The Day, Eliza Got Away!

My brother Hassan, and our nephew Emaan, were coming over to Oklahoma City to purchase new suits for Hassan’s upcoming wedding in December. I cooked some chicken and haleem for them. We sat around and talked after they arrived.

About 9 pm or so, I noticed Eliza wasn’t home. I called out for her, looked in all the rooms, upstairs and downstairs, under the tables, and under my bed, but she was nowhere to be found. At that time, I realized she wasn’t home. With Hassan, Emaan, and my son, Naveed, walking in and out of the garage, she probably snuck out without anyone noticing.

Just two days ago, someone had posted on a Facebook group about a missing 20-year-old pet raccoon, named Coons, and the whole town has been looking for her. Her owner was heartbroken and has even refused to leave town without her. I felt bad for him, and for Coons – who must be miserable, hungry, and unsafe out there somewhere. Little did I know at the time that I was going to be in the same situation soon.

Emaan and I took the car and went searching for her. We were tapping the cat food containers looking outside from the windows. She almost always comes running when she hears that sound. I drove around the neighborhood a couple of times, came back home, and went out walking again. Naveed and Hassan looked as well. I was extremely worried about her. What if she got eaten by dogs? What if she got run over by a car? What if someone took her? Will I ever find her again? She was nowhere to be found. I came back home and asked Hassan, “Did you find her?” He responded, “No, but I saw some coyotes!” He was trying to be funny! But I didn’t feel like laughing.

I posted her pictures in the lost and found group. Angela Burk in the group gave me some really good advice. She wrote, “If you put something with a familiar scent (e.g., an unwashed shirt or cat bed) outside your door or in your garage with the door cracked open for kitty to get in, she’ll be able to smell it from a long way off and might come back. Try shaking the bag of food/snacks, or pouring food into the bowl outside while you call your kitty, but don’t leave out the food or the litter box at night because that will attract predators or other critters that might scare the kitty away. You might also try setting a trap with your cat’s favorite food/snack to lure her in. Look for your kitty at dawn & dusk, when cats are most often awake & roaming around. Look in & under outbuildings, garages, under porches, crawl spaces under houses, on rooftops, in trees/bushes, under & inside vehicles (engine area, wheel well), culverts/drain ditches. Cats can crawl into very small spaces, so check every nook & cranny. Search local shelters (in person), rescues, vet clinics, & lost/found sites daily, & local lost/found sites in your area. Ask neighbors if they’ve seen your cat & check their yards, garages/outbuildings, & trees/bushes too if they’ll let you. Cats find their way mostly by scent, so walking, rather than driving, around the neighborhood when looking for her might help. She may be able to pick up on your scent & follow it home. You might also try putting up flyers all around the area where she was lost, just in case someone took her in & isn’t on social media…I hope you find your fur baby soon! “

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