© 2012 - 2019 by Kim Freeman

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When Deb and her son took their cat Patches with them to an RV park in Indiana, they thought "What could go wrong?"

The fur caught on this screen was the clue she was under this trailer they said "No way" she could get under!

Patches is almost back to her old self again. Today was the first time she let my son hold her while they fell asleep together!

FOUND! Cat who escaped RV in park 

right before July 4th fireworks.

Deb called me from a lake RV park in a panic: her cat had escaped the row of trailers and disappeared into the woods - just before the July 4 fireworks. 

Here's her amazing story and happy ending. What she did for this kitty is truly an inspriation.

Dear Kim,

 

"Boy, has a lot transpired since the nightmare of my July 4th. These have been worst 2 weeks of my life, but with a happy ending!"

"Before I get into the details, let me first thank you again for helping me (and so many others) find their lost cats. You are amazing, and without your help, I would never have found her. 

When panic sets in, all common sense goes out the window so I guess I will just begin the story there.

 

Knowing my son would be starting college soon, and no longer be able to spend time at the lake, we decided to go for the week before July 4th. 

Since my cats are afraid of strangers, we decided to take them with us in the RV. How difficult could it be, right? LOL!

Patches, who is my most loving and laid back cat, ended up being my problem child. The car ride was most harrowing, but we got them inside the trailer and out of their crates to freedom. 

We unloaded the truck and when I opened the door to bring in the last load, our dog bolted out — followed by Patches.

First, she hid under the grill, then darted over the balcony and ran down the street faster than lightening. My son Noah chased her out of instinct. She stopped on a porch to catch her breath, then bolted again when she saw him running toward her. 

The green line on the map will show the path she took when we last saw her.

We both ran to the woods calling her only to find a dense swamp covered in poison ivy and poison oak. We prayed she would come back. Noah kept calling her while I ran into town to get long pants and wading boots.

 

We combed the woods, and scoured the park. Nothing. I was literally frozen and did not know what else to do. There were so many places she could hide and my situation seemed hopeless.

Devastated, we returned to the trailer in hopes she would come back on her own. In the meantime, I searched the internet, and by God's grace, I found you!

That’s when I called you. I was so afraid with the parties and fireworks I would never see her again. With the park filling up for the holiday weekend, I worried she would run deep into the woods and never come out. 

It wasn't until I downloaded your information that I realized I had to slap myself back into reality, get a plan, and move fast. 

With the upcoming 4th of July fireworks, I had NO time to waste. New partiers were coming in daily and the fireworks would terrify her. 

Many naysayers said, "If you don't find her before the 4th, you never will!"

I went into town and printed the flyers you made for me. My son and I taped them on every door in the park AND surrounding neighborhoods. I spent every day and every night searching for her, and lost 8 pounds the first week. I saved my tears for after my son went to bed. I hardly slept at all and it showed.

The holidays came and went.  I asked everyone in the park to check their wheel wells, cover plates, etc. to be sure she didn't try to hitch a ride. 

I was on the next step of mapping out veterinary offices in a 30-mile radius of the park when THE long awaited phone call came. A gentleman in the back of our park said, "I swear I just saw your cat. I can't guarantee it but it sure does look like her. She came out to roll in the dirt. We called her name, she looked at us, then ran back under the trailer." 

Of course I almost gave myself an asthma and heart attack running down there!

Lo and behold, it was a trailer I had stood at the night before asking if I could search around the back. They said no, because there was “No possible way she could get in there, and it was sealed button tight.”

WRONG! Okay, it was sealed better than most trailers, but there was a small access by corner by the septic pipe. We got a power drill and took off a panel of skirting so I could look under there.

I didn't see her at first because the trailer had sunken down so low into the mud. So I had the owner tap on the front of the trailer. When I heard her scamper along the other side, and I knew it was her. 

I called her and tried to coax her with food until about 5 pm to no avail. It was 95 degrees that day and a good 110 degrees under that trailer with little to no air flow. I called animal control and their only officer was on vacation. I called the police and they said they couldn't help. I was running out of options.

