Tina is rescued! July 31, 2012 10:56 PM   Subscribe

Thank you for all of your help with Tina, my lost cat. She has been rescued.

Thank you all for your emotional support; great ideas about logistics - from cat catching to looking up addresses and phone numbers; and an extra special thanks to desjardins for making posters - the poster that Hiker Jill saw and then called us over 2 weeks later.

All of this went down while we were moving - so we were temporally and technologically paralyzed. In fact, when Walter originally called me about an hour after Tina took off I was in a taxi with our 3.5 year old about to fly from one coast to another.

MetaFilter (especially Ask) as a community has meant a lot to me for a long time. I've sought wisdom from you all for just about every decision I've made or problem I've had over the last 7 years. If I had a nickel for every time I said "Metafilter says..." which in my world means as close to the absolute truth/right answer as possible. I'm also a much more reasonable and intelligent person because of this place. Overall, my life is much better because of this site and its members. (Moreover, many of you are amongst my closest friends - IRL or online or both.)

Thank you all for showing me yet again that MetaFilter is the best place on the Internet.

I know this isn't saving the Russian woman or anything, but I do know how much we like kitties around here.
posted by k8t to MetaFilter-Related at 10:56 PM (172 comments total) 176 users marked this as a favorite

I love a happy ending. Insert big smiley emoticon here.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 11:08 PM on July 31, 2012


Funny, as I was once again saying to my family "Well, on Metafilter there's this situation..." I said that last summer it had been the Russian women and this summer it was a cat. Crowd sourcing at its finest.
posted by jvilter at 11:08 PM on July 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh, man this is such great news. YAY, Tina, k8t, Walter, desjardins, and Hiker Jill!
posted by taz (staff) at 11:10 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is very good news. I have lost pets in the past and the heartbreak that accompanies it is too much. I'm very glad it is over for you, and ended well.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:10 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


YAY! So pleased for you. Welcome home Tina.

I missed your thread at the time, but as a cat mum who had her cat take off and hide in a decommissioned submarine midway through a 1000km road trip, I share your relief. (He was lured out with wet food which was nice because I also had a freaking broken leg in plaster at that point. Good times!)
posted by Trivia Newton John at 11:10 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay! I am so happy to hear this!
posted by HMSSM at 11:11 PM on July 31, 2012


I am so so happy to hear this, especially as Tina look a lot like my cat, and I just did a cross-country drive with her myself. I'm so glad things turned out alright in the end!
posted by Phire at 11:24 PM on July 31, 2012


yay!
posted by juv3nal at 11:24 PM on July 31, 2012


HOORAY! Thrilled for all of you.
posted by ambrosia at 11:29 PM on July 31, 2012


I'm do delighted!!! I missed that thread but even reading it then I was so scared, which is stupid, because I knew you found her. What a traumatic experience for you all, though and I'm so glad it worked out.
posted by jonathanstrange at 11:40 PM on July 31, 2012


Thank goodness! I'm glad for both you and your cat.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:42 PM on July 31, 2012


Such good news! I'm so glad you can tell your wee man that Tina has returned from her "hike."
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 11:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yay! Cat caught!
posted by Ardiril at 11:52 PM on July 31, 2012


Do = so. I have no idea why my phone thinks "so" is a spelling mistake, but apparently I must look like I'm incapable of spelling two letter words correctly and need help.
posted by jonathanstrange at 12:00 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's wonderful. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but I was really worried about your cat. Team Tina!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:02 AM on August 1, 2012


Wait, who's hiker Jill? Just a random person who found the cat?
posted by dfriedman at 12:03 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay Tina and Walter! Such great news. I've traveled long distances with my tabby cat before and when I first read about this, I just felt absolutely chilled by the news. So happy she's back. This is like something out of a kid's book--"Tina the Hiking Cat"!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:05 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hiker Jill saw Tina while hiking then saw desjardins' poster later that day and called us. Then she spent 2 days trying to coax Tina out.

PhoBWanKenobi - the children's book idea has been floating on our Facebooks all afternoon. Ha.
posted by k8t at 12:08 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay Tina!!!!

My cats are also relieved because this means there will be less squish-hugging from fretting over Tina.
posted by jamaro at 12:15 AM on August 1, 2012 [18 favorites]


Hey k8t that's awesome!
posted by Sphinx at 12:22 AM on August 1, 2012


Ha ha, I'm not the only one who told my significant other this story today (and also two weeks ago). I was totally emotional about it, too.

