Updated: Sep 25, 2020
One lazy Sunday morning I was perusing Facebook and noticed a post on a local page by someone whose cat had been missing overnight. I had the cat's name and the owner's name (which makes things much easier) and reached out to the kitty. Mooky was still in her body, and hiding in a ditch behind her new home of three weeks. She did not know how far from home she was, or how to get back. And she was hungry and ready to go home!
I reached out to her mom, Neicy, and relayed the information. Neicy informed me that they had been walking that ditch this very morning but did not see Mooky. They were away from home, but would check back when they returned.
Animals who are lost often have a hard time describing where they are, or how far they have traveled. Oftentimes, they are lost on purpose, in an effort to escape their home, or start the next chapter of their life's journey. To them it makes sense to leave, as they have more confidence in their survival skills. I talked to a cat earlier this summer who had left because they had had enough, and were already established in a new home, where they wished to remain. Happy ending for the cat, but perhaps not for the previous human family. (I was not contacted to find the cat by the family.) Moral of the story, treat your animals with the same kindness and compassion as you desire and they will stay with you "furever!"
Not the case with Mooky. She loves her humans very much and was eager to return home.
Using some advanced search techniques, I was able to pinpoint her location and relay the information to Neicy. Neicy and her husband looked after dark when it was quiet and found Mooky right where I told them to look! A very happy ending for them.
As a general rule, I don't advocate for letting your smaller animals outside unless they are supervised by you, especially if you have moved to a new location. It may take a month or longer for them to hone in on the new home location. Some animals insist on being outdoor pets, and you have to be willing to face the consequences of that decision. It often means a shorter life span for your pet. But in the end, it's the owner's decision.