Spayed indoor/outdoor cat missing for over 2 months, I’m heartbroken

Desperate2021

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As the title says, my 4-year-old friend went on her evening stroll in the beginning of August and has been missing ever since. She had been away for a full night many times before but when she didn’t turn up the next evening I got worried. I feel I’ve exhausted my options and I’m now looking for advice on what more I could do.
I apologize in advance if my English sounds weird, I live in Eastern Europe.
What I’ve done so far:
- asked a lot of neighbors around my house and searched their garages/sheds etc
- searched the nearby woods, looking under the bushes and up the trees
- put up posters and flyers to mailboxes
- put up social media posts, I’m following the main lost/found pet groups of my country
- learned to use Snapchat and put a story on the snap map
- check the shelter sites multiple times a day and I also sent them her microchip code in case they find her
- checked the sides of the roads. In my town they notify the local shelter if they find a cat’s body, they said they haven’t found one that matches her description
- put up ad in the local newspaper
- ran an ad in a radio station
- drew out a map of where I’ve searched; where I’ve seen her hang out before; cats/dogs who live in the neighborhood
- put up a wildlife camera on the other side of my (small) town where I got a tip and check it every 1-2 days
I was recently contacted my a psychic-sort of person, she said she can feel her alive but she has lost her way home. I’m usually quite down-to-earth but at that moment I understood why people turn to religion.
I’m feeling hopeless, for 2 months I haven’t been able to think about anything else. I can’t concentrate on work, I’m not the best mom I could be to my two toddlers, and I’m definitely not the best spouse.
I’ve read some threads on the Internet where cats have come back after weeks and months and I’m still hoping she’s out there somewhere but this burden is so heavy. In my country it’s common practice to let cats outside but now I definitely understand why people in the West tend to keep them indoors. We don’t have coyotes or big predators here but there are some foxes. I’ve read though that they’re more likely to prey on mice and don’t tend to attack adult cats.
I read and followed the suggestions in Kimberley Freeman’s book but now I’m starting to feel there’s not much more I can do other than updating the posters and social media posts. I’ve upped her finder’s fee to 500€ which is about half of average monthly salary here so people are quite motivated to help. I received some tips but they were all other cats and most of the tips were quite far from our house.
If anyone has any advice or encouraging stories I would be happy!
Thank you!
 

susanm9006

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I am so sorry. I would move the video camera to your back yard or back door just in case she comes by. If you still have her litter box set it outside as well.
 
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Desperate2021

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I am so sorry. I would move the video camera to your back yard or back door just in case she comes by. If you still have her litter box set it outside as well.
Thanks! I have security cameras around the house but haven’t spotted her there. The litter box was outside during the first week, but I got scared that it might attract bully cats to our yard.. I’m thinking of getting another wildlife camera and setting up a feeding station near our house. Then again if she was near, I would have spotted her I think. Thank you!
 

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Oh yes! I have encouraging stories!! Most recently I had one of my rescued kitties get let out. Although she began life as a feral, she has been a socialized indoor only kitty for years now. We do have predators here. Bob cats, large dogs, coyotes at times and large birds of prey. I was frantic. She had never desired to go back out from the moment she was brought inside. I searched the woods, swamp, under houses, on roof tops, in drainage culverts, trees, burrows and did the things you have done. Nothing. Not one sign. After two months I took her mate in a harness after someone called that they had seen her and he acted as search and rescue. He found her hiding place. By that night I had her back home. She is snuggled here now.
During my time working with rescues there were other instances too. A young Calico that I had nearly convinced to become tamed was outside during a storm. She vanished and after many months I felt something must have happened. Almost a year later, there she was, back in her old hang out! With a litter of kittens! I worked to get them all and they were comfortable in my garden shed. Every morning they were at the door to greet me. My avatar here is one of those kittens. Her name is Bright. Just as I got the family settled and was about to bring them in for vetting and adoptions, they were all gone. Weeks went by and just as mysteriously as they vanished, the kittens returned. Mom did not. I got the kittens and continued to search for mom cat. It began to feel as though she had led some threat away to protect her babies. Then one evening, just at dusk, I caught a flash of movement in the edge of the woods. It was mom cat! Again, it was a happy ending and she became an inside kitty. I can tell you of many other people who have lost and recovered kitties long after feeling very worried.
Cats are masters at hiding and often they are close. Some studies have been done to determine patterns. Indoor cats seem to mostly stay close to home. Indoor/outdoor cats go within about a sixteen block radius. Outdoor cats go further. I once recovered a lost outdoor only cat. For some reason he had traveled five miles from home. A frightened cat will go into hiding. Unusual noises, weather and many things can cause them to hide since their survival instinct is strong.
My suggestions to you are to use a flaslight at night to hunt. Cat eyes reflect very brightly at night and reflect illumination of the light. Cats are creatures of habit.,The sound of the food, popping a can lid or shaking of the bag of dry food or treats can bring them out. Feeding at their usual meal time can bring them out. The scent from an item of clothing you have worn can bring them out and cats have a very strong sense of smell. Looking for them at the hours when they feel safest can work. Dusk, dawn, the darkest and quietest time of night or mid morning when the sun feels so good to them. Call to kitty. Keep a regular search time going. I found that one of my most successful things was setting up an outside shelter. I used simple tarps with both high and low places to go underneath. Leaving a window open with food just inside worked. Call around to local vets. Send them photos to put up in their waiting room. Post offices often have a bulletin board so put photos there too. Keep talking to people and especially to neighborhood children . They see more than most adults notice. Above all, never give up!! Just when you least expect it, you may spot kitty. I have found so many lost kitties. Go to anyone who loves cats or has some and see if your cat went there to visit. People who love them , often offer an apparently lost cat a place inside. I know it’s so hard but please don’t give up. Please keep us posted as you go too. You said you suddenly understood why people have found religion ? Then I will offer up prayers for you all. Come home kitty!!
Sending love too.:vibes::redheartpump:
 
