March 22, 2012

Missing Cat Stress

It took awhile for us to realize our cat Benchley was missing: he's indoor-outdoor (microchipped and collar-tagged), and in nicer weather he's outdoors a LOT. He was originally a street cat the shelter felt could be domesticated, so we went into it knowing he was more wild than usual---but he's adapted very nicely to home life. He jumps onto laps, he purrs and snuggles, he likes to be scritched, he likes having a food dish available.

He likes snuggling tum-up.


But now we haven't seen him in at least two full days, and William says it's two and a half: I'd been counting from the last time William saw him, which I'd thought he'd said was Tuesday morning, but William says it was Monday night. Benchley often goes out for a long time, but he always comes in to eat.

The first fear with an indoor-outdoor cat is that he's been hit by a car, but Benchley gave me scars the one time I carried him in the direction of the road. Accepting the possibility of a car-hit is part of the complicated decision involved in choosing to let a cat go outside, but I think the statistical chance in this particular cat's case is low: he had a childhood on the streets, as it were, and he continues to be extremely careful with roads.

The most likely with this particular cat, I think, is that he was being a Furry McNosyBritches and went into someone's garage or shed, and has gotten closed in. We had a little problem with our neighbor back when we first got Benchley, because not only would he visit their yard, he would walk confidently right into their house and be difficult to remove. That issue was resolved with the consistent application of spritz bottles, but it doesn't mean he hasn't gone somewhere else. He's also curious and brave and kind of dim, so he's the sort of cat I can picture ending up in the inner workings of a wall or something.

My biggest fear is that he is somewhere we COULD have found/saved him, but that we won't think of it until it's too late. (Well, and after reading Marie's neighbor story, I'm also worried about that.) I'm remembering when Paul and I first moved in to one of our apartments, and we couldn't find one of our cats anywhere, and he turned out to be wedged in a corner behind the water heater, completely vertical and upside-down. I would have expected him to yowl or meow or make scrabbling sounds, but he hadn't at all: when we found him, he was absolutely still and wide-eyed, and didn't make a sound until I had to pull him out of there by his tail. (I called a vet first to ask for extraction advice, and that was what she recommended. It felt very Odd and Wrong to do it, and/but it totally worked.)

But I'm also remembering when our new kitten was missing, and I was repeatedly and senselessly searching the house and then agitating about it on Twitter, and someone said her new kitten was lost once and they found her in a drawer. And I called the kids, and we went around opening drawers, and THERE WAS THE KITTEN, IN A DRAWER. It was like MAGIC. So I'm hoping if you have a "We thought there was no point looking there, but THERE HE WAS!!" cat story, you'll share it.

I would also welcome stories of cats turning up a week (or whatever) later.

61 comments:

Marie Green said...

Ah! Our cats are causing us BOTH so much stress/worry right now! They're totally reading our blogs. Or maybe our NEIGHBORS are reading our blogs??? (Thanks for the link!)

I've had a previous cat that DID go missing for several days (4? 5? can't remember exactly) and then she just reappeared, totally unharmed. I also wondered if someone had "taken her in" and she'd finally escaped out the door and headed home. Cats are extremely resilient so it's very likely he'll reappear. Little turkey.

Now I'm off to the library to get the Caraway series you talked about. (Or whatever it's called. I'm off to go to that post next, and right it down.)

Hope he turns up soon.

Jen said...

Oh. Oh. My cat was a street cat when we adopted her and for the first year of her life, she would often hide out somewhere. But she was deathly afraid of outside so we never had to worry about a true missing case.

My sister's cat goes out often and one night she didn't come back until the next morning, much worse for wear, as she had apparently gotten into a fight with another cat. She stays closer to home now.

As for ideas, I would check with neighbors, even asking them if they could please check in any sheds they might have opened, etc. I would be more than willing to do that if someone came and asked me.

Hope he comes home/you find him soon!

Marie Green said...

That would be WRITE it down. Der.

Emma said...

When I was a teenager, we had a cat called Jemima. She was possibly James Dean reincarnated, attitude and everything.

