Although I never spoke with you, your website was so helpful AND HOPEFUL!
My husband and I lost our beautiful orange Maine Coon Cat Ari (he looks exactly like the crying orange cat on your website!!) over two weeks ago, when we were returning home from vacation.
The air conditioning in our car stopped working and driving home, the weather was over 90 degrees, so we had all of our windows open wider than usual. We had our two cats and two dogs in the car with us and when we stopped on the highway to do a "head check" of our cats, "Ari" slipped out (after he was counted) without us ever seeing him. When we got home, Ari was nowhere to be found. We weren't quite sure where we stopped on the highway coming home, so we had to drive back up there that night to start looking for him as well as determining which part of the interstate he got out in. We finally narrowed it down to some dense woods near a river where the closest homes were a couple of miles away. At first, we thought since he had a collar with ID tags on him, that we might get a call from someone saying they found him. But within a couple of days, we realized the woods were so far away from the houses, we started an aggressive search. In addition to calling animal shelters, vets offices, the Department of Transportation (they pick up the roadkill), the post office, the police departments in the area and the animal control officers, we also traveled 4 hours every other day and spent hours in the woods looking for him.
Each day we would look for him and not find him, our hopes would be lowered that we would ever find him. I did a search on the internet one night and found your website.
I read all of the success stories and the tips on the posters and flyers and started getting motivated again. Because this was a fairly small town in the middle of Maine , we made up only 200 handouts and 25 laminated posters and started flooding the town with them. The one street we thought he would go to if he walked far enough, we stuffed their mailboxes with the flyers (although by law you're not supposed to). I also followed up with calls to all of the homeowners on that street...you can also get that information on the internet if you work hard enough. Everyone was so nice and so helpful.
Within a couple of days, we got three calls of sightings and then a call where they had found him...or thought they had. We drove up late that night after we got the call, only to find that there was an Ari look-alike running around town without a collar on. We were devastated. We thought we were on the wrong path entirely.
Fortunately, we kept going to your site and reading the positive stories....this really kept us going.
Finally, one morning at 6:30am , we received a call that a woman actually had him and had trapped him the night before. We were ecstatic! We drove up immediately and there was our Ari, thin, tired, infested with fleas and a cut to the face, but SO happy to see us! In talking with the woman who found him, she said she had seen him a few times in her backyard, but assumed that since he had a collar on, he was someone's cat in the neighborhood. It wasn't until she pulled out her mailbox flyer that she realized it may be Ari.
Thanks again for the service you provide us pet lovers and the hope for us that our lost pets can indeed be found if we are persistent and do all the things you suggest.
Thanks a million...Good work!
Falmouth , Maine