Simba and His 7½ Week Disappearance
by Ramona Hreljac
Simba, my 8 year old orange tabby, escaped through an accidentally left open back door. I was frantic upon returning home from work to find him missing. I started looking right away for him . . . he is an indoor cat!
I put up neighbourhood posters, contacted every vet and emailed them lost picture and chip numbers, emailed and called shelters & SPCA’s within miles of my home, and then I put up more posters and went to my town SPCA twice a week as well.
I searched tons of backyards and knocked on doors. My daughter and son used social media, Kijiji and lost cat web sites. We put up more posters even further away even further away from home and replaced any that were torn down . . . about 350 posters in total I put up!
I even Swiffered daily (I have 2 other cats and 2 shepherds) to and took the Swiffered pet fur and sprinkled it in different neighbourhoods nightly, hoping that Simba would be attracted to the scent of home.
I contacted an Animal Communicator. ($50 for 15 minutes phone call). There were about 24 responses to my posters from wonderful people reporting sightings, which I investigated daily and nightly.
For 7½ weeks I searched nightly and continued putting up more posters. I cried; I missed him so much.
The Animal Communicator informed me that Simba was alive and was near a bridge.
I took my dog and walked along a bridge not too far from my home, along a railway track. My dog picked up a scent of something; it could have been anything, but I just had a really positive feeling.
The next day, I received a text from a kind man reporting an orange cat sighting over 2 km. away, so I went over there and walked around, spread more Swiffered up pet fur, and of course, called Simba, but was not successful.
Later that night, I went over again and called for Simba with food dish, figuring another false hope, when all of a sudden I heard a sorrowful meow.
I just knew it was Simba! Through my tears, I called my hubby asking him to assist. We managed to grab Simba and take him on a vet trip.
Simba was so worse for wear, anemic, dehydrated, lost 25% of his body weight, unable to walk due to weakness, beaten up (no claws). The vet said I had got to him just in time . . . he was too weak to forage much longer.
I never gave up hope, but I knew it would take legwork and luck if it was going to happen.
I gave the man who texted me a picture of Simba a reward, because I really appreciated him taking the time to text me picture of his sighting.
The worse part of losing a pet is the not knowing. Once you know whether your lost pet is alive or dead, then you have closure either way.
I do understand that not everyone is able to commit to the legwork that I did, but at least they should get out posters with a big picture and details of their missing pet with a number to call and a request to text any lost pet sightings!
I was desperate to find Simba.
I will never know what kind of experiences Simba had while missing, but he is so happy to be home!
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