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Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Peanut Butter", DSH Tortoiseshell, San Francisco - Found!

I got this email message on January 26, 2010. At this point Peanut Butter had been missing for over three weeks.

Hi Jackie
Just wanted to let you know that Peanut Butter came home tonight! I got home from work, opened the garage door which I had left open a crack on purpose, and the animal trap I bought had a prize! She's home and happy.  Just wanted to give you an update!

Peanut Butter is an indoor only spayed female Tortoise Shell DSH. She has no collar and is not microchipped. There are two other cats in the house. She got out by accident when the garage door was opened. There had been no sightings of her in the area.

Search #1:
We found a track that led up a street next to the house and then it went up and around and around neighborhoods. We got to one neighborhood that was at the base of a hill in the area where we found a set of condos and townhomes perched on the edge of the hill. Peanut Butter's track led straight into a gated community, but we were able to enter it. It went into one of the yards, but the dogs did not indicate that the scent came back out. We asked several people, but nobody saw her. We left posters all around the neighborhood.

All of these apartment, house and townhomes had yards, so I decided to check down the street to see if her scent came out from one of the house somewhere. We did find it down near the end, around the corner and then up another street. This street led up a steep hill into a large public open space which goes to the top of the hill where large power stations are.

We followed the track around and around until it went down into the steep side of the mountain where we were not able to go. We checked back and decided to see if we could pick it up somewhere back down the trail, since it didn't look like she could come out because there was a chain link fence surrounding the whole park, due to the power station.

Eventually we did pick it back up and then followed it back around and back down into the neighborhood and then strangely enough it went right in front of their home, but kept going. We followed the track for a few more blocks, which were now all on the very urban city streets. I asked Peanut Butter's person he noticed how different the first part of the track was compared these last few blocks and he said that he did. I said I thought it looked like somewhere between her coming out of the park on the hill and their home, she got picked up. She may have been hiding somewhere or she may be injured and somebody found her. He was confused since he felt that there were flyers all over the neighborhood and he felt that everybody knew she was missing.

Since it was almost dark, and the neighborhood was not safe, we decided to walk back to his house, call it a day and restart the next day from the same spot where we left off.

Day #2 Search:

We started where we left off, which was a block from third street, a very busy street and a main thoroughfare for the area.

I asked him what day did his trash get picked up in his neighborhood, and he said it was the day after she  went missing, which was a Friday afternoon. So, this person appeared to be a person who goes to the recycling cans during the night and picks them up. He must have found Peanut Butter hiding some place along the way, and maybe she was so scared or hungry and went along. Or this person surprised her and took her by force. Either is possible.

We followed the track mile after mile all along these urban streets until we got a storage yard. Here the track led us around and around the storage units and then directly to a cat food feeding station on the property. We asked the manager and he said that a cat rescue group comes by to fill up the bowls everyday. We left a flyer at the station. The track continued around the yard and then down to where an old RV was sitting. There was somebody living in the RV. The track went around the RV and then went  back up to the main level of the yard. From here the scent went out through a chain link gate and out to the street. After seeing this, I confirm with Peanut Butter's person that it looked like a transient person had Peanut Butter and he agreed.

From the storage yard, the track continued down the road, all the way up along Third Street and onto the Embarcadero and all along the piers all the way to the end of Fisherman's Wharf. By the time we got to the end, it was almost dark again and we had to catch a cab back to his house. The track was clearly following dumpsters and trash cans for the person to pick up recycling or find food.

See the letter at the top of the post from Peanut Butter's person almost one month after she went missing. What this means to me is that she got loose from this person and made it back. This person may have returned to the area  where he picked up Peanut Butter and she got loose, or she made it back along the way.