VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Like the cat from the children’s song The Cat Came Back, a little feline named Blue came home Monday night after going missing near Goldstream Park on Dec. 28, 2018.

At the time, Blue’s family reported him missing to Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing, more commonly called ROAM, a south Vancouver Island non-profit that uses Facebook and volunteers to reunite missing pets with their owners.

Volunteers had no leads for so long and Blue’s family was “just devastated,” said Barb Mah, a volunteer trapper with ROAM.

The family told her their young daughter wrote about missing Blue in her journal every day.

READ ALSO: Lost pet? Here are the steps to take if your animal is missing

After 18 months, ROAM volunteers got a lead on the missing cat in early July when staff at the Point Ellice House Museum in Victoria reached out about a cat who’d been seen wandering around the property for about six months.

The museum’s executive director sent a photo of the little, matted cat and all the volunteers recognized his face, Mah said. Within minutes a volunteer had matched the photo of the roaming cat with Blue’s missing pet post on the ROAM- Cats Facebook page.

Mah then texted the photos to Blue’s owner who quickly replied “that’s him.”

The next step was to set some traps and motion-sensor cameras and put out wet cat food as bait on the museum property. Just over four hours later Mah got a notification of motion detected near the traps – it was Blue, 17 kilometres from home.

READ ALSO: Central Saanich pig hogs the limelight by crashing Saturday night party

After making “double sure” it was him by matching the distinct black markings on his face and lip to photos, Mah told his family to come and pick him up.

The four-year-old cat was a little skittish when he first got home but immediately remembered his mom when she came in, Mah said.

The family later shared a video of their daughter’s reaction to seeing Blue again and ROAM staff shared it on Facebook. After some initial trepidation, the little girl was ready to snuggle her long lost cat.

Mah noted that the family was about to adopt a new kitten just a few days before Blue was found but the plan fell through at the last minute.

“The stars aligned” because a new kitten would have made his homecoming quite different, she said.

READ ALSO: Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Blue had lost weight during his outdoor adventure and he was just over five pounds – the weight of a seven-month-old kitten – when he was found. His long fur is also so matted that Mah is fairly certain he’ll need to be sedated for a vet to clean him up.

“This was a heartwarming story,” she said, adding that the ROAM team was so happy to reunite Blue and his family.

Cats frequently go missing for a few weeks at a time and often return on their own, she explained. The stories about cats going missing for long periods before returning home are less common but “they do happen.”

In cases like Blue’s where the cat is found far from home, it’s “almost always that they hitched a ride” somehow, Mah said.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

petPets and People

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

The BC Wildfire Service is urging caution amid forecasts of strong winds throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. (BC Wildfire Service photo)
Strong winds forecasted for Kamloops Fire Centre, BC Wildfire service urges caution

“Wind can cause grass fires to spread very quickly,” says the BC Wildfire Service

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
B.C. paramedics don’t duck a chance to help someone in need

Ambulance duo end a long shift by helping a distressed duck in Victoria suburb

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
Family resumes search for son missing in B.C.’s Manning park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mother of Jordan, Josie Naterer

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Most Read