Archie has been with me for about four and a half years now, and in that time I've been very cautious with him. He is a strictly indoor cat, once or twice a year I will take him out on a leash. He loves hanging out in windows and looking out the door, but has never really pushed his luck in his escape attempts.
Yesterday was different. I was taking my garbage out and had both dogs on leashes. I didn't even see him get outside. I put Ace in a down-stay by the garbage cans and was clearing everything out, when he broke his stay and raced towards the apartment. The guys doing work on the apartment beside mine said he chased an orange and white cat up the stairs. I thought "That's weird, I've never seen a loose orange and white cat in this neighbourhood". I got my trash to the curb and went inside to feed the animals.
I poured the kibble into the dish...and Archie was nowhere to be seen. Uh oh. An orange and white cat that ran up the stairs? Uh oh.
So I go back outside and check the staircase - no cat. I check in the yard, my neighbours yard, and took a quick walk down the street, shaking the kibble dish as I went. No luck.
The humane society didn't open until 9:00, so I had half an hour before I could report him missing. I made up a poster with his picture and contact information, and would take short walks around the block, shaking his kibble dish.
By the time I got through to the humane society, I was distraught. I kept thinking that I had lost him forever - he would get hit by a car, get in a fight with another cat, or just get lost and not be able to find his way home.
The woman who answered the phone was very helpful. She took down a description of him, and my information. She explained the best way to make a LOST poster, and suggested I sprinkle some old litter in the yard and leave the door cracked open, so he could smell his way home. I was also provided with the number of the microchip company, so I could update Archie's information.
I immediately followed her instructions and propped the door open (dogs in their crates, so I didn't have other escapees). I called the microchip company to give my address and phone number, and they made a note on his file that he was missing. I went out side to sprinkle litter in the yard...and who do I see sitting at the side of the road?
Archie. My super intelligent cat was sitting on the road with his nose stuffed in my neighbours catnip plant. I walked over and picked him up - tragedy averted. He was out in the world for a total of an hour and a half.
I am so grateful to have my little kitten back, and truly appreciate the kindness of the people at the Guelph Humane Society and Microchip Solutions. And I will definitely be more careful closing my door from now on!