A family pet was recently returned home after being missing just over a month. Spaz, a seven-year-old tabby cat, went missing one afternoon and was eventually rescued from a spot 40 feet up a tree.
Spaz’s owner, Jody Oakes said that they came home one afternoon to find Spaz gone.
“This wasn’t unusual and she always came back, but not this time,” she explained. “After a couple of days I couldn’t take it anymore and started calling around. I called the vet hospitals and the SPCA – I couldn’t make it through a single phone call without tears.”
Jody and her children went door to door with a photo asking if anyone had seen the cat.
Days went by and no sign of Spaz.
“She’s very friendly and I thought maybe somebody picked her up and she’s sitting on someone else’s couch right now.”
Charlene Ratzinger, who lives in the neighbourhood, said that she believed Spaz may have been chased up a tree in her yard by her dog, possibly spending at least two weeks up there while she was out of town.
“Jody showed up with a photo of the cat four days before we left to go camping, but we hadn’t seen it,” she said. “We took our dog and left for two weeks and found out that the neighbours heard a cat crying the whole time we were gone—they were very worried.”
Oakes said that the sad thing is that over the weeks that Spaz was missing, she and her children would hear meowing when they went for walks.
“I would meow back and we’d look everywhere but never thought of looking up,” she explained. “She’d never climbed a tree before, and it sounded like the meowing was coming from a balcony in a certain spot. We called, ‘Come home, come home’ but she didn’t.”
When Ratzinger returned home, she heard the meowing in her tree and spotted Spaz 40 feet up.
“I called, ‘Kitty, kitty, kitty’ but got no answer,” she stated. “I remembered the name from the woman who showed me the photo, and when I called her name, the cat started crying. I knew it was Spaz and called the SPCA to let them know I’d found her and gave them my phone number to pass on.”
Ratzinger said the cat appeared very weak and thin, and started phoning tree companies immediately to come and rescue Spaz.
“I called all kinds of tree companies and no one called me back, and I finally got the name of a tree guy from a friend,” she continued.
“Tyler Hamm came and looked at the tree, said he could do it and came back with equipment and a backpack on backwards to carry her down.
“He said the cat was so happy to come down. He could tell she’d been eating bark and was very ‘wavery.’”
Oakes said that when she walked in the house and saw that the SPCA had phoned, she felt a surge of hope.
“I called them back and got Charlene’s number – we were all so excited. Charlene brought our kitty back to us in person and we can’t thank her enough,” she continued.
“Spaz was so thin and dehydrated and she couldn’t keep anything down for a while. After two weeks she’s finally getting her voice back.”
She said she thinks Spaz was in the tree the whole time.
“She survived rain, 30 degree heat, thunder and lightning. I think what saved her was that she was very sturdy, muscular and strong,” she noted.
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone involved for bringing our ‘family glue’ home to us. Life was never the same without her and we’re so happy to have her back. Our family is complete.”