A neighbor said we had a Fireman staying at the park so they ran and got him. He looked at the sunken trailer and ordered no one was allowed under there because the bricks holding it up were tipped and sinking. The trailer could fall at any moment.

 

He ordered me to return home and come back in the morning. I told him I would rather not. I needed to be there. He demanded, and I told him he would have to physically remove me -- and if he put his hands on me, we were gonna to tangle because this wasn't his jurisdiction. 

Needless to say, I won that argument. 

I continued trying and coaxing the edge until 9:30 pm. I finally called it a night, put a live trap in there with her favorite food and water and replaced the panel. 

She tried numerous times to get out of the access hole and I had to keep replacing wood and bricks to keep her in there throughout the night. I wasn't about to lose her again!

I would occasionally hear her cry, and when it became more frequent, I worried she was baking under there. She refused to go near the trap. When her cries became more faint, I decided I was going under, regardless of what the fireman said.

 

Who would save her if not her mother?

I ran back to my trailer and mustered whatever tools I had so I could quietly take off the panel without waking neighbors. With a deep breath and ignoring my claustrophobia, I crawled into the dark mud with my flashlight, food and her favorite blanket. 

To my horror, she had dug a deep hole trying to get out and had struck water right by the support bricks for the front end of the trailer.

I was determined I was NOT going to come out unless she came with me! She was happy to see me but very scared. I let her eat some food then did your blanket over the head trick and pulled her out!

I got her quickly into her pet pop-up tent. She fussed and cried I put her in the back seat of my waiting car and headed straight home to Fort Wayne!

Looking back, I think when I heard her cries, my motherly instincts must have kicked in. You bet I did a lot of praying before I dove under there!!! Thank God He gave me the strength to be there for 2.5 hours without freaking out.

Girl, I had spiders and ticks in my hair. I even had a snake slither over my feet when looking for her in the woods. She better know how much she is loved!!! I am TERRIFIED of snakes!

She is finally settling down. She slept with me last night and came up for kisses this morning for the 1st time since she’s been home. I love that little girl!

Kim, I can't thank you enough for your help through this ordeal! I couldn't have done all this without you!"

I just wish you had been first up in my google search! All those Amber alert pet rescue companies at the top are totally worthless for a lost cat! Anyway, I will be giving you props on social media. Feel free to share my # and email for referrals!

I am totally indebted to you for saving my precious little girl!!!

This morning she was looking at me from across the room. I said, "You know, mommy would have NEVER stopped searching for you!" She came across the room, jumped on my lap, rubbed her face against mine, then snuggled into my lap.

 

What a beautiful way to begin my Friday morning!  ❤

So, to make a long story longer....here is what I have learned.

1. Keep your head clear and emotions in check.

2. MAKE A PLAN and follow it. Another place your book and video steps came in to help.

3. Alert neighbors as soon as possible. Not everyone likes cats, so a reward is helpful. Don't try to use flyers as posters. 

4. NEVER give up! Even with her being an indoor cat, 60 miles from home, unfamiliar with her surroundings, in ungodly heat, with fireworks and a ton of traffic and parties!

5. Just because there are foxes and coyotes in the area, doesn't mean she got eaten!

6. Don't think the worst.

7. Don't listen to anyone unless they're encouraging you!

 

I had two elderly women in the park who berated me for continuing to look for her. When they asked how long I planned to continue, I said, "Until I find her."  They said, "So two years from now if you haven't found her you will still be looking?"

 

I said, "If your daughter was missing, would you ever stop looking?" That’s when the truth came out! They said, "Well, she is just a cat!" I said, "That's the difference between you and I! When I love someone, it doesn't matter what they are, what matters is that I LOVE THEM and they are my family!"

 

They shook their heads, told me I was crazy....well guess what ladies! The very next day, I brought her home!!!

You have a special gift, Kim. It takes a special person to give of themselves every day to rescue the innocent!

 

You are amazing and I will continue to pray for God's blessings on you and your family for your kindness.

I hope my story helps you to help others with their lost cats.

 

Thank you again! I am so happy to help you in any way I can. I couldn't have done this without you!

Gratefully, 

Deb & Patches
Warsaw (and Fort Wayne) INDIANA