A cat was spotted in a tree by a kind neighbor. As it turned out, a family had been looking for her for two weeks.
Holly Young was on a routine walk with her dog Nugget earlier this month when she noticed something out of the ordinary.
Despite all the dog barking from across the street, she could hear the faintest meow around an elementary school. “When we kept walking, I noticed the meowing stopped. I picked up Nugget so I could quietly walk back, and the meowing started again,” Holly told Love Meow.
She looked up into the towering tree nearby and was surprised to spot a little silhouette of a cat against the street light.
“She was about 25 feet up with no branches to jump down onto. So my calling for her didn’t work.”
Holly contacted the school the next day in hopes of getting some assistance. She also reached out to her local Humane Society and the fire department, but they were all unable to help.
“A friend with an extension ladder came over that evening, and I climbed up to her, but she would back up out of reach.”
Holly ran to a nearby store, got a can of tuna, and climbed back up to feed the cat. Despite her best effort to try to coax the kitty, she was unable to pull her from the tree. The following day she returned, and the cat was still there.
The landlord of the building across the street learned about the situation and offered his extension ladder. A tenant also came to lend a hand. By then, the cat had grown familiar with Holly and didn’t back away when she saw her again.
The exhausted cat let her guard down, and allowed Holly to pet her and safely bring her down.
“I held her close to me and climbed down one rung at a time. When I put her inside (a carrier), she was so passive and compliant. She just seemed so relieved,” Holly told Love Meow.
Holly contacted Sarah Hughes, a volunteer of The Meow Mission, to get the cat a safe place to stay. “She was friendly, comfortable with being handled, and purred after she had some food and water.”
Seeing how friendly the cat was, Sarah believed the sweet girl was most likely someone’s pet.
Holly went home that day with that thought nagging at her. She began checking a lost-and-found page regularly but couldn’t find anything about the cat.
She decided to file a “found pet” report, and took the cat to Family Pet Health Center to have her scanned for a microchip. “When I walked in, the vet tech took one look into the carrier and said, ‘I know who that cat belongs to,” Holly shared with Love Meow.
“Two vet techs at the clinic live in the same neighborhood, and they both had seen a post (online) about the cat. They also had each received a full color ‘Lost Pet’ flier featuring this beautiful cat with distinct facial markings.”
As it turned out, the cat named Winnifred had been missing for two weeks. She was an indoor cat who made a quick escape out of the front door, and traveled over three miles to a tree in Holly’s neighborhood.
The owner, Madge, had put fliers on every door in her neighborhood, hoping someone had seen her.
“The employee called Madge, and said, ‘Someone brought Winnifred in.’ And she pulled the phone away from her ear because Madge yelled, ‘What?’,” Holly shared.
Madge rushed to the clinic to be reunited with her beloved cat. When she walked across the parking lot, they could see the anticipation on her face.
Madge was overjoyed and teary-eyed as she held Holly tightly in a warm embrace. She then snuggled Winnifred in her arms, smiling from ear to ear.
“She was telling all of us that just that morning, she had taken a walk and was trying to come to terms with the fact she might never see Winnie again,” Holly said. “It was just the most incredible reunion I think any of us had ever experienced.”