Author: A. Guanlao

I am a freelance content writer, graphic designer, and illustrator based in Sacramento, California.

Missing

My missing cat at 1 year old. This is the only recent photo that I have of him. He is now 2 years old.

 

One of my cats has been missing for the past 4 months. For the most part, it has been a disappointing, frustrating, and time-consuming task to search for him.

 

Down the Drain

My cat got lost in an area with miles of drainage areas like the one below. Some of these drainage areas are like small valleys with gently sloping sides, while others seem more like miniature canyons with steeper slopes. Most of them are filled with weeds and dry grass as well as bushes and trees. They also have recreational trails built beside them. I have walked many miles looking for my cat, and I will probably walk many more.

 

One of the drainage areas in the place where my cat got lost. I spotted him here (at least I think it was him) during my initial search of the area.

 

My cat ran toward me, and then he ran past me and up this spillway. He hid in a hole above the spillway. I tried to get him to stay in this area by leaving some food and water for him. Unfortunately, field mowers came by a few days later. I wasted a few weeks trying to trap him with a humane trap here, not realizing that the noise of the field mowing machines probably scared him away. I lost track of him after that.

No Shelter

I have not had any luck finding him at the local animal shelters. I have seen several shelter cats that looked very similar to my cat, but they turned out not to be him for various reasons. For instance, my cat was neutered before he got lost, and the shelter cats that I saw were not neutered until they arrived at the shelter. Lately, the tabby cats that I have seen at the shelters are too small in size and/or are kittens. However, I will continue checking the local shelters just in case he ends up there.

One of the lookalike tabby cats I saw at one of the local animal shelters

Is That Really You?

Putting up lost cat posters has brought me mixed results. People have called me about seeing my cat, but I could not see the cat they saw for myself because I live too far away from the area where my cat got lost. By the time I drive down to that area, the cat is gone. One time two students called me saying that they had my cat and were trying to hold it for me (I did hear a cat crying in the background), but they ended up letting it go because I could not get down there right away and they had to go somewhere and did not know anyone they could leave the cat with. After seeing various tabby cats at the local shelters (and even other parts of the neighborhood where my cat got lost), I find myself wondering if the people who called saw my cat or a lookalike tabby. I also do not think my cat would let a stranger pick him up because he is quite skittish and fearful of strangers.

I do not know if I will see my cat again, but I do not want to give up looking for him at least for now. I am not satisfied that I have done enough to find him. However, as the months go by, I realize that I cannot put the rest of my life on hold while I continue to search for him. Sometimes it is difficult to concentrate on other things knowing my cat is out there somewhere, but I will try to move on.