Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Poor Soul, Lost in the Forest

Missing Gray Tabby Cat (S. Santiam Highway/Tombstone Highway)

Missing my gray tabby cat who got lost in the woods next to the highway. She does not have a collar on, but does have a microchip. She is a smaller cat and has large green eyes with white fur surrounding them. She is timid and her meow is very faint and airy. She responds to Bella.

Bella is missing, according to the above craigslist ad, not that far from where I searched for that lost dog, out in the Cascades last fall. Only now it is winter, and a cat stands little chance of survival, with predators out there, and not even any water near, unless it rains. This is dense forest with a highway running through it.  The location is not entirely clear nor is the reason a cat would be lost from a car in such a place, far from anywhere. That is such a sad thought it makes me want to ball.

So if you are driving highway 20, towards Bend, or from Bend, please keep an eye out, and leave some water out at the least.  I don't know if she's been found or not.  I was looking at craigslist ads late last night and saw Bella's horror story and then had nightmares about it.  Her lost ad was posted three days ago.

UPDATE:  I talked to the woman.  She'd had a wreck up there and the carrier broke open and the cat got out a broken window, she thinks.  She was in the process of moving to Corvallis and lost control when she hit gravel.  She thinks it was about five miles east of Tombstone Pass, but wasn't sure.  She wasn't sure if it was past the junction of highway 20 with 126 (west of it) or not but was headed out there again today, to look for Bella and will get the nearest milepost.  Hopefully the cat isn't in the wrecked car somewhere or was, because cats usually hunker down in such extreme trauma, or they will run for it and if so, she could have run a mile before hunkering down.

She'd hit a highway barrier with steep embankment on the other side, she said.  I google mapped with street view from miles before Tombstone Pass on highway 20 to just after and found only one area with highway barrier, as I imagine she meant, although I could be wrong.  She could have meant a mile marker or snow pole.   It's on the south side of the highway just past Tombstone Pass and there is a steep embankment all right below it.  But if she hit that barrier when going west, meant she crossed over into the wrong lane.  I never asked which side she hit on.  I also found a road that goes below that steep embankment, accessed from a few miles farther west on the highway.  FS 15.  If I go up to look and I'm not sure I will, but I am thinking about it, that's how I'll look below the embankment.  Why wouldn't I go?  Because unless the cat was violently ejected from the car, she'd more likely hide inside the car somewhere and may still be in that car, or she may have exited the car if it was towed, at wherever it was left when towed.  A cat unless blindly panicked will not leave its only source of security and that would be her car, in the face of trauma.  So unless Bella was panicked or ejected, she was in that car, somewhere.  If she was ejected, she is possibly injured.  If she ran in total panic, she could be miles from there, but most likely, if she gets her head, she'll come back to that spot.

On a happier note, I ran into someone who lives in a trailer park where I got over 100 cats fixed over a few years.  When Poppa closed its spay neuter mission, I gave her one of my traps, so she could continue, using vouchers the city provides to fix cats in bad areas of town.   Few know of this program and its only for areas that are very heavy in unfixed cats, like this trailer park has been.

No one wants to see it end up like it once was, before me and my traps arrived on scene.  I still have Comet, whom I took from that park as a kitten, back in 2005.  She proudly told me she'd just taken two more in for spay surgery, and had two more waiting.   Thrills my heart to hear such things, to know my donated trap is getting use.  She's recruited the help of a Hispanic teen who lives there and loves cats, which is awesome because she's enlisted and is teaching someone younger than herself, which means perpetuation.

You know how the young are.  They take something they learn, and add their creative thought to solutions and modernize ours, as we did, when we learned what we learned when young.  I love it!  I was in a glow afterwards in fact to hear that.

I shall present some cat photos!

Bluebell, who loves that perch in particular


Mopsy on the right and Vino on the left, chase the laser dot.
Shaulin on her Feet!
Slinko's lovely butt shadow


Guess who?


  1. That is a heart-breaking story and would haunt me too.
    Love your cats. As always.

  2. I went up there today, thought the woman would call back as she claimed she was headed back up to look and would let me know the actual site of the wreck where the cat escaped (mile marker). She didn't. I tried calling her in Sweet HOme, which is the last cell service until you get over the mountains. I found a place beyond Hoodoo high up where I got cell service again, but again no answer. She never did return the call about where the wreck actually happened. I'm having my doubts about the whole thing now, as to whether it was anywhere near there or even happened. At least I had a nice drive into the mountains, gone about four hours. Got out of town! Poor cat though, if it is true and the owner not allowing anyone to help find her, really.