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Mission Mugsy: Day “I Don’t Know What Day This Is”

Sorry, I lost count. I wasn’t even planning on blogging because I’m overwhelmed in the office and trying to do a zillion things on my “To Do” list. One of the things I got sidetracked on was to go through the massive number of old computer documents (going back to 2004) that should be filed or deleted. I came across one that I just HAD to share. Well, along with this photo here of my flubber-bellied cat Cheeto ~ which explains his weight gain (I bear no responsibility in his food choices):

Cheeto Looking for a Snack!

What I found was the encouragement that I needed during the lack of Mugsy updates. I have NOT lost hope! Mugsy IS hiding in that marsh, she IS getting hungry, and Vicki IS committed to continue her trapping efforts. But I came across an email where I described a case where an MPP volunteer successfully trapped a cat after an extended effort. Not that I think Mugsy will take this long to catch, but I think we all could use a little bit of inspiration:

“I just wrapped up teaching a MAR (missing animal response) technician course where I taught on lost cat behavior and TAR (trap-and-reunite) strategies. During the first week of training, one of the new students in the class told us about how her neighbor’s indoor-only cat had escaped from her home while the neighbor was moving four months prior. This student had actually seen the “lost” cat run under a neighbor’s deck a week after it was missing. She had never heard of using traps to recover a lost cat and asked to borrow my trap so she could help recover the cat.
The volunteer spent week after week setting the humane trap and trapped many other cats but not the missing cat. Come to find out, she really was only keeping the trap in the same area where she had seen that cat. On the fourth week, she was ready to give up (after a month of trapping). But during the fifth week of class, I discussed trap placement strategies and explained what I said above…using a method of expanding out and moving the traps if you are not catching the missing cat. I had also mentioned that the cat would seek out the most quiet place and would be more likely to be hiding in a yard where there were no dogs.
The volunteer took the trap home again and began walking down the alley behind her home and bypassed all the houses that had dogs. She came upon two houses that did not have dogs—one house had a groomed lawn with few hiding places and the other yard had a rickety, rundown shed. She set the trap near the shed, chained it to a post there, and went home. She came back two hours later and she had captured the missing cat! The cat had traveled three houses down and across the alley to a yard that was quiet.
I believe this volunteer was successful because she refused to give up AND her emotions and love was not connected to this cat. So a volunteer who BELIEVED she could recover this cat that was “lost” for five months was able to stick with it for five weeks and was successful. But so often, the grief and pain that a cat owner feels will force them to give up too soon because it just becomes too hard. That is why success stories like this and the encouragement and support here are vital. YOU CAN GET YOUR CAT BACK!!! If my volunteer can do it, YOU CAN TOO!”
Kat & Dogs


3 comments to Mission Mugsy: Day “I Don’t Know What Day This Is”

  • LisaNaz

    Having recently lost my daughter, (a 12yr old beautiful yellow lab) and followed in the reigns of a Pet Tracker, I will forever be greatful to the them as well as the supporters of “Cappuccino”-AKA “Chino”. I will now dedicate my life to my words while tracking for Chino, that I will start my own Missing Pet Services for the North East so that I may help those who are desperately seeking for their loved furry companions. My career as an Open Heart RN will now head in the direction of healing aching hearts from missing pets. I hope and pray that Mugsy will have a safe return! GOD BLESS YOU Kat & Dogs!

  • Crystallin

    You wrote, “But so often, the grief and pain that a cat owner feels will force them to give up too soon because it just becomes too hard. That is why success stories like this and the encouragement and support here are vital.”

    Aside from all of the excellent advice about posters, traps, and the practical solutions to finding my dog, the encouragement and support to keep looking was what sustained me for 30 days. It helped me convince my family not to give up too.

    I still hope to find a way to create a forum or other site to bring together lost and recovered pet owners to share support and dispel the misinformation that encourages people to give up when their friend is still out there!

  • Crystal,
    Email me at info@katalbrecht.com so we can get started on developing this. Since dogs and cats are entirely different in their behaviors (especially when lost) I envsion one forum for lost dogs and another for lost cats. I totally forgot that you and I had discussed this and I would love it if you could help Missing Pet Partnership to get this created. Chat with you on e-mail, and please give a Fiona a kiss from your friends at MPP!
    Kat & Dogs