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Newton's Story: Back Home with Buddy
October 27, 2002 — missing 2 days.
Knowledge of frightened indoor-only cat behavior helps to quickly reunite Newton with his family.


Dear Pauline:

My 9 year old indoor-only cat Newton disappeared a couple of days ago when my husband opened the door to go to work at 4:00 in the morning. It was storming and it continued all day... He couldn't skip work, he left. Under the rain I started searching, calling. That went on for hours. I came home and made up some fliers, asked around, no one had seen him. I searched by myself all day long and then aftermy husband came home, we searched some more. During this time, the sliding door was opened enough for him to get in if he came back. At night I searched until 3:00 AM. On and off and looking out the windows when I was in... My eyes were almost swollen shut from crying... so worried about him. I didn't know where else to look.

I started searching the internet. I wanted to know how easy or difficult it would be for him to find his way home. I was trying to find information on cats' sense of direction. That's when I saw your article Psychology and the Missing Cat. It made all the sense in the world to me. I had done some things right, but I also was doing some things wrong. With renewed hope after reading your article I decided to get somerest and try your searching tips when it was clear out. (I hadn't slept in over 24 hrs.)

Pauline, I found him within 10 minutes only a few feet away from our home, where I had "looked" and CALLED his name out loud 20-30 times before. (I did call his name this time but only once in a while and with a very soothing and low voice and very faintly he did respond.)

I want to thank you so much for helping me find Newton. Psychology and the Missing Cat is so well written and informative that in my mind you get all the credit...When I set foot out the door that last time to look for him, I just knew I was going to find him. Thank you, thank you, thank you! May God bless you and your loved ones always.

An eternally grateful reader,

Marta V.,
Missouri, USA

...also my husband, our Labrador Retriever Buddy, who's tail almost fell off when he saw his friend, and of course Newton himself who seems soooooooooooo happy to be back home.

Newton and Buddy. . .what a happy reunion!

Later Marta wrote:

I forgot to tell you that I found him underneath a tree trunk with lots of branches on top, behind my apartment... scared to death. Just like you said!

So, I asked Marta if Newton came out on his own from beneath the tree trunk, or did she have to go to him, and she replied:

No...Newton didn't come out on his own. I went to him very, very slowly. He let me pick him up, no problem. It looked to me that he wanted to be rescued! While I was carrying him home, I tripped and fell (scraped my knee) and not even then did he seem to want to get out of my arms. He actually held on to me.

I can't believe he was only a few feet away and didn't come on his own.

It still amazes me every time I hear this story.

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