Miso is a three year old, indoor/outdoor, spayed, DSH, grey/brown tabby with white. She is microchipped and wearing a collar with a tag. She had been missing for about four days when I was called. Her people had put up gorgeous four color posters and flyers in the surrounding neighborhood and received a couple of sightings, though no 100% confirmed. However, once we found the track, these sightings were along the track, so later they were confirmed.
We found a track that led away from the house, across the street, to the right and up another street. This led us around a block and then left up to another street, directly to the steps of a house. We we knocked on the door, the woman confirmed that her sister put out bowls of cat food and that numerous cats would come around. She said she would show the flyer to her sister to see if Miso was one of the cats that came by. We then checked the area in a couple of additional areas, but no scent was there. The track seemed to stop at that house. We did find another track that was across the street and led away from that house.
That track led us for multiple blocks away from Miso's house and into several neighborhoods. This also included a small "compound" like place that was apparently pre World War II with a full bomb shelter and multiple buildings, gardens, barns, creeks, etc. We found that Miso had spent some time there, but then eventually left through the creek and went back out to the street. The track went up the street and then turned right up a busy blvd. This blvd led back to Miso's house. We checked in other areas around the house, but no other tracks seemed to exist.
My top guess is that Miso is circling this track and then coming back home. Why she didn't stop at home, we could not figure out. The best guess was that she wasn't ready to come home yet, or maybe did not recognize it. I recommended that Miso's people follow the track over and over, putting down their scent by walking on it and putting up flyers and posters along the way. After they walk the track, then lead back to their home so that Miso has their scent and can find it back to their home. They also wanted to put out a trap behind their house in their driveway. Since they both worked at home, they would be able to monitor it.
I received a call about three days later that Miso had returned home! Following the search they had both walked the track a couple of times a day, set the trap and put up flyers and posters. They had received calls about sightings along this track. They said she looked thin and very dirty, but apparently happy to be home.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 1/26/11)