One day, she went missing. Not a trace of her to be seen. My mother and I went door to door, picture in hand, asking if we could check people's sheds, garages, basements, etc. [She was a nosy little creature, and may also have shared blood with Houdini considering the places she could squeeze in and out of]. Anyway, no luck. A day, two days, three days, nothing. A week passed as my parents and I rather sadly resigned ourselves to her fate.

Ten days after she went missing, I got up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water. I walked into the kitchen and absent-mindedly said "Hello, Jemima", who was sitting happy as Larry next to the fridge. It was only when I realised who I had said hello to that it struck me she had returned. No scars, no bruises, nothing. Simply reappeared.

Cats are canny - Benchley may be off on some grand adventure at another house with hot and cold running treats. Don't give up hope xx

Amanda said...

One of my outdoor cats used to disappear for a week at a time and then just stroll in looking for food like he had just been on vacation and was back "didn't you miss me?"

He looked none the worse for wear. He just went visiting I think.

Don't give up hope!

Alison said...

I have a hand-on-a-stack-of-whatever-holy-book-of-one's-choosing true story about a cat who lived for three weeks on the tarmac at Logan International. THREE WEEKS. My friends in the UK moved to the US for a few years because of a job relocation. They brought their two kitties with them. One of the crates got open somehow (eeeeek), most likely a baggage handler's mistake, and the cat got out. The family was obviously devastated. Three weeks later, they got a call from the airport that they found the kitty living and hanging out on the tarmac! A very happy and unexpected reunion, and the kitty was no worse for the wear.

Lyndsey said...

When I was a kid we had an indoor/outdoor cat that went missing once for a few days. Then just reappeared as if nothing had happened.

Also, when I was in college I had a cat who disappeared for a day and we couldn't find her until one of my roommates got down on the floor looking under everything and discovered there was a section of baseboard about 10" wide under our cabinets that was missing and the cat had crawled under the cabinets and was hanging out under there happy as could be watching us search. Little rascal.

Gina said...

My indoor only cat once got out and disappeared for 5 days. I think she may have gotten locked in someone's garage or shed or something.

StephLove said...

Back when my partner was my girlfriend I stayed in her apartment one weekend while she was out of town and her cat got out. I looked all over town for that cat, put up signs, beat the bushes in a nearby arboretum, and finally found her in the basement of the building, hiding in a crawl space. It was too small for me to get in so I lured her out with a plate of food. I'm glad I found her because it was early in our relationship and if I'd lost her cat we might not still be together roughly 25 years, a mortgage, two kids and two cats later.

jaclyn said...

We recently came home to a "missing cat" notice in our door, with a picture and description of the kitten as well as a request to check our garage/shed etc. We were more than happy to look for the cat, and I expect that most of our neighbours were as well. So maybe put a poster together and have the kids help stuff some neighbourhood mailboxes? If you think he might be in someone's shed that could just be the trick to finding him!

Meltini27 said...

When I was a kid our cat went missing. We lived in an apartment complex at the time and after a couple of days we had pretty much given up hope. Very early in the morning about a month after she went missing my mom woke me up crying and saying guess who was back (that cat was my mom's baby). Don't give up hope!

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

The place my parents' cat would hide EVERY DAY if he could would be in the heating vents. They have a forced air heating system with the grates in the floor, and he could pull up the grates just enough to squeeze through... and then the grates would fall closed on top of him.

Good luck finding your kitty!

HereWeGoAJen said...

My sister's cat got trapped behind my parents' refrigerator (and not even just once, like four times) and my friend's cat ended up shut inside their linen closet for four days. Where she mostly just napped, apparently.

I hope you find him! Maybe a couple of signs in the neighborhood that say Nosy Cat missing! Please check your garages and sheds!

Pickles and Dimes said...

Growing up, we had tons of cats who I swear were on some kind of foreign exchange program with the neighbor's cats. Every spring (it always happened in the spring), a few of our cats would disappear and some strange ones we'd never seen before would appear. Then, like a week or TWO later, our cats would return and the strange ones would go away.

