For the past few days I have seen a big torti running around the western part of my property, crossing the road by the creek. Today I heard Molly bark and there she was, crossing the road once again. I went out with a bowl of wet food and a scoop of dry, put the bowl down by the creek where I had seen her, and the dry food with one dollop of wet on top up by my compost bin, where she would end up if she followed the creek.
An hour later I took some old food from my fridge out to the bin. The wet food and some of the dry were gone. I heard rustling in the shrubs and I gave a "kitty kitty" call.
She must have figured that I was OK since I provided food, because instead of running away as she had on previous days, she came busting out of the bushes, looking hopeful.
I had set the lasagna pan down on the ground so I could open the compost bin. Her eyes lit up and she darted in, grabbed the top layer off the last old piece of lasagna, and ran.
I went back into the house for another can of cat food, and we played cat and mouse for quite awhile. She was walking oddly. One of her front feet turned inward. Finally she realized what I had in the can was much better than old lasagna. I was able to coax her to the door of the barn, where I scooped her up (grrrrRRRRRRRRrrrrr!!!!), took her inside, and popped her in a cage.
She was very hungry, but not that thin, and she was a big glossy girl. I recalled one of my neighbors up the hill stopping by this summer looking for a torti. This one clearly hadn't been lost for months, but the neighbor had mentioned she had TWO tortis. Of course I could not recall their names.
Because it was slightly likely she as someone's pet, I was about to haul her off to the vet for the twisted foot, when I recalled where the neighbor had said she lived. I took the photos above, and drove up the hill a mile or so and took a guess.
Surprise! A very nice gentleman was outside. He looked at the photos and said "Yup, she's ours. She's been missing a few days. Our daughter will be very happy to know she's safe!" I drove back down the hill, fetched the cat, and took her safely home
It turned out the odd gait was because she was declawed. She is also spayed, thank goodness.
Sadly, they did find their other lost cat. She had been killed by a car.
I was so glad to not be stuck with yet another cat, especially now that all the kittens are altered.
Now there is only one other cat running around my property--a big black tom that got in a huge fight with Bear four days ago.