GUILFORD — Fur decided to take an evening stroll, and to his owners’ dismay, spent a week and a day wandering the neighborhood.
Yet, thanks to a very alert family, the 9-year-old British shorthair cat was returned home, albeit 2 pounds lighter, but healthy, nonetheless.
If it wasn’t for the flyer on the bench outside their home, the Taylor family may have never had a second thought about the cat that ran in front of their car on Friday evening, Oct. 18.
Tara Taylor says her daughter, Chloe, 9, was hyper-focused on finding Fur, studying the flyer while sitting at the kitchen table.
“She’s sitting here and doing homework and she’s staring at it and so obsessed with it for days,” says Tara Taylor. “She kept saying, ‘Did you see this lost cat? Did you see this lost cat?’ ”
Chloe says she could not bear the thought of the cat outside alone and the family missing it.
“I kept thinking about it,” says Chloe Taylor. “I don’t like to see animals that are lost and I always want to help the people, so I just kept it hoping we would see the cat.”
A grey cat, with yellow eyes, this fur baby resides with Rus Mehta and his wife, Aude Jomini at Whitfield Shores on Old Whitfield St., an iconic, copper-clad condominium complex, locally known as the spaceship.
An indoor cat, Fur snuck out while Mehta was checking the mailbox and it wasn’t until the next morning that the couple noticed his absence.
“We were out every night with flashlights and treats and everything they tell you to do,” says Mehta, reliving the nights and days that their beloved cat was missing from home.
When found, Fur was frolicking in some bushes right across the street from home and about a quarter mile from the Taylor family’s home.
With the image of Fur engrained in her mind, Chloe Taylor knew the family had to pursue the cat until her brother, Gavin, 14, was able to crawl under a bush and retrieve the scared feline.
“I wish I had a picture of that, but he comes out with leaves in his hair and the cat in his arms,” says Tara Taylor, laughing.
Talking on the phone Mehta said it was wonderful to have Fur back.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “He’s here with me right now and every day is like a gift having him back. Something was missing and it’s just great having him back.
“I don’t think he took it too seriously. He seems totally happy. He was just loving life, zero trauma in this cat.”
While a $500 reward was offered to the children, they declined and the money was, instead, divided up and donated to Fix and Feed North Haven, Animal Haven and Halfway Home Rescue in North Haven, Branford Compassion Club and Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford and Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter.
An ice cream cake emblazoned with “Thanks Chloe and Gavin,” dog-themed hand towels, and a small reward was given to the family.
Mehta hopes to pay the kindness forward with the purchase of a motion sensor camera and a have-a-heart trap that won’t harm an animal when caught, to assist others that find themselves in the same predicament.
Mehta and Jomini said they are grateful for the kindness of strangers.
“I have to say, even though it was traumatizing, when we were walking around, every door we knocked on were so kind around here,” Mehta says. “There’s no good place to lose a cat, but if there’s a better one it’s got to be around here because people were just so warm to us.”