Whis-Purr Cat Rescue is passionate about assisting cats and kittens in need. On their website, it states, “Whis-Purr Rescue will work with these families, helping them find a lost cat’s home, trapping a feral, neutering and releasing back into the neighborhood.” They feel that their shelter is a second home to cats who have started out in terrible situations. On May 14, Lucy Brock proved that Whis-Purr Cat rescue stays true to its mission. Olaf, a four-week-old kitten, settled into the shelter with his Mama Olivia and three littermates, Olea, Oscar, and Ollie. Padailypost notes, “Brock said she keeps the cages covered up on the Feed Store side, so people aren’t ogling at the nursing kittens, but thinks that someone must have opened up the cage from that side of the store” Unfortunately, the cameras on that area were not working correctly, so there was no footage of the catnapping.
That night, Lucy Brock began posting on the shelter’s Facebook page. She pled with the community of Redwood, California, stating, “This Baby Kitten was stolen by someone at the 346 El Camino Real. Right out of the Cage, Away from his mum and brothers and sisters. He is not eating or even going potty on his own. Just a baby! Won’t you please keep your eyes open for this little guy? Reward, no questions asked.” One hundred ninety-nine people commented, and seven hundred ninety-nine shared it, assisting Olaf’s safe return. Since he was so young, she feared he might not make it because he was still dependent on his mother and bonded to her and his siblings. A week later, there was no word, so she posted a picture of his Mama and four siblings with this post “it has been a week now since Olaf was taken from his Mama. We remain hopeful, and we want to thank you all for your comments and support. Please hang in there with us as we continue our search for this precious baby. Olaf’s Mama and siblings still wait for his return. The babies have begun eating on their own as of last night.” Ms. Brock had many questions, even suspecting a handyman who worked on their security cameras several days before Olaf disappeared because of the security camera malfunction. Despite her suspicions, Ms. Brock offered a $2000 reward to anyone with a tip that might lead to the return of the Maine Coon kitten.
While Olaf was missing, his family missed him as much as the shelter. They brought in another stray kitten for Oliva to nurse because her anxiety was so high. Freeads World News added, “Depressed by the loss of Olaf, the mother cat had been eating only enough to sustain her nursing” His sister Olea refused to eat. Palo Alto Daily noted, “Olaf’s disappearance has shaken his family, with his mother looking for her lost kitten in the pen. Olaf’s sister Olea has been curled in the corner of the cat’s shared pen, upset ever since her brother’s disappearance, Brock said.” Search efforts intensified, and tips poured in. She spoke with numerous news outlets, but the search stretched on without a single lead. Then, one tip came in that changed everything. Someone, who the shelter has kept anonymous, saw a post on Snapchat. It was a teenage girl who bragged about taking the kitten from the shelter. Mercury News reported, “On May 23, rescue volunteers distributed flyers around the girl’s neighborhood about the kitten and the reward and began knocking on doors, including at the home of the suspected thief.” No one was home, so they left hopeful that someone would see a flier, or the family would return Olaf. They stressed the importance of returning the kitten because he relied on his mama for everything. Despite these efforts, they did not find him.
That Thursday, there was still no sign of little Olaf. Ms. Brock decided to go to the house herself. When she knocked on the door, they denied having the missing kitty. However, she heard someone in the background suggesting that he “be returned.” The Sunday after Ms. Brock visited the house, the suspected family surrendered the kitten to a neighboring shelter, the Penisula Humane Society. It was a stroke of luck that Olaf was found there because he was in the kitten room and ready to be adopted. Thankfully, he was found and returned back to Whis-Purrs. While everything was going on with him, his brother Ollie got sick, so his reunion with Oliva was delayed a day. However, he was waiting for her and his brother when they returned to the shelter. Olaf was shy when he first saw his mother, but she immediately swooped him up and began bathing him. Olea is back to her usual self, playing, eating, and happy to have her brother home.
Thankfully, Olaf was doing pretty well, considering the time he’d spent apart from his family and starting a diet too old for him too soon. Ms. Brock observed that he was a few weeks behind developmentally as well as “He came back with a really messed up tummy and so we’re working through that,” Brock told Patch. “He’s almost back to normal…He just wasn’t developed as well as his siblings, and he had been eating things that he wasn’t ready to eat.” These days, Olaf is staying close to his siblings and Mama. Because of the outpouring of community support and the story going viral, he has had many people inquiring about adopting him. The shelter wants to wait at least three months. Additionally, they want the four to go out in pairs—Oliva with two of them.
Social Media has become a place of oversharing and narcissism. Too many times, people think they can post whatever they want without consequences. This story is a refreshing break from the negative press about social media and the havoc it creates. Thoughtless actions were confronted because of an ill-advised Snapchat Post. A community rallied on Facebook with a collective mission to return a kitty to his Mama. In Lucy Brock’s own words, “It was a really sweet thing,” Brock said. “When I went and gave the person the reward, it was very special.” She added, “It’s an amazing miracle,”