A Happy Ending for the books!
Late in the evening on May 15th, my husband, Barrett, stepped outside and Mo apparently ran out the door without him noticing. The next morning when we couldn’t find him, we checked our doorbell camera and confirmed that he got out. We immediately posted about him on Nextdoor, Facebook, Pawboost, Helping Lost Pets/Lost Cats of WI, and notified our vet, DCHS, and Angel’s Wish. We also made sure Mo’s microchip information was up-to-date and posted flyers all around our neighborhood. We’d regularly walk around our neighborhood calling for him and shaking his favorite food and toys, hoping he’d hear a familiar sound. For the first couple of months, we’d hear from neighbors that they thought they saw Mo, so we’d look near where they mentioned, but never had much luck. We had one instance where we found him (at least we think it was him), but he ran into the sewers. Lois lent us a cat trap, and we put it out all summer and into the fall. We made sure to only put it out during the day (as suggested by Lois), but one night we accidentally left it out all night and caught a raccoon (as Lois said might happen). So that was interesting!
In July, a neighbor posted online about a very friendly grey tabby that showed up at their house. This cat didn’t look quite like Mo in the pictures, but after a few months outside, who knows what he might look like! After meeting the cat, we were almost certain it wasn’t Mo, but we took him to get checked for a microchip. We confirmed this tabby wasn’t our boy, but we weren’t going to just let him go. He earned the nickname Faux Mo and stayed at our house for about a month while we waited for a shelter (ultimately DCHS) that could take him in.
In November, we posted online again, asking for any information someone might have. We were really losing hope at that point and the weather getting colder wasn’t helping. There was a part of us that we hoped he had just found a new family and home to settle down in. He’s so friendly and sweet, we wouldn’t be surprised if he adopted a new family, and we just wanted him safe and taken care of.
On January 4th, a neighbor came by with pictures of a grey tabby her daughter tracked down and caught. The cat in the pictures was more brown than Mo and had some new marks on its face. The neighbor also thought the cat was female and declawed. We mostly assumed it wasn’t Mo—we didn’t want to get our hopes up again—but told her Mo is microchipped, so she could check with a vet. The next night, I received a call from a vet saying the cat was indeed Mo and the neighbor was on her way to drop him off! There were lots of happy tears in our family that night and for the next few days. Even now, we can’t believe he’s really back! It turns out he’d found a place to hide about half a mile from our house and away from other houses.
Mo spent a little over a week quarantined from our other cats while we got him to the vet and then through his deworming medicine. All-in-all, he’s in great condition. The new marks on his face are a couple small scratches; his ears, nose, and paw pads were pretty roughed up from being outside; and he’s lost a couple pounds (though the vet thinks someone was probably feeding him).
Back in the beginning of May, we were in the process of adopting two kittens from Angel’s Wish. We already had another cat, Nyx, but she really wasn’t interested in playing or interacting with Mo. (She’s VERY independent.) We were planning to get a new kitten so Mo would have a friend to play with, and when Lois offered two kittens, we went for it! Pho and Dei joined us on June 4th (Mo’s birthday!), so they just missed out on meeting Mo, but they were such a blessing to have while we struggled with Mo being gone. Two new kittens running around the house was a pleasant distraction! Now Mo, Pho, and Dei all play together. Pho has even taken to cleaning Mo, which is so sweet to see.