On July 21, 2021, Garfield escaped out the sun porch door, chasing an outdoor cat. We frantically searched our entire 20 acre property and adjacent areas into the night, to no avail. We notified Avid of Garfield being lost, and also posted his information with PetFBI.org. They helped us make a flyer to hand out to neighbors and post on Facebook.
That first night after a long and exhausting day and evening of searching, we put out his litterbox, a water fountain, dry food bowl and articles with his and his hooman mom's scent on it, on the front porch. We also set up one of our Wyze Cams to monitor the items placed out for him. That first night was long and painfully restless. But upon viewing the footage from the Wyze cam in the morning, we were delighted to see him on the porch around 4:30 am.
The second night, July 22, we decided to try a technique a lost pet website had suggested for cautious and skittish displaced indoor cats, called the house trap. This technique works if you have access to a screened porch, garage or basement from another entryway. Basically we used our second Wyze cam on the sun porch to view the door to the sun porch, which we left open; we shut off access to any other areas on the sun porch, and the one leading into the kitchen from the sun porch, we then placed a bowl of water and some dry food inside the sun porch, and placed a trail of dry food outside the door leading into the sun porch. The trap was set, now we waited and watched from another room in the house, on a tablet on the Wyze Cam's live feed. Unfortunately, that night a stray wandered up into the front yard, and scared Garfield away. We didn't see him again that night on either camera.
On July 23, we set our house trap again. This time we used some wet food as the lure. We watched him on the front porch with the first camera, and waited to see if he would go to the back porch and enter the open sun room door, where the second camera was watching. At around 10:30 pm, we caught sight of him coming up on the back porch and cautiously entering the sun porches open door. As soon as he entered and walked to the food bowl, our son snuck out the front door. He quietly but quickly crept up to the open sunroom door and shut it, trapping Garfield inside -- we had our sweet boy back!! Our nightmare was over, but Garfield would need to decompress from his adventurous ordeal, and slowly be reunited with his whole family, including his cat brother, Jasper.
Lessons and advice:
> Don't give up on your lost pet too soon; I know how painful and scary it is to lose your pet, but immediately after your pet has been lost, do a thorough search of your yard and inside and under all out buildings, garages, sheds, bushes, woods, and neighbors property (get permission first).
> Notify your microchip registry that your pet is lost, print flyers to give to neighbors, hand on bulletin boards, at every veterinarian's office and animal shelter.
> Read about how to locate and lure your lost pet back home to you. Use baited humane (live) traps, a drop trap or the house trap to capture your scared and list pet.
> Invest in or borrow some kind of pet or wildlife camera. These will allow you to see your pet's comings and goings, while you try to figure out how to capture them.
> Just don't give up and quit looking too soon. I'm convinced that if you invest the time, energy and resources, you will be reunited with your lost pet. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help in searching, but know that you have to be proactive and advocate for your lost pet.
Best of luck and Godspeed to each and every one searching for a beloved pet.