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

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Nanaimo area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read