I had a really rotten day today. But I am thinking good thoughts that it will get better with the help of other people doing what I cannot do.
On October 1, one of our former adopters called to tell me that Lydia, or Lilly, as the family now called her, had slipped out the door when friends came over to visit. He wanted to know what to do as Lydia was wearing “soft paws” and had no way to defend herself. Additionally, he had no idea where to look for her since they had just recently moved into the apartment.
I told him to contact neighbors, to post signs with her photo on it, to call Capital Area Humane Society with her information so they would know someone was looking for her. I also told him to post for Lydia on the web site Pets911 (www.pets911.com), which allows people to post for lost and found pets. Since Lydia was microchipped by our group, I also told him that if anyone found her and took her to a shelter, they would scan for that.
I had not heard anything from the man and assumed that he had found Lydia and just forgot to call and tell me. Then yesterday, I went on Pets911 myself and saw that the listing for Lydia was still on there, so I called him.
No, he had not found Lydia.
But, he told me, a neighbor thought they had seen her out by the dumpster behind the apartments.
Poor Lydia came, with her three other siblings, from a rotten neighborhood in downtown Columbus, where people threatened to feed her and the other kittens to a resident vicious dog. And now, she was once more loose and scared in a downtown Columbus neighborhood near campus with the weather growing cold, no food, and soft paws on her nails.
I had to hold back tears.
Lydia and her siblings were my fosters. Lydia and her brother, Freddy, lived in my bathroom while they took medicine for campylobacter. They used to greet me at the door and would scamper out to harass my cats.
When Lydia first came to us, she was very timid and hid behind the toilet most of the time. I have a photo of her peeking out at me from the toilet, cautious, but hopeful that maybe everything was going to be better now.
I promised Lydia that she would never, ever have to worry again. That she would always be safe.
With some work, Lydia became a sweet, love bug, but she still reverted to shyness in new and scary situations. I can only imagine how scared she must be now and how she must be hiding and wondering what has happened.
All of the books I have read about missing cats say that they, unlike dogs, do not travel far. They usually hunker down and hide close to where they escaped.
Knowing this, I decided to go over to the apartment complex today with a humane trap and try to find my missing girl. I showed the man how to set the trap and then I stayed for over an hour, driving around, watching the trap, searching for her little face among the weeds. And crying.
But I had to leave without her.
Then the man called to tell me that someone stole the trap.
How were we going to find Lydia without the trap?
Later in the afternoon, I had another call. The apartment complex management had found the trap. They thought I had been trespassing on the property, so they confiscated it. With another phone call, I explained the situation, and they said I could have the trap back.
That still leaves me without Lydia, however, and no way to find her as they do not want me to set the trap on their property.
So I need everyone’s help reading this. If you know anyone who lives near University Village in the 500 block of Stinchcomb Drive off of Olentangy River Road near the Ohio State University campus, please send them the link to this blog or to the Pets911 link that I have listed below. Have them read about Lydia and be on the look out for her.
She is a petite calico/brown and white female cat who becomes shy when scared. She is microchipped and spayed. She was wearing soft paws on her nails. She is only a little over a year old.
If you see her or even think it might be her, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I promised Lydia she would always be safe on my watch, that after coming into our organization, she would never be scared or lost again. I need to keep that promise.
Here is the Pets911 listing for anyone who would like more info: