A Grand Forks cat who went missing last fall was re-united with his family three weeks before Christmas. The volunteers who rescued the animal are behind recent efforts to found a city cat shelter.
Cat-mom Martina Muir said her ten-year old Patches, a long haired tom easily recognizable by his heart-shaped nose, was found late Sunday, Dec. 18, in a dilapidated barn on Hall Frontage Road. He was last seen in South Ruckle by one of Muir’s neighbours at around 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1.
“We searched every neighbourhood; every garage; every field,” she told The Gazette. “I actually gave up hope, because I thought a coyote had got him. It was like losing a child.”
Muir put up posters and Facebook posts asking for people to help find Patches, which paid off late Friday, Dec. 9.
A rural property owner had meanwhile asked the Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society, currently advocating for a municipal cat shelter, to help find strays thought to be living out of an area barn. President Kimberly Feeny said Patches found himself in a Live Trap used to rescue a feral cat since taken in by the Castlegar SPCA.
Looking at the second cat, Helping Hands’ Lisa Valenta suspected he belonged to somebody local. Fortunately, Feeny had seen Muir’s pleas for help. “When Lisa brought him out of her truck, I instantly knew it was Patches.”
Muir said she was overwhelmed to hear from Helping Hands. “I was just shocked. I saw the picture they sent and I just started balling.”
There were more tears when she came to Feeny’s home early the next morning. Patches, recognizing his mom’s voice, let out a loud meow after several failed attempts at conversation by Helping Hands’ volunteers.
Back home, Muir said Patches was warmly welcomed by her three dogs. Patches returned their greetings by making off their beds and blankets. “He’s back to stealing again,” she laughed, noting that Patches, who makes “ungodly noises” dragging the bedding up and down her stairs, is a terrible thief.
Muir wants those who have lost pets to read Patches’ story, saying she didn’t want them “to give up hope.”