Pet Tips 'n' Tales

- LOST Nevada Cat FOUND in 0regon -

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
FOUND! And it is nothing short of a miracle! Nevada native Purr-eau, lost for 9- days after wandering out of his "grandparents'" Cottage Grove home during a holiday visit, is back into the arms of his "parents", Maria Elena and Mike. What a Happy New Year reunion for all!

It is the first miracle of the year for both Purr-eau and Cottage Grove. "According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than two percent of cats that enter a shelter are reunited with their owners. The odds of a cat from Nevada being lost and found in Oregon and then reunited are astronomical, and it demonstrates the importance of using a microchip. Often, a microchip is their only ticket home," said Cary Lieberman, Executive Director of Greenhill Humane Society.

Nevadans Purr-eau and his pet parents, Mike and Maria Elena, were spending the Christmas holidays at the home of Purr-eau's pet grandparents, Joe and Alice, in Cottage Grove.
(Read Purr-eau's LOST Christmas story: ).
Joe's and Alice's home home borders a fast-moving, muddy river, swollen with mountain ice/snow/rain. The river's banks are vertical and slippery, and home to cat-sized river rats, racoons and a cougar. Purr-eau ran out of their home and wandered the area for 9- days before being found.

When I saw Purr-eau's "LOST" poster downtown, my heart went out to his family. I empathized, having lost my cat, Camalot, 35 years ago, while my husband and I, we lived on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, were honeymooning, along with our cats, at Lake Chelan, Washington, a 1.5-hour ferry ride, and seven-hour drive, from home. The chance for a "Disneyland" journey home was out of the question. It was a miracle that led me to Camalot and I knew it would take a miracle to find Purr-eau. 
(View Camalot's miracle:

Although we had the "magic" of the Christmas season on our side, it would still take some extra eyes to spot a twilight-colored cat hiding in the shadows somewhere in our beautiful town.   

After reading the poster, I phoned Purr-eau's parents who had reluctantly returned to Nevada without him as they had to get back to their jobs, to notify them of my plans to help find him: I wrote a Pet Tips 'n' Tales column on Purr-eau's plight to alert Sentinel readers of it; drove around, searching for him; alerted everyone through my internet pet newsletter; and brought a live animal trap from the Humane Society to Joe's and Alice's home.

"Indoor cats who escape outside are terrorized. They tend to stay close to the home they fled, hiding under a bush, a car, a shed etc.", said Janetta Overholser, president of The Humane Society of Cottage Grove. We kept this advice in mind while searching for Purr-eau.

"When Purr-eau went missing, I asked my angels to keep him on a leash close by to Joe's and Alice's house. Anyone can ask their Angels for help like this," says international mystic and pet communicator, Atira, adding, "The cat is alive, they will get their cat back." I did not mention this to  Mike and Maria Elena, however, just in case Purr-eau had met some horrible fate near the river.

The combination of  Atira's and Jannett's  advice, plus newsletter and newspaper readers' prayers for Purr-eau, worked! One evening, Joe spotted Purr-eau outside their home.

Joe, age 88, said, "I have not had much sleep since Purr-eau disappeared. I sat up waiting, some nights until after midnight, to see if he would come up onto our porch. The first time I saw him was when our cat, Charlie, was looking out the window and he began meowing at something. I looked out and saw Purr-eau eating the food we put out for him. That gave us hope!"

The next night, Joe covered the Humane Society's live animal trap with a blanket, placed one of Mike's shirts onto the cage's floor to cover the trap's release, and placed food at the far end of the trap. He again stayed awake hoping to catch Purr-eau but "gave up" at 1:30 AM and disappointedly went to bed. However, at 4:00 AM, Alice got up to check the trap and lo and behold, there was Purr-eau! When he saw her looking at him, he quietly mewed. Upon hearing the good news later that morning, I asked Alice if she had immediately phoned her son after "catching" Purr-eau, to which she replied, "I sure did!"  

Maria Elena canceled work for the next two days, then she and Mike hurriedly dressed and left Nevada for Oregon. "What a difference for us driving those ten hours back to Cottage Grove to retrieve Purr-eau, vs., leaving Cottage Grove for Nevada without him," said Maria Elena. We were both in tears, driving to Nevada without him; I had never seen Mike cry before. We love him so, but as sad as we were, we both had an inner 'feeling' that he was still alive. Waiting for him to be "found" was the hard part."

Upon arriving at his parents' home, Mike rushed in, excited to see his cat. Mike looked at Purr-eau, Purr-eau looked at Mike. Then Purr-eau did something rare for a cat: He stood up on his hind legs and reached for Mike, so Mike bent down to lift Purr-eau into his arms. You can't beat love!

On their drive back to Nevada, Purr-eau lay in Maria Elena's lap as she combed and cuddled him. "He is a changed cat,"said Maria Elena. "He is more docile and wants to be held, touched and pampered. He looks at us as if to say, 'How could I have almost lost this?'"

"It was a 20-hour round trip to rescue him, but Purr-eau is worth it," said Mike. "I drove, and for the entire trip, Purr-eau held one paw on my lap while sitting in Maria Elena's lap."

"It's like Purr-eau never wants to lose touch with us again," said Maria Elena. "On past trips, Purr-eau spent the time sleeping at our feet. Not this time, however; he stayed as close as possible to us. As you can imagine, our trip back home to Nevada with Purr-eau, vs., without him last week, was like the difference between night and day. Thank you to the people of Cottage Grove for keeping an eye out for our cat."
Imagine the money spent on gasoline to drive all of the way back to Cottage Grove from Nevada after having made the same round trip a few days earlier for the Holidays! However, as Maria Elena says, "You can't put a price on love. Purr-eau is worth every penny!"


- Remember to hug all those you love, pets and people alike, often, because time is precious and so are they.

- Spring is almost here and so is "Spring Heat" for unaltered pets. Cats and dogs can become pregnant or impregnate at as young as five months of age. Can't afford to spay/neuter your pets? Contact the Humane Society of Cottage Grove to learn about their spay/neuter assistance program. 541-942-2789 
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