Finding an escaped indoor cat during Quarantine in Brooklyn NY.
Onion the cat slipped out the door of a Brooklyn townhouse. She was found after 3 weeks and a lot of hard work, owner dedication and guidance from Kim, the Lost Cat Finder.
Crazy story. Happy ending. Almost unbelievable lost and found cat case against all odds!
This escaped indoor cat might never have been found without my professional lost cat finder help--especially during the New York coronavirus lockdown.
It started with a simple accident: the cat's owners were bringing home supplies to prep for the quarantine in late March 2020. Once of her cats, Onion slipped out between her legs and went dashing into the street. Not knowing any better, the husband chased Onion down the black, through traffic and around the corner into a drugstore parking lot.
He said she was "running like hell"... he lost sight of her when she darted under a car. He ran to the end of the parking lot, dropped to the asphalt to scan under the row of parked vehicles and POOF ...she was gone.
After searching for two weeks with no leads, they found my Lost Cat Finder Search Guides and downloaded and together, went though both he video and booklet.
Despite putting up dozens of lost cat posters with huge rewards, there were no sightings. People were telling them to give up.
Rather then listen and cave into grief avoidance, they realized they needed a more in-depth look at at their case and signed up for my custom lost cat consult using Zoom, Google Earth and map markups.
Here’s Lauren, Onion’s owner to tell the rest of the story:
“During our consult, Kim walked us though targeted search areas and places Onion might be hiding unseen. After ruling out each possibility, Kim confirmed what I was dreading – Onion was gone. According to Kim, she was most likely transported out of the area by car."
There were eight cars parked in that Drug store lot. Kim walked us through how to systematically search each one, then find out where the ones with a skid plate went after they left the drugstore.
When Onion escaped, she ran ½ a block to a parking lot. Based on the geography, assumed she slipped through a hole in the fence to access a vacant lot. Kim told us to check for evidence on the fence to see if we could find even one Onion hair to verify. We did find one hair, but with Onion’s huge fluffy tail, it could have been a raccoon hair, so next step was trying to get the drug store to release their security footage of the parking lot.
They refused. We were working against all odds. Onion could be anywhere. New York City had just declared a state of emergency over the Corona Virus pandemic. People were told to shelter in place. There was no chance of us talking to people or going door to door.
Still, Kim had a plan. She had seen these cases before and outlines the key to track down where she might be. what happened to Onion. First, we examined each vehicle in the parking lot. Using Kim’s expertise, we narrowed down which vehicle she might of hidden in or climbed up on the splash shield or axle.
Once we had that info, I left a note on each car asking what turns they made on their routes home. Again, refusals across the board. No one would even return my call or reply to the windshield notes. I must have seemed like a stalker.
Since the drivers wouldn’t share their routes home, we had to go to stealth mode: following each of the “high probability” vehicles as they got off work.
Kim told us to mark each turn and stop sign, then return and put up posters with a huge pic of Onion (highlighting her big tail) at each stop.
At day 20 we were feeling really down. Then, out of the blue, I got a random text: “I think I saw your cat, or maybe it was a possum.”
A possum? No. Onion has a huge bushy tail. The sighting was a mile away. Still…if she had been transported like Kim said, it was worth checking out.
I went to the sighting address, which was next to the entrance to the highway, under the elevated train. It was a creepy area of abandoned construction with a gate. Grim and dirty and desolate.
I looked around and called for Onion in my best calm voice. Nothing.
Kim had told us that any sighting no matter how unlikely should be followed up with a night vision camera, hidden so it would not get stolen.
By then, we had already placed hidden cameras in 42 locations across Brooklyn and had thousands of images of animals that were not Onion.
I dared not get my hopes up. Now it was day 21. My husband and I were at our lowest point in this whole exhausting saga.
The next morning, we pulled the camera sat down to look at the footage.
Trash, a one -eyed cat, a possum, and then, about four minutes later, nearly blocking the entire view was a huge bushy tail!
In the next image, we see tabby stripes. And then, like a dream, we saw her face, sitting in profile.
We were in shock. IT WAS ONION! A mile away. We couldn’t believe it!
I raced back to the area and spent hours searching and calling. Kim had told me she would be more likely come out later in the day, so I set up another camera and went back to check it that evening.
Unbelievably, when I got there and wriggled under the fence, there she was! Right out in the open PLAYING! It was really my little Onion!
She meowed at me BUT THEN RAN AWAY. I tried for an hour to get her to come to me with Kim texting me tips to lure her to me, but Onion was not having it. Kim reminded me not to take it personally, that after 21 days, Onion was in survival mode so we were going to have to set up a humane trap to catch her. With the help of a local TNR friend we set up 3 traps. Onion was ignoring them, acting like her silly naughty self, running around, chasing other cats, and basically, evading the traps.
She didn’t seem hungry, So frustrating to see her go near the traps and around them but NOT inside!
Finally, around 8pm, she noticed the trap. We held our breath as she started to enter, careful and tentative…then backed out.
The scent of the tuna must have gotten to her because she went back and tried again, one hesitant paw at a time, and moments later, JUST LIKE THAT, the door shut and WE HAD HER!
It was surreal, a total mix of shock and joy.After getting her back home, we uncovered the trap and let her out. She was dirty but purring up a storm and so happy to see us!
Thanks to the last chapter in Kim’s lost cat finder book, we knew to beware of refeeding after 3 weeks of starvation and what to do once she was found: what to request form the vet, which parasite test to get, how to avoid re-feeding syndrome, fur wipes and how to best re-introduce Onion with her new smell to our other cats.
Throughout the entire ordeal, we felt sure Onion was out there and alive. Kim gave us the guidance, steps and tools to find her. It truly does take a lot of work, a crash course in lost cat psychology, and the right search methods.
Days later and still can’t believe, against all odds, we actually found our Onion.
Thank you Kim. Thank you for teaching us the ways of the Lost Cat Finder!
Just in front of the line of parked cars was a chain link fence with gaps and holes in it leading to a vacant lot of overgorwn weeds and a parked