I got up at 5am on the morning of November 25 and as usual let Bear out for his morning stroll. We live at the back of our subdivision and there is a small open area behind us (See aerial photo below). That triangular open area was Bear’s territory. We know he never ventured far from it because we could go into our backyard, clap our hands and call, “Bear! Time to come home!” and he would always appear seconds later. That tells us he was not a roamer and always stayed within earshot.
Bear’s morning stroll usually lasted 2-3 hours, whereupon he would come in and settle down my office spare chair and go to sleep. Only that morning he did not return. We called him several times throughout the day. We left the back door open until late that night. No Bear.
Almost immediately, our search effort began in earnest. Starting that very night we spent several hours looking for him, calling his name. The next morning I was out at 5am doing the same. Without fail we went out every night and every morning looking for him.
The next day after his disappearance I made flyers with his photo and plastered them up everywhere. I contacted all my neighbors. I put an ad on Craigslist.
On Wednesday I decided to call in an expert. I contacted a pet detective who uses dogs to track a scent trail. She came out on the following Sunday (when Bear had been missing a week). Her dogs were amazing. In the shot below from Google Maps, my house is at ‘A’. She brought out her dogs one at a time and without fail each one traced the trail you see in red:
The owner of House 2 would not let us and the tracking dogs into his backyard (he has dogs).
The owner of House 1 never answered the door (and still to this day will not answer the door) .
The dogs found no trace of Bear’s scent outside this area.
I continue to have hope and so:
- Every day I visit the Humane Society
- Every other day I check both locations of the county pound (Durango and Mesa).
- I keep my ‘Lost Cat’ ad of Craigslist current, renewing it every two days.
- I check craigslist’s ‘found cats’ adds several times per day.
- I’ve printed more flyers and distributed them over a wider area.
- Printed and mailed postcards to almost every house in the area.
- Check a dozen ‘Lost/Found Pet’ websites every day.
- I search some portion of the neighborhood almost every day.
Bear is a beautiful cat. I suspect that if he is still alive then some misguided soul has him inside and is not letting him out.