Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prodigal cat returns

A year ago, I assisted Dr Mawalako, the vet from Mwanza to perform a cat procedure. This was on my friend, Amanda's cat, Matewis. 

Amanda had gone out to South Africa suddenly. Her younger sister had been diagnosed with cancer; Amanda and two other siblings had to have tests done in Pretoria to see if any one had cells to match hers.  These would be transplanted into the patient at a later stage.

As I'd organized the vet's visit, he expected me to help him with the neutering. 

 Matewis waiting in Shadow's travel cage before the vet arrived

Which I did. 
 Dr Mawalako preparing for the various procedures Matewis would undergo while under!

I, in turn, showed the vet how to inject the micro-chip - which is the size of a grain of rice - into Matewis' neck. We had the first of his annual inoculations ready to be administered as well.
 Rabies and Three-in-one inoculations against various fatal cat diseases 

The operation was a success;  within a few hours Matewis had come to and Amanda's husband let me know that he had a drink of water, used his litter tray and went back to sleep again. Over the next nine months, Matewis gained weight and became a real home cat. He had his special place to sleep high up on top of Amanda's wardrobe in her bedroom. When Andre and Amanda strolled around their camp, Matewis always went along.  

Then Andre had an abdominal attack and had to be airlifted to Dar Es Salaam. Amanda accompanied him. They ultimately flew to South Africa on holiday. It was during this time that Amanda's sister sadly passed away. So Amanda and Andre's leave was extended by a week.

Louise, who lives next door to Amanda had a key to her house and went in to feed Matewis every day. Once or twice a week, I sent left-overs from the Guest House to feed the three or four stray cats in her garden. Matewis had access to the house through an open window into Amanda's bedroom. 

A week later one of the larger strays was sleeping inside the house. Matewis was not anywhere to be found. Although we all looked out for this cute camp cat, he was simply missing. 

Fast - forward four months to last week. Amanda and Andre had spent these months on camp and were due out on leave. 

They flew out to South Africa on Friday morning.   

On Friday night Matewis walked into to Louise' house!

After she'd sent a video clip of Matewis devouring a bowl of milk and cat cookies to Amanda who'd just arrived home in Pretoria. Then Louise sent me a Whatsapp which said: "Matewis is back!"

Apparently the cat had walked into her house, and called his special meow. We all know it, so Louise knew this was Matewis. He also has white mark over his nose which is definitely Matewis. 
A rather thin Matewis laps at the milk Louise put out for him

On Saturday morning, Grant and I drove over to Louise' house. I had a couple toy balls and a catnip mouse as a gift for him.  I carefully felt between Matewis' shoulder blades for his Micro-chip. It was there!
Matewis was very nervous when we arrived, but as Grant. aka, the Cat Whispere, bent down and called him, he came without hesitation
Jackson Galaxy Grant gets to stroke Matewis 

We 're all asking the same question: where did Matewis go to for four months? Although he's rather thin and needed de-worming (I sent Louise meds from my cats' supplies) he doesn't look as if he's slept wild. Has he been living with a family? Has that family left town; gone away for a time? 

We'll never know, will we?  

I'm linking my  post today with Our World Tuesday which you can visit by clicking here



  1. Oh my goodness, Jo, the saga of the wandering cat. Some could tell such stories. 4 months is a very long time but I suppose if he found a food source he could have been anywhere. Obviously, since he is so thin, he was not being fed quite enough as he should have been. Poor fellow. I'm so happy he found his way back and will have a happy life now. Deb

  2. Awesome the cat returned home! We once had a cat named Sammy who was gone about a month and then returned...we were *so* happy to see him again! :)

  3. It's amazing isn't it? He doesn't look too terribly worse for wear for having been gone for four months. My cat once disappeared for several weeks when I took her with me after my sister passed. I didn't think I'd ever see her again but one cold, wet night she arrived at the back door. They always know their way back even though as in my case it was not my home. I hope Matewis stays put now after his adventure. x

  4. Hey Jo. My life was upside down the last two weeks with road trips to Jhb, Cape Town and East London. Finally my life can get back to normal. I will catch up when I can or just sommer slot in again.

  5. What an amazing story! How fabulous that Matewis returned!

  6. Maybe this time you should put a GPS tracker on Matewis! I do like a story with a happy ending - welcome home cat!
    Wren x

  7. I bet his story would be interesting if only he could tell. Glad he's back.

  8. Interesting... I've heard of cats disappearing for months like that ---and nobody ever knows where they had been... Glad Matewis is HOME. Hope he stays home!!!!

  9. these minute size chips are incredible. In Singapore I help rescue strays, and we micro chip them.

  10. You have always been the most caring and generous person many of these cats have ever known. Hopefully Matewis will get back to his normal weight soon.

  11. That cat has a great story if only he could tell it. Cats are not stupid they will if at all possible find a warm bed and food with protection. But it is amazing he came back.


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