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Desperate2021

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Oh yes! I have encouraging stories!! Most recently I had one of my rescued kitties get let out. Although she began life as a feral, she has been a socialized indoor only kitty for years now. We do have predators here. Bob cats, large dogs, coyotes at times and large birds of prey. I was frantic. She had never desired to go back out from the moment she was brought inside. I searched the woods, swamp, under houses, on roof tops, in drainage culverts, trees, burrows and did the things you have done. Nothing. Not one sign. After two months I took her mate in a harness after someone called that they had seen her and he acted as search and rescue. He found her hiding place. By that night I had her back home. She is snuggled here now.
During my time working with rescues there were other instances too. A young Calico that I had nearly convinced to become tamed was outside during a storm. She vanished and after many months I felt something must have happened. Almost a year later, there she was, back in her old hang out! With a litter of kittens! I worked to get them all and they were comfortable in my garden shed. Every morning they were at the door to greet me. My avatar here is one of those kittens. Her name is Bright. Just as I got the family settled and was about to bring them in for vetting and adoptions, they were all gone. Weeks went by and just as mysteriously as they vanished, the kittens returned. Mom did not. I got the kittens and continued to search for mom cat. It began to feel as though she had led some threat away to protect her babies. Then one evening, just at dusk, I caught a flash of movement in the edge of the woods. It was mom cat! Again, it was a happy ending and she became an inside kitty. I can tell you of many other people who have lost and recovered kitties long after feeling very worried.
Cats are masters at hiding and often they are close. Some studies have been done to determine patterns. Indoor cats seem to mostly stay close to home. Indoor/outdoor cats go within about a sixteen block radius. Outdoor cats go further. I once recovered a lost outdoor only cat. For some reason he had traveled five miles from home. A frightened cat will go into hiding. Unusual noises, weather and many things can cause them to hide since their survival instinct is strong.
My suggestions to you are to use a flaslight at night to hunt. Cat eyes reflect very brightly at night and reflect illumination of the light. Cats are creatures of habit.,The sound of the food, popping a can lid or shaking of the bag of dry food or treats can bring them out. Feeding at their usual meal time can bring them out. The scent from an item of clothing you have worn can bring them out and cats have a very strong sense of smell. Looking for them at the hours when they feel safest can work. Dusk, dawn, the darkest and quietest time of night or mid morning when the sun feels so good to them. Call to kitty. Keep a regular search time going. I found that one of my most successful things was setting up an outside shelter. I used simple tarps with both high and low places to go underneath. Leaving a window open with food just inside worked. Call around to local vets. Send them photos to put up in their waiting room. Post offices often have a bulletin board so put photos there too. Keep talking to people and especially to neighborhood children . They see more than most adults notice. Above all, never give up!! Just when you least expect it, you may spot kitty. I have found so many lost kitties. Go to anyone who loves cats or has some and see if your cat went there to visit. People who love them , often offer an apparently lost cat a place inside. I know it’s so hard but please don’t give up. Please keep us posted as you go too. You said you suddenly understood why people have found religion ? Then I will offer up prayers for you all. Come home kitty!!
Sending love too.:vibes::redheartpump:
Thank you SO MUCH!! Words can’t express how grateful I am for the spark of hope you ignited!! I have another kitty at home, she is very skittish but maybe I can go on a walk with her and she’ll detect something.
There’s a new house built on the corner of the street next to my house. I got the number of head workman there, he said he has only seen an orange cat there. I know that orange one, he sometimes lurks in our garden. Maybe he scared my kitty away, although as far as I know her she’s hardly scared of other cats. But you never know - maybe she did flee from him. There was a big cat fight on the street 2 days after she went missing, there is a probability some cat war was going on.
Children are great allies - when I talked to neighbors, a lot of them had already heard about my kitty because the children told them. I will keep my snapmap post up, this is what the cool kids here use nowadays (and I’m feeling old hehe!)
I will post when I have any updates. Meanwhile, again, thank you so much!!!
 