When I was about 8, I lost my cat in less dramatic but to me totally bewildering circumstances. Some firefighters came around our neighborhood to promote changing the batteries in fire alarms. They did this partly by slowly rolling down the street and running the siren occasionally, which so terrified my beloved Birman rescue cat that he ran out of the house (as we peeked out to see, well, wtf?!) and then slipped *down a curbside drain*, because you know how cats go for narrow dark spaces when they're scared! Thus followed epic hours of my dad and the neighbors (and NOT the rapidly-gone firefighters) trying to lure the completely vanished cat out. Slightly older boys wanted to try to climb into the sewers, I think my mom said rats would probably get the cat anyway, and it was pretty much the worst day ever. There wasn't anyone with a clue or actual useful ideas about what to do. We didn't call anyone, set out traps, or anything, and I was so sad.

A couple weeks later, I had given up on the cat completely, when somehow or other he came strolling out of a concrete drainage pipe in our back yard. He looked pretty much fine. Hmm ... cats.

Anyway, hurray -- I'm so glad people here were helpful (I couldn't think of anything useful to do besides post the MeFi link on the park FB, but I have learned some good ideas about how to help someone remotely from this experience). I'm glad you (k8t), the kid, Tina, and Walter are all OK, and I am very impressed by how much all of you stuck by each other during this. Pretty soon I'll start quoting Lilo & Stitch or something, but I already got misty-eyed earlier, so I don't want that to happen again.
posted by wintersweet at 12:49 AM on August 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Glad to hear the cat was caught.

I've had that scare with my first cat, who ran away from home and wasn't seen again, lost in the wilderness of Amsterdam, until he showed up a couple of weeks later, on the edge of my bed, washing himself and looking as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth
posted by MartinWisse at 1:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh boy, I read that thread in real time and felt so helpless for you. I'd just assumed she'd been lost for good. This is such great news. Congratulations.
posted by item at 2:01 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hooray! Three cheers for Hiker Jill!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Really great news! NO MOAR HIKES FOR TINA!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:44 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yay! And there are new pictures of Tina's rescue in the Flickr photo stream (linked to in the original AskMe).
posted by ericb at 3:56 AM on August 1, 2012


What a great outcome! Only yesterday, 10,000 miles away, I was kicking frost-covered cow shit from a driveway and thinking: I wonder how that lost cat is coping...

Please let us know how the follow up conversation with your kid went.
posted by Kerasia at 4:24 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't comment in the original thread because I had nothing effective to recommend, but I sure did follow along. I am teary right now about this, and I am so so happy for you. Yay, Team Tina!
posted by Stewriffic at 4:27 AM on August 1, 2012


So happy Tina was rescued! I was totally moping around work because I was so upset for you guys. Telling a co-worker I was upset because a stranger on the internet lost a cat was a bit silly but man, pets are family!
posted by rachums at 4:39 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Happy to hear this! And hope you guys are settling in happily in your new home!
posted by supercapitalist at 4:41 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay! I was another one who was following the original thread, but didn't comment because I unfortunately had nothing useful to add. I'm so glad Tina was found; you must be so relieved!
posted by Defying Gravity at 4:47 AM on August 1, 2012


So happy for you!

You may want to have the mods expunge Walter's cell number from the AskMe.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:01 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh my goodness, this is so wonderful. I'm all weepy with cat joy.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:02 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay! So happy to hear this!
posted by whatideserve at 5:03 AM on August 1, 2012


I'm so glad for you and your family! This is a great outcome.
posted by k8lin at 5:18 AM on August 1, 2012


KITTIES
posted by The Whelk at 5:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [25 favorites]


I got all weepy too. So glad the kitty is OK!
posted by litlnemo at 5:21 AM on August 1, 2012


Great news, hope Tina appreciates how good her family is. However, she's a cat so will likely just demand more treats.
posted by arcticseal at 5:25 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had to stop reading the previous thread because my heart was breaking. I literally have nightmares where we took our cats somewhere for some reason and one of them got lost. I'm so glad to go back now and read the happy ending. Welcome home, Tina!
posted by hydropsyche at 5:26 AM on August 1, 2012


I'm going to be tearing up over this all day. Such great news!
posted by something something at 5:27 AM on August 1, 2012


So happy for you!
posted by angrycat at 5:38 AM on August 1, 2012


I am so happy to hear this. Yay Tina!
posted by Cocodrillo at 5:43 AM on August 1, 2012


This is great news.

But it does remind me about Gasket, the catbonerfarts kitty (who is also missing) and worry about him.
posted by subbes at 5:45 AM on August 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am so glad! Another kitty who loves the tub! She should've met my boy when you lived here in the 'hood.
posted by jgirl at 5:46 AM on August 1, 2012


I was so worried about Tina that, when she was finally rescued, I woke my husband up to tell him!
posted by sarcasticah at 5:51 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


!!!!!

When I went to bed last night it was Getting Dark at Devil's Tower. I was so worried I had to tell my husband the whole story.

