Sunday, May 13, 2012

Amber Alert to find your lost pet

My Dad's new kitten "Cisco" proved to be the perfect little feline friend, much to everyone's surprise, it was a match made in Cat Heaven. With his orange stripes and apprehensive nature Cisco reminded my Dad of his favorite childhood pet "Poncho" and the two bonded as the best happily ever after tale would depict, until...Cisco didn't come home one day! What now? Needless to say, my Dad was worried sick and the entire family provided support but what services exist to locate missing pets? Especially cats with his temperament, more likely to run and hide from help instead of running to rescue. He put up flyers, called the Animal Shelter, went door to door and shook dry food in the surrounding area as suggested by one of the help lines and called his Vet for suggestions. It had been over a week with no word, no meow, nothing. You can't help but think how awful it must be for parents with missing children.

Fortunately, huge strides have been seen with the Amber Alert and although the protocol with missing children may be slightly different than with pets, the concept is the same: The sooner the better. PetAmberAlert uses this technology to help spread the word rapidly about your lost dog, cat or any type of missing pet. For example, lets say that there is a lost cat in Chicago. Alert system results in an 85% success rate if the alert goes out in the first week, a 75% success rate after two weeks, and a 65% success rate after eight weeks. PetAmberAlert has the only system combining immediate Poster, Phone and Social Media alerts with an online database where people can search lost cats and locate you and your contact information. I now have them bookmarked for future feline escapades.

Now for Cisco's amazing reunion with my Dad! About 3 weeks had elapsed since Cisco disappeared and although my Dad had all but given up on ever seeing him again he heard a faint but familiar meow in the distance while getting the paper one morning. On the other side of the creek in the back of his house he saw the outline of a cat, but this cat was gray not orange and white, could it be? He finally identified this scrawny, dirty-gray cat as his poor lost Cisco and with the help of one of the nicest condo residents that lived on the other side of the creek, Cisco was returned home, bringing joy to everyone involved. It is still a mystery where he was for all that time but after the Vet checked him out he confirmed that he was dehydrated and had lost lots of weight but was otherwise healthy. Cisco's safe return was a miracle no doubt and had we known about an Amber Alert for pets, there is no doubt that we would have used it!
Cisco now, resting comfortably in his loft, he is not planning any vacations this summer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fur Friendly Films for your Cat

Does your cat follow you around at times, meowing with such persistence that you are convinced that she has something important to say .....If only she could find the right words. Her water and 5 food bowls are brimming, liter box is clean, and the basket of kitty toys guaranteed to entertain even the most finicky feline personalities are starting to collect dust!

Perhaps she needs a good movie. Seriously! Results to these fur-friendly films differ - My cat is only interested in the birds, while others cat captives sit silently for an hour or more.

With more cats living indoors these days, I am convinced that they simply become a bit bored, taking up bug hunting and human harassment to pass the time. Why not try a video made for cats!? Give it a go, you just never know what that cat has on her curiosity radar.