A Missing Cat
Many owners know the feeling of
panic when their cat does not return home. It is natural to assume the
worst, but reflection will bring to mind a number of times which have been
false alarms. Some cats are natural wanderers and will go off for days at a
time. Your cat may have found something interesting to watch or a stray cat,
which situation requires a long period of each pretending to be unaware of
the other. It may even be that the cat has been overcome by a desire to
sleep, and having found a quiet and comfortable spot has settled down and is
not listening for any calling.
If after sometime, however, your cat has not appeared, you may need to take
some action. Make sure you have a powerful torch ready, in case you have to
look for your cat in the dark.
The first thing to do is think about when and where the cat was last seen.
It is worth having a good look indoors to start with. The cat's favourite
places should be checked, followed by a thorough look around the house. Cats
are very good at pushing doors open, but having difficulty pulling one back
to get out from the other side. You should search the room at floor level,
thereby getting down to the cats eye view, which will show you all the nooks
and crannies under beds and furniture, which cats love. In bedrooms turn
back the bedding to make sure the cat is not there and the tops of wardrobes
and cupboards should be checked; a loud noise might have made the cat hide
in and out-of-the-way place.
If you can't find the cat indoors, you should start looking outside. Choose
a quiet moment for calling, and listen carefully for a response. The garden
should be searched, along with neighbouring properties, paying attention to
sheds, garages, coal bunkers, greenhouses and other areas where the cat
might have got trapped. Check the front garden and roadside hedges in case
the cat is injured as it will want to hide to recover.
If none of this produces a result, the next move must be to widen the
search, and you need to publicise to find more information. People
like the milkman, postman, newspaper delivery boy will be visiting most
houses in the local area and can be asked to keep eyes and ears open for any
news. It is worth contacting the local police station as they are aware of
things around the neighbourhood. It is also wise to give details of the cat
to the local RSPCA inspector and local veterinary surgeons, as good-hearted
people often take injured cats for treatment. In some areas animal welfare
organisations keep a register of lost and found cats.
Notices should be placed in local shops and any convenient trees, telegraph
posts and fences. The local papers and radio station may be willing to help
with publicity. You can deliver leaflets to houses in the neighbourhood. The
pub is also a good point for spreading and finding out information.
If these measures produce no result, there is little more that can be done.
Cats have been known to reappear after long absences, but this is an outside
chance, and comfort must be taken in recalling times in the long and happy
relationship rather than the sadness of departure.
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