Checking the thread was literally the first thing I did today. I'm still in bed, even. Great news, yay!
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:57 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, so happy! This is really wonderful news.
posted by handful of rain at 6:00 AM on August 1, 2012


Extra scritchies for Tina. And Hiker Jill gets points for being a Really Good Person.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:00 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wonderful news! I'm delighted for all of you.
posted by Zonker at 6:01 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay Tina!
posted by ghharr at 6:02 AM on August 1, 2012


Reading this was a great way to start my day. Thanks for the update.
posted by Forktine at 6:09 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


HURRAY! I followed that in real-time for a while last night, and it was stressing me out. So happy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:23 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay! I'm so happy for you. I gave my kitty a big hug when I read the thread.
posted by tickingclock at 6:40 AM on August 1, 2012


I'm really happy my crappy Photoshop skills helped save the day! I haven't even upgraded past CS2!
posted by desjardins at 6:42 AM on August 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Photoshop Cat Saver 2?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:47 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, k8t family! I'm so glad to hear this news. Howie and Jenny (who is asleep on my desk, purring and drooling) send their fondest wishes to Tina.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 6:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amazing happy ending, and you are so great to keep updating us in the middle of it.
posted by gladly at 6:53 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Omg, yes! Yes! TIIIIIIIIINA!!
posted by OsoMeaty at 6:56 AM on August 1, 2012


PhoBWanKenobi - the children's book idea has been floating on our Facebooks all afternoon. Ha.

I think you should absolutely do this. Our local arl published a book about a kitten who was found in a tree after a tornado and all of the proceeds are going to fund their disaster response services. I'd totally buy a copy of Tina the Hiking Cat and I bet a lot of other people would too!
posted by bowmaniac at 7:09 AM on August 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


YES!!! I'm so happy for your family! Thank you for updating!!!

(weepy at work)
posted by ladygypsy at 7:13 AM on August 1, 2012


Next on Hallmark Movie Channel:
Lost On Devil's Tower: A Housecat's Tail
Starring Calista Flockhart and Luke Perry
Introducing Nibbles as Tina
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [19 favorites]


I have been thinking about you guys since the first post, SO FREAKING GLAD she's okay.
posted by crankylex at 7:34 AM on August 1, 2012


Can the phone number in the original post be redacted? I understand why it was posted, but really having it preserved on the internet forever is a bit...yuck.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I too have lost (and retrieved) a cat during a cross-country journey. I am so happy this all worked out and so glad MetaFilter could help.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


you guys totally need to make walter a KING OF THE CAT RESCUERS crown and scepter adorned with little catnip mice.
posted by elizardbits at 7:38 AM on August 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


loving this photo of Bachik chilling on Metafilter waiting for sis to come home!

nthing that you should do a 'Toto the Tornado Kitten'-style kids' book! You could advertise with a postcard sent from Tina :)
posted by ghostbikes at 7:40 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hooray! This was my personal nightmare when we were driving our cats across country. I'm so glad it was resolved happily!
posted by Kimberly at 7:40 AM on August 1, 2012


I love a happy ending!! Welcome home, Tina!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:18 AM on August 1, 2012


The whole time I saw this unfolding on Facebook I kept thinking, "man, I want to post something on MeTa about this, get them involved."

But of course you would have gone to AskMe for help already.

Yay Tina!
posted by Deathalicious at 8:24 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


you guys totally need to make walter a KING OF THE CAT RESCUERS crown and scepter adorned with little catnip mice.

Yeah, I hope you realize that you've got a better husband than my wife does. Keep him.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:25 AM on August 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


So glad to hear this worked out. You beat the odds!

I had a cat take off for a few weeks once. We were on the way to the vet with cat (we thought) safely in carrier. We opened the car door when we arrived at the vet's building. ZOOM! Little Dexter was gone like the wind. No chip, no collar, no tag. Vet was only about 2 miles from our house. About 2.5 weeks later, outside the back door, we hear meowing. Loud, pissed off, meowing. Open the door and sure enough Dexter bolts inside to where his water dish should have been if he had still been living with us, and looked up at us like wtf? We fed and watered him. (Why wouldn't we put the dishes away when he was missing?)