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I'm so sorry, not knowing is the worst.....I have had cats return after several months if you have not seen a sign of blood, etc., it is very hopeful she is still alive. Keep up on the social sites, cats can be taken many miles away if they accidentally get locked in a truck, etc., or are up in the chassis of a car when they take off. She may be further away than you think. She may have been chased for a few miles by a big dog too. I will pray for both of you, I truly hope you will find her!
 
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Desperate2021

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I'm so sorry, not knowing is the worst.....I have had cats return after several months if you have not seen a sign of blood, etc., it is very hopeful she is still alive. Keep up on the social sites, cats can be taken many miles away if they accidentally get locked in a truck, etc., or are up in the chassis of a car when they take off. She may be further away than you think. She may have been chased for a few miles by a big dog too. I will pray for both of you, I truly hope you will find her!
Thank you!! This is my reasoning too - I haven’t found her body so for all I know she is still alive! I’m widening the search area, just asked my county for permission to put up posters on their boards. Ordering new posters now and hopefully can put them up during the weekend. I am glad your kitties returned!!
 

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Dear deperate2021, my heart and thoughts are with you and you have done SO much to try and find her. I am amazed at what you have done and it is all out of love and grief. All I can offer at this stage is to pray and send your deepest thoughts and love towards your little friend. Being a lady, you will be better at this than most men (I'm a guy), because being a female you are naturally closer to Nature and the Earth and it's children. But pray to your Inner Self, this is your inner Being that is linked and one with the Universe and God. It is like meditating and you need to be in a quiet place and settle your thoughts and think of nothing but nothing and then focus your love and attention on your desire to find your little one and ask your Self to guide you and for information. The more you can focus on this, if she is alive, the more chance you will be reunited.

Don't give up just yet, although it is quite a while, 2 months, I do admit. Earlier this year at a job, I met a lady who lost a cat. She also lived in an apartment and it (female) was gone for two years. Of course she had given up hope, but one day she got a call from ? (vet or police officer or someone) saying she had been found!! (from her microchip). She had been living, somehow, around a McDonald's rubbish bins. It was so great to hear but so amazing, I almost cried when I heard the story. Do not underestimate a cat's ability to survive. I really hope you can find her safe, the 'not knowing' is the hardest part. There are many cat lovers in Eastern Europe, many more than in Australia, so I hope someone has helped or seen something.

I know a little of your heartache. Twice I have had my dears go missing. One was a male, he just disappeared for about 2 or 3 days - but then suddenly reappeared - I have no idea where he went. The other, who was one of my family for over 21 years (recently passed away in July) went missing around 2014 but only for about 36 hours. In Australia we have a service called "Lost Pet Finders" where you can put a post on a website about your pet who has been lost /gone missing and some photos and reward etc and you can also choose to send out a TEXT message to all mobile phones within a specified radius (the larger the radius the more it costs you). I sent an SMS text message for about 5km when my dear went missing and it turns out I didn't need it - she was locked in the next door neighbour's shed. Luckily the stupid neighbour's boyfriend said he thought he heard something in the shed when he went to lock it the night before. I say "stupid woman" because after I found my cat, she said she saw the SMS message but didn't bother doing anything! Even though she loves cats herself and even though the SMS would have said where the cat was from (her own neighbour!!) Anyway, I still gave the reward to her, even though she didn't deserve it. I was so happy to have her back.

Anyway, your English writing is very good for Eastern European and I hope you can be re-united with your friend. You have done a great deal physically (practically). Now try to practice meditating on this every day, it really works, I know it from experience. You must consciously send Love and thought-energy to the subject (your lost pet) and to the Universe /your Self and try and "feel" where she may be. If all goes well, you will be given guidance or some intuitive thought about the answer. From something or someone.

