Story of “P”

The story below is inspirational and hopefully will help keep you motivated in be reunited with your lost cat.  Cats are difficult to find, but it can be done, even after a long time has passed.

Finding ‘P’



I would like to publicly Thank all the people that assisted in my search and successful rescue of my year old Tuxedo cat ‘P’, aka Peapod.  It has been one year since the loss took place and we’re celebrating that 1st anniversary.  At the beginning of last July the TV news stated the current heat wave was just beginning and another four to five days of record breaking hear was on the way.  My small apartment was already experiencing close to 88° temperatures and my small window air-conditioner wasn’t keeping up with the current heat.  The announcement of an increased and prolonged heat wave became daunting.  My two cats were already showing lagging tongues.  My mother had passed away a few months earlier and I was preparing their home for sale.  It had central air.  Not to worry, ‘guys we will go on a productive adventure.’  We will pack up our necessities, litter box, fancy feast, Iams and move to a cool house for four or five days until the boiling temperatures subside.  They could explore the new location and I can work on the house.  From all calculated dimensions it was a ‘Win, Win’ situation for all.

I always place them in their cages during transport to Vets appointments, but with this scorching heat our movement was accelerated.  I packed them up and made the two trips to the car with a firm grip each time.  We arrived at my parents home on Ford Court with all systems go.  I briefly cat proofed the house and returned to carry the older, male Elsie, to the house.  All went according to plan.  I opened the doors placed her in the controlled kitchen area.  The next trip was for my other rescued little girl ‘P’.  All went well on the trip from the car to the house.  I had a good grip on her against my neck and shoulder and she seemed fairly calm.  We got in the house and I was closing the kitchen door behind us and Boom.  She rocketed off my shoulder and over my back, in what seemed like a space shuttle lift off to a bounce on the floor and out the second back door.  Gone, and gone at record breaking speed into the unknown.  I chased after her and stampeded up my neighbor’s driveway to his backyard where she huddled in the bushes.  I approached her calmly and in the blink of an eye, she was gone down the fence line.

I scoured the neighborhood for hours and then retrieved Elsie and returned to my apartment in crisis.  I had served 13 months in Vietnam in the Marine Corps and the rule was with the Corps, ‘you never leave anyone behind, never.’  I went into major search and rescue mode for the next thirty days.  Nonstop, 24/7 and entered the world, until that time, of vague and distant flyers on bulletin boards of lost animals.  I usually glanced at them, and miffed, “irresponsible owners.”  I then began a systemic search and continued to keep a secret I had learned right away, while searching the Humane Society’s search techniques.

I want to thank all the police officers that graciously took my flyers.  The store keepers that let me post my flyers in their windows, all the people and children that called with sightings, All About Animals that stepped right up to the plate and gave me a trap with search instructions.  GP Animal Adoption that also calmly told me what to do, animal control officers, the Harper Woods police officer that doubled back to his station to notify the dispatcher he had just picked up a black and white cat and taken it to a Detroit shelter. The kind man on Huntington that let me to use his house as a local search base. The caring animal psychic Lori that gave me excellent direction and a status report.

As a little one year old, ‘P’ had no street survival skills at all, which terrified me.  I rescued her from under a car in a November rain at about four weeks old.  Along with all other concerns, food and water, and all the heat, and the unknown, could have been life threatening.  The psychic assured me after these questions, ‘she was getting food and water.’  All the calls and calls, all the prayers, all the help had a big impact on my view of this community and how many people care for our innocent, voiceless companions. The young mother of two that called twice after holding a little black and white kitten, the women on Holiday with a sighting, the waitress from Champs that met me after her night shift and showed me the alley she had seen a black and white, the staff at Urgent Care and on and on.

Thank you all.  After a month of heartache and numerous false starts I got a call from a woman that said ‘Your cat is on my deck.’  I, as always, charged over to her house with additional photos.  After a brief, almost CIA interrogation, she assured me, it was my cat and that it had been coming to visit her two cats on her windowsill for about a week or so.  That woman, JoAnn Platt-Stenstone warmly allowed me to set up the trap and the next day my wonderful Peapod was is it.  Banged up, thin, but on her way back home.  She and all of us, have been in Nirvana ever since.  And her older buddy, Elsie, no longer has to look under the couch and in the rooms for his little pal.  Oh, and the secret, the Humane Society’s web site stated; only 3% of lost cats are found.  We beat the odds and thank you all for your cards and gifts on my lawn ‘Found’ sign.



Bill Bradley, Elsie & ‘P’ aka Peapod.