A Cumberland Foreside, Maine, man bought a full-page ad to run for three days in The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the state’s largest-circulation newspaper, and offered a $500 reward, to locate his family’s beloved cat.
Judson Smith and his wife, Katerine, are looking for Kaden, a Bengal cat that’s been missing from the family home since Aug. 26. The cat was last seen Aug. 28 on a nearby road.
“I realize it’s a little extreme,” said Judson Smith, the cat’s owner. But he says it was his own carelessness that caused the cat’s disappearance. “I guess I just feel responsible. I left the window open. It was my fault and my two little girls are devastated. They miss him. We all miss him.”
Kaden is 7 years old, weighs 11 pounds and has orange and brown fur with stripes and spots.
The cat usually finds some way to escape from the Smiths’ home near the Cumberland/Falmouth town line around the time of a full moon, Smith. The last full moon was Aug. 24.
But even when he does go on the lam, Kaden is usually sleeping on the family’s porch by morning. But the Smiths began to worry when he didn’t return home after a couple of days.
That’s when the family decided to place the ad in the newspaper.
The ad lists 11 clues to identifying Kaden, including his distinctive markings and colors that blend into the scenery. The ad says Kaden uses an “awesome leopardlike cry to say he’s stressed, lonely, bored, sad and or hungry (all the time).”
It says Kaden can seem skittish, but is friendly if he is approached slowly and talked to, he’s extremely fast and “will talk back to you if you call his name or ask him a question.”
“It’s been kind of hard to sleep,” Smith said. “It’s such an awful feeling. We’ve been frantically driving up and down the roads. I have scrapes all over my legs from looking in the woods. I just want to find him.”
Judson and Katherine are worried that Kaden has been attacked by a fox; the animals are increasing in population in the neighborhood.
Katherine is also concerned that if someone finds him, Kaden could easily escape again.
“Kaden can actually jump 6 feet high,” she said. “He is a jumper. He can jump from the floor to the top of a doorway.”
The Smiths have posted fliers in their neighborhood and at nearby businesses.
Eric Olson, an employee at the Falmouth Town Landing store, said a flier is posted on the notice board outside. He said he looks for the cat when he takes walks with his wife.
“It’s very unfortunate for him,” Olson said. “I have indoor cats. I would be upset if my cats got out too.”
Sunday was the last day the ad appeared in the newspaper. Smith received about 40 calls on Saturday, but none of them panned out.
The family has been amazed by the outpouring of support from the community. He said two young girls called and offered to help search for Kaden. An older woman left a message of support on the family’s answering machine.
“People are heartsick,” Smith said, and so is the family’s other Bengal house cat, Basi. “She is mourning bad. Kaden is like her bigger brother.”
Catsters in the area who want more information on Kaden, or who think they may have seen him, can click on the “Source” link below for a phone number where they can contact the Smiths.