UPDATE - June 18, 2009 I spoke to Kitty's person tonight and I was told that Kitty was caught about a week ago. He was caught in a trap they had been putting out on their back steps. This is the same location where we tracked him to immediately after he left his front door. She said she thought it helped to walked around the area and distribute her scent in the area and then walk back to the back door to entice him to the correct area. It worked! He is safe at home and they will be getting him microchipped and keeping a collar with an ID tag on it, even though he remains a total indoor cat.
Kitty is a totally indoor cat. He escaped one evening as his people were coming home from a night out to dinner. He usually will hang out at the door step of their front door as they go back and forth to their car. This one time he took off without being known to his people he was outside. His absence was not known until the next morning when they searched the apartment flat and did not find him. He had no collar and was not microchipped. Kitty had been missing for almost two weeks when I was called out. The environment is total urban with front doors right on the sidwalks. It is very busy with lots of noise and cars and people walking here and there.
Dino indicated that Kitty turned left and went down a long alley that led to a back storage area for a restaurant that is below their apartment. We searched all through the storage area which had a lot of hiding places. This spot is where the back stairs come down from the back of their apartment. They had just started the night before to put out a trap with food inside, and I was told that they food put out the night before had been eaten totally without the door being tripped. I thought that maybe the trap was too small so that a trap savvy animal could stick their head over the paddle and get food without tripping the door.
Since we did not find Kitty in this spot we decided to check outside to see if an additional track could be found. We did find another track that went into another garden/yard behind a locked gate that went behind a set of apartments. We did not find a tenant home at one of these apartments to get access to this yard. We decided to come back later to check the yard if we did not find another track.
We did find a track all around the perimeter of the block which went in and out of driveways with small gardens and access to the interior backyards. We continued to follow the track all around the block back to the same corner of their apartment. I decided to see if Kitty had left the block and I tried to see if scent was on another block. We started with the block just south and we found a track leading away from their block. The track went down the block and made a right at the corner. It then went up the block and then jutted into a locked and gated garden of a Jewish Community Center.
We walked around to the front of the center, and Kitty's people went inside to see if Dino could be brought through. They said it was fine and we brought him through the building. We checked the whole garden, and there was Kitty's scent all over it and then went back out the same door, which led to the garages and back out to the street. We went back out to the gate again and checked for another trail leading out.
We did find another track that led down the street and into the large campus of a local research hospital. It wasn't a local hospital, just a research building. We tracked Kitty all over the campus, and this track ended on the far end as the driveway goes out the other side. We did a check on the far intersection outside the building, and there was no scent. We figured he was around the campus and then his scent went back down the street outside the campus. At this point Kitty's people decided to call the search at the three hour mark. The track was obviously going back out to the city.
As we were walking back the few block their apartment, Kitty's person was telling me that where we tracked Kitty was places that she either walked to the store, walked to the gym at the Jewish Center, did her jogging around the area. We figured that he probably circled their block at least once initially to find his way back in, but he did not recognize where to go, and he was so scared being out on the street. Then he discovered her scent on the street and started to follow it trying to find her.
I suggested that she walk around the area with her spare clothes touching everything along the way getting her scent all over the place and then leading back to their apartment door. I suggested putting out his blanket on the doorstep with food to draw him in. They would also continue with the trap in the back stairs. We also thought of putting a baby monitor down by the doorstep with the extension in their room to see if he comes back and starts to meow. They will continue with flyers and large, flourescent posters all over the area to let everybody know he is still missing.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 2/28/10)