Last Christmas, in November actually, we adopted a kitten. She was an early Christmas present for Jordan and Cameron. She was a 9 week old tiny ball of fluff. She was playful and loved to cuddle.
After a lot of discussion, we all agreed to name her Molly. Molly was an indoor cat (much because of her age) and was content to be inside sleeping, playing or sunning. This is the day we got her:
When spring came and the weather got nicer, we started opening some windows. Not too far, just enough to let in a bit of fresh air. Or so we thought.
One day, none of us could find Molly. She wasn’t in her usual hiding spots. Finally someone suggested that maybe she actually COULD fit through the small opening of the window in Cameron’s room.
We went out to look for her. After not too long Will spotted her… on the roof. We live in a townhouse that is 3 stories tall. She was on the overhang above the first floor, 2 doors over, cowering in a corner.
I tried to call her from Cam’s room, she wouldn’t budge. I had to go to the (very nice) neighbors house and ask them if they might be able to reach her from their window. They were able to get her and bring her down to me. That was the start of her outdoor adventures.
We started letting her out during the day. We found that she was a lot more mellow at home after being outside. Eventually, we were letting her out whenever she wanted, she would come and go many times a day.
This past thanksgiving we went away for a few days. A friend came over to feed her and let her in and out. She went out around dinnertime one night and didn’t return.
We came back from our trip the next afternoon. She wasn’t home when we got back. A couple hours later she showed up… with a collar on.
It seems someone took a shine to our little Molly. At just over a year old she was still quite small and extremely friendly. The collar was old and frayed with a bell on it. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I figured since she’d been gone less than a day that maybe someone put the bell on her to keep her from catching the little birds she loved to chase.
Then, on December second, I realized I hadn’t seen her since the previous morning. That wasn’t too unusual but I was a bit concerned because of the chilly and stormy weather that day.
The next day there was still no sign of her. We were all getting worried now. Will and I knew that chances were she was either hurt, dead or with someone else in their home. We were hoping for the latter but started calling shelters and checking animal control and lost animal websites. We put up ads, flyers and notified the clinic we had adopted her from (she had an ear tattoo, so if someone found her they’d be able to find us).
No luck. Every day that passed our hope decreased. A week went by. We were checking with the spca and animal control multiple times a day. The kids were calling her every time we went outside. I was worried, I found it hard to give other tasks my full attention while not knowing if Molly was alright.
12 days passed. Will and I thought that it was extremely unlikely that we’d ever see her again. We were fairly certain that someone had taken her and was keeping her. The kids were so upset, Cam telling us she was mad that Molly wasn’t coming home, Jordan telling us he was sad and almost crying on a daily basis.
While we were looking in the Pet section of an online classified website, we saw an ad for 3 little kittens. We discussed the possibility of getting a new kitten for the kids, not a replacement for Molly but to help them cope. We were not going to stop looking for Molly. If she came home (and we truly hoped she would) we would have 2 cats.
We got a new kitten quickly. A little 8 week old boy with black fur and a tiny white bib. Jordan and Will named him Chewie (short for Chewbacca, naturally) and Cam and I thought it was a cute enough name. So, we brought little Chewie home.
Wouldn’t you know it, the NEXT day, we got a call. Someone had taken Molly in to a vet to get checked out. The vet saw her ear tattoo and contacted us. We went down to the vet and picked her up. We are all very happy to have her back. She and Chewie are getting used to each other and the kids are ecstatic that we have 2 cats now.
I was very happy to have her back but I was also furious. You see, I had been searching relentlessly for her for almost 2 weeks and these people had her the whole time with no intention of finding her family. During my search, I found that this seems to be a common occurrence. People simply pick a cat up off the street and take it home.
Molly had a new collar with a tag that had a new name and her “new owners” phone numbers on it. They brought her to the vet not to see if she had a home already but to get their new cat checked out. There was no concern for finding her rightful family.
She is a part of OUR family. We love her. We were looking for her. We missed her. We were extremely worried about her. She was picked up almost in front of our house, in the middle of a nice sunny day, just hours after we had last seen her. She was living in our neighbourhood for almost 2 weeks and we had no idea and no way of finding her. It was sheer luck that she was brought in, the vet checked her tattoo and she was returned home safely.
It is not ok to take someones pet. It is not ok to assume an animal you see on the street is a stray. We were very close to losing our Molly forever because some people saw and wanted a cute, free cat for Christmas. That infuriates me.
I could assume they were trying to do the right thing. They were concerned that she was near a street. Fair enough I suppose, though she is used to being near streets and has a healthy fear of traffic. But if that were the case, why didn’t they look for her family? Why didn’t they consider the people who were missing her? The children who were missing her? I don’t think they had any intention of finding us and I believe they were disappointed when the vet did find us.
There are so many pets that are lost and presumed stolen just like Molly was. Don’t be a person who takes someone else’s beloved furry family member. If you find an animal, look for identification and lost pet ads. Try to find the rightful owner, they are worried about their pet and want it safely returned.