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Buzz Lightyear: To Infinity. . . and. . .Back Home! NEW
April 1 - May 16, 2003 — missing 46 days.
Inbetweenie (not the most timid, nor the most relaxed) The tale of a cat owner (and mom of four young kids) who braves foxes, snow, rain and cornfields to find her family's beloved kitty, Buzz.

Buzz back at home...what a beautiful cat.



Tonight just before dark I went to set my traps. I placed one at the home of the neighbor where Buzz was spotted last Saturday morning (3rd house on left of this street) and one in the yard where the strays are fed (1st house on the left of this street). I was talking with the lady who feeds the strays when the lady who lives in the middle house (2nd house on the left of this street) called her to say she saw Buzz go in the back yard of the house across the street from both of them. She knew I was still there as I had talked to her just minutes before while she was out working in her yard. I grabbed a can of kitty treats that I had with my stash of supplies and walked to the house where this lady saw Buzz. I looked around and finally spotted him sitting under an evergreen tree in the backyard. He carefully watched me shaking the can of treats and let me get rather close before running to the house next door. I lost sight of him momentarily as it was a little hilly here. When we finally spotted each other again he started meowing and meowing and meowing!! At that moment, I was 100% sure this all black cat was indeed the ever so elusive Buzz who had been missing for 46 days now! We were probably 50 feet away from each other and I was afraid to approach him further for fear he'd run into a wooded area behind this house. I started tossing cats treats to him and then started scattering them closer to me also. He started eating them right away. He was starving! I sat on the ground and continued tossing and scattering the cat treats. He got close enough to me that I could touch him! I picked him up once but he pulled away from me. I threw out more treats. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and just decided to grab him the best I could and not let go. The lady who feeds the strays went and got her cat carrier while I took Buzz into the garage of the lady who lives next door to her. We shut the garage door. He started purring right away!!!! I'll never forget that purring! He hasn't stopped yet either!

I got Buzz safely in the cat carrier and went to disable the traps. I hope to never have to see one again! Can you believe I actually caught a squirrel in one earlier today? I left one of the traps set at the house of the lady who feeds the strays baited all day today and just kept checking it. He ignored the stuff nearby for raccoons and possums that I would have thought he'd prefer.

I walked in the door with Buzz just before 9 pm. My husband looked at the carrier and said, "What is that?" I said, "What do you think!" He was so shocked! The kids were excited also. I opened the carrier in the mudroom with the door closed and only myself in there. I didn't want all of the excitement to stress him out! He went straight for the food and water. Since the return of Buzz he has gone back and forth between us and his food. He also hasn't stopped meowing. He has tried to sleep several times but can't seem to relax or sit still. It seems as though the moment he falls asleep something wakes him up.

Buzz and Cosmo have a lot of making up to do. Right now Cosmo is hiding on top of my kitchen cabinets. They have gotten into it some and my husband remarked that it appears Buzz has picked up something while out on the street. I hope they become best buddies again. Probably with time this will get better.

Buzz is in good shape considering his ordeal. He looks about half his size. He has places in his coat that are thinner. Other than that though he looks great! I am taking him to the vet first thing tomorrow morning just to be sure. Buzz survived 46 days during which it snowed, rained, hail, 50+ mph winds, tornado watches, and several thunderstorms! The temps ranged as low as 15-20 degrees and on warmer days it was in the 80s. Nighttimes averaged in the low to mid 30s.

OUR BUZZ IS HOME !!!!! I can't thank you enough. Without your help it would have never been possible. Thank you so, so very much.

It is late here and I'm going to try to sleep. I'll check back tomorrow. Hope you can make sense out of my ramblings. The important part: Buzz is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still can't believe. I could not have done it without your support, encouragement, and advice. THANK YOU!!!


Oh my goodness, Kim! I am sooooo happy for you!

Ahhhh what a wonderful thing! I'm so glad you were finally able to get that Buzz back home. I'm so glad he seems to be in good shape despite that 46 day ordeal, poor guy!

"We shut the garage door. He started purring right away!!!! I'll never forget that purring! He hasn't stopped yet either!"

Sage did the same exact thing! Once she was inside, she was the sweet tame cat she always was. The switch from wild to tame is so amazing. The purring is so sweet to hear. Sage also went between the food, water, and us. Sage would sleep really hard, really fast, but then wake up easily. I think because she hadn't had a good night's sleep in a long time and she was used to being on hyper alert.

So glad to hear your family is back together! Knowing another kitty was able to get back home is one of the most rewarding things in the world. Enjoy all the purrs and kitty snuggles!


NOTE: Notice how consistent this phenomena is — scaredy cat behavior when frightened and pet cat behavior when secure. Just as mysteriously as the sweet pet cat behavior disappears, in the blink of an eye — and in the confines of safety — the sweet demeanor can mysteriously switch right back on.


Buzz back home in his favorite sleeping spot.

I took Buzz to the vet first thing Saturday morning and he had lost four pounds. He weighed 12 pounds prior and got down to 8 pounds 2 ounces. He was in excellent shape otherwise and only had two ticks in his ear. The vet did not think they had been there very long either as they were not very big. His coat was thinner in places too but he was quite clean considering. I had Buzz and Cosmo both microchipped while there. Just in case! Although, I do not think I could bear a repeat like that rascal Scoonie!

Buzz and Cosmo just yesterday stopped hissing at each other (5-6 days). Cosmo was the primary hisser! Buzz is slowly regaining his strength too. His first night back he seemed really spunky but we think that was adrenaline. Within a few hours he got much weaker. The first two days or so Buzz ate fast and kept looking side to side while he ate. That has stopped and while he still eats frequently he seems much more relaxed. He is also much more affectionate than he ever was. His first night back he slept under the covers between my husband and I. It was so funny to see him go under the covers and make himself a cozy spot! Buzz has slept alot this week! The first few days he would seem to suddenly be startled awake after only a few minutes. Just not in a real deep sleep at all. These last few days though I think he is catching up. I still look at him and say "is that really you Buzz?" Whereas it was not long ago I remember thinking how can one day I have a cat and the next day he just vanishes!


PS For "show and tell" today my daughter (6 yo in kindergarten) took a picture of Buzz and wanted me to write a note so her teacher could tell the class about how we found Buzz! Last year after we adopted him and Cosmo we took them to her preschool class and to my son's kindergarten class for show and tell. (He had the same teacher she has this year.) She wanted to take Buzz to school again today but I thought he had been through enough stress lately. Not to mention I am not wild about him leaving the house ever again. Once a year to go to the vet is enough for me!

Follow Buzz's story mid-way into his adventure, from April 24 until he was found May 16, and learn about the techniques Kim used and her amazing perseverance here.

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