Also, the few times Abby (a strictly indoor cat) has gotten out, she's been gone for hours before wandering back like nothing ever happened. Once I searched for her for hours only to come home and find her underneath the front steps.

Lawyerish said...

Our cat went missing for a whole day once, and at the time we were living in a one bedroom apartment so I was baffled as to where he could be. It turned out that he had crawled up into the underside of our armoire and was nested behind the drawers. I only found him because, after calling him for HOURS, he finally let out a tiny mew. He was completely fine; clearly, he just needed to be alone for a while.

Lisa said...

I had a cat once who would disappear every now and then for over a week at a time and return. Always just a teenie bit worse for the wear (thinner and a little scruffy-looking). It always seemed to happen around Spingtime - maybe pheromones and all the new scents in the air to sniff after?? ANyway, he always came back!

Anna said...

Our cat once went missing for three days. He turned back up by himself, just climbed back in a window during the night (we lived in a ground-floor flat at the time). The expression on his face was of complete relief more than anything. We think he may have got shut in somewhere or just wandered slightly too far and got lost. I think putting up signs or putting around flyers is a good idea but hopefully he'll turn up by himself. Good luck x

Suzanne said...

Marie's post gave me nightmares about my indoor cat who loves to escape and last night we heard a cat fight in our yard so I am VERY CONCERNED for your kitty...but also hopeful it's just a springtime thing and he'll show up again. I like the idea of leaving a "please check your garage/shed" note on the neighbors' doors. We accidentally locked a neighbor's cat in our detached garage and didn't realize it for almost 24 hours. And I INTENTIONALLY trapped a sick stray I wanted to take to the vet in there once so I know it is pretty easy to do.

Shannon said...

My childhood cat once managed to climb inside the ruling in our basement. It was that type of ceiling with removable panels and he was able to accessit through a cupboard but the the cupboard was closed and he wasn't able to get down. Also had the kitten left inthe drawer experience! Good luck! Hope he's home soon!

Anonymous said...

Not that this story is all that comforting, but in the end the cat lived, so there's that.

We live in the country and one of our neighbors threw a trap in the woods near the road last spring. Turns out the trap was set and our other neighbors cat wandered in and got trapped. (by that time it was summer and vegetation had almost buried the trap, which no one had any idea was live) Anyway, the poor cat was missing for well over a week before our dog found him. We brought him (trap and all) to our relieved neighbors who threw the trap in the dumpster. He was thin and a little on edge, but thankfully still alive. (never wandered that way again though...)

But, I know what you mean about missing cat anxiety. One of ours went missing almost a month ago. We've tried to convince ourselves that someone took her in, but I'm not sure I buy it.

Beylit said...

Our big tomcat likes to open cabinets and hide inside. We lost him in a one bedroom apartment for almost a day once and it turns out he was in the cabinet over the fridge.

I am sure your kitty is just off on an adventure and will turn up soon.

DanforthDarling said...

The first time our little boy cat escaped we found him hours later, quivering under a neighbours porch. It took a lot of work to get him out and he fought it the whole time he was being marched back home. Apparently cats just freak out in those instances, not recognizing that you're their owner and that they probably very much WANT to come home.

He escaped again and was gone for four very fraught days. We put up signs with a reward and one day he just ambled back onto the porch, like nothing happened. The current theory is that the crazy cat lady in our neighbourhood "adopted" him and let him free when she realized he was being looked for.

We had a dog in the house unexpectedly one day and Finnegan hid behind my nightstand, eyes forward, stiff as a board, and could not be extracted until the dog was gone. Which is to say, even if they are in the house, cats can be VERY silent should they choose.

Kelley said...

Our cats used to be indoor/outdoor against our will (they would always sneak out the door as we were coming and going). So we have lots of missing cat turned out fine stories. One was missing for a few days before we found her sitting inside a storm drain. We were freaking out until we got a better look and could see she was perfectly capable of getting herself in and out from where she was sitting. Another went missing for about 2 weeks when all of a sudden he turned up on our door one day. We're still not entirely sure how he managed, we think a neighbor must have been taking care of him because he's not the most self sufficient of cats.

penguinlady said...

