HOW I FOUND CHUBBY – cat missing from Bonogin for 7 weeks

Many thanks to Lisa for sharing her story (originally shared in 2014)!

Chubby cat missing bonoginFirstly I must say finding a cat like chubby was never going to be easy. His nature is cool aloof and wary of strangers. His love for his humans is incredible, and he believes he is human himself.

We had been at a new property for only 3 weeks, and chubby had been confined to indoors or the enclosed deck. On Christmas day with all the chaos he was accidentally let outside somewhere he had not scented or known. Something caused him to take fright and run far enough that he could not scent his way back. The area being country and mainly bush was near impossible to totally canvas. However i visited every neighbor checked every shed etc. Called in the street and area near the house night and day. Nothing.
Next I letter dropped the whole area within a 3 km radius, large properties so not so many homes. Put posters at the one and only shop in the vicinity, and also in the next town large shopping center. Advertised on Gumtree, put flyers in the local vets, checked the pound all the usual things. I had stated that I would give $500 to his finder, just in case someone took him for the wrong reasons, I thought that they would give him back for the cash. He is micro chipped and although a comfort i knew it would not help him unless he went to someone for help, which i doubted he would.
We continued searching following every lead, in which time I located 2 other lost Burmese and reunited them with their owners via their micro chips.

Next I actually door knocked the neighborhood with flyers and spoke to everyone who answered the door. Some people were super nice others not so friendly. I spoke to people out on their regular walks and anyone who would listen. Finally one of the couples I spoke to called me a couple of weeks ago and said they were sure they saw chubby duck down a drain at 6.30am when they neared the shop to get their paper. My son and I rushed out to the place they saw him, I crawled through culverts drains anywhere i could fit, with a torch. calling and calling, nothing. Went back at night same thing no sign. However in one of the drains I found evidence of a cat eating. Parts of dead mouse and lizard, this was near a small amount of water. We set up a trap and placed his favorite blanket that still has his scent with it. Checked the next day nothing. Finally last sunday night I spent hours near the shop and drains searching until pitch black and calling. I went back to the car outside the shop and just sat there looking at the shop and thinking I would stay there all night if need be. Then I had this thought, the shop is also a cafe where as a family we often sit outside with our dogs, we even take the horses around the back when out riding. All our smells are there, familiar smells, could it be he had walked 3 ks to the familiar scents. Was that his base? So I took a step back looked at the shop, and decided to walk all around the back, there is old cars there with tarps over, I used the torch to search around them, nothing, I turned around to look at the back of the shop and then out the corner of my eye I saw a flash of something light colored dashing under the shop which is raised a little off the ground. I called chubby over and over nothing, went right to the spot I saw something disappear I laid on the grass and just kept repeating chubby its mummy I love you we miss you please come out, after about 3 minutes the longest 3 minutes ever he popped his nose out and cried to me, I didn’t move, didn’t want to risk him dashing right back, I stayed laying down with the light of the torch behind me not glaring at him. I just kept patting the ground for another minute or two using my gentlest voice begging him to come to me, and finally he came out cuddled up and started crying over and over, i rushed him to the car and drove him straight home, he did not stop talking and crying all the way home, and of course when i got him indoors even his 26 year old male human was crying! The first night home was terrible he had nightmares, was growling in his sleep and could not rest unless i slept right next to him.

I am amazed at his survival skills to have been on his own 7 weeks fending for himself outdoors with snakes and foxes and goodness knows what else. But I marvel that he found a common area where we all go, even though that was over 3ks from home, and incidentally back towards his old home. Another 5 ks and he would have been back to his home he knew.

We are so happy to have found him and give back to him the life he knew which is so very different and so luxurious. I cant even imagine how he would have felt, so abandoned and so alone. I never gave up looking, and i don’t think i could have ever. Despite many people saying he had probably been bitten or eaten by a snake. I hope that this story will help others and especially keep them trying, and knowing that no matter how close you are to your cat, their fear over powers their ability to just run to you when you could be standing right next to them. And dark time was definitely the best time I could have found him when the day has cooled and remembering cats hunt for food at night.

And my special thanks also to Trisha who gave me so much support encouragement and practical help, and Julie who thought she may have sighted him some weeks back (although it was not him) has since offered support and now he is found is coming to give him Reiki to help him get over his trauma.

Lovely lovely people. Thank you so much, and all the well wishers on the face book page, thank you so much. Anyone who has lost their loved pet don’t give up. And if in my area I will always help others in their search if needed.


  1. This is really inspiring. It’s easy to lose hope when your pet is missing for a while, but it makes me so happy that you found him again. The poor thing; I hope he’s doing alright now!

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