I am not sure what happened to Dexter during those 2.5 weeks, but I do know he never was quite the same. He had a faraway look in his eyes and never was as friendly as he was pre-bolt. If only he could have talked to tell us what happened and we could have worked with him, but no talking from Dex. He was a real good mouser going forward though.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:37 AM on August 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


So happy to hear this! Welcome home, Tina!
posted by click at 8:51 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay! Happy endings.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:59 AM on August 1, 2012


How wonderful! Congratulations, and thanks for letting us know!
posted by Occula at 9:01 AM on August 1, 2012


@Deathalicious, AskMe was the FIRST place I went. My Facebook friends are lovely and all, but let's be real here. ;)
posted by k8t at 9:05 AM on August 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


HOORAY!! What excellent news! I'm so relieved!! (now I can stop squishing my cat with my clumsy attempts to extra-love her)
posted by palomar at 9:06 AM on August 1, 2012


Man, I felt so awful for you guys when this happened.... so glad it worked out!!
posted by dpx.mfx at 9:07 AM on August 1, 2012


Everyone deserves a hug in this cat's tail.... ♥
posted by Lynsey at 9:16 AM on August 1, 2012


Oh my god, this is fabulous! I'm going to make a donation to my local shelter in Tina's honor.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I am so happy to hear this! I was wondering just the other day if Tina had been found. Thanks to the good people who made it happen!!
posted by pentagoet at 9:31 AM on August 1, 2012


Yay!
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:44 AM on August 1, 2012


All Tina rescue photos in one place.
posted by k8t at 9:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


If anyone does donate to a human society or whatever, please let me know and I'll forward it to Hiker Jill via email.
posted by k8t at 9:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hooray! This is amazing! I was hoping against hope that it would turn out alright.

Are you going to tell your kids that Tina's done her hike now?
posted by Dasein at 10:01 AM on August 1, 2012


Nevermind, just saw this. Epic thread!
posted by Dasein at 10:13 AM on August 1, 2012


Yes. I told my son this morning that Tina was coming home. He knew that Daddy was going on a trip to go talk to Tina about coming home.

So this morning I told him that Daddy and Tina were on their way home. We watched some of the videos of Tina in her cave. He asked if she was scared of bears (answer: maybe) and what she ate during her hike. I told him that she ate squirrels while she was hiking.

He also went and told Bachik (other cat) that Tina was coming home and told her to get ready to share her food.

More questions have been coming out throughout the morning and my kid, who needs lots of reassurance about everything, will probably keep asking.

Also, we bought some betta fish at Petco while we were picking up Tina rescue supplies. He said he wants to introduce Tina to the fish (Phinneus and Calliou).
posted by k8t at 10:15 AM on August 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Oh man, so happy this all worked out. My beloved (obnoxious, fearless, dumb) cat wiggled through the one-inch-open rear window of my pickup truck during a move, jumped into the bed, and then jumped out of the truck at about 40 miles an hour. The next three minutes were among the worst of my life. I can't imagine it going on for longer.

(She was fine, she broke all her claws and had a nasty case of road-rash, but she darted under a bush and waited for me to come fetch her, bitching all the while. Not a bright cat, really.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:26 AM on August 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


YAY! :)
posted by Boogiechild at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2012


So, I have a Very Important Question now that I've read the cat-bonerfarts thread, and yes, it is exactly the question you think it is:

Where can I get a microchip activated feeding box?!
posted by maryr at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, we bought some betta fish at Petco while we were picking up Tina rescue supplies. He said he wants to introduce Tina to the fish

You might want to tell your son about, you know, some of the other things Tina ate while she was hiking.

Anyway, I'm so glad she's been rescued. I'll probably continue to hold my breath until she's reunited with the family. Come home safely, Tina!
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2012


Woohoo! I missed this before and so I just now read the thread. It was heartbreaking and then heartwarming.

I'm so glad you got Tina back.

Like hydropsyche, I also have nightmares about losing my cat. Reading the thread filled me with a powerful urge to go pet my cat and reassure myself that she's fine.

I'm pretty sensitive to this stuff — when friends have pets that die it bothers me for days. And then last week I read the the Kevin Drum post where he announced that one of his two cats, Inkblot, had gotten out and been lost for a week. Two days later, he announced they'd found it, dead, mauled by a coyote. Drum has been posting photos of his two cats on Friday afternoon for years and years and until I saw those posts last week, I'd not realized that I sort of felt like I knew those cats. Finding out that Inkblot had died really bummed me out, much more than I expected.

So I'm especially happy to hear a lost cat story with a happy ending! Most important, though, is that it's a happy ending for you and your family, including Tina.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:05 AM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thank you for posting this here - wow. I read your thread when it was first posted but didn't have anything useful to add, and would have missed the happy ending entirely. Amazing! A million props to Hiker Jill too!
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:21 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Catching up on original thread - link to the comment where the second phase of the saga begins.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:24 AM on August 1, 2012


This story is awesome. Every time I read articles or hear people talk about how the Internet is ruining our attention spans, social lives, relationships, whatever, I always think of how much it brings us together for stories like these.
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:29 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


OH THAT'S WONDERFUL!