I know this is a long reply, but just to add a thought: it seems unusual for a female cat to be out all night without coming back at least once. That is more normal behaviour for a male cat. She must be very adventurous and also may have found somewhere to snack every night? Unless she is an expert hunter and finds mice outside. My cat now, a boy of 8 years goes out but never more than 2-3 hours each time and always comes back for a snack and a snooze (nap). I often go out with him for walks, my life is tuned to his life-style at the moment. But I would imagine E Europe being much colder than here, so for a female to be gone all night - she must be eating and snoozing some safe place, just my thoughts. Cats, like all animals are opportunists.
 
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Desperate2021

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Dear deperate2021, my heart and thoughts are with you and you have done SO much to try and find her. I am amazed at what you have done and it is all out of love and grief. All I can offer at this stage is to pray and send your deepest thoughts and love towards your little friend. Being a lady, you will be better at this than most men (I'm a guy), because being a female you are naturally closer to Nature and the Earth and it's children. But pray to your Inner Self, this is your inner Being that is linked and one with the Universe and God. It is like meditating and you need to be in a quiet place and settle your thoughts and think of nothing but nothing and then focus your love and attention on your desire to find your little one and ask your Self to guide you and for information. The more you can focus on this, if she is alive, the more chance you will be reunited.

Don't give up just yet, although it is quite a while, 2 months, I do admit. Earlier this year at a job, I met a lady who lost a cat. She also lived in an apartment and it (female) was gone for two years. Of course she had given up hope, but one day she got a call from ? (vet or police officer or someone) saying she had been found!! (from her microchip). She had been living, somehow, around a McDonald's rubbish bins. It was so great to hear but so amazing, I almost cried when I heard the story. Do not underestimate a cat's ability to survive. I really hope you can find her safe, the 'not knowing' is the hardest part. There are many cat lovers in Eastern Europe, many more than in Australia, so I hope someone has helped or seen something.

I know a little of your heartache. Twice I have had my dears go missing. One was a male, he just disappeared for about 2 or 3 days - but then suddenly reappeared - I have no idea where he went. The other, who was one of my family for over 21 years (recently passed away in July) went missing around 2014 but only for about 36 hours. In Australia we have a service called "Lost Pet Finders" where you can put a post on a website about your pet who has been lost /gone missing and some photos and reward etc and you can also choose to send out a TEXT message to all mobile phones within a specified radius (the larger the radius the more it costs you). I sent an SMS text message for about 5km when my dear went missing and it turns out I didn't need it - she was locked in the next door neighbour's shed. Luckily the stupid neighbour's boyfriend said he thought he heard something in the shed when he went to lock it the night before. I say "stupid woman" because after I found my cat, she said she saw the SMS message but didn't bother doing anything! Even though she loves cats herself and even though the SMS would have said where the cat was from (her own neighbour!!) Anyway, I still gave the reward to her, even though she didn't deserve it. I was so happy to have her back.

Anyway, your English writing is very good for Eastern European and I hope you can be re-united with your friend. You have done a great deal physically (practically). Now try to practice meditating on this every day, it really works, I know it from experience. You must consciously send Love and thought-energy to the subject (your lost pet) and to the Universe /your Self and try and "feel" where she may be. If all goes well, you will be given guidance or some intuitive thought about the answer. From something or someone.

I know this is a long reply, but just to add a thought: it seems unusual for a female cat to be out all night without coming back at least once. That is more normal behaviour for a male cat. She must be very adventurous and also may have found somewhere to snack every night? Unless she is an expert hunter and finds mice outside. My cat now, a boy of 8 years goes out but never more than 2-3 hours each time and always comes back for a snack and a snooze (nap). I often go out with him for walks, my life is tuned to his life-style at the moment. But I would imagine E Europe being much colder than here, so for a female to be gone all night - she must be eating and snoozing some safe place, just my thoughts. Cats, like all animals are opportunists.
Thank you!! I took some time to try and focus on myself and my feelings, trying to accept that I might not see her again. There are rare moments when I get some peace, when I understand that life is always temporary and sometimes it ends sooner rather than later. But then I find her in my dreams again and wake up miserable.

I ordered some more posters and asked permission from the county to put them up in a wider area. I haven’t gotten around that yet because when I still got no results from the wildlife camera yesterday I sort of gave up. Brought the camera back home and cried. Then I got a notification on Facebook about a similar cat (not mine), and then another tip about a light cat came in the same thread.. so here I am, hopeful again. I put the camera up in the new location and will put up posters during the weekend.

It feels like one of my children has gone missing. I always hate sending my kids to stay at my in-laws because I keep thinking that maybe right now they’re crying for me and I’m not there to soothe them. I miss my kitty the same way :’(
 
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