Ben: The Deserving, Deserted Kitty
On Monday, I was made aware of a cat (named Ben) that had been found in the Blue Springs area. The cat had been scanned and a microchip was found but all of the information for the owner was outdated. Most of my friends know to contact me when this sort of thing happens because I have a “knack” for finding owners. One of my best reunion stories was the one of Chumley (which you can read the first story here and read about the reunion by clicking here), where I tracked down an owner who had relocated half the US away. Chumley was missing for many months and his home was in Colorado! Anyway, when someone tagged me in the Facebook post, I was happy to help.
Monday night, I started running through websites that house public information. This includes (but isn’t limited to) Pipl.com, Spokeo.com, the Missouri court records system, various county Assessors and Recorders offices and by utilizing very specific terms in Google. It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to specify Google searches, just by using quotations around what they search for. After plugging in the owner’s name and putting it in quotations, I found a link to a possible Facebook profile. The name of the owner is NOT a common name and the fact that I found someone who matched the name and city, I was sure that I had found who I was looking for. I roamed through every single photo on the person’s Facebook, searching for signs of the kitty. No kitty pictures. I then moved on to reading the person’s posts, saw where she had tagged her mom and I pulled up the mom’s Facebook and I searched all of her posts and photos. Again, no sign of kitty. When I was done, I messaged both the possible owner and the mother. Resigned to the fact that a miracle probably wouldn’t happen, I went to bed and hoped for the best. I don’t know how many times I got up that night and looked to see if I had a response.
The next day, I started calling every possible phone number that I could find. I was met with wrong numbers and disconnected lines. When I heard that the great lady that found the cat couldn’t keep him inside, I panicked and convinced myself that I was so close to finding Ben’s owner that I couldn’t risk him getting lost again. I messaged her and asked if she could re-catch him and keep him somewhere safe because I just knew I had found the owner and would soon get a response.
When my calls to possible phones were no good and I didn’t get an answer from the possible owner or her mother, I freaked out completely. I remembered seeing on her Facebook that she worked at Quik Trip and so I set out with the task of calling every single QT from Blue Springs to Independence. No one had heard of the person that I was looking for but one man offered up a number to the corporate office. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I called the corporate number and an amazing woman answered the phone. I explained to her that I was not seeking any personal information and that I did not need a phone number or a location for an employee, I only wanted to get her a message because I thought that we had found her cat. Thankfully, the lady on the other end of the line was receptive and helpful and she promised to call the employee right away and pass along my info.
I sat and watched the clock… time kept passing and I hadn’t heard a word. Then, my phone rang. I jumped to grab it and found the familiar voice on the other end of the line. It was the lady from QT corporate again. And then she said:
I spoke to the employee and she confirmed that she did have a cat named Ben and he was micro-chipped but that she had sold him and no longer owned him and didn’t know who did. And then what cut me through to the core, “and she isn’t interested in being contacted to help”. The apologetic tone of the lady’s voice told me that she felt horrible about the former owner’s decision. She told me that the lady didn’t want to call me but that she felt compelled and that I should know. I thanked her and hung up, with anger vibrating through my body.
How do you own an animal at any point and not have one care about what ultimately happens to them? How can you know that they are in need and ignore it? Refuse to help? I can’t understand it and don’t want to.
After trolling Craigslist, I found a post from October which matched Ben’s description. Unfortunately, the post was not for a “lost” cat but rather a “found” cat that had been staying around outside someone’s home. The lady that found Ben called around to the local shelters and no one had reported a cat missing. Craigslist has nothing. If the owner didn’t care enough to change over the micro-chip info, do they even want Ben back?
The lack of compassion of some people just really irks me. I can’t believe that the health and safety of a prior pet isn’t of concern.
Ben is now looking for a new home. He’s been a stray for at least a week, confirmed. Ben’s an orange tabby male who is already neutered. Right now he is located in Blue Springs, Missouri. If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping this poor fella, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I mentioned before, the lady that found Ben can’t keep him inside because she already has two cats who will not accept him. She has made him shelter and a bed outside of her home, she’s giving him lots of love and attention and Ben is still hanging around, waiting for someone to love him.