I will de-lurk to tell you that one of our cats jumped out of a third (!) storey window to escape, and hid under a stoop for three days before we finally found her. She was filthy but fine. I hope Benchley returns soon!

Kerry said...

I have two weird things/suggestions that my old cat did. Do you have any recliners? He would fall asleep underneath when you had the foot part up and then get stuck when you put it down and got out of the chair.

Other one, we had wall heat vents that we had unscrewed to clean/dust and the damn cat went in while it was open and must have gone into the duct work so we didn't see him when we screwed it back on. It was a day or 2 before we heard quiet meowing and looked everywhere before we saw a little face looking out of the slats in the vent. Cats! Hope you find yours :(

bunnyslippers said...

Benchly is the tabby, right? It sounds like he has a similar personality to our tabby. Ours is friendly, determined (to the point of being obnoxious), and absoutely the kind of cat who would move in with some random family for a week. If he has street smarts then he will be fine. He's just going for an adventure. As long as he's chipped, thye will contact you if he turns up.

My friend's torti went missing for a week and they put up posters and got a call within a day. (it was under someone's porch.)

Clarabella said...

1) I have a friend whose indoor/outdoor cat, Mama, will go live in the woods across the street from her house for WEEKS. No lie, D will see her lurking in the shadows, but she won't come home for days and days. She's been doing this for years. Hope.
2) In college, my roommate's cat, Harvest (I love knowing pet names), who had barely even BEEN outside, got out somehow, and we feared her lost after weeks. More than a month after her disappearance, we're sitting in my roommates room & hear meowing. Harvest was under the house, UNDER her Momma's room! She was skinny and dirty, but not beat up or sick. SHE CAME HOME! HOPE!
3) I have been known to turn my little town UPSIDE DOWN if asked to by neighbors or friends looking for pets. I second the suggestions to reach out to neighbors.
Good luck! Come home, Benchley!

Jenny said...

Our cat Molly was incredibly grouchy when she first came to live at our house. She just sat under our bed and growled. Then, just a few days after we got her, she disappeared. We tore the house apart, looked behind panels and in the attic, looked places she couldn't possibly be (she was a strictly indoor cat), and then walked and drove the neighborhood, put up signs, everything. After a week, we finally gave up, convinced she was Gone for Good.

A couple of days after that, we had a friend over for dinner. We were sitting in the living room with a glass of wine, and he gave a little laugh and said, "Gosh, there's a big black and white cat on your windowsill."

There's. A. What.

Of course she had come back, safe and sound, and never so much as door-dashed again. No idea how she got out. None.

Sara said...

Not a cat story for you but a dog story...

Ten years ago this past January I got a chocolate lab mix puppy from the local shelter, named him Bronson. Had him microchipped and proceeded to spoil the snot out of him for 2 and a half years.

I'd went grocery shopping, and the person I had hired to mow the yard was mowing the yard. My dogs (I had two others) always went inside when he was mowing, and I thought before I left of locking the dog door before I left so that they couldn't get outside, but they'd NEVER gone outside while he was mowing...so I didn't. (If I could turn back time...)

While at the store the lawnman called and said my dog excaped as he was getting his mower out the gate and I rushed home in a panic. My other two dogs were home but I almost knew immediately someone had picked up Bronson as he was so very friendly and would take a ride with anyone.

We searched for weeks, put up an 1000 dollar reward for his return, called the city workers everyday to see if they'd found a dead dog matching his discription, put fliers EVERYWHERE, and then after a few months I gave up.

Fast forward 6 years. (SIX YEARS incase you think I hit the wrong number). I get a phone call from an humane society some 170 miles away saying they had my lost dog. I was all, huh? My dogs are here, no lost dog here. They checked my address and number with me gave me the dogs discription and the name associated with the chip. Bronson.

I didn't believe it. I explained what happened and that he'd been gone SO LONG and then jumped in the car and drove there. He was terribly sick at the time, and aparently whoever had ended up with him had dropped him in the over night box where you can leave a pet with no explination, or so forth. (NOT talking bad about his other owners, they probably just couldn't afford to care for him anymore now that he was so sick, but he had been loved.) I still don't know who had him for those six years.

