Sarah Simpson Column: It took two months but the cat came back

The column before last, I mentioned that a cat who’d gone missing before Christmas had been reunited with his family after two long months away. Good story right? I wanted to learn more so I could tell you about it. So I did!

Lewis the ginger cat left his Maple Bay home on Nov. 21. He was an indoor-outdoor cat so wandering was not unusual.

“We viewed him in our cameras and could see him running through our neighbours’ yards… and that was the last we saw of him,” Kylene Mackenzie recalled of her beloved cat’s disappearance. After waiting a couple days in the hopes Lewis would reappear, the family started to search. They knocked on doors, they alerted all the lost pet groups and animal agencies. They hung posters and wandered the vacant lot behind their house.

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“Nothing. No sign. Just vanished into thin air,” Mackenzie said.

(Now, Lewis is known for being curious and is keen to venture into open doors: someone’s home, garage, crawl space, vehicle, anywhere really. He thought the world was his.)

“Needless to say we were devastated,” Mackenzie added. “We kept looking, calling, shaking treats for weeks.”

“Then it got colder, rainier, windier and hope was fading.”

In early December there was a possible sighting in the Harmony Estates subdivision. “It’s very close, as the crow flies,” Mackenzie explained.

Maple Bay resident June Maffin believed Lewis may be inside her garage.

“My husband Stuart went over right away (he stalked June through Canada 411) and just showed up within minutes of her posting she had him,” Mackenzie said.

The cat was not Lewis. The cat was, however, hungry and quite ill.

The good news though is teamwork makes the dream work. That orange kitty that turned out not to be Lewis, was rescued, too.

“This poor cat would have died quickly if it was not for June’s intervention, the vet tech’s huge heart for taking care of bills and Cowichan Cat rescue for continuing care and placing him in a new forever home with a loving person who was able to continue with the treatment,” Mackenzie said. “From what I understand he has responded well to all treatment and is healthy happy cat once more!”

How great was that?

But where, oh where, was Lewis?!

The family was beginning to accept their furry friend might not return.

“Our female cat, Zoey, was getting depressed. She was eating less, sleeping more, looking longingly out the glass doors waiting for Lewis. We decided it was time to help fill the void and to adopt a new kitty into our home to help with the ache.”

They ended up picking not one, but two kittens. “We couldn’t choose, so we adopted both,” Mackenzie said.

Now a three-cat home, the Mackenzies were still sad and longing to know what became of Lewis. They wanted closure.

Christmas came and went without Lewis. There were no sightings, no nothing, except broken hearts.

By the end of January, the family was reluctant to leave on their scheduled holiday. They went anyway, and tried their best to enjoy their vacation.

Internet was sparse but the family checked online when they could. It was Jan. 30 when Mackenzie opened Facebook Messenger to an update: Lewis had been found!

“All we wanted to do was ditch our remaining days on the cruise and fly home,” she said. Instead, they paid for an earlier flight home.

“It was worth it,” Mackenzie said.

It sounds like Lewis had been making the rounds all the way out in Arbutus Ridge — some 14 kilometres from home! He ended up at his Guardian Angel’s place around Jan. 25 and opted to stay put in their garage. They alerted animal control and, with the help of ROAM, the SPCA was able to positively identify Lewis through his tattoo.

The reunion was sweet.

“Lewis recognized our voices when we got home and was desperate to see us,” Mackenzie said.

What he didn’t recognize were Phillip and Eddie, his new roommates.

It has taken time, but Lewis is slowly settling in.

“He has aged in his eyes, there has been some trauma, but the clouds are clearing. We have our boy back and cannot be happier,” Mackenzie said. “He had a vet check up and a clean bill of health. Prevost Vet feel that people were helping him along the way. We would love to know who saw him, where, when?”

Did you see Lewis? Let me know.

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