cell phone is always on and always ringing.
I had received several calls regarding relinquishing cats, wanting to adopt kittens, found cats and at approximately 10:30 a.m. I received a call from Lonnie Berger who owns our local Wendy's Restaurant. He said he had a couple stop in and ask him if any of his employees had seen his missing cat.
Lonnie said he would call and see if York Adopt a Pet could offer any help. After visiting with Lonnie I asked if I could have the travelers cell phone number and could get information directly from him.
The phone had barely rung when Jerry answered his cell phone. He and his wife, Sharon, were traveling from Belton, Texas to Minnesota for the summer. They were pulling a fifth-wheel travel trailer with their yellow lab JJ King (right) and their yellow cat named Ken Kat (top). They had spent the night at Comfort Inn. JJ King and Ken Kat had spent the night in the fifth wheel. Early the next morning before getting back on the road, Jerry took JJ King for a walk.
Sharon thinking he also had Ken Kat (who always wears a halter leash while traveling) left the camper door open. Arriving back at the camper Jerry saw the open camper door and NO Ken Kat. After spending a great deal of time checking out the camper, under the camper, under the truck, in the near by area they were panicked to discover that Ken Kat had simply vanished.
They spread their search to include the surrounding businesses and this is when Lonnie called me.
I told Jerry I couldn't be back until approximately 5 p.m., but promised to stop on my way into York and we would form a game plan. I talked with Jerry several times in the afternoon and he and his wife had spent an exhausting day checking out the corn field just to the east of Comfort Inn. It was our first day in the 90s and very humid.
Pulling off the interstate I met Jerry and Sharon next to their camper. I had reassured them during the day that I knew Ken Kat would be close by. Cats don't run like dogs when they are in unfamiliar territory. They usually run to the nearest area that they can hide. You can walk right by them and if they are scared enough they will not come when called. I also know that most cats won't come when called unless they WANT to, so I wasn't concerned that with them calling Kitty Kitty that he didn't come trotting up to them.
As I got out of my vehicle the first thing I asked was are you sure that he is not in the camper. Jerry said, No Maam, we checked every crevice and corner; he is not in the camper. We spent some time checking areas that they had already searched and I said I would get my live trap, some strong fishy cat food and come back to set the trap and wait until night fall when the area quieted down. I was certain Ken Kat would come sneaking out of the corn field. I told them that he was probably sitting there watching us the entire time. I did make one suggestion; I told Jerry to back his trailer as close to the corn field as possible and maybe put JJ King on his lease.
JJ King and Ken Kat were a bonded pair. When JJ King came carrying a little yellow kitten to their front door in Texas several years ago with the head out one side of his massive jaw and the hind legs out the other, Jerry was certain he was carrying a dead kitten. But no, he was just bringing him home. And they have been best friends from that day forward.
I drove about a mile when my cell phone rang. Jerry was yelling into the phone and I could hear his wife Sharon yelling in the background. They had backed the trailer as far east as it would go next to the corn field, and when they opened the camper door, BINGO! There sat Ken Kat. Sharon was so excited and relieved.
I came back to take a picture of the happy reunion.
Jerry said, You know I think when I moved the camper, it woke Ken Kat up from a nap.
They had searched the camper thoroughly and just knew he wasn't in there. I laughed and said cats can hide in an empty room and if they don't want to be seen, you won't to see them. Jerry and Sharon had an emotional and exhausting day, and all the while Ken Kat was taking a long cat nap. They were so appreciative of our help and I was thrilled that this cat story had such a great ending.
I talked to Lonnie later and he said they came back to thank him and to let him know they were reunited with Ken Kat. He said they were surprised strangers would be so willing to help them find their lost cat, and they would never forget York.
I won't forget their excitement and happiness when they were reunited with their cat. And as for Ken Kat, well he slept through most of the excitement.
Planning to take your cat on vacation with you? Check out The Cat's Meow's Road Trip Series on traveling with your cat.
[LINK: York News-Times]