Day One, Friday, May 17th 2013: I woke up late because I had to drive a long distance and spend three days doing a horse show photo shoot. When I awoke, my mother came in my room and told me she “saw a cat who looks just like Binx” on the porch and then up by the fireplace in the back yard. It was then she informed me she couldn’t find Binx in the house. I got up and we searched. The back door would, if not closed properly, not latch all the way. The cat she saw was Binx, not a cat who looked like him.
Now we had a major problem. Not only was Binx an indoor-only cat his entire adult life (three and a half years), he was born a feral kitten who had had no contact with humans in the first 8 weeks of his life. A cat who has not had that contact never fully accepts humans. Binx accepted us, as he lived in our house and let us pet him, slept on my bed and would even rub against my leg. However, if even I–the person he most trusted–made a move he found suspicious, he would always run. “Can I really trust you?” lived forever in his eyes, as it does with all cats born feral.
I searched the woods behind our house, the neighbor’s yards, up trees, everywhere I could. No sign of him. As a volunteer for a cat shelter, I was able to borrow a cat trap, which I baited and set on the porch in case Binx came home during the night looking for food. I also brushed Binx’s best cat friend, Jake, and placed his fur around the parameter of the yard.
I slept on the sofa on the porch, hoping my scent would help, or at least I would spot him.
Day Two, Saturday, May 18th: Had to do the photo shoot, so I spent most of the day away. Caught nothing in the trap. I borrowed a second trap to put up in the back near the woods. I needed to expand my search. I also made up a bunch of flyers and went door to door in the areas that surrounded the woods, talking to people and asking if they would contact me if they saw Binx. Everyone was very nice. But no one had seen him.
Binx’s un-trusting nature towards humans, I knew, would make this much more difficult than a trusting house pet. I slept on the porch again. At the very least it helped keep the raccoons away from my trap.
Day Three, Sunday, May 19th: Expanded my search area and tried to spread my scent to lead Binx back home. He had to be getting hungry. Still nothing in the traps. I made more flyers, including a large one for telephone poles, and brought the files to be professionally printed at Staples. I had the large ones laminated so they would be waterproof. It rained, which made me wonder how Binx was handling this, as he had not seen rain in his entire adult life. The rain did not frighten me, however, the thunder did. It would scare Binx. Would he run farther away?
Day Four, Monday, May 20th: Caught a raccoon in the trap nearest the house, but no cat. I reset the trap. The rain just didn’t want to stop! Thunderstorms, heat and humidity every day. Ninety one degrees!
I am still having trouble eating, my stomach is in so many knots. I walked all around the woods within a mile of my house. But the woods are dense and vast. He could be anywhere. I passed out more flyers. I tacked a bunch of the big laminated flyers on telephone poles at every intersection within a two mile radius.
Day Five, Tuesday, May 21st: More of the same today. Cooler temperatures, but still rainy and thunderstorms. As I had done daily, I walked the woods when it wasn’t raining, talked to people, passed out flyers and put lost cat ads on the internet and in papers.
Day Six, Wednesday, May 22nd: Continued looking through the woods and adding flyers to my search area. It was rainy today so I didn’t get as much searching done through the woods, but I did walk up back and look under a few porches and sheds of neighboring properties. By now, people are pretty used to seeing me searching through their yards.
Both traps were tripped, food was gone from one, yet nothing was inside. The neighbor’s cat (Tigger) is a tiny little girl, so I am assuming it was her. Later in the day, I was proven correct when I came home and a neighbor drove by with his ATV to tell me there was a grey cat in the trap behind his house. I asked him “Dark grey or light grey?” When he said light grey, I knew it was Tigger. She was scared, I let her go.
Got a call from a lady who lives about 5 miles away, swearing she saw Binx. She said she would try to feed and lure the cat in. I have big doubts Binx would be that far in the opposite direction that he had gone, plus he would have had to cross a highway and several roads to get there. Not that I am dismissing any lead. I told her to call me if she sees the cat again.
I started a Facebook page to raise awareness of Binx in hopes more people will keep their eyes open for him, regardless where they live. I just want my Binx home!
Day Seven, Thursday, May 23rd: 7am, my mother wakes me to tell me there’s a raccoon in the trap closest to the woods. She can’t climb the fence to get out there, so I went out, in the rain, in my PJs, climbed the fence, and had to pick up the trap and dump the frightened raccoon out. He scrambled up a tree.
Seriously thinking about hiring a pet detective to help me find Binx. The problem is that I am poor and not sure I can afford one. I looked up quite a few online today. I just want my baby home. I don’t know how long I can handle this stress, fear and anguish.