When Kitty was lost, she had a disadvantage because she is a scaredy type of cat who doesn’t go to strangers and would likely hide. In this case, she wasn’t going to be easily found to take to a shelter or an animal hospital in order to identify and reunite her with her owner.
She was lost in an area that she had never been before, miles away from home, as never ventured past the front or backyard of her home, and it was on the other side of the river where a bridge had to be crossed or a long way around over freeways with bridges to the city center, which all directions were very noisy with a lot of traffic around.
Prior to the new owner taking her to the new residence, she had been microchipped which thankfully benefited her down the road. She was taken in a carrier on a bus which would have gone through the downtown core of the city before heading over a bridge/freeway to the south side of the city.
Not even a few days in her new home, kitty got scared off by the unfriendly cat that lived there and she escaped through a window or door. She didn’t take to the new home and never came back.
One thing about cats is they don’t like changes, especially a timid cat like Kitty who gets scared easily, so a move like that should have been done gradually not abruptly. And the home should have been carefully checked out first to make sure it was appropriate for the cat, in changing ownership, especially since there was another pet there.
Although the new owner thought that it was a great idea for her cat to have a companion, she didn’t take into consideration if her cat was open to that. Therefore the new home was not appropriate for Kitty because the other cat was very aggressive and wasn’t liking a new cat in her territory. Kitty was too afraid from the other cat and in trying to escape from the situation, she ended up outside lost. In her mind though, she probably didn’t think she was lost, as was intent on going to her previous home. In a normal situation, she would never have run away and not come back, only run and hide, so it was unusual that she did and the only conclusion is she was very afraid and unhappy in her new home.
Although Kitty didn’t know exactly where her home was, I believe she relied on a homing instinct where she used her navigational senses in finding the direction to get there. Whether it was a combination of mentally mapping the bus route to the new place or picking up the scents left at her home that she could sense, how she did it or which route she took is an unknown mystery.
It took her over 3 months, where the week she was found was the worst freezing cold weather with lots of snow. Not only that, she had a bad injury from a collar stuck under her arm due to trying to take it off. That part was perplexing, why the new owner would even put a collar on her when she had her microchipped beforehand. Probably put one on for decorative reasons, since there wasn’t any identification on it, but that collar was the reason she almost died. Without that collar, I am sure she would have been fine and found her home even sooner.
I strongly advise cat owners who are deciding whether to put a collar on their cat, need to take into consideration if by chance the cat got lost, that they would try to take it off, especially if it had a bell on it or got uncomfortable. For decorative reasons, using a retractable kind that the cat could easily remove on its own would be a good idea. But for identification purposes, best to get the cat microchipped and forgo the collar, because if the cat did manage to take off the collar then couldn’t be identified anyway. Either way, collars that cannot be easily removed by the cat aren’t a good idea as could cause serious injury like what happened to Kitty.
Kitty was found a few doors a way from home, that’s how close she was, trying to get warm under a dryer vent in someone’s backyard. She was weak and didn’t have the energy to run away when the owner of the house caught her and took her in. She was quite filthy and, in trying to clean her up, they noticed a collar deeply stuck under her arm. So they took her to the nearby animal hospital, the same place where she had been microchipped before she started her journey to her new home, and now the microchip was used in identifying and reuniting her with her owner.
Kitty had a happy ending, which isn’t always the case for many lost pets. She did almost lose her life due to her collar injury. So how did she find her way home, given her circumstances, where many pets have failed the journey?
I think her being a scaredy cat helped, because she would know when to hide and remain quiet when needed. She wouldn’t trust any humans or animals, so that would have protected her from any harm. I believe she had a homing sense so knew the direction to go. And since there was a lot of traffic noise through the busy areas along the way, she probably traveled mainly at night. When she was found, the vet said she lost some weight but, to me, didn’t look like she had lost much so must have been eating regularly which I believe was mainly from garbage cans because for a little while after that she would try to open the trash cans at home.
Kitty, being a scared and timid cat, showed how smart and resilient she is, as well as bravery when needed.