Wednesday, 12 September 2007
This is a tangled tale, so take your time! We were asked by our vets in Hebden Bridge to take in Minerva (you can read about her in an earlier blog). She had been handed in as an unwanted pet to their Huddersfield branch, and transported by them to Hebden Bridge to make it easier for us to collect her.
Meanwhile, in Bradford one of our supporters spotted a small cat on the central reservation of a busy road, which she braved rush hour traffic to rescue. Our supporter's sister (one of our volunteers) was chatting about this to someone at her keep fit class, and this person mentioned that her sister had lost a cat, near Hebden Bridge. It was quickly established (due to age and colour) that the Bradford cat wasn't the lost one in Hebden Bridge, but our volunteer remembered the one we'd taken from the vets there, and mistakenly assumed that Minerva hailed from the Hebden Bridge area.
Despite our assurances that it couldn't be their cat, the owners of the lost cat came to visit, and ruled Minerva out. But they didn't leave us their contact details to be used in the event that their cat was passed to us.
A couple of weeks or so pass. Then one of our volunteers who lives in Todmorden noticed a thin cat in the garden. She fed it and the cat moved in (into her teenage son's bedroom - brave cat!). This volunteer is also a volunteer for the local (Todmorden) Cat Protection, and also has a part time job at our vets, but at the Todmorden branch, not Hebden Bridge. She checked the CP lost and found list and the one held at the vets, but there were no matches.
Then she emailed us to ask us to check our lost and found list and to make a note of the cat's description etc. The volunteer who dealt with the email checked the l&f list and found no matches, but by chance remembered the couple from Hebden Bridge who had visited Minerva. However, there were no contact details. She remembered the original volunteer who had chatted at her keep fit class with the owner's sister, and managed to obtain her phone number.
Phoning the sister, our volunteer discovered that the missing cat actually lived in Todmorden, from where the cat had gone missing. It was looking more likely. We obtained the cat's owner's email address and dropped them a line, asking them to phone the vets to get the local CP contact number. When they phoned the vets, who should be on reception, but our volunteer who actually had the cat!
And yes, it was their cat, Pepper, who had been missing for just over a month. Our volunteer's house was in almost a straight line down the hill from where Pepper had gone missing.
A happy ending. But just think of all the coincidences
1. if our supporter hadn't found the cat in Bradford, the conversation with Pepper's owner's sister would never have taken place.
2. if we had collected Minerva from any other branch of the vets, there would have been no connection with Hebden Bridge and Pepper's owners would have had no reason to contact us.
3. the volunteer who dealt with the email remembered Pepper's owners visiting Minerva (it could have been one of several volunteers who dealt with the email).
4. Pepper had the sense to turn up not only at the home of a CP volunteer, but at the home of the one volunteer who helps us as well.
We are so pleased that Pepper's owners have been traced. We understand that her owners are going to get her micro-chipped, which in future may remove the need for coincidences.