For a curious little kitten, the world holds many adventures. For one such kitten with the ordinary name of “Spot,” one adventure included becoming lost in the vast city of Juneau.
Cassidy Timm and Blake Ward traveled the 1,000-mile journey from Bellingham, WA to Haines, AK on the ferry. They returned to their home bringing all their pets. These included dogs and a mama cat and all her kittens.
When the couple parked their car on the ferry, they’d left the sun roof open a bit to give the animals some fresh air during the trip. Spot the kitten apparently didn’t like her forced confinement, and, curious about what she would find outside the vehicle, she climbed up to the sun roof and squirmed her way out.
Kitten goes on walkabout
The four-month-old kitten climbed out of the car within hours of departure. The ferry made multiple stops, including Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Juneau and Skagway. Where did the kitten end up?
When the cat parents realized that Spot no longer rode with his mom and siblings, they looked for her everywhere. Timm says they even looked in wheel wells of other cars.
They made announcements on the ferry. Timm set out a kennel with food and Spot’s mom inside, but no Spot. They even left one of the dogs, Spot’s special friend, tied up outside, hoping that the kitten would return. No luck.
When they arrived home to Haines, Timm posted on Facebook, as she knew the kitten could have ended up anywhere along the ferry’s route. Thanks to the miracle of the internet, the Facebook post brought results.
A few days after the posting, her phone went into overload, sending calls, texts, and notifications. It turned out that Spot decided to explore Juneau. A couple discovered her when they heard her crying under their porch. These folks lived about six miles from the ferry dock.
Facebook Saves The Day
They logged on to social media right away, in the hopes that they could find some information about a missing kitten. Fortunately, they found the story about the folks looking for their little cat. What luck for Spot — for someone doesn’t necessarily think to check on social media the first thing when looking for a stray cat.
What would you do if you found a stray kitten? You might decide to adopt it. You might take it to a shelter. You might inquire of friends and neighbors if they would like a kitten. If you’re a mean person, you might chase it away. But, to check on Facebook? Perhaps providence played a part here.
Timm said she couldn’t imagine what the cat went through in those last few days, as she had spent her whole life inside. Then she ended up exploring the city of Juneau.
Do you have a theory as to what happened to the kitten? I do. I think she got out of the car and checked the ferry deck to see what she could learn. I would guess she became a bit frightened and couldn’t get back in the sunroof opening. She probably found a vehicle she could get in — perhaps the back of a truck — and found a good place to sleep. Then the folks who owned the truck drove off the ferry in Juneau and went home. Now Spot had a neighborhood to explore.
Perhaps it happened that way. She must have hitched a ride and ended up in Juneau, six miles from the ferry terminal. Getting a ride on another vehicle seems most logical. After all, could a cat that young walk the whole way? It’s a long hike for a four-month-old kitten. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could attach a movie camera to our pets so we could see where they went?
Kitten Returned Through Acts Of Kindness
When the folks who found Spot learned the identity of the kitten’s family, they gave Spot to volunteers, who donated a kennel and drove kennel and kitten to the airport. According to KOMO News, a regular airline flew Spot home for free.
The airline notified the owners, and when they arrived at the Haines office of Alaska Seaplanes, no other passengers waited except Spot in her carrier.
The small cat escaped through the car’s sunroof over a week earlier and then got lost somewhere on the car deck of the ferry, Matanuska.
Blake Ward pulled the car around so they could load Spot and her carrier. The dogs had come along as a welcoming committee, and waited in the back seat for a preliminary sniff and an enthusiastic welcome.
This story illustrates that good people still populate the world. No money had been exchanged for Spot’s return. Kimm and Ward never met the folks who found Spot, nor did they meet the volunteers who donated the kennel. These folks did extra service by driving kitten and kennel to the airport. Also, the regional airline charged nothing for the kitten’s flight.
These acts of kindness made Kimm and Ward very happy and grateful. Kimm said, “She’s everything to us. All of them are. We love our animals. They are like our kids. So we’re happy to have her back.”
How nice to know of such kind actions on the part of strangers, just to help reunite a small animal with her family. Such stories help restore our faith in the basic goodness of people.
A Microchip Is A Great Idea
If you travel with pets, especially for long distances, or if your pet wanders by itself outside, you might consider getting a microchip for the animal. How wonderful that this system developed. The chip, when read, supplies the owner’s name and how to reach them.
Tragedies and heartbreaking losses can at times be prevented by the chip. This system can also give you some peace of mind, as you know it might help reunite you with your pet at some time.
It’s mind boggling, to try to imagine what adventures the young cat may have had. The mama cat, who spent the week running around crying all the time, looking for her kitten and calling over and over, must have become a very happy mama to have her baby back.
Perhaps the kitten told her mama all her adventures. In this case, curiosity led Spot on a long and dangerous adventure, but fortunately for all concerned, the story has a happy ending.