Ozzie is a sweet young ginger boy who stole Trasi’s heart when she met him at a shelter. She adopted him on the spot and couldn’t wait to get him home!
The two-year-old cat loved his new home. After a few months, Trasi decided to let him enjoy the outdoors by taking him out on a harness. One day while out for a stroll, he was startled by a loud noise – causing him to suddenly back out of the harness and disappear!
Trasi was devastated. She did everything she could – checked shelters, put up posters, put lost notices on every single website she could think of. Finally, after he’d been missing for a month, she started getting calls from people in the neighbourhood who thought they had seen him. She knew she’d have to set a humane trap, so she called VHS.
VHS lent her a trap, but more importantly, we contacted our cat expert, June, a former VHS director who still manages our emergency veterinary care fund (the McVitie Fund). I have known June for over twenty years, and I don’t know anyone who has a store of knowledge about such things as her.
Trasi diligently followed June’s advice by setting the trap, monitoring it from a short distance whenever it was set, and being prepared to release any other creature that may inadvertently be caught. She soon realized that the sightings had been a neighbourhood ginger cat and Ozzie was nowhere in the area. She was heartbroken, and reluctantly decided to abandon her vigil.
Then her luck changed! She received a call from someone in Marpole who had found a ginger cat whose microchip traced back to Trasi’s contact information!!! Ozzie had wandered into someone’s back yard weak and starving, and desperate for food, had followed his rescuer right into the house.
Trasi was overjoyed! Ozzie had lost 60% of his body weight and was famished, and his claws were worn down to nubs, indicating he had been trapped somewhere at some point. But otherwise he seemed unharmed. She immediately took him to the vet, where he underwent a thorough exam, including blood work. He’s anemic and will need follow-up testing, but day by day he is gradually resuming his previous mischievous behaviour!
Although VHS’s trap didn’t prove successful in helping Ozzie get back to his home, his guardian cited June with keeping her positive with support and encouragement through the entire process. Ozzie had wandered from Kerrisdale all the way to 68th Ave. in Marpole, a truly incredible distance.
Needless to say, the microchip was key in reuniting Trasi and Ozzie. Cats and dogs should always have this form of ID! VHS also recommends a collar and tag with, most importantly, a phone number, as well as a clear ear tattoo, as close as possible to the top of the ear. This increases the chances three-fold that a lost companion animal can be reunited with their guardian. As well, people should be aware that harnesses are not escape-proof. We (and Trasi) think that they’re risky and there are safer ways to enrich a cat’s environment.
This has been a wonderful Christmas for Ozzie and Trasi. They ask that in honour of Ozzie, VHS donors support the McVitie Fund for needy animals. Right now, your donation will be doubled by a generous anonymous supporter who has issued a $20,000 challenge!! We have already reached nearly $15,000 – only another $5,000 to go and the amount will be doubled to $40,000! Ozzie doesn’t need it, but many other animals do – we’ve already had three calls for help this week, including one about a beautiful nine-year-old dog who was hit by a car. Please help us if you can!!