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16-year-old Gabby: Spring is in the Air
March 9 - March 11, 2004 — missing 2 days.
From the youngest kitty's story, 4-month-old Gollum, to (I think) the oldest kitty's story. Meet 16-year-old Gabby gone on a Springtime Walkabout.

16-year-old Gabby went on a Springtime Walkabout
(pretty girl has a butterscotch mark next to her nose just like our Becky >.< )

March 15, 2004

Thanks so much for your website with valuable information. I used the information in the site to find our lost cat. Here's our story.

Gabby, our 16 year old (!!) cat escaped out of a garage door left open on March 9. Gabby was a barn kitty her first two years of life, an indoor/outdoor cat for a few more years and an indoor only cat for the past 11 years.

She's always had an urge to go outside, especially when lured by the smell of Spring. [NOTE: Spring always brings an increase in wayward kitties! Gabby is not alone.] We are usually there to quickly shoo her back inside. She is declawed on the front feet so we never left her outside alone and never more than a few steps from the door.

Anyway, I couldn't sleep March 9 and couldn't figure out why. I got up and remembered that I forgot to leave some food out for Gabby (as I usually do) and then it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Gabby all evening. She's an old couch potato so it isn't unusual for her to be upstairs hiding out all evening in some cushy location.

After a midnight search of the house, I began to get a strong feeling that she was not in the house. I suspected one of the kids had left the garage door to the house open that afternoon and she'd escaped. I put some food outside the front door just in case and tried to get some sleep. The next morning, I printed up fliers, passed them around, walked the neighborhood and talked to as many neighbors as I could find. Called animal control...vets' offices...That night I put more food out in several spots around the yard.

It was, as you say, as if she had vanished into thin air.

The next day, I distributed fliers to vets' offices, walked the neighborhood and bought a humane trap to try to trap her (as you suggested — though never had to use it). Well, that evening around 6 pm, our next door neighbor came to the door and said he thought he'd found our cat. I instinctively asked, "Is she alive?" because she's very old...he looked surprised at that question and said "Yes"...

I went over and in his garage, hiding behind his motorcycle, way in the back was Gabby. It took about a minute to coax her out and she was fine. Neighbor said he never heard her meow (she can but never has meowed...she is basically a silent kitty) She had been hiding there for 2 days.

So, just as you said, she was within 1-5 houses from our home. I guess their garage was open when she got locked out of ours. She came home, ate just a bit of tuna and went to sleep on the guest bed. She was a little jumpy that evening but is fine now.

Thank you so much for the information and website. And a note to anyone with an old cat — just because your old cat is missing does not mean he/she has gone off to die. I had several people tell me this and I knew that Gabby had really just stepped out for fresh air!!



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