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Thursday, June 11, 2009

"The Kitty", Siamese, San Rafael - Found

The Kitty is a Siamese cat with seal point markings. He is a neutered male wearing an ID collar with tags and a microchip. He is six years old and an indoor/outdoor cat along with his brother and littermate, Budda.

The Kitty's territory was known to extend across the street and back behind these houses to a large open space that is shared with a variety of wildlife including coyotes. The Kitty's territory was also known to extend behind his house which is a large high school with large open fields. The Kitty was also known to visit houses up and down his street for just a few houses in each direction.

We started checking immediate yards on either side of The Kitty's person's house. Dino did pick up his scent, but he wasn't in the yard at the time of the search. This was true of the house just next door. We then went to the school yard and did a thorough search there. We did pick up The Kitty's scent in the yard and followed it down into the parking lot, out a large cyclone gate, to the right, down the street and back into another parking lot that led off to another set of school buildings and distant fields. We did find another cat resting in the bushes while on our search, however, it was not The Kitty. We continued the search of the high school and we were satisfied that The Kitty was not in the school yard at the time of the search.

We started to check the street just out front and found The Kitty's scent going up the street on the same side as his person's house. The scent then crossed the street and went directly up the street toward the dead end of the street which led to the open space. We followed the scent up into the open space and up a trail. The Kitty's person decided to not continue to follow the track that way because he knew it led straight up the mountain into the open space. He wanted to check some other trails closer to the houses to see if The Kitty was anywhere closer.

We did a search of the area and apparently The Kitty was a frequent visitor of the area, which his person was aware of. We also found a large carcass of a deer just behind one of the house, which is unusual, to my knowledge. This means that coyotes were willing to eat the deer about 10 feet away from a back fence and not be bothered by the houses or potential humans. This was a definite sign of coyotes and that they were bold and hungry. Not a good sign for a highly residential neighborhood with a lot of cats.

We continued on the search around the area, and checked numerous bushes all up and down the street, but no The Kitty. His person said that everybody around was aware he was missing and that they were aware to continue to check their garages and tool sheds in case he was stuck or hiding.

We checked down the street this time to see how far The Kitty's territory extended and we found that it turned to the right at the bottom of the street and went down the street and turned to the right at the next street. This street also dead ended at the open space area, so we know The Kitty is frequenting the open space area from both directions.

My best guess at this time was to say that The Kitty had extended his territory to far into the open space and got lost since we know his track goes up into it. My second guess is that he is still stuck somewhere and is unable to get out, so that is where continuous posters and talking to neighbors can help to find out where he might be. My third guess is that he has had an unfortunate run-in with a coyote or other wildlife, which is why there hadn't been any sightings and no one has responded to the collar and tags and microchip.

I received a call the next day from The Kitty's person. Actually two calls. The first said that somebody had called him to say that his cat had been spotted down near the far dead end street that we tracked at the end. He left work and ran over there only for them to say that they had misidentified his cat and the cat they saw really wasn't his.

Then I get another call about a half hour later and he said that somebody else said they had seen a cat that looked just like The Kitty in the school yard the day after he went missing. However, this cat was dead and near the community gardens on the school grounds, and they had thrown the body into the trash without calling animal control or checking for a microchip. The Kitty's person said that he was going to go to the school grounds to see if he could find his cat's collar and tags. I suggested using a metal detector.

I told him to tell this person that next time they find a domestic animal who has died to control animal control and have them dispose of the remains. This way it can be cataloged and scanned, in case an owner was looking for it.

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 5/10/10)