Reprinted with permission from Meow and Later. Copyright January 27, 2016.
Even if your cat only resides indoors, it’s important that he or she wear an identification collar.
This is the story of how we almost lost Eddy and how we realized the hard way that a cat collar is so very necessary.
Are you cats indoors-only? Mine are—and I’ve always felt like a protective mama bear to the two of them. Look at those faces, how could I not protect those two cuties?! Knowing that cats are prey in certain locations, I made the decision to keep Eddy (orange) and Meeko (brown) indoors and protect them from the harsh winters and wild animals.
Naturally, they get curious and will occasionally sneak out the door from time to time. Yet I never felt like I would need collars for them since I would always quickly snatch them up and get them back in the house.
I figured they’d always be safe inside—that is, until our Fall vacation. My husband and I decided to take a trip to San Diego for a week before hunkering down for the winter months. We got all the cat supplies ready, showed our petsitter around and finally put our luggage in the car before driving to the coast!
We had been on the trip for about 3 days (missing our kitties, course!) and we found ourselves in a picture perfect atmosphere on the beach of San Clemente — the sun was setting and we couldn’t have asked for a better evening.
This was when my husband’s cell phone rang. He answered the phone and I noticed his smile turn into fierce worry. Before he could even say anything, I knew that something had happened to the cats.
He quickly got off the phone and told me that Eddy had managed to wriggle a hole in the barrier between the air conditioner and the window. Our petsitter had been searching the streets for hours and couldn’t find him.
Panicky, we started running back to our hotel to pack our bags. In all the times we’ve had the air conditioner in the window, Eddy had never even gone near it. Maybe he wanted to come with us?? Whatever it was, we jumped in the car and started to drive the 10 hours back to our house—we could never enjoy a vacation knowing that our guy was lost. There were a lot of tears and a lot of worry that return trip–the sad emotions and grieving that we felt were almost too much to bear while thinking about poor Eddy wandering the city streets. It was especially hard knowing that we were so far away and couldn’t be out searching for him during the time frame that was most crucial for his return.
I had called a good friend to ask if she would help search while we were on the way—she called me back to tell me that she had found Meeko wandering on the side of the house since the hole in the window hadn’t been patched up by those eagerly looking for Eddy. My friend was nice enough to take Meeko home where she would be safe and out of our worry.
We finally reached our house at 4:30 in the morning and ran through the door to change into sneakers to start searching. My husband, not knowing why, called out Eddy’s name as soon as we entered the house. The next thing we knew, we heard him meow loudly and come running towards us! He had found his way back and managed to climb up the brick wall and back through the open window! I thought my heart was going to burst at the happiness I felt.
The relief on all three of our faces was huge and we were SO happy that Eddy and Meeko were safe. Eddy just let us hold him for a half hour (I’m not lying!) and was so exhausted from his adventures that he spent the next two days just sleeping. He had a little scratch on his nose (probably from getting too close to a not-as-friendly neighbor cat) and his paws were dirty.
Yet, our kitties were safe, alive and we were so grateful!
That night, we got on Amazon and found a cat friendly collar for both of them. They’ve never really liked collars before but they wear this one! (I think it’s because it doesn’t have a bell on it). We also liked these collars because the name and phone number is embroidered on the collar so you don’t have to worry about tags hanging around their neck.
(I’ll post the link below if you’re interested — and NO I was not paid to write this. I felt like this was important to share because I never thought in a million years that something like this to happen to the cats with the cushiest lives!)
I remember thinking on the drive home how I wish Eddy had some kind of identification on him to help others identify our missing little guy. Unfortunately, I never saw the need for a cat collar on an indoor cat but now they wear their collars everyday!
I definitely learned the hard way—and I hope this will help you better realize the importance of a cat collar for your indoor kitty! Don’t say it “won’t happen” because hindsight is 20-20! (If your cats are microchipped, then a collar is not as important but I say the more means of identification, the better!)
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