still in shock from her return!
To answer your questions: Indoor Only or Outdoor Access? That depends.
Recently, Outdoor Access, Most Recently Indoor only.
how it plays out: For the past 6 years or so I periodically let
her out. The first time she got out accidentally and stayed out
for about 5 or 6 days. At that time, although I don't know for sure,
I believed she was not lost, she just wasn't ready to come home
and she was within 25 feet of my home. When we first moved there,
I showed her the property so she wouldn't get lost as I did with
the other two cats, separately. I lived on two acres of property
and there was a small woods between my property and my next door
neighbor. Each night I called for her and she never answered. The
last day I was walking my dogs around the circumference of the property
when I saw her in some shrubbery. After I put the dogs inside, I
opened a can of tuna (tuna has always done the trick with Princess)
and proceeded to sit and call for her from my porch. After a short
time, she came up to me to get the tuna and just like this time
I grabbed her and brought her in the house. After that event, she
would periodically, (once a week in the summertime, far less during
the other seasons) meow at the door. I would open it and let her
out. After a short time she would return and let me know by meowing
by the door again. I would call to her and tell her I would be right
down to open the door. I would open the door and she would run inside.
in November I moved to this townhome development (about a 20 minute
ride from my other home). At this townhome she was never allowed
out. She did not seem interested in going out. Anytime the garage
door opened, my other two cats would venture out onto the macadam
but not Princess. The night she disappeared, March 31, 2003,
I had opened the garage door and had gone inside to retrieve my
dogs. I'm not quite sure what happened but all of a sudden the dogs
started barking and began running up the street and the cats dispersed.
[NOTE: It is interesting the things that animals are aware of that
we may not be.] I called to the dogs and they returned to
me so I could leash them and take them for a walk. The cats were
lost to the night. I didn't realize that Princess was among the
group until later (due to her previous disinterest). All three of
my cats disappeared that night, Bonnie and Tommy returned the following
morning but Princess did not.
Princess did not have any collar or tags on her. She is wearing
a collar with tags and a bell now. She is spayed.
is a very timid cat. She is afraid of her own shadow. When company
comes over, she hides under a bed or runs downstairs to the basement.
She gets along with my dogs...two Bichons...and my previous dogs..two
labs....She usually doesn't answer to being called yet she knows
I wave my fingers in the air to indicate to her that I would scratch
her head if it was closer. Usually she responds by moving closer
to me. She likes to look out the window at the wild life. She had
two cats as playmates for about 9 years, Jessie and Bonnie. Jessie,
the male, took care of her but died unexpectedly of a lung aneurysm.
She sometimes played with the other cat. About a year later, after
Jessie died, I adopted a third cat, Tommy, a male, but he didn't
seem to get along with either cat..he was more of a people lover.
was more bonded to the elder cat, Jessie, but when he died she became
close to me. I used to let her sleep with me until my allergies
really started to bother me. Before she left in March, I had felt
really close to her.
is not friendly to cats or people usually. She runs and hides. She'll
run and hide even when we are alone or when she thinks I am about
to leave the house.
pads are normal.
closer inspection last night, she wasn't matted at all. Maybe 2
or 3 areas where the fur didn't lay right. By her neck some hair
was cut very short....almost as if it had gotten caught on branches
or brambleweed. When the vet weighed her this morning, she weighed
in at 8.1 pounds...maybe a pound lighter than normal. The vet saw
that she had a flea on her, but due to her normal size, he didn't
think she was feeding on the wildlife..she would have been much
thinner if she had been. The vet thought it likely that she was
taken in by a family. But due to Princess' unfriendliness, I don't
think that is very likely at all. Last night when I grabbed her,
she not only scratched me but bit me on my thumb as well. I can't
imagine her going along with anyone UNLESS of course if they had
set a trap and had captured her.
to locate her, I walked the neighborhood extensively, spoke to neighbors,
put an ad in the local development paper. Unfortunately, the townhome
community I live in does not let anyone advertise lost animals on
poles or bulletin boards. The only advertisement method is the monthly
pamphlet. The pamphlet comes out on the first of every month. Since
she left on March 31, I missed advertising in it for the month of
April. May and June they posted a description as well as a picture
of Princess in the booklet. They had promised to advertise on a
web site but it never got posted online. I followed up with them
a few times about the online outlet but the webmaster was not available
to update the page.
walking my dogs, I would ask children, people alone or with dogs,
if they had seen Princess. I gave them a description of her but
no one had seen her. I thought that would be the case. I thought
she would hide and come out when she was ready based on my previous
experience with her.
vet said she looked great for being out in the weather for four
months. In fact, she really didn't look like she had been out. She
had a flea on her. No ticks... My theory? I don't have one yet...I
need a little more time to sort all of this out... it just doesn't
make any sense..
for your interest! I'll forward a picture to you!