It was late June and like every cat before her (and since), Angel Tara had adopted the screened-in bathroom window as her favorite spot for "snoopervising" her domain. I woke up that morning at 7, wandered into the bathroom, and discovered that at some point during the night the screen had broken and was now laying flat on the lawn.
Tara was gone...and did I mention that I had just adopted her 5 weeks earlier??? She didn't know anything about her new neighborhood. She wasn't even that familiar yet with her new name!!!
Always great in a crisis, I started running up and down the street (in my pajamas) yelling her name. My cat-loving neighbor, who didn't even know yet that I'd adopted a new cat, told me that at 5AM she had been awakened by a loud crash coming from my yard.
Two hours. Tara had been on her own in unfamiliar territory for two hours.
Now even more on the verge of hysterics I wandered back home into the backyard...and Tara walked out of the bushes right underneath my bedroom window.
My smart little monkey didn't decide to explore the neighborhood; she stayed right there waiting for me to come and find her.
Relief doesn't even begin to explain my feelings that morning...I don't think I'd ever felt so blessed in my entire life. Things could have turned out so differently. We were incredibly lucky.
Lost Pet Prevention Month was launched by PetHub because one in every three pets will go missing at some point in their life. They don't always get the happy outcome that Tara and I did, either. Less than 20% of dogs and 2% of cats that go missing will ever return home.
Following our scare my dad was given the task of finding out what went wrong. He discovered that the window screen clips (held in place with screws) were completely stripped. Whether this happened gradually over time or because of Tara's weight pushing on it, we'll never know. I even wonder if she may have seen another animal in the yard that night causing her to throw herself at the screen, breaking it herself.
A safety collar with ID attached can also help increase the chances of being reunited with your pet. PetHub has a complete line of digital tags available which are QR code scannable and links to your pet's online profile which can include multiple emergency contacts, microchip data and critical medications. Special tags that identify medical issues such as diabetes and epilepsy are even available! In 2013, an analysis of hundreds of dogs and cats recovered through the PetHub lost pet recovery system showed that a whopping 97% made it home in less than 24 hours. In fact, 25% made it home in under an hour!
Part of being a responsible pet parent is making sure your cat is safe at all times. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so spend a little time making sure your home is completely secure, and should something catastrophic still occur, proper identification can help to ensure a happy ending.
Have you ever had a scare with a lost pet?
Tell us about it!