Beautiful long-haired black and white cat Lola was reunited with her overjoyed family and sister last week. She had been missing from her home in Capel for over a year.
Felines 1st was contacted by a concerned lady who had been feeding the cat for a couple of weeks. She told us that “Lucy” had moved in with her neighbour when his dog had died. However, when the elderly gentleman sadly passed away, she knew “Lucy” had no-one to take care of her. She wanted her to be registered with a reputable charity to ensure that she was rehomed to a family that would take good care of her, and so contacted Felines 1st.
Lola had strayed three miles away…
“Lucy” was taken to Vets for Pets in Crawley, where she was scanned for a microchip. Only then was it discovered that her name was in fact Lola, and that her registered owner had reported her missing over a year ago from Newdigate, the nearest village to Capel, over 3 miles away.
We will never know exactly how Lola made her way to Newdigate – whether she just went ‘walkabout’ or whether she managed to hitch a lift in a car or van. The elderly gentleman probably thought that her arrival, just after he had lost his beloved dog, was fate, and when no-one in Newdigate reported missing a cat, he decided to look after her.
What should you do if you suspect a cat is lost?
So what should you do if an unknown cat starts visiting your property? If the cat looks well groomed and healthy, and is friendly and approachable, it is likely that they are owned and live nearby. Do not feed the cat – this will just encourage them to stay with you and not return home. Even worse, the cat could, for medical reasons, require a specific diet, and feeding the cat may have severe consequences for its health.
Your first priority should be to establish whether the cat has an owner. Ask nearby neighbours if they have seen, know about or own the cat, contact local vets, and look on local lost and found websites and social media groups to see whether the cat is missing. You could photograph the cat and advertise it as lost in these same places. If the cat is friendly, you could put a paper collar on the cat, asking the owners to contact you. Finally, if this doesn’t get any response, you could take the cat to the vet to be scanned for a microchip. Alternatively, Felines 1st will come out to scan a suspected stray. This often requires setting a trap with food and waiting for the cat to appear, especially if it is scared and can’t be approached.
A comfort in difficult times…
Back to Lola… the elderly gentleman really should have taken the cat to the vet to check if it had a microchip, but perhaps at the time this was not possible with the strict lockdown that had just been imposed by the government to try to control the pandemic. Even though original owners were distraught at having lost their beloved Lola for over a year, they were pleased to learn that she gave her temporary guardian comfort and companionship during a particularly difficult time.
Ensuring your cat is looked after for life…
Which brings us to the last important point of this story… Have you thought about what will happen to your cat if you (and your spouse or family) suddenly end up in hospital and are unable to care for your cat – or if the unthinkable happens – and you pass away? None of us want to think about these distressing subjects, but the pandemic has made this a topic we can’t ignore.
Make sure that a family member, friend or neighbour knows that you have a cat that would need looking after if something happens to you. You can set out your wishes for what should happen to your cat as well as provide for them in your will. You can arrange with Felines 1st, that in the event that you cannot look after your cat anymore, that the cat is placed in our care. We have a number of dedicated fosterers who will look after your beloved companion as if it was their own, while we find a new and suitable home for your feline friend, where they will be looked after and loved.