Cat Rescued from Neighbor’s Chimney after Month-Long Search

Imagine looking for your pet everywhere without any luck until you start thinking that maybe it died. One cat rescued from a neighbor’s chimney after a month-long search had her owner thinking the worst. Fortunately, she kept the faith, and it paid off after 28 days when she and her cat were reunited. Check out the rescue mission details as you also learn why you might not be lucky to reunite with your cat if it goes missing.

Gone but Not Quite Forgotten

When Caitlyn Wertenberg, who lives in Union Gap, Washington, searched for her cat for a month, she nearly gave up finding her alive. However, a mother always knows, so even if she is the human mum, she could feel it in her heart that Piper was still alive. She just didn’t know until when since her search efforts proved futile. The 28-day search involved posting flyers and knocking on every door in the neighborhood without any success. Since Piper was quite on the heavy side, her human mum did not once think to search for her in the chimneys. After all, how can such a big feline fit down a chimney? Unfortunately, the one place she didn’t think Piper would be was precisely where the feline was stuck. Still, her hopes were not dashed because when Piper was finally found, she was still alive.

According to Newsweek, Piper escaped death by a whisker once new neighbors moved into the neighborhood. They heard meowing in the house but did not know where its source. Since the search for Piper had begun, it was logical to ask her mum to look. Much to her surprise, Wertenberg found her furry friend trapped in the fireplace damper. She managed to rescue Piper and took her to the vet; the once heavy Piper had not eaten for a month and had lost 7 pounds. She was also severely dehydrated, but other than that, she was in excellent condition. However, it was unclear if she weighed 19 pounds after being found or before going through the unfortunate incident. Whatever her weight, all that matters is that she survived, and animal experts would call that a miracle, given that she lacked food and water for a month.

Her Case is not an Exemption

While Piper’s rescue did not warrant the intervention of firefighters, a cat named Snitch needed professionals to help her get down from the chimney. According to Express, Roger Gardner, a 68-year-old man and Snitch’s human dad, could always rely on the four-year-old feline to be home by 10.30 pm after his everyday walks around the neighborhood that began at 7 pm. However, one Thursday evening, Snitch failed to return home, which had Gardner, and his wife worried. Like Piper’s mum, Gardener searched everywhere and enlisted his neighbors’ help to get his cat back home. Unfortunately, theirs too was an unsuccessful effort. The thought that Snitch had fallen prey to one of the foxes that Gardener often saw in his garden crossed his mind. Still, he could entertain the thought of losing Snitch, so he pushed them away and continued looking for his furry companion. A few days later, while they were in the garden, Gardner’s wife, Susan, told her husband that she could hear a cat meowing, but Gardner did not hear a sound.

As if by instinct, Gardner went for a ladder and climbed to the attic, and sure enough, Snitch was meowing for help. Without wasting a minute, Gardner called on firefighters to rescue his cat. They could not locate her simply by listening to the meows. Therefore, they used thermal imaging and found that the cat was in the chimney. They tried reaching her from the top of the chimney, but they could not. Therefore, they made a hole in the bricks, and Snitch could not wait to get out because she immediately stuck her paw out before the fire crew could put a camera to guide them in the rescue mission. How Snitch ended up in the chimney remains a mystery, though; Gardner’s next-door neighbors said she used to walk on their conservatory. However, the distance between the roof and the conservatory was six feet, so Gardner wondered how she made the jump. It seems that he disregarded the mystery and focused on the good news of Snitch being found, and thanked the fire crew for their assistance.

The Odds of Finding a Missing Cat are Not in Your Favor

Piper’s mum and Snitch’s parents are among the few pet parents who find their cats once they go missing. According to Lucky Pet, chances of you being reunited with your lost cat are slim. Of the 10 million pets that get lost every year, about 5 million are cats; the rest are dogs. Unfortunately, of these 5 million, only 74% are ever found, and about 2% are reunited with their owners. As per a study carried out in 2012, whose results continue to be validated, the main reason that most cats are never reunited with their owner is that they lack an ID. Therefore even if they end up in the shelters without any form of identification, they remain there. With the risk of overcrowding, if it is sickly or too old, it will be euthanized.

Some of the reasons that limit your chances of a reunion are:

  • You assume that once you report to the local shelters that your cat is missing, they will contact you whenever they find a cat matching your pet’s description. You therefore relax and stop looking, but these shelters have limited resources; therefore, contacting each pet owner can eat into their limited budget.
  • You assume that the shelter only holds missing cats for a few days before putting them up for adoption. However, shelters can hold lost pets for months, and it is up to you to keep popping in to see if yours made its way there.
  • You fail to attach any identification mark on your feline, yet a collar/ribbon immediately shows that the cat has an owner. Better yet, a microchip has your details, and you will be contacted.

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