I brought him home and straight to my vet who admitted him to the hospital for two weeks, and then we brought him home, still pretty sick with congestive heart failure and spent three months with him. We'd done all we could medically to save him, we'd tried all medications and my vet had said he felt it was time to put him to sleep.

I took him home from his last hospitalization for one last night and we fed him every ounce of people food he'd ever wanted and loved on him, and took pictures and gave him the absolute best night of his life ever. He was happy and wagging his tail when I said goodnight to my boy before turning in. When I woke the next morning I found him "gone" under our kitchen table. I'd been terrified of having to put him to sleep because HOW DO YOU DO THAT to someone you love? And my sweet boy took the job from me by passing in the night happily and most importantly at home.

And for the record. The humane society where I'd picked him up said he'd been too weak to move, and hadn't eaten or responded to anything they'd done the day they had him before I could get there to get him.

After six years, when I'd given up on ever getting him back I think my boys was still waiting for me to find him because I walked in...he was unrecognizable, so swollen from built up fluid and his hair was dull, I wouldn't have known him, except for his eyes which were still all his. But I walked in the door and called him by name, and he lugged himself up off the floor, a huge effort, and limping he moved to me as quickly as he could, threw himself at my feet and flooped his tail on the floor SO LOUDLY. The workers and I all sobbed. He knew me. I know he knew me. He was like FINALLY. Where have you been? Scratch my belly!

I hope you have a happy ending with your cat. While life would have moved on without Bronson ever returning I'm so glad he got the chance to die at home where he was loved so very much.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I had an indoor/outdoor cat that got mad when we took in another cat. She hated this cat and after about three weeks had more than she could take and bolted. She returned - THREE MONTHS LATER!

Alice said...

these cat stories are cracking me up - CATS! goodness.

i have a darter as well, and really there is just not much you can do to stop them getting out when they have their minds set on it. when oliver got out (let out by the person who ROBBED US) i eventually found him wandering around the neighborhood, but previously had talked to several neighbors on my floor who said oliver had marched into their houses, calm as anything, during the time before he actually got out. so i would definitely believe benchley could be in a shed or garage (or even a house!) and the flyer idea isn't a bad one. i fully believe he'll turn back up!

artemisia said...

Oh, Swistle! I am so sorry for this stress. I would be a mess. I do hope the little stinker walks in the house all nonchalantly very soon.

Oh, honey.

d e v a n said...

Wow! We also found a kitten in a drawer once. Weird cats.
The good part is that since he's micro-chipped and collared, there is a good chance someone will figure out who he belongs to, if he indeed gets found by someone.
We lost both our cats last summer and a lot of people told me encouraging stories about their cats turning up as much as SIX WEEKS later. I hope he comes home soon!

Alyssa said...

My cat is also indoor/outdoor. A few months ago I let him out in the evening when the weather was mild. Overnight,we had a terrible blizzard and I couldn't find him anywhere. I was so sad. About 5 days later, we were pulling into our garage and my son saw him walking up the driveway as if nothing had happened. He was perfectly fine.

Anonymous said...

I have a good story - our cat disappeared for a good eight years! And came back on the eve of my sisters wedding (reception was at the family house). The cat just came up and layed on the front step & then came in the house and never left again. There is no question it was the same cat - he was identical to old photos we had & knew his name. He came back neutered!

We think a neighbor took him...because he would come home with new collars and such...after his neighborhood adventures, before he disappeared for good.

He lived out the rest of his life, happily back @ home and never went on adventures again.

Here's to hoping your cat returns home!

Jo Ro

Jenny Grace said...

My cat was missing for 8 full days once, having never been gone for more than 12 hours at a stretch prior to that. We live near a very busy road, so car-death was a possibility, and I was just stealing myself to give Gabriel the bad news (having checked shelters, etc, around the area), when he came waltzing in the back door like nothing was wrong.
Cats can be quite inconsiderate like that.

I also once had a cat get caught (somehow) behind our kitchen stove. Like, in the plumbing.

