UPDATE: Two days after this search Ziggy had been spotted at his old house by neighbors in that area. Ziggy's people are going to set feeding stations and traps to lure him in.
Ziggy is a four year old DSH cat that is grey and white tabby. He has a "kitty" door that he goes in and out of all day and night into the yard, and he also has a small space to leave from under the garage door. One morning, Ziggy did not arrive home for his food. The previous night, the neighborhood had a large power outage, and Ziggy's people feel that he may have been startled by all the noise and commotion. The neighborhood is flat suburban.
When I was called in, Ziggy had been missing for one week.
Dino found Ziggy's trail leading away from the yard and making a right down the street to a canal that wound for miles up and down and throughout the county. Dino picked up Ziggy's scent on both sides of the canal and on both sides of the street. We decided to check further down the street to see if Ziggy traveled further. We checked the next intersection and found Ziggy's scent going off to the right, down to the end of the court and through a dilapidated wooden fence. On the other side of the fence was a very busy boulevard. We decided to check that spot later to see if a trail led away.
We came back toward the house and checked the other direction and other streets. We did find Ziggy's scent down a short street and over a fence that led into a private/community pool. This pool was almost behind his house. We were allowed into the pool area, and we checked the trail leading away from the fence. We found Ziggy's had traveled around the pool to the BBQ area, behind a pool equipment storage area and then back out to another neighborhood.
We continued to follow his track which went through several neighborhoods, over several fences, across busy streets, through more neighbors and down to a busy shopping center. We found his track all around the buildings and particularly in the back where all the trash and dumpsters were. By this time, Ziggy's dad had gone home and went to the shelter to see if Ziggy had come in, and Ziggy's' dad's daughter stayed with me. We were both surprised to see how extensive Ziggy's trail was becoming, and we had not reach an end yet.
At this point, we were somewhat near the old dilapidated fence from Ziggy's neighborhood, so we walked up there. We definitely found Ziggy's trail leading away from the hole and down back to the location of the shopping center and along the way, there was another opening to the canal. Dino picked up Ziggy's scent, again, on both sides of the canal and on both sides of the street.
We checked another neighborhood near the canal, but we didn't not find any of Ziggy's scent in there. We came back out to the busy blvd and decided to check the far side of the street this time, which had a lot more vegetation like ivy and thick trees. We did pick up Ziggy's scent in that area. This took us back to the shopping center.
The daughter said there was another opening to the canal further up the street, and this same canal also led back to their last house, that they moved from several months ago. Her guess was that Ziggy may have gone back to the old house, which was only about a mile away. She also wondered if the two territories somehow overlapped.
We found the opening to the canal, which also bordered a small local park. Dino did pick up Ziggy's scent on this part of the canal also. We decided to check the park also. Dino did indicate that Ziggy had been in the park, and Dino led us up a small path, which led to a golf course, which borders an open space. We did pick up Ziggy's scent going into the golf course, but not on this canal, which was separate from the other canal. This meant that Ziggy had gone straight up to the golf course and not been on the canal, or at least off to the sides.
My best guess at this point is that Ziggy is still somewhere inside his territory, which I felt we never hit the perimeter of. This meant his territory had at least several blocks in multiple directions. He also may have decided to go beyond his territory and got lost and couldn't get back, or wasn't ready to come back yet. We decided to let traps in a couple of safe and secluded spots we found in his territory, hoping to catch him when he comes back to these spots.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/21/10)