Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Miracle Cat - Diego

Courtesy photo"
Grandma Linda and Grandpa Will share Diego's "moving" miracle tale
with their grandchildren Kingston and Georgia.


TALES
 
Linda's daughters gave her the best Christmas present!  They gave her a precious gift of love disguised in a bundle of fur, named Diego.

When Linda and her family moved  from Salt Lake City to Oregon, they had planned on taking their beloved family cat, Diego, but during the moving commotion Diego fled in terror.

"With a fully-loaded moving van, a waiting airplane, and tears, we left food and water behind for him," said Linda.  "We alerted all our neighbors that Diego was missing.   One of them also left food out at her house in hopes that Diego would be tempted to come to her door.  Our neighbors seriously LOVE this cat and they promised to phone us if he materialized."

Linda's family waited for that phone call.  Surely Diego would come home. But after a month, no phone calls came.

"My daughters and I were devastated about Diego.  He is so beautiful. His fur looks like a magnificent painting, so we named him after the Mexican artist Diego Rivera.  To ease our broken hearts and fill Diego's void, my daughters surprised me with two cats rescued from the shelter," remembers Linda.

Days later, Linda received a phone call, "I might have found your cat!" the mysterious voice said. 

Could it really be Diego? Was he still alive?

"I'd never met the caller because our "old" Salt Lake City neighbors had moved and a new family bought their home," said Linda.  "The previous owner had told the new owners that she had a bobcat. So when the new neighbor opened the attic door she was petrified to see a pair of shining eyes glaring back at her!

She promptly closed the attic door.  Screaming, she retreated to the safety of her home and husband!   She grabbed a butcher knife, handed it to her husband, and sent him up to the attic.

Her husband could tell by the distance between the "bobcat's" eyes that this was actually a small cat, vs., an "attack beast". He coaxed the poor, skinny cat out of the attic, and she phoned Animal Services.  The animal control truck arrived and collected the thin home invader.

Another neighbor heard the new neighbor's fur-raising tale, so he handed them our Oregon phone number. And that is how things evolved!

I excitedly phoned the Animal Shelter, and the officer, who still had the cat in his vehicle, then  phoned me."

The officer took a photo of the cat with his cell phone and emailed it to Linda!  She could barely contain her excitement!

"It was Diego! " she exclaims! "I phoned my best friend in Salt Lake who loves Diego as much as our family does.  She dropped everything and went to get him.

In a few minutes, I looked like a crazy woman or the only dispatch operator during a major emergency!  I held the land-line phone in my right hand with the animal officer on the other end; my cell phone was in my left hand with my friend on the other end, and I was on the computer looking up the next flight to Salt Lake."

Two hours later, Linda was seated on an airplane headed back to Utah to retrieve their furry family member!

In the meantime, Linda's friend retrieved Diego from the animal control officer. He did not ask for a fee,  "I see so many unhappy endings for pets and I am thrilled that this cat has a happy ending!  This makes my day!" he added.

"When I laid eyes on Diego, I cried. He immediately came to me. I picked him up, hugging him, and walked to my friend's kitchen sink. Diego has a silly habit of only drinking from water faucets. I knew he was OK because he drank his fill."

 
They then took a return flight back to Oregon for another happy family reunion.  Linda shared Diego's tale to all on board the plane.
 
"Everyone, including me, is amazed about Diego's survival. How could a long-haired cat stay alive for four weeks in that sweltering summer attic?!  Diego is our miracle cat!" said Linda.

TIPS

- What happened to Diego happens all the time!  When a family moves, they busily empty out their sheds, garage and attic. All the doors are open. Cats can't resist an opening.  No one sees them enter the house/garage/shed and are unaware that they are quietly exploring.  If a neighbor recently moved, and your cat is missing, ask a real estate agent to check the vacant home.

- Beth in Ohio writes, "I board my cats while I'm packing and moving.  After unpacking I introduce them to their new home.  This tip is a "mind-easer" for me!"

"Years ago, my father was under a house insulating pipes and nailing boards into a box shape around them.  As he was closing things up, he saw a pair of eyes staring at him!   They belonged to a cat, and luckily, dad let the cat out before he finished and left!" said Janetta Overholser, president of The Humane Society of Cottage Grove.

- Kitty litter is not just for cats.  Carry a bag in your vehicle; when you become stuck in snow/mud/sand sprinkle it on the ground for traction.
 
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