Now we just have to find a way to KEEP her inside!
Last night I checked my email. I got a notice from Home Again, the microchip provider my rescue uses (we also use 24PetWatch). I get alerts about lost dogs and cats in my area and I'm signed up to be notified for any lost animal up to 50 miles from my home. For a few months I've been meaning to change my preferences to a smaller range. The thought was why see lost animal alerts if I'm too far away to do anything about it? Once I read the email, I was very glad I didn't change anything.
There's a link to download this flyer at the end of this post.
I felt like I got kicked in the chest. It was pure luck that I saw the notice about her being lost! First, I thought, why didn't the adopters call me to tell me she was lost? What happened? Then I realized that Amberly was registered to them, but my rescue wasn't listed as the Emergency Contact. There are a few cases where that is true with some of our first rescues. Now we are the ER contact for all our adopted animals. I was angry, sad, freaked out. Amberly was and is a very special cat. Her story, really Maria's story of rescuing this cat and her five kittens was one I will never forget. Amberly's transformation once she came here was amazing. She went from an emaciated mama to a filled out, gorgeous cat, ready to find her forever home. It was a great day when she and her son, Jack LiLac were adopted together. How quickly that joy turned to sorrow. (You can read more about her story here and here).
©2011 Maria S. The day Amberly was rescued.
I thought about Maria, who rescued Amberly and spent two days searching for her kittens. I knew that the thought of Amberly being lost and lost in Connecticut, not Georgia, where she was originally from, would make it even worse. It still gets very cold here at night. Amberly isn't used to being out in the cold. She would find somewhere warm, but there's a very busy road not far from where her home is located. There's also a tidal pond that reaches the Long Island Sound. At least there hasn't been any rain or snow, but with so many places to hide and dangerous traffic around every corner, it's not hard to fear for the worst if Amberly isn't found or comes home soon.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Looking stunning just hours before being adopted last November.
I called the family and got very few details. Amberly got out. They are looking everywhere. They're putting up flyers. I told them about FindToto but the owner sounded very panicked and said they couldn't afford it. She sounded very grim. Long gone was the cheerful, upbeat person I'd met a few months ago. I didn't push. I offered to help. I sent her a lot of info on how to find a lost cat. I included some tricks, like:
• Put food and water outside during the day • Put some clothing outside that smells like you • Sprinkle her cat litter near the door or put out her litter pan • I told her I could get someone to put out a trap, but we should do it soon • Call everyone in the area, put up flyers, talk to neighbors and look every place they could think of and look in weird places. Odds are she wasn't too far from home-yet. But time was wasting. The more they did now the better • Call the Animal Control Officer. Call the local Vets. Call the local cat rescues
I did some of the leg work for her and got her phone numbers and contact info. I posted the news everywhere online I could, then I emailed the local rescuers because we share a mailing list to get news about cats in need. I called my friend and cat-rescuing cohort, Katherine, from AID. She lives in Norwalk, CT, where Amberly had gone missing. I live about an hour away, so it made sense for Katherine to investigate. I offered to buy her French Toast or take another six kittens and their mama to foster if she could help. She didn't hesitate to jump in even though she is overloaded with other rescues.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jack LiLac (left), Amberly (center), Truffles (right)
It was only through Katherine that I got much information about Amberly. Apparently since the weather got a bit milder, Amberly has been trying to get outside. The family put a collar on her after she DID get out a few times, but each time she escaped she ran back inside the house after a minute. They did try to keep her away from the door. I don't know the details and I'm not going to criticize what they did or didn't do. However it happened, Monday night, Amberly took off out the front door, heading for some homes and the busy streets and that was the last anyone has seen of her.
The family has put up bright orange flyers and are canvasing the neighborhood. Katherine went there this afternoon and looked, but no luck. She offered to set a trap and the family declined. I don't know why. In a few days I hope they will reconsider. If Amberly isn't home by Saturday we have to put out a trap. I wish we had a few of those motion-sensor night vision wildlife cameras to loan them. Other than that, I'm not sure what more we can do other than to say here: