Nimpo Lake family seeks help locating cat lost in Williams Lake on Jan. 11

Happy Feet Pete went missing in Williams Lake on Jan. 11. His owners from Nimpo Lake rescued him from the Nimpo Lake dump on Jan. 2 and are hoping someone in Williams Lake will find him. Owner Tracey Walker can be reached at 250-742-3405. - Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Happy Feet Pete went missing in Williams Lake on Jan. 11. His owners from Nimpo Lake rescued him from the Nimpo Lake dump on Jan. 2 and are hoping someone in Williams Lake will find him. Owner Tracey Walker can be reached at 250-742-3405.
— image credit: Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

A Nimpo Lake family is hoping someone will find their cat Happy Feet Pete last seen running up Midnight Drive to Eleventh Avenue Lane in Williams Lake on Jan. 11.

Pete is an orange tabby cat, missing his right hind foot.

Tracey Walker of Nimpo Lake makes it her mission to rescue cats from the local dump and routinely visits the dump to see if any cats are hanging out there.

On Jan. 2, she did her usual stop. There had been a bit of fresh snow a few days before.

When she jumped out and looked for cat tracks in the snow, she approached an old camper that had slipped over. An orange cat ran out and headed to a pile of metal scraps and vehicles.

"Heh buddy, I'm coming back for you this afternoon," Walker told the cat.

After her shift at the Nimpo Lake post office, she went home, picked up a cat trap and a can of sardines, and returned to the dump.

As she emerged from her truck, she deliberately made a ton of noise, and walked toward the camper.

"I could see that he was curled up sleeping in there," she recalled, adding it took three different comments for her to finally awake him, which meant he was pretty tired out.

He started meowing at her, she began feeding him from her hands, and then picked him up and put him in the trap and brought him home.

"Our dump out here is kind of an open pit dump," Walker said, adding it's located a few hundred feet back from the highway. "I started last year making sure there were no cats at the dump. In 2011, we moved four cats from the dump over the Christmas weekend."

The cats were trapped because they were very fearful. The Walkers found homes for two, kept one, and gave one to the BC SPCA Williams Lake.

"The SPCA has been great. Last winter I transported 19 puppies out of here to the SPCA. They've been amazing."

Pete was the instantly a sweet cat.

"We named him Happy Feet Pete because those front feet of his never stopped. He's always kneading and I had to go in there wearing either my work pants or snow pants because when he sat on my lap, if I just had jogging pants or jeans on it hurt really badly," she laughed.

When he was kneading, while he was sitting, the absence of his right hind foot caused him to wiggle his bum back and forth and it would slide on the floor.

"It was the cutest thing," Walker said. "I've never seen a cat do that before. We decided that the three feet he had left were happy."

It did not take long for the family to decide they wanted to keep Pete and didn't want him transferred to a shelter.

Their nine-year-old Maria was excited because they'd lost an orange tabby cat not too long ago.

My husband and I both don't work at really high paying jobs so sometimes we'll go to the community and ask for help with the cats we rescue," Walker said.

"We've got lots of people here that have too many animals and we've got people that have money who don't mind helping out."

The community raised $190 to take Pete to the Williams Lake Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Ross Hawkes checked him out and said his leg was fine, but he will need some arthritis management.

He was neutered on Jan. 10 and when the Walkers picked him up they placed him in their pickup truck inside a large dog kennel with a litter box, house, food and water, all insulated to keep him warm.

They were staying with some friends in Williams Lake.

Unfortunately the next day, when the truck door was opened for a few moments, Pete bolted.

Walker knocked on many doors in the neighbourhood of Eleventh Avenue Lane asking people to keep an eye out for him, and said people were very receptive.

"People were great and said if they see him they will let the vet hospital know," Walker said.

The family left Williams Lake on the weekend to return home, sad they didn't have Pete.

"Maria was crying last night, but I told her it's OK and we have lots of people trying to help us."

Pete is on quite a few different Facebook pages throughout Williams Lake and area and there are lots of people communicating back and forth, but the only word the family has had so far is that somebody thought they saw him at 2 p.m. Monday on Eleventh Avenue Lane.

The family's home phone isn't working right now, but Walker or her husband Jeff can be reached at 250-742-3405.



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