Jana said...

Sara's story about her dog, Bronson, has me bawling and I am not a dog person!

One of our cats went missing and we found her the next day in the shed after hearing her mewing. And my parents have had the pleasure of finding their neighbor's cat in the garage curled up on some old towels more than once. I'm betting that he's still in your neighborhood somewhere, just having a hard time getting home.

Bitts said...

Sara, what a story about Bronson!! I love it!!

Our cat was missing for several hours, and we found him behind an armoire that was placed diagonally across a corner - he had jumped or fallen behind it and was unable to jump or climb out. He was fine, but had been so quiet, even as we had been howling for him all over the house. also, while scouring the neighborhood while crying!

Damn, that Bronson story. Can't get over it. That's legendary.

Sheena said...

We had an outdoor cat that had a micro chip. She had lost her collar and I hadn't replaced it yet. Well, someone thought she was a stray and took her home to her "cat rescue" and didn't think to take her to the vet for 2 weeks! We'd completely given her up for dead. Hopefully, if someone finds Benchley they will call you right away!

Mrs. Irritation said...

Missing cat anxiety makes me sleepless in the worst way. I hope you just turn around there there he is, laying there loking like he's always been there and what exactly are you staring at.

Mrs. Irritation said...

And now I went back to read Sara's story about Bronson everyone is talking about and I'm weeping like a fool. That is a love story right there.

Beth said...

I had a cat who was attached to me like no other, who hated outdoors and who I thought would never, ever willingly go outside. I was wrong, and a carelessly left-open door resulted in him disappearing for nearly a month. Turns out he was living in our side yard probably the entire time. He wouldn't come into the back yard because of the dogs, and I assume after he escaped and got over the fence, he panicked and just stayed put. But one night we happened to be outside on the driveway and I heard him meowing, and it was happily ever after. I never have thought a lot about where you live, but I am assuming it is unseasonably warm so there's probably lots of tempting bugs and animals around for him, I'll bet he's out having the time of his life somewhere and will be back once the fun wears off.

moojoose said...

We had a cat growing up who was obsessed with getting herself stuck on top of power poles. We had the power company (also my dad's employer) come out with a bucket truck to get her down once, but after the second time, we just waited for her to get hungry enough to come down on her own. Which, amazingly, she did. All that to say, don't forget to look up when you're searching.

lillowen said...

Our cats are both indoor only, so I don't have any experience with outdoor disappearances/reappearances, but we once lost a cat and didn't realize it until quite a while later when we heard pitiful meowing coming from the kitchen. He had crawled into a drawer and I had closed it without noticing he was in it.

My mom also lost a cat in the depths of her linen closet, where he had gone to take a very long, very quiet nap.

And Sara's story about Bronson? *sob*

Alicia C {sassyberry at juno dot com} said...

Oh, my, Swistle.

My boyfriend's cat (not even really his cat, more like his BEST FRIEND!) went missing in January. Our cats are all indoor only, and he had run out when I opened the door for the kids to come in after school. I then FORGOT he was out there after thinking he would want to be in after a few moments in the cold and he'd meow. He is not a quiet cat.

I remembered at approximately 3:30am. I prowled the WHOLE neighborhood until about 5am... We yelled his name and searched for him day after day after day... Posters and web posts and trips to every vet and shelter around. He is microchipped, but we were sort of panicked. It was our coldest week of the whole winter. We left food out on the porch (pretty sure we were generously feeding ALL the neighborhood roaming kitties) and the porchlight on.

NINE full days later, late one evening we heard some pitiful meowing in our neighbors yard. And there he was in their driveway, filthy and SKINNY and nervous. At the vet the next morning she declared him none the worse for wear, despite having lost about a pound and a half, and reeking of gasoline. We bought treats and pet shampoo and he let me give him a couple baths.

Our best guess was that he was hiding/stuck in their backyard shed, even though we'd asked them to check there for us...

But he's FINE now, and Benchley will be too!

Alice said...