We just moved and it's my biggest nightmare that our baby would get out. I couldn't even follow the thread it was so upsetting. So glad Tina's home and safe!
posted by Space Kitty at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been lurking on Metafilter since Memepool. When I saw this AskMe, I thought, "If they get that cat back, I will finally join." This is the best of the web.
posted by Missense Mutation at 12:02 PM on August 1, 2012 [39 favorites]


My cat got out this spring when I stupidly opened the one window that didn't have a screen. We live on the first floor and she hopped out and happily started eating every green thing in sight.

Now, ordinarily this would not be dramatic, but I use a wheelchair. So what do I do I stuff a bag of catfood in my backpack that hangs from my chair and go flying out there, barely clothed, really, just got out of the shower, too. So the neighborhood was treated to the sight of this very pale, very wet, bespectacled woman in like a halter and shorts, barefoot, heaving aloft this bag of cat food and going "here kitty kitty" for about two hours while my cat happily ate half the lawn from a distance of several feet away. Some dudes tried to help but the cat started to run away so they backed off.

Finally I remembered the trick of ignoring the cat. Cat comes up to me, I swear to God, in a minute. I stuff her in my backpack and we wheel back in, fearful sounds issuing from the backpack.

I live in one of those sad urban neighborhoods where people get shot and there's intensifying hard-drug activity. Yet, I felt that passers-by were worried and perplexed by the whole thing.

Anyway, here's a prayer for all those cats who didn't get back home somehow.
posted by angrycat at 12:04 PM on August 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


I've had a pretty rough couple of weeks, so this was an awesome, amazing thing to wake up to. I'm so so so happy for you guys!
posted by itsamermaid at 12:04 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


BTW, for those that wanted to send a postcard or something to Hiker Jill, in the thread LobsterMitten suggested that I collect them all and then forward them to her via her work or the local Humane Society. MeMail me for my address if you're interested. (Thank you!)

I just donated to Hiker Jill's local Human Society as well as to the National Park Service in her name.

We'll get a Patagonia e-gift card to Jill as well.

I wrote a letter to NPS and the Wyoming NPS office and the Devil's Tower office thanking the helpful rangers (and politely noting that some rangers were not-so-nice to Walter and Jill.)
posted by k8t at 12:10 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad you found her and that she condescended to be returned to your family. Cats are so willful sometimes. Yay for victory over kitty capriciousness!

I can't get over how incredibly calm and "geez, why are you even bothering me right now" she looks in the vet photos. Even the "oh, hey, human I actually know, what do you have in your hand there" shot at the cave is very serene, given how freaked out all the people have been.

I'm debating whether it'll cause my cat-loving sister too much anxiety to share this whole saga with her - I can't ever share missing cat stories until the happy ending, and sometimes not even then - just so she can appreciate those photos.
posted by SMPA at 12:11 PM on August 1, 2012


This is so fucking great, I want to give Hiker Jill a huge hug (and buy her art, but it's a little on the pricey side, so that's out) and buy Walter a nice cold beer! I am so happy for you and that this all turned out!!!!!
posted by msali at 12:13 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Now, ordinarily this would not be dramatic, but I use a wheelchair."

Oh, my gosh, angrycat, I can totally relate. I'm not wheelchair-bound, but my illness causes chronic pain and, more importantly, a very limited range of motion. I can't bend at the hips more than, say, 20 degrees. I can't tie my shoes at all or reach the floor/ground without laboriously levering myself down.

So, well, if my cat ever gets out of the house, like you I'm in big trouble if I'm alone. In the last eight years, this has happened to me once with my previous cat, and once with my current cat. I could walk around and be near where she was, but I couldn't reach down and pick her up. And these two cats know that — they both seem to have deeply-honed awareness of exactly what it means to be within reach (or not) in any circumstances.

The worst was the previous cat, where I sort of followed her around the apartment complex in the middle of the night, keeping a moderate distance, and waiting until somehow she got in reach (you know, if she jumped up on something or where I could get down on my knees quickly and easily). It took a couple of hours, as in your case. And I had to act disinterested and not crowd her, which as you say is very important with cats.

My current cat, she's friendlier and calmer and so I found some steps to sit down upon and just waited patiently until she decided to come over to see me, then I grabbed her. But it's very frustrating and scary when you know you are physically unable to catch your pet in the way that would be easy (or easier, anyway) for most other people.

