Hi Kim - I will post this on your Lost Cat "pet detective" testimonials page, but the main point from your e-book that helped us find Magick was how my brain kept playing over and over your advice of DO NOT GIVE UP and most people give up too soon. And yes, it's so very difficult to think logically when you're stressed to the max, but that's the one thing that I kept in my mind and I believe that 's what found Magick.
Magick is a neutered indoor/outdoor cat...has his own cat door. We've lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, have had 20 indoor/outdoor cats in that time and never had one go missing for any length of time.
We did the usual things - flyers door to door, large posters on all street corners and local businesses, and posting to 16 other neighborhoods around ours on Next Door. Since his main territory consists of 91 houses, I knew I couldn't search every property myself in a timely manner so I enlisted the help of all the neighbors to look in their garages, sheds, under decks, etc.
I kept re-posting to the neighbors site every 3 days along with his picture that he was still missing and to please keep searching. I actually put in my posts that I was NOT GIVING UP until we found him. This went on for 17 days. Only one person saw a cat that looked anything like him - she lives at the edge of a woods and she keeps chickens in her backyard. She said a cat that looked like him was sitting by her coop 4 days after he went missing watching her chickens. She had never seen a cat in her yard before. Although this was somewhat outside of his territory, we thought that very well could have been Magick because he likes to watch the chickens that our neighbor at our summer camp keeps in her yard. We searched the woods twice but no Magick. There were no other sightings of him. Then I wrote down your steps for a lost indoor/outdoor cat - what was it that prevented him from following his usual pattern of coming home - and eliminated the reasons that I thought were not likely given my experience with the neighborhood and knowing Magick. I didn't think he went into someone's garage, I didn't believe he would get lost in his territory and there are rarely any loose dogs in the neighborhood to chase him. I couldn't imagine how he could get hurt bad enough to prevent him from coming home. There are no main roads close by - I've never seen a cat hit by a car anywhere in the area in 30 years. I came to the conclusion by process of elimination that someone had him. I initially had a reward of $500.00 on our flyers and posters. I didn't know how to get him back if someone had him other than to increase the reward to $1,000.00 and re-distribute flyers and posters and on the Next Door site and widen the search area.
Then, on Friday night Oct. 30, 17 days later, 2 of my neighbors at the same time - one in my neighborhood, and one in an adjoining neighborhood, sent me messages on Next Door that a girl in a neighborhood 3.5 miles away had just posted a Lost Cat notice on her OWN NEIGHBORHOOD FACEBOOK GROUP that she found a white long haired cat in front of her house that she'd never seen before and she took 3 pictures of him and included in her post. My 2 neighbors happened to see this post (I would never have seen it myself on a facebook neighborhood group site in that area) thought it looked like Magick and forwarded me a copy of it on my Next Door site. See attached. They also forwarded a copy of my post with my contact information to this girl on her facebook site and she called us. It was Magick!! The girl had taken him in for the night because it was getting cold and she's a cat person too.
If I had given up and not kept hammering my neighbors with his information, they would have forgotten about Magick and not thought to send me that post. SO I BELIEVE YOUR ADVICE TO NOT GIVE UP JUST BECAUSE NO ONE HAS SEEN THE CAT IS CRITICAL!
We believe Magick went exploring but someone thought he was a stray, picked him up and took him home --where he then escaped! He lost almost 2 pounds and his tail was a mass of burdocks, but other than that, he's good. Tired, but good!