A few weeks ago, Claire was in distress with a seeming urinary infection at 10:30 at night. I saw she was in pain and so I put her in a carrier to take her to Emergency Vet. Although it was a carrier that we had been using for weeks, one of the ties broke and it came apart on the way to the car and Claire escaped!
While I thought I saw Claire run into a clump of bushes, three of us searching for Claire, a mostly black cat, in the dark with flashlights produced no results. After about an hour, we resolved to go to bed and try again in the light of day.
The next day, searching, calls, food left in a traps, and various other ploys having failed, someone reminded us of Kim Freeman, of www.LostCatFinder.com. While I knew Kim, I had never seen her in action. I called her and she came right over.
She brought Henry, a tuxedo cat whom she has trained. He had on a vest with a GPS tag on it so Kim could recover him in case he got lost in the process of finding another cat. Kim took him out of the car on a leash, let him get the smells of the lot and the lay of the land, and then let him off the leash, telling him to go to work.
I swear I speak fluent "cat." I watched Henry. He went to the bushes where I had last seen Claire and sniffed. He "said," "She was here but she's gone now." He turned around and headed toward one of the sheds. When he got closer, he stiffened up, began twitching the very end of his tail and, I promise, pointed with his nose like a dog! He crept closer to the shed, stuck his head under it, and looked a few seconds. He then straightened up, turned around, "said," "Yep. She's under there," and headed off to inspect something more interesting. Kim followed her cat.
I thought, "Oh sure. It's probably just a toad." I knelt down and looked under the shed. Lo and behold! THERE WAS CLAIRE!
We surrounded the shed as more people came to help. We offered her food and she came to the edge. I have no patience whatsoever, so I grabbed at her. Dumb move. Didn't work. She retreated. We tried various tricks. Then I remembered that there is no cat on the planet who can resist Popeye's Fried Chicken. I drove to Dripping Springs, got a piece of Popeye's, returned, offered it to her and, wisely, got out of the way. When she came out seeking that wonderful smell, there were three people with patience there to nab her. She is safe at home, thanks to Henry and, of course, Kim.
More good news is that when Kim and another volunteer picked her up, she peed all over them, so we knew she was nowhere near blocked. (Incidentally, males' bladders can block, resulting, ultimately in an excruciatingly painful death if untreated. Females are very uncomfortable and in pain, but don't usually block.) She has been treated for her infection and is back to being her old self again, our wonderful "Claire Bear."
Claire is available for adoption. She is about 4 or 5 years old, a tiny, compact kitty, who loves people, is okay with dogs and with non-threatening cats.
We would recommend Henry and Kim to anyone who has lost a cat outside. They are wonderful!