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Lassie -- er, Bix Come Home!

Posted by Harry Shubin on

I was in elementary school when the two kittens showed up on the window ledge outside the classroom.  These were not just stray kittens, however, these were MY kittens.  They had figured out how to push a lever that opened a casement window in a bathroom, and had set out to explore - an exploration that lead them 6 blocks to my school building, and to the very window ledge of the classroom where I sat, in a school where the first floor housed 15 classrooms, half on each side of the building. When school let out, the one kitten I could not grab - managed to find his way back home with ease.  
 
As remarkable as it seemed to 10 year old me, it is not that uncommon.  No one knows whether cats can sense the earth's magnetic field, or have a super sense of smell as dogs do, or they're simply superbeings with superpowers... or maybe space aliens... but whatever they really are, cats seem to have an uncanny sense of direction, and incredible will to reach their destination.  
 
It's a story that sounds like something out of a feel-good Hollywood pet movie: A 4-year-old indoor house cat named Holly, lost during a family vacation 200 miles from her home, makes a harrowing two-month journey to find her way back. The story even has a tear-jerker ending: The day Holly made it back home was on New Year's Eve.  
But... what do you do if your cat is lost, and of course you don't want to depend on her incredible sense of direction to return home all on her own?  First... take a deep breath and don't panic.  Cats are very sensitive creatures, and your panic will be sensed and may actually scare her away.  How might she even know?  In fact, indoor cats who escape typically panic, themselves, and hunker down in a safe spot, not very far from the door from which they escaped!  
One of the best discussions of how to recover a lost cat we've seen can be found here:  http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/lost-cat-behavior/
At FFGW, we often are a way station for lost cats that don't find their way home. One such cat currently in our care is the incredible Bix.
Bix is everything you've heard about orange tabby boys.   He loves to snuggle and cuddle and knead on his person's arm while giving head butts. He's also been known to try to groom the person holding him by licking their forehead.  

Bix was wandering in the woods alone when he had the good fortune to run up to a friend of Feline Foundation who quickly got him to the safety of our foster program.  Bix can't stop telling us how thankful he is to have been un-lost by us! You can read more about Bix here:    Bix's Web Page
While our primary mission remains helping cats at overcrowded shelters, we're glad to also be able to help a stray find his way.  

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