Losing a pet you love is traumatic enough, but it's particularly difficult when your pet is 20 years old and handicapped. Of course, the lost pet also may endure hardship - in Lily's case, outside in rain and heat, unable to see or hear. This is one reunion that definitely goes in the miracle column!
Last month a California man and his twenty-year-old cat made news.
Raymond McNamara was on a cross-country trek with his beloved feline companion, Lily, a long-haired Himalayan who is both blind and deaf. They were in South Florida in February when the cat wandered off. Raymond was frantic to find her, and organized search parties, involved rescue groups, animal control and even the police, but Lily was not to be found. After several weeks, a broken-hearted Raymond headed back to the West Coast without his furry friend, believing her to be gone for good.
Two months later, back in South Florida, a woman found a cat at a construction site close to where Raymond had last seen his pet. She posted a message on Facebook and a worker at one of the rescue groups saw the picture and figured out it was Lily. The elderly cat had managed to survive on her own somehow, but her fur was matted, she was thin and sickly, and dehydrated. She was checked out by a veterinarian who put her on IV fluids and nursed her back to health.
The rescue group got to make a call to one incredulous cat owner, who could hardly believe his best friend had been found alive. He happily made the long drive from California back to South Florida, excited to see his sweet Lily. When he finally arrived and walked in, the cat recognized Raymond right away. Everyone in the room watched as she relaxed and gave him a head-bump, knowing she was finally safe with her human.
And Raymond? He cried. He was overcome with emotion to see his cat he thought was lost forever, and vowed he would never let her out of his sight ever again.
If you lose a pet, do what Raymond did – let everyone know. Use posters, call animal groups and shelters and post it on social media. That’s what brought Lily back to Raymond. One more thing you can do is have your pet microchipped – just in case.
June is Adopt a Cat Month, a time to consider the benefits of sharing your life with a feline friend. If you would like a Lily of your own, visit your local animal shelter or rescue group and adopt a new best friend for life, when you’re speaking of pets.