Sometimes it takes a village — sometimes, even an RV village — to get a cat back home.
Floridians Rod and Jan Carter were staying at the Durango RV park in Red Bluff, CA when two of their cats escaped from their motorhome. One cat was found almost immediately, but the second seemed to vanish into thin air.
The cat who pulled the houdini act, Iniki, is a gorgeous grey Burmese with dazzling yellow eyes.
The couple was devastated. The RV Park staff and vacationing guest volunteers formed a search party. The Carters stayed an additional day searching for Iniki until they had to depart, due to a prior commitment in San Diego.
But neither the guests at the park nor the park staff gave up on finding Iniki.
A few days later Charlotte Pertz, a park guest, heard a loud meowing under her rig. Park Manager Pam Cappello crawled under the rig and managed to grab him, getting filthy in the process.
Employees immediately set to work to get care for the cat and look for a way to get him home. Kristen Gray called local vets and Alicia Ison called airlines to arrange transportation home.
Unfortunately, the airline flights were prohibitively expensive, so they investigated what it would take to drive the cat down to San Diego — a 650-mile trip.
In many places, you’d be hard-pressed to find people willing to make a 12-plus hour drive to take a stranger’s cat home. But there was an overwhelming response from the Durango community and ultimately, Pat and Nancy Patterson ended up as the transporters.
The Pattersons, originally from San Jose, had been staying in Durango for the season and offered to make a special trip to reunite Iniki with his owners.
With three cats of their own, the Pattersons said they could relate to the pain of losing a pet and hoped that others would be willing to do the same if they were in a similar situation.
The couple left Red Bluff and 4 a.m. Thursday and on Friday the Durango RV Park staff received a phone call to let them know that Iniki was now safely home.
[SOURCE: Red Bluff Daily News]