MAN, that sucks. My cat growing up had 2 major hiding episodes - 1 on the first *day* that we got him (my dad eventually found him hiding between 2 sections of floorboard, in a spot where an old dishwasher used to be). The other one involved him going out and 'adventuring', then getting stuck in a neighbor's garage over a long weekend while the neighbor was away, returning after having been gone for a stressful 10 days.

My main potentially-helpful story is about our cat, who liked to get stuck up trees. He wouldn't meow unless we were very nearby; after the first terrifying incident, we knew to wander around calling his name, looking up. That + having an open tin of wet cat food helped to find him, and then a laundry basket and lots of rope helped to get him down.

I hope that Benchley turns up soon!

Mouse said...

Our late indoor cat, Howard went missing for a few days once. I was terrified. He was declawed on all 4, (something my parents did to him when he was a kitten. I would never do that)so I was imagining only the worse possible scenarios for him. Anyway, he was a darter and escaped after late night guests left one night. We left the garage door open for him those days while he was missing, just in case he came back in the middle of the night. Then, I went outside to look for him again one evening and there he was, lying on the garage floor, thumping his tail like he was a pimp. I think he just went out and grabbed himself some nature and nookie. Cats are wicked smart. They always find their way home when they're ready. I hope yours comes home soon!

Stimey said...

I scrolled through, hoping to see a comment that you had found him. He definitely has an advantage in that he has experience on the streets. I'm sending all my cat-finding vibes to you. I imagine it must be so stressful.

Katie Swaner said...

My sister was supposed to watch my cats for a week while I left town. She NEVER saw one of them, which she thought was strange, but thought he was hiding. It turns out, he must have snuck out while I was leaving or when she got there one day and was completely gone for a month. he also had a childhood on the streets, and could survive, but I wanted him home. I searched for weeks (I had not kids and oodles of time then, ha) whith fylers and everything, and then, when I was just considering pulling down my flyers, a lady called me, said she thought he was eating her cats' food and would catch him for me and did. And all of a sidden he was back home, needed flea meds and dewormer. happy ending

Alexicographer said...

Oh, I'm sorry. When I was a kid my cat disappeared for ... 2.5? ... weeks and then emerged much thinner and perhaps a tad dehydrated (but basically OK) from the neighbor's crawl space, where he had been closed in. So ...

Hope your guy shows up safe and sound, wherever he is.

Jake said...

Absolutely sounds like a garage or shed. Are you having warmer than usual weather? Has it been nice enough for neighbours to want to do yard work? If you end up putting up posters, make sure you beg people to check their sheds. Heck, he's probably not even that far, just stuck. Good luck.

PS. Our cat was missing 11 days (we presumed same scenario as above) and came back fine - skinny, but no permanent damage. And hopefully *crossing fingers* he has learned his lesson! Actually, I put a bell on his collar hoping people will know he's around just in case he goes "investigating" again.

Maureen said...

So sorry about your cat, I don't know what I would do if one of my pets went missing. I would be a mess.

Sara's story had me bawling like a baby. Where he was so happy to see her at the pound? Sobbing so loud my husband just came in to see what happened.

Superjules said...

I am sending lots of good, cat-findey vibes your way! Whem Bowie was a kitten, he once got trapped inside the inner workings of my roommate's pull-out couch.

velocibadgergirl said...

When I was a kid we lost our indoor / outdoor cat for an entire year. He was at the neighbor's and had been living inside. She offered my mom a replacement cat from the several she'd rescued, knowing we'd lost ours, and when mom went to pick one, there he was!

SusanaMio said...

Oh my gosh Swistle this is a horrible situation. Places that I have found my cat:

1. Under the bath (behind the bath panel - no idea how she got in there, it was nailed down).

2. In a hole in the wall behind the gas fire.

3. Squished into the top shelf of wardrobes behind lots of clothes.

4. Trapped in the airing cupboard/other cupboards.

My cat is a master of hiding-in-stupid-places.

Also, my cat disappeared directly after two different house moves, and both times she appeared again about a week later.

The first time my partner was washing up in the kitchen and heard her meow and went into the garden and found her in a bush underneath the kitchen window.She was very bedraggled and flea ridden but fine. We had basically given up hope and decided we were never going to see her again!