I really feel for you dealing with that in a wheelchair. I'm glad it worked out okay.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:16 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cat comes up to me, I swear to God, in a minute. I stuff her in my backpack and we wheel back in, fearful sounds issuing from the backpack.

posted by angrycat


Epyno-etc
posted by Forktine at 12:16 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


This story would make a great piece on This American Life, CBS Sunday Morning or other similar radio and television shows.
posted by ericb at 12:37 PM on August 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


This news makes me happy. Few things make me as anxious and unhappy as a cat in danger (like the time my cat fell down the chimney and had to be rescued by Animal Care & Control) and I couldn't even read most of your AskMe. Really, really glad you have your Tina back.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:37 PM on August 1, 2012


He also went and told Bachik (other cat) that Tina was coming home and told her to get ready to share her food.

Heh. That probably went over well.

In honor of Tina, here's my favorite song about lost cats.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:39 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Our friends at Vermont Public Radio have been following the saga and have wagers on how much this cost. (Not THAT much.) I told them they should cover it then.
posted by k8t at 12:48 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


The BestOf post on Tina should probably be updated with the good news.
posted by zamboni at 1:05 PM on August 1, 2012


Hiker Jill's local Human Society

You really can't think up the best band names on your own -- you have to just find them.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:08 PM on August 1, 2012 [20 favorites]


And I was freaking out earlier because my best friend's cat Ike has gone missing INSIDE MY HOUSE (we're waiting for him to wake up and come out...his sister Tina already went home with their mom)! Nothing compared to this. Yay for your Tina!

And yay for Metafilter. Gosh. I just always feel so much better knowing you all are here.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:09 PM on August 1, 2012


I'm so very happy to hear this wonderful news.
posted by essexjan at 1:45 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


OMG YAY for rescued kitties. I'm sure I'm not the only one who hugged their own kitties on hearing this.
posted by immlass at 1:58 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to call Walter tonight. After I get drunk.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:06 PM on August 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Such great news!
posted by Specklet at 2:17 PM on August 1, 2012


Yay for Hiker Jill!!!

Just reading the original thread was enough to make me remember my own brushes with cat-outs. One of our cats took off in the midst of a childhood cross-country trip. Then there was the time Maude (whom my mom rescued and brought back to the U.S. from Puerto Rico) got stuck in the basement of an under-construction house down the street. Actually, come to think of it, this may have been the same cat. She definitely lived out her nine lives.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:19 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This story is incredibly heartwarming, amazing and ridiculous. And Tina is such a gorgeous cat! I am so happy she is safe.
posted by kate blank at 2:40 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad to hear this! YAY!
posted by magstheaxe at 2:58 PM on August 1, 2012


I just got finished teling this tale to my cats Ingrid and Maggie and I should feel really silly for all the details I related to them but I don't. I only feel a little bit silly.
posted by item at 3:01 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Such good news!

And what a smart kitty Tina is. Did she mess around in roads and parking lots where she might have been run over? No. Did she wander far away, or spend a bunch of time out in the open where a predator might have gotten her? No. She picked out a very nice, secure little crevice in the rock, and she set up housekeeping there. And judging from what the vet said about her surprisingly good condition, I'm guessing she was doing a pretty good job of catching lizards and small rodents.

You should be proud of Walter for his heroic interstate cat-rescue, but you should also be very proud of your kitty. She acquitted herself extremely well.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:09 PM on August 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


By the way, k8t, I think you should consider thriller-writing. I have been breathless at your updates. May be my favorite Ask ever.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:28 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I missed this post but am so happy to see the resolution! Like many here I will cuddle my kitteroos a little extra!! They already receive many lectures about how good they have it whenever we see the Sara MacLachlan ASPCA commercials.
posted by sweetkid at 4:36 PM on August 1, 2012


Even knowing you had Tina back that thread was a cliffhanger. Yay for hiker Jill and Walter, and everyone else who helped in some way.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:56 PM on August 1, 2012


A good thriller writer? Finally my love of storytelling combined with anxiety might pay off!
posted by k8t at 5:34 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Congratulations on getting Tina back!
posted by limeonaire at 5:38 PM on August 1, 2012


Happy cat
posted by k8t at 5:42 PM on August 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by trip and a half at 5:48 PM on August 1, 2012


Oh, I am so happy! I teared up a couple of times reading your AskMe thread. I did a cross-country drive with my cat a couple of years ago and what you experienced was one of my biggest fears during that six-day trip. You are awesome for not giving up on finding her.
posted by makonan at 5:54 PM on August 1, 2012


Oh wow, I read that thread when it first appeared, and to be perfectly honest I didn't have such high hopes. Happy to hear the great news!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:10 PM on August 1, 2012


Under the 'favorites' menu when I clicked on the 'fuzzy' link I was hoping that this would be the only thread that'd show up, possibly repeatedly. Because Tina = fuzzy, naturally (and also Tina = naturally fuzzy).
posted by item at 6:14 PM on August 1, 2012


And I meant to mention this waaaaay up in the thread, but Tina is such an amazingly amazing name for a cat. Kudos.
posted by item at 6:16 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Walter's bucket of beer. I feel like I need a beer at this point.

