My Cat is Home

Last summer, I posted this blog about my cat, Loki, having disappeared a week earlier. It is leaps and bounds ahead of every other blog entry I’ve posted in terms of hits, and that must be because so many people have had pets go missing and reach out to find others in the same situation to look for some hope that their own animals might return.

Loki’s Misssing Photo

Well, there is hope! Loki has returned! Last Friday, eight months after he disappeared, I received a phone call from Home Again, one of the microchip pet locator services.

“Hello, Becca Gomez Farrell?”

“Yes.”

“You have an orange tabby named Loki, who’s been missing?”

“Yes.” At this point, I think I started going into shock, a sensation that didn’t leave until I had him home for a couple days.

“Well, I have a vet office on the line in Apex, who has your cat. Would you like to speak to them?”

“Absolutely.”

I then learned that he had been brought into their office only an hour ago for emergency care.  Apex is more than 10 miles from here, and the lady who brought him in had been feeding him on and off in her neighborhood for the last six months. He was likely hit by a car, or possibly fell from a high height, and ended up with two fractures to his jaw and a ruined eye with an abscess behind it. Before the accident, he had still been wearing his black collar, but the tag had fallen off. The woman, who was crying with worry, and her son waited to meet me.  She told me that she had gone to all forty houses in her neighborhood when he first appeared, to see if someone were missing him, but hadn’t considered a microchip. Many people don’t even know they exist; I’d heard of them but gave them no thought myself until I adopted Loki and Verdandi two and a half years ago from the shelter.  I give much thanks to that woman for her having compassion and bringing him in to a vet, who check for microchips as part of their normal routines.

Loki was a mess. He was acting every bit the wounded cat–drowsy, in pain, smelling like an infection–but would try to purr through his broken jaw when I pet him. I’m not sure I would have recognized him-he looked much larger than he used to–but I think that was mostly swelling of his head, though he is a bit taller. The vet said he perked up when I came, but I would never have been able to tell that myself.  Ben joined me after I’d spent two hours there, and we ended up waiting for another one before they finished checking his blood tests and referred us on to Cary Veterinary Specialty Hospital for further treatment. Except for what was likely a false positive FIV test (Loki’s vaccines lapsed in September, but once a cat is vaccinated for FIV, we’ve learned from my regular vet and the Internet that any test for it will turn up positive because they have the antibodies in their system. He’s had four FIV vaccines in all.), his chemistries looked great, thankfully.

He stayed at VSH over the weekend and had two jaw surgeries performed, his abscess drained, and his blind eye removed.  Amazingly, one of the cats I grew up with, Princess, was also hit by a car when she was young and went through the rest of her life with one blind eye and a slightly off jaw. Ben also dreamed of Loki a few weeks before he was found, and in the dream, he wore a patch. Coincidences are crazy things, folks. We are currently trying to teach him to say, “Meo-argh!” and looking into wooden parrots to attach to his shoulder.

The first attempt at setting his jaw with dental cement did not take, so I had to take him back three days later to have the right side of his jaw wired instead. He also has a feeding tube in place in case he was unable to eat on his own, but he’s been doing okay with that, so I’m hopeful we can have it removed when he returns to VSH next week to have the stitches over his missing eye taken out. The jaw will remain wired for four to six weeks, total.

Other than being calmer (at least until he starts considering the outdoors again), a bit smelly due to not being able to rinse out his mouth of food all that well, and a strong desire to gorge himself whenever food is in sight (a result of his months as a stray, I’m sure) Loki is . . . well, Loki. He’s being very affectionate and definitely knows he’s home, even if there is a rambunctious gray kitten about and his sister, Verdandi, isn’t quite welcoming him with open arms (but is welcoming him more easily than she did Mazu!).  Loki is taking the high road with all of their hissing, making no reaction other than to consider them out of his only eye, so both cats are already less persistent with their animosity. Mazu’s even taken a few playful swings at him, which he was happy to return.

Loki is home. And now the adventure of owning three cats begins.

11 comments for “My Cat is Home

  1. Angie Lau
    January 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Awwwww. I think I’m going to cry. ^_^ I’m so happy he’s back home!

  2. Holly
    January 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I am SO relieved to hear that he’s doing alright!

  3. January 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    So glad Loki’s back home again! We hope he gets stronger and healthier with each new day!!!!! Love, Mom and Dad

  4. January 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    What a happy ending! I have (had?) a traveling road ho’ cat that won’t stay home. It’s been 7 months now.. maybe she’ll find her way home too.

  5. Amanda Jesse
    January 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    If you find you need another opinion on treatment for your kitty, Dr. Betsy Sigmon at Creature Comforts Animal Hospital is an amazing resource. She has ties to NC State’s Veterinary School which means she is up to date on all the latest stuff. She is my Dad’s dog’s vet and because she’s so connected she can get animals referred places for specialized treatment. She’s amazing.

  6. January 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    lisa, don’t give up hope! Who knows if she will wander back home?
    Thanks for all the well wishes for Loki. He’s continuing to do quite well. Eye stitches should be removed on Monday and hopefully, we can convince them to remove the feeding tube, too, since he’s not using it.
    Amanda, thanks for the referral–I think we’ll finish with his recovery with VSH and then do followup care with our local vet, Dr. Windram, but I can’t say VSH has been all that great (a few questionable mess-ups along the way). But, he’s recovering, so that’s all that matters!

  7. Cary
    January 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    That’s wondeful news Becca! So sorry about all he had to go through. I’ll keep my eye out for a parrot side-kick for him.

  8. sandy
    May 9, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    this is a story that has given me some hope , my female cat alfie has been missing for almost 3 weeks, she is a indoor/outdoor cat, it appears she has just vanished , i have put up posters, placed ads in paper, checked with vets, animal services , i look for her daily , with no luck so far, i am very happy for you that you found you’re cat, please keep mine in your prayers, Sandy

    • May 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

      Will do, Sandy, and please come back and comment when you find your kitty. Make sure you’ve asked your neighbors about checking their basements or sheds, too. She might have gotten locked inside something on accident.

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