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Christmas came early for one very special kitten.
By Lisa. December 2013
It must have been fate that I left my apartment early to get to my job at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital; if I had not left at that time, I don’t think this story would have the happy ending that it does. I was walking along a very busy street at about 7:55am when I thought I heard a cat meowing sadly. I stopped walking and took off my ear buds to listen more intently. I heard such a plaintive cry that I turned instinctively towards where I thought the sad voice was coming from. There, across the street by some bushes, was a small striped kitty, mewling pathetically at me. As we made eye contact, this little kitty started walking towards me and right into the street.
My only thought was that this poor thing was going to be hit by a car, so I broke eye contact hoping that the cat would not try to get to me. Then I could cross the street and see about helping the little guy out. However, the cat had other ideas. He darted right out into traffic, trying to get to me. He narrowly missed being hit by a couple of cars. I will be forever thankful that the drivers had such good reflexes & applied their brakes in time! This scared little kitty skittered back onto his side of the road and hid under a shrub. Once the cars passed, I crossed the street to see if the kitty would come to me. No sooner did I squat down, that the kitten peaked out from under the shrub, saw me squatting down, and raced over & leapt into my lap. The purring this kitten was doing was non-stop; he was rubbing his face against my face, snuggling his head into my chest, kneading my lap and coat. Kitty was very cold (it must have been about 30 degrees out) and he was so very happy to have a warm lap to snuggle into and the human contact he was so clearly craving.
So here I am, with a strange kitty on my lap, on the side of a super busy road. While snuggling the kitty to my chest with my one arm, I called my amazing practice manager, Ann, who was already at Bridgewater. I briefly described what happened and she dropped everything she was doing, grabbed a spare cat carrier, and jumped in her car to come to our rescue. The entire time this kitty was just purring away and rubbing my face, licking me and clearly showing his thanks for being rescued on this very cold morning!
Ann arrives, we get the kitty into the carrier, and we go to work. Once there, we take our new foundling into our warm and cozy cat ward, get the kitty, who Ann has nicknamed “Gabriel “ (we can’t keep calling him “kitty“ after all), into his new roomy crate with some fleece blankets to snuggle in. We can tell that even though “Gabriel“ was very cold and hungry, he must have been someone’s beloved pet as he was just such a sweet little man. Once“ Gabriel “was settled in, we pulled out our universal microchip scanner and scanned our little guest. We cannot describe how thrilled we were to find a microchip number! Now we just needed to look up the number and hope that the owner’s kept the information accurate.
We went to AAHA’s universal microchip site (www.petmicrochiplookup.org) and that let us know that this little guy was microchipped with a 24 PetWatch microchip (www.24petwatch.com). Knowing that they have representatives manning their phones 24 hours a day/7 days a week, we immediately called them. I spoke to a very helpful lady there named Jennifer, who looked up the number we gave her.
Thankfully, this kitty had current information! Jennifer was able to give us the name of our guest, Idaho, as well as his owner’s name, address, and phone number. She even went so far as to call the owner, hoping to connect us directly, and she then e-mailed the owner when she had to leave a voicemail with our hospital’s information.
Within 10 minutes, we received a phone call from one very relieved and extremely happy owner! She just received an e-mail from 24 PetWatch letting her know that her kitty was found. It turns out that Idaho was missing for almost 2 months! Idaho has a loving home with a little girl who was heartbroken when he went missing one snowy afternoon. This little guy thought it would be a good idea to explore the outdoors when a family member opened the door. Quick as lightening, Idaho streaked through the door and by the time the family raced out after him, he was gone. The owner called both 24 PetWatch and the humane society where she adopted Idaho frequently, hoping that someone either turned Idaho in or called to say they found him through his microchip. Her daughter would look for Idaho in their apartment complex constantly, always telling her mom that she thought he must be there somewhere.
The joy in this woman’s voice on learning that her kitty was found was undeniable; the fact that the little girl will have her beloved kitten back in time for the Christmas holiday is a miracle for her... and for Idaho!
Working in the veterinary field can be many things; there are a multitude of emotions that we feel on a daily basis just doing our jobs and sometimes it can be heartbreaking and sad. Today, though, is a triumphant day for us though; because of 24 PetWatch, we were able to quickly find Idaho’s owner and we were lucky enough to be instrumental in making a family whole again. Christmas has come early for one family!