Sammy’s Great Adventure

submitted by Amy Gryga/Miller           Sweetlilpaws RagaMuffins and Elysian Maine Coons
The following is an email from a kitten adopter of RCF member Amy Gryga/Miller who breeds RagaMuffins and Maine Coons. A one year old Main Coon kitty escaped from a cabin in the Adirondacks and the panicked owners went into overdrive to find their beloved pet. With the help of Lost Cat Finder ,the kitty was found against all odds.
Well, after 15 days we retrieved Samson.   We experienced and tried all the things NOT to do until you supplied us with Kim Freeman’s contact. This shifted our search us from searching the woods (many miles logged there) during the day to setting up two traps and using a motion detection critter camera to isolate location and then trained him to get used to eating from deeper and deeper in the trap.  Critical in the process were two sightings at night.   True to her word, Sammy had not strayed more than 1/2 a mile but calling him, etc was of zero use.   They don’t respond.    One night after a sighting I had his eyes in my flashlight beam and even spoke to him for a few minutes about 30 feet away.   But there was no way I was going to get close to him.   That s when we moved to the trap / critter cam protocol.    We trained him for four night, and  finally armed the trap on Monday night.  The most likely trap was below the deck of a friend up the mountain.  (The area is very very rural on a mountain side).  At 1:30am I got a call from Greg that indeed Sammy was in the trap.   Below is a photo from the critter cam the previous night .
I went up to retrieve him in the trap.  Only then did he start meowing to me softly.    Brought him into a room in our friends house, gave him a little food and water and stayed the rest of the night with him.  The second picture is from then.  He was immediately rubbing on me and laying down next to me, the rest of the night.   In the morning we let him back into the rest of the house while I packing things up.   The second picture is Sammy’s crate flying copilot hom from KLKP to KBED.   Then I flew him home Tuesday.  Picture shows him as my copilot.
Very glad to have him back home after 15 days.   Was 18 lbs, now 14 but eating and sleeping a lot.  Working on hair knots and burs.   Very glad to have him home.
Jeeze, they just don’t respond the way you think they would.   Hide during the day.   Don’t come if called. Don’t make noise (too worried about predators).  Only move at night.  This is all outlined so well in Kim’s book.   I wasted a lot of time doing daytime searches through the woods.   That is only really good if you are looking at hiding places, which in this case were so wide and varied with some buildings and lots of rock crevices and caves that I would never have found him.   Thank you for the reference to Kim – this was indeed the first and critical step to recovery !!
It is now Thursday morning and he is significantly more chilled out.   Knows all his old spots in our house and is becoming much less clingy.  He sees the vet this afternoon.  We are working on helping him with his fur and bulking him back up.
Warmest regards and huge thanks !!