Kara Arnold

Kara Arnold

Nanaimo cat returned to owner after it was missing for three years

NANAIMO – Video of young girl's reaction to finding missing cat goes viral.

It turned out to be the purr-fect ending for a Nanaimo family that lost its beloved cat.

Three years ago, Kara Arnold’s pet cat, Cursor, went missing from her family’s home near Westwood Lake. She immediately posted missing cat posters all throughout her neighbourhood and continued making inquiries on a Facebook group in the months and years that followed, but her efforts yielded nothing.

“I was posting on the Nanaimo Lost and Found Pets Facebook group every once in awhile and I would post the poster of him originally missing from three years ago and the last time I did that was in June,” Arnold told the News Bulletin.Arnold said in the months and years that followed, her daughter, Claudia, who was two at the time of his disappearance, never forgot about Cursor.

“Whenever [Claudia] was sad or got sad she would start to think about our missing cat and she would cry about him,” Arnold said.

However, the persistent posts about Cursor paid off big time for Arnold, who said that earlier this month someone with Nanaimo SPCA happened to see one of those posts and realized that the association had just taken in a very similar-looking cat. After a few exchanges and clarification, Arnold was confident that Cursor had been found, but not 100 per cent sure.

“I wasn’t sure from the picture because it was kind of a weird angle,” Arnold said. “But then she posted a video of him at the SPCA and I was like ‘that is our cat.’”On Aug. 21, Arnold decided to give her daughter Claudia, now five, the surprise of her life, by taking her to the SPCA without telling her that they were going to pick up Cursor. “I didn’t want her to be disappointed if it wasn’t him before we knew for sure,” she said. The Nanaimo SPCA decided to film Claudia’s reaction to seeing Cursor for the first time in three years. The video was posted to their Facebook page and has been viewed more than 35,000 times.

“It was awesome,” Arnold said.

Cursor was originally found near Westwood Lake and was brought to the Nanaimo SPCA on Aug. 16, according branch manager Leon Davis, who said Claudia’s reaction brought him joy.

“It’s so nice to see the smile on a little girl’s face,” he said. “This can be a tough job emotionally sometimes, but it is these little glimmers of hope and hope in a child’s face that makes it all worthwhile.”

Davis said it’s rare for cats to be reunited with their owners, adding that the national reunification rate for cats is less than five per cent. He said the B.C. SPCA has launched Canada’s first provincial registry for pets, which allows pound operators or veterinarians access to owners’ information at any time.

“With cats it is very seldom … they are considered second-rate citizens to dogs,” Davis said. “People tag their dogs and microchip their dogs and have collars on them and licences … but very often we get people who call and say they haven’t seen their cat in three or four days, or even longer sometimes.”Arnold said the whole family is glad to have Cursor back, adding that may take some members of the household a bit of time to get used to having him around. “Our other cat is having trouble readjusting to a two-cat household again,” Arnold said. “There has been some hissing happening, but they are on their way to getting along.”Follow @npescod on Twitter.