The second time I came home and the cat was just sitting there on the doorstep.

I really hope you find him soon/he returns soon.

Therese said...

As one of those neighbors who has found a cat in her house/garage on multiple occassions and didn't know it was there, I say definitely ask your neighbos to look and/or post signs. Where I curently live, the neighbors have a cat that we now all know because he is constantly sneaking into others houses and garages. I have, on more than one occassion, opened the garage door in the morning to leave for work and found a cat sitting on the steps. He likes to sneak in the garage and or house when the door is closing and you don't realize. One day, I heard my then about 10 month crying behind me (he was playing in the floor and I was in the kitchen). I look over and that cat was licking his face. I have no idea where he came from or how long he'd been in my house... I also found a cat once in the box springs of my bed. My bed had slats and he climbed in between and scratched a hole in the fabric on the bottom of the box springs and crawled up in there... very weird. At this point, I don't need to get my family a cat because there always seems to be a neighbor's showing up... Good Luck, I hope he comes home soon!

Emily said...

When I was super pregnant with my first, I was out of town for work, and my husband lost my cat. She was an indoor cat, but we'd let her out on our screened porch. She was out there one night when he went to bed, and he locked her out of the house. Overnight, she apparently tore open the screen and got out. She was gone for 10 (I think) days, and I absolutely thought she was dead (I have a pregnant, hormonal, weepy post about it somewhere on my blog). Then, out of nowhere, she just showed up one day, totally fine. I hope Benchley does the same!

Linda said...

I have one cat that will go in any small space, so we usually find her huddled in the back of a closet or in a drawer. She's gotten stuck multiple times when she's been closed in. When she's missing, I go around and open all the doors/drawers and she usually reappears within a few hours.

When our other cat goes missing, we will search and search for him (he's indoor only) and then suddenly he will be RIGHT THERE and we suspect he has a great hiding place where he watches us search and laughs at us.

He has gotten out once and I was DEVASTATED. I searched our neighborhood and left plates of food around our yard and blankets that smelled like us/him and posted signs. I would drive very slowly up and down our street looking for darting movements. I read somewhere that dogs run far, but cats usually hide close to home. I checked animal control/the Humane Society daily.

Three days later I found him sitting on our front lawn, like "Hey. What's up?" and freaked the heck out. I must have scared him because he darted off and I lumbered after him (6 months pregnant) and found where he must have been hiding in our neighbor's garage, two doors down. His paws were scratched up (probably from scaling a fence, the vet thought) and he was thirsty, but he was okay.

I hope Benchley comes back soon!

Mykal said...

I once had a cat return after two weeks! She had a broken hip and was up in the rafters of our garage. We suspected that she was hit by a car hobbled home and we didn't see here until she was able to hobble down (who knows really). I know this is not common (two weeks!) but it could happen!

Lippy said...

I have two stories.
1) We just got a new kitten and she was terrified. Went missing and we couldn't find her. Luckily, my mom was on her special lady time and found her in a bathroom cabinet in a box of maxi pads.

2) My cat got ringworm (eewwww) and had to be shaved and dipped. When I got him home he looked hilarious and I took a picture. You could tell he was pissed and embarrased. (cats totally do have facial expressions) He went missing for 2 weeks and came back when his fur was grown in.

Oh, also my SIL was moving and couldn't find her cat. Her lease was up so she left word with the office, and they found the cat a week later (fine) in the WALL. They had to cut into the wall to get her out. But she was totally fine.

Hope Benchley has a good story to tell when he gets back! I have faith in him.

Hope said...

My parents have a cat that leaves for days at a time but always returns. We joke that she has a second family. But my mother worries about her every single time.

In high school we had a cat that went missing which was unlike her so we were out calling for her in the woods behind my parent's house. The neighbor heard and said he had heard a weird noise under his front porch, which was really just a slab of concrete. She had somehow dug her way underneath and couldn't get back out. She was fine.

And often one of our cats now gets trapped in cabinets, drawers and closets.

I bet he's fine, just exploring. Like another commenter said, cats are extremely resilient.