Eddie is an 11 month old DSH orange tabby. He was not wearing a collar with tags or a microchip. Per his person, his normal territory was less than three or four houses away. He was let out in the morning, which was normal, but he did not return later that afternoon as normal. There was a sighting of him that afternoon on a deck about two doors from his house within his known territory. He had been missing for several days when I was called.
I started by going over Eddie's yard and the yard next door to see how he normally comes and goes from this home. The house next door is a relative of Eddie's person so it is totally normal for him to come and go freely onto both properties. There were several potential entries and exists that Eddie has seen normally using. However, one path was the most common. This was up and over a fence in the far back of the yard high on a hillside. This path led behind a couple of houses and was fenced by high deer fencing. This opening led to an small open space area at the far end of the block where Eddie lived.
We began the check by looking at the yards of the houses next to Eddie's house to see if he was somehow hiding in the yard. There wasn't any sign of Eddie but his scent was definitely in the yard, according to Dino.
We then checked the open space area just past these house, which is where the small path at the top of the houses' yards opened up out into. We did pick up Eddie's scent coming out of this narrow path and then Dino followed it out that area and up onto the street and down the street and it continued all the way down a long street going down. Eddie's person was totally surprised that Eddie would travel this far (How many times have I heard that?). Then she said: "This is the way I walk to work." It appeared that Eddie was following the track of her and trying to find her by following her scent.
The track continued down the hill and then deviated off to the left and then into an apartment complex, through the complex and back out onto the street heading downhill and toward Eddie's person's work, which was a school.
We followed the track through another apartment complex and then out the far end and then the track went through super thick bush that I could not even climb through. I went back to find Eddie's person who was waiting out on the street. I told her where I went and about the bushes and she said: "That is the school where I work. Those bushes are alongside the playground where I spend a lot of time."
We decided to go down further on the street to look at the bushes from another direction. We found the bushes and decided to see if we could find Eddie's track in the bushes. The bushes were still so thick and loaded with articles of homeless people that it was difficult to get through them. Plus it was getting dark.
She decided to continue the search for Eddie the next day by putting out bowls of food around the school yard and then trying to set up a trap and finding a hole in the fence for Eddie to come through. I told her about www.catinthebag.org which has a lot of good ideas for catching loose cats. She said she would let me know. They had planned to be on vacation for a few days following the search, so she said she would get back to me.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 5/2/10)