Cat Problem--1000th post --a final update--She's Back!! Add a pic p 6


RIP 1938-2020
Jul 6, 2010
Probably should have put this in the pet section but it is going to be a ramble so putting it here.

We have 5 cats, 3 which are 14 years old or older and are inside/outside cats. They go in and out(and in and our) during the day but come in at dusk to be fed canned catfood and remain inside until morning with one exception. Our oldest--someplace oveer 15--does not like canned cat food and, if he comes in too early will wake us at predawn to go out, so I generally wait until I'm on my way to bed to get him in. (I habitually stay up to watch the 11 o'clock news.) Our other 2 cats are strictly indoor cats although the older one, who is 6, has learned to open the outside sliding doors if they are left open a crack and will escape--never for any length of time since he is scared to death of the chickens. The other cat--a coal black, shorthair named Midnite--is the problem.

I found her under the woodpile as a 3-month kitten three years ago. At the time she was a loving kitten and very friendly towards my DW and myself. So DW decided we should keep her. This necessitated my taking her to the vet to check for feline leukemia--negative--and those first shots. Something about being transported in a carrier and the shots traumatize her and, from that day onward she has be scared to death of me. If I approached her, she'd run away. In fact, she adopted this behavior with everyone except DW--she'd sleep on her side of the bed, sit on her lap and, generally, act like her cat. There were exceptions: she would not sit still to be groomed, using any kind of flea treatment was impossible, clipping her nails or taking her to the vet were out of the question. (We did get her spade which was made easy by the fact she was in heat at the time and easy to capture.) If we had company she'd hide in the cellar for the duration--in close to 3 years my daughters and grandkids have yet to really get little more than a fleeting look at her. Unfortunately she neither liked canned catfood or cat treats and, as a result, never really learned her name or came when called. In short, she became feral as far as anyone but DW was concerned. The only good thing was that we kept her inside and either she had no desire to go out or anytime she thought about it I'd be near the door so she ran the other way.

Ok this sets up what happened on Monday night. I'm down with a doozy of a head cold--runny nose, head ache, sore throat and cough. I had watched, half slept through the Monday Night football game, woke up to see the last couple of minutes and then headed off to bed. Last thing was to get the last cat in. It was a warm, muggy night and while he was near the door, he didn't exactly want to come in. I'm in no mood to play games so I step out to get him. Once I have him in hand I turn around to see that I've either left the sliding door open or the cat has opened it. Either way it is a jail break. All the cats are outside. I drop the cat I have inside, close the door and check the bedroom for Midnite. She's not there. I go back to the outside door and there she is starring through it at me. Of course as soon as I open it she runs away. Hoping she'll return, I round up the other 3 cats--who all come when I call--and then go looking for her. I find her wedged in under part of the deck. When I reach in to grab her she scratches me and runs away. We haven't seen her since. For the next hour, cold and all, I wander around calling her to no avail. I didn't want to wake DW because I didn't want her to loose sleep over it.

That was 4 days ago. We have called, left food out, etc. and still no cat. We have neighbors up and down our road looking for her. If I could find where she went I would live-trap her but don't want to do this willy-nilly as I really don't want to capture a skunk or a raccoon. As far as her being gone I ambivalent about it. In one sense I p.o ed because she won't come and deserves to be left where she is. On the other my DW is upset and I feel really guilty about the fact she got out on my error. Also I really don't like the idea of leaving a domestic animal out to fend for itself--I really think that's how she arrived here in the first place, someone dropped her off. So I'm caught between a rock and a hard place and hope that she remembers enough about where she came from to, eventually, return. (I might point out that our older cat is real possessive of the place and will drive off stray cats so he might be chasing her away when she tries to come back.)

At any rate, that's my ramble. Got it off my chest. Thanks for listening. Now back to chickens.
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Same thing happened to me, except during that time, we had a barbecue with over 60 people and I am sure that cat would not come back due to the stress of all those people around.
Forog tto add, Daisy is NOT a friendly cat to anyone, even me, though sometimes she would come by me. Have had her for 10 years.

Sure enough, she did, the day AFTER the BBQ. I think that she wasn't sure about coming in the door again, even whan I was outside calling her name
Hang in there, with Daisy, she was HUNGRY which is what made her comeback
Now, she goes in and out like an old pro
I feel the same way about our dog that likes to escape.

Honestly, I'd not lose any sleep over it. She survived fairly well for the first months of her life, the rest is just instinct. It could also be that she found another owner...
I hate it when I don't know where one of my cats is.

Cats have a really good homing instinct, and having lived with you for this long I have no doubt she knows exactly where home is. She's probably a lot closer than you think she is, too. Is there any way you could close the other three cats up out of the living room and leave the door cracked open for a few hours? (Preferably when you aren't anywhere near it? And doesn't that just make you feel loved...
) She sounds like the type of cat who will want to make an unnoticed re-entry to the house.
Our house is built on a side hill so the lower part of the basement is above grade and there is a door that opens to the outside. The past couple of nights we've been keeping our other 4 cats upstairs and opening that door with some dry food in front of it. Thus far it hasn't worked but we had torrential rains last night so will try it again. Only hope a skunk or raccoon doesn't decide they want in.
You could get a live trap and bait it with kitty food and hope to catch her. There was a lady here who did that very same thing. Took her a couple of months though, but finally she got her cat. I now have the trap as she sold it on CL.
Caught my share of cats in it also. Good luck finding your kitty.

First off, cats pick their people, people don't pick cats. Second, the cat will come back. I had one disappear for 8 months and then there she was one day howling at the door like nothing had happened.
You need to put some of your recently used blankets and even your wifes clothes outside in random areas around your house... if she smells a familiar scent it will help her find her way home and stay around the house until you can catch her...
Also..i would set up a have a heart trap... put your wifes recently worn clothes in it with some food... if the cat smells your wifes scent he may go into the trap..
If you catch a coon or something in the trap.. well.. its your decision what to do with it... you can just release it or whatever...
Did you speak to the neighbors? Maybe they have seen her...
Its been 4 days.. i'd be very worried at this point..
Good luck..
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BTW, this isn't good. On my way home from town last night I spotted her in a field about a mile--as the crow flies--from our house. This field is downhill and through a lot of second growth trees and brush between us and it. There is no way she could have just wandered there or been chased by our other cats so how she got there I am not sure except we do have a few gray and red foxes around and I suspect they may have chased her. At any rate I jumped out of the car and went to her calling. She meowed back, rolled on her back so I knew it was her--she has a distinctive white spot on her chest and another inside her hind leg--but wouldn't come to me. After moving her a bit she jumped into a row of bushes, when I tried to get around her I fell into a 3' deep hole and messed up a knee. Called my DW on my cell, she came down and we went on a 2-hour vigil, calling and trying to spot her. At one point DW saw her but she wouldn't come even though she was offered food. Finally, after we were both thoroughly chilled through, we baited a hava-heart with catfood and covered it with the blanket she sleeps on at night and left. Have checked the trap twice and she hasn't come to it so am not sure she will. My wife's holding out hope but I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that she's not coming back. For one thing I doubt she can find her way back from where she is.

Thanks for all your kind words and suggestions. We had all our neighbors looking for her but I was the first to spot her since she left.
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