Actually, I won't be able to relax until Tina is in her boy's arms again. Preferably in the bathroom with the window boarded over and a chair jammed under the doorknob, just in case.
posted by that's how you get ants at 6:18 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


So happy to hear that everything worked out OK.
posted by klangklangston at 6:21 PM on August 1, 2012


Huzzah, and congrats to everyone involved! Hope that Walter and Tina have a safe trip home, and that Walter's hand heals quickly.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 6:23 PM on August 1, 2012


I'm having a stressful cat sitting experience involving vet trips and cones of shame and hidden cats, and I keep coming back and reading this because Cats Are OK and although Mouse is trying to chew off her tail, at least she did not run away in a national park - and even if she had, she could be rescued by someone awesome. So if you and Tina could do it, tail chewing and cones of shame are totally something Mouse and I can deal with!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:24 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aww that Tina of yours has an especially lovable face. Those eyes! A compelling beauty.

I've gone beyond my favorite+ limit reading this and the original Cat lost at Devil's Tower - help thread. What marvelous camaraderie, wisdom, generosity, courtesy, kindness, practicality all around. Heartening and inspiring. So good, well, except that link that ColdChef posted about the poor guy with the plague, which I'll never forget for the rest of my life and makes me worry Tina brought home fleas. That and the heartbreaking stories of the cats that were not found. After weeping with laughter in the other marvelous cat loving thread, am feeling bereft about Gasket not being found yet.

So, was Tina doing a sweat lodge or peyote thing up there on sacred Devil's Tower? Or maybe it was a feline DNA tug back to ancient wild roots?

What I came away from that post of yours was that you and your husband are really wonderful people. Am so delighted that you reached out for help and others stepped forward to express their humanity and kindness to you both.

So happy sweet and naughty Tina is home again with you.
posted by nickyskye at 6:58 PM on August 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Katy, I was sad to find out you were moving (how are we going to win at trivia?!).

But we are so happy that your kitty is home! Even if that home is far away. ;P

Our kitty got a special trout dinner today in celebration.

Good recovery, Walter. Good coaching, MeFi.
posted by zennie at 7:15 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great job to everyone involved, this is fantastic!!
posted by Fig at 7:34 PM on August 1, 2012


Sorry Zennie! I'm back in DC often tho, so I'll be back at trivia!
posted by k8t at 8:00 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great story. Welcome to Seattle, hope to catch you at a meetup soon.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:40 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is such wonderful news! The only thing that could make it better would be Hiker Jill showing up in this MeTa. :)

I'm currently using WiFi at a rural Safeway and after reading this thread, I am grinning ear to ear like a crazy person. Oh god i think they are about to kick me out
posted by arianell at 9:17 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Safeway hates cats.
posted by maryr at 9:29 PM on August 1, 2012


YAY!
posted by IndigoRain at 10:27 PM on August 1, 2012


That's amazing and wonderful. Woohoo!
posted by smirkette at 11:24 PM on August 1, 2012


Great; now I can finally suggest using ham as bait.

TINA YOU FAT LARD COME GET YOUR DINNER!!!
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:47 AM on August 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


I'm torn between suggesting Tina come to the next Seattle meet to bask in her fame, and suggesting you never let her leave the house ever not ever not even to go to the vet the vet will make house calls I'm sure.
posted by subbes at 7:18 AM on August 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow. I stopped reading that question early because it just struck me as too hopeless, having been to that particular location in hot weather. I was really sad about it, but this is an absolutely amazing update! Thanks for sharing.
posted by odinsdream at 8:37 AM on August 2, 2012


The National Parks Service emailed me that they want to do a kids' book about Tina. Ha!
posted by k8t at 10:53 AM on August 2, 2012 [55 favorites]


I'm torn between suggesting Tina come to the next Seattle meet to bask in her fame, and suggesting you never let her leave the house ever not ever not even to go to the vet the vet will make house calls I'm sure.

