Sometimes the obvious escapes the most diligent. That’s certainly been a theme in my life. Last night while hitting the pavement in search of Helena, I was contacted by the first shelter I touched base with, the one closest to home (and so far the most cooperative). They suggested that I contact the manufacturer of Helena’s microchip and let them know she’s missing.
I was immediately kicking myself, as I’d not even considered that. And having no luck with my own efforts, I made my way back home and followed through. I dug through the paperwork the ASPCA provided me upon Helena’s adoption, and it turns out the chipmaker is called HomeAgain. [Side note, I also noted that Helena’s due for her next rabies shot in a couple of weeks.] I went to their website and attempted to make a new account, but the site repeatedly told me the chip # did not exist. I knew that wasn’t right since it’s in the paperwork multiple times, complete with two barcodes. So I emailed them with all of the pertinent information, expecting them to respond sometime the next morning at the earliest. They called 10 minutes later, confirmed the chip #, got the account set up, and told me that they would do their part. Wait, what’s their part? I know they can’t track her with a GPS (that’d be far too easy).
This is from the confirmation email I got:
Helena is lost and that’s a frightening time, but you’ve notified the HomeAgain PetRescuer network that your pet is missing. Your lost pet poster will be distributed within a 25 mile radius of the zip code you entered to all the participating vets, shelters, animal controls and HomeAgain members. A partner of HomeAgain, the ASPCA, will be sending you a list of vets and shelters in your area you may want to contact to advise your pet is lost. Continue to look for your pet, but know that HomeAgain’s extensive network is at work for you and Helena.
Knowing Helena as I do, I know it’s stupid to assume she’ll let anyone get close enough to do anything. But at the same time, it was somewhat relieving in that moment to know that there’s another tool in the box working behind the scenes. I may have to rethink my idea of social media.
Wherever she is, I hope she’s staying dry. It started raining on my morning commute, and a severe thunderstorm warning got issued moments ago.
My little black visitor returned last night as well. He (or she?) turned up right after I finished up with HomeAgain and dived behind the shrubs once I was seen to be watching. Once more that bowl is licked spotless this morning. I can’t say I’m surprised. A growing kitten eats something fierce, and I suspect the food is being rationed in two shifts, evening and early morning. What I find interesting is that this is two bowls of food in two nights. Helena might go through a bowl a week. And I could tell it wasn’t because she didn’t like her food. She just got acclimated to the idea that the food would be there, so she picked at it at her leisure. I suppose that’s how it is when you forage though, feast or famine. The back porch food bowl still awaits her return. It’s untouched. I found myself at odds this morning about the empty bowl.
Interestingly, I’ve not seen the neighbor’s cat since the day Helena went missing. That’s not really a surprise since he stays gone for days at a time. I suspect he knows she’s gone. He might even be hanging out with her. Who can say? If that’s the case, she might be in good paws, so to speak, assuming she wants anything to do with him. And if he leads her back to my neighbor who knows she’s missing…
Well, hope springs eternal, and my imagination is overactive as ever.
This morning, I had another message waiting me on NextDoor. It seems there are three cats missing who look a lot like Helena. I think the message was well-intended, but honestly… looking at the photos, this person must be blind. But hey, thanks for kicking my post back to the top of the feed. I’ll take what I can get.
Have to say… when someone already fights depression, and when their best weapon in that fight goes missing… this is where I find out just how strong I really am.