Leaving your cat at someone else’s home.
Sam is what we would call a “scaredy cat.” When Amy dropped Sam off at her parent’s house he immediately went into hibernation, absolutely terrified of anybody coming near him. This is a somewhat common (but at times hazardous) feline reaction to a strange environment. Since Sam was not confined to any one room, he was difficult to set an eye on at best, but then he totally disappeared. A week went by and not a sign of him. Amy’s parents searched and searched, but no Sam.
Amy and her husband Bill returned and came over and searched and called, but no Sam. Sam’s food and water had now been untouched for a week. Another week went by – still no trace of Sam. Realizing they had been working in the attic at one point when Sam was visiting, Amy’s parents searched the attic, but to no avail. The attic stairs were left down in the hope that if Sam was up there, he would come down on his own when things were quiet. In the middle of the third week Amy and Bill were back again hoping for a miracle. Even though she thought it to be a waste of time, Amy ascended the attic stairs one more time. As she crouched down, she thought she heard a slight rustling sound. She kneeled on the floor and talked in soothing tones. She heard another rustle. Staring intently down along the joists, deep under the eaves, two barely discernible eyes began to materialize from the darkness. Ever so slowly an emaciated Sam crawled out of the darkness. Everybody concluded Sam must have caught a few mice in the attic of that old house for sustenance during his ordeal, because he looked in better shape than he should have considering how long he had been AWOL.
We’ve had a couple of stories involving cats that have managed to escape from the house while being tended by strangers, one of which was never found. Unfortunately, the person providing the care can rarely hang around the house on a permanent basis attempting to make sure the cat is safe. Some cats will just hide in the house, but many will try to escape if the opportunity arises, a fact that leans heavily in favor of a secure cat boarding facility.
The other potential danger is a catastrophic event at the house. My wife, when she was a teenager, lost her dog and two cats when her home caught fire in the family’s absence. Fire, carbon monoxide, gas leaks all can prove fatal events for pets even when the house escapes permanent damage.
The moral of this story?
Cats can get lost in a lot of different ways and they can do it almost anywhere they choose.