Maybe we could have a meet-up in an extremely secure location, like the safe deposit box room at a local bank, or the visiting room at the jail. They'd totally rent those spaces out to us if we explained the situation, right?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:21 AM on August 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Aw, I am so happy for you and proud of you and your husband and Hiker Jill for not giving up!
posted by Jess the Mess at 1:30 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is seriously wonderful news! I'm all choked up now.
posted by xenophile at 3:42 PM on August 2, 2012


We're at Hertz.
posted by k8t at 5:05 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


She is home!
posted by k8t at 5:43 PM on August 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


BTW, Walter is now sitting on our porch with a beer reading this thread. He likes the crown idea as well as the Hallmark movie.
posted by k8t at 6:22 PM on August 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Awww!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:38 PM on August 2, 2012


Yes! Wonderful news!
posted by carter at 8:41 PM on August 2, 2012


YAY! Tina's home.
posted by coolcoolkitty at 9:10 PM on August 2, 2012


I was walking down the street a few hours ago thinking about this thread and thinking that Walter and Tina were probably here in town by now, and I had this idea pop into my head that I'd run into a someone going the opposite way, and he'd have a sunburn and a huge, puffy scratched hand, and I'd say, "Oh, you must be Walter."
posted by MoonOrb at 9:30 PM on August 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Oh, yay Tina-at-home! And yay Walter! I hope he's okay with the knowledge that multiple strangers around the world would love to hug him right now.
posted by Lexica at 9:49 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


We love you Walter! We love you Tina!
posted by OsoMeaty at 7:18 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This whole story makes me want to go home and train my cat to come running when I ring a bell or rattle a can of treats or something distinctive.
posted by aimedwander at 7:35 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I also love Walter and Tina and, well, just EVERYONE.
posted by sweetkid at 8:23 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love this so much! I told my kitties last night, "If you ever get lost, I'll be your Walter!" So awesome.
posted by hooray at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I love getting excited in front of kitties and telling them things in an excited voice, because they just stare at you with their serious little faces.
posted by sweetkid at 9:25 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I really regret that we never really trained them to come when called because they are indoor only.
posted by k8t at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2012


MetaFilter: If you ever get lost, we'll be your Walter.
posted by cooker girl at 10:05 AM on August 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Training cats is tough. My aforementioned dumb cat has the attention span of a fruit fly and also likes head scritches, so she will come galloping in when I call her no matter what she's doing. The smarter cat is much more skittish, so while she'll only come when called if she feels like it, she will bolt if I yell at her (while the dumb fearless one just looks at me all "...yes?") Which means that, using opposite techniques, I can pretty much keep them off the counters, but they are also not allowed outside.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:22 AM on August 3, 2012


I blogged the whole thing - http://katypearce.net/cv/tinas-tail/

I intentionally did not name MetaFilter as the online community because I try to maintain a bit of distance between my life here and my public professional life.

But you all know who you are. :)
posted by k8t at 10:49 AM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cats are indeed trainable, it just takes time, lots of positive reinforcement, and patience.

We have clicker-trained our stranger-shy Ragdoll cat to come when we double-click and call his name no matter what. This has worked brilliantly, and possibly saved his life in 2 instances where he escaped from our house; once when a houseguest accidentally left our garage door open, and once when he managed to squeeze through a (now fixed) hole under our backyard fence and get under the neighbor's deck and into their crawl space. In Escape #2 (the crawl space) there was absolutely Zero Chance we could have gotten him out ourselves had he not been trained to come to the clicker. He is also micro chipped, and the vet verifies his chip every time we take him in.

In both instances he was loose for roughly 5 minutes and immediately came to the clicker. We work with him to reinforce this command fairly frequently. He enjoys the training because hey! treats! and it has also helped him be more relaxed and social around strangers.

We frequently take him on road trips with us from Boulder, CO to Albuquerque, NM to visit mr. lfr's parents. Despite the clicker training, we never, ever, ever leave him loose in the car without both his harness (a custom walking jacket from Mynwood) and leash on, or else he is secured in his carrier with the harness on. Anytime we open the car doors, we make sure we have the lead firmly wrapped around a wrist first. He is leash trained (clicker training helps with that, too) and is willing to get out of the car and do his business at quiet rest stops.

This, by the way, is all hard won experience on my part. When I was about your son's age k8t, my parents lost our beloved family cat at a rest stop during a cross-country move from Washington DC to San Francisco. She was never seen again.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:36 AM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


sweetkid: "I love getting excited in front of kitties and telling them things in an excited voice, because they just stare at you with their serious little faces."

So true. I have had about 15 conversations with one or both of my cats inspired by Tina's adventures, and in each one, I'm trying to explain how even though the story had (or at least always seemed to maybe have - since I didn't discover this tale until near the end) a happy ending, they must never do something similar. And they just listen patiently and run away (inside the house fortunately)

My cats have gotten so much unwanted extra hugging because of these events. And if I was home, I'd hug them right now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:00 PM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really love your examples of the cat photos Walter posted to facebook.
posted by jeather at 2:48 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


YAY! Glad to hear it and thanks very much for posting this update.
posted by wiskunde at 8:03 PM on August 3, 2012


Oh thank goodness! My husband and I were at Devils Tower last week and we both kept our eyes peeled for a stray cat, but we didn't see or hear her. So glad this story has a happy ending! Yay!
posted by erst at 8:04 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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