Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A nightmare but she's now home

We now know what nightmares are made of.
Early Sunday evening, around 7:30, our Sierra was taken from our front porch.
For ten years, she has sat out there, after dinner, on the warm nights enjoying her time on her red bench.
I was out and the retired guy was home. 
I returned at 7:45 and she was not on the porch.
Our nightmare began.
Our neighbour told us that she saw a white car stop in front of our home, a woman got out and picked up Sierra. She spoke to a younger woman in the car and then handed the cat to her. They then quickly drove off.
Our neighbour tried to memorize the licence plate and got all of it but one letter.
We notified the police and with their wonderful assistance we began the heart-wrenching search.
As you can well imagine, I was hysterical.
Who were they and where was my Sierra?
I can't even describe what was going through my mind.

We were told by locals of a mother/daughter team that were known in the past for trapping and selling cats. The police were very much aware of them and put most of their time and energy on the area where these people lived.

With the help of so many people, our plea went viral and was on every search site. 
My daughter-in-law posted it on a site that drew in thousands.
Last night, as we walked around trying to think of what to do next, our cell-phone rang.

"I have your cat, the woman said."
Gary asked her a few questions and she said she was on a site on her computer and saw the posting where the police were looking for her car.
She said, "I do have your cat but I think this was just a mistake on my part. I drove by your house and saw your cat and thought it was one that I had lost 4 months ago. It looked identical. So, I picked the cat up and my daughter and I took it home.
So, now that I know it's not my cat I will return it.
I will be there in a few minutes."
We did not phone the police because we did not want a cop car sitting near our home when she arrived for fear she would just keep driving.
She arrived, stepped out of the car and I grabbed Sierra from her arms.
I wanted to slug her.
She had pictures of her lost cat and apologized for the mistake.
I put Sierra in the house and then returned to tell her what I thought of her.
She seemed oblivious to the nightmare she had caused.
She kept saying "It was just a stupid mistake on my part."

We got all the information on her we could and then notified the police.
The police feel it was a mistake of identity and that she handled it very badly.
They know her now and she will not ever set foot on our property again.

It was a coincidence that she drove a white car and was with her daughter when she stole our cat. Her car was new where the team of cat-nappers car is older.
She also lives in a different part of our town.
But, saying all that, I don't trust her.
Changes will have to be made now for Sierra.
She will never be allowed on our porch alone again.

When I brought her in she was confused, growling and grooming excessively.
It took time to calm her down.
Some food and being with the retired-guy again has settled her down and she is now back to herself.  

I took this photo last night around midnight.
I am so thankful for all our family, friends and their friends who shared our plea for the safe return of our cat, Sierra. She is our family and we have loved her for 10 years. I am still so angry from this 25 hour, horrid experience but so very happy to have her home with us again.

We have changes to make and I am asking anyone reading this to please supervise your cats and dogs when outside your home, even in your own front yard. They are a target for thoughtless, stupid people and we need to protect them.

hugs, Deb


  1. OMG Deb!
    What a horrific experience to go through...
    I'm with you...I wouldn't have believed her either!
    Glad Sierra is back where she belongs...
    Sleeping atop The Retired Guy♥️♥️
    Have a great rest of your day....geesh!
    Cat nappers....who'd a thunk it!
    Linda :o)

  2. That must have been a living hell for you and your family and certainly for Sierra that pour thing .I'm so happy she is back!! Be carefull !

  3. OMG Deb!!! I am so glad you got her back! What a nightmare indeed! I too would be hysterical... she is lucky you didn't slug her. How stupid can people be???

    Poor Sierra! I am simply horrified for you...

  4. Thank god.....little Sierra is home. I do feline rescue here in Wisconsin and can relate so many stories of idiot people damaging cats and kittens without a thought. Special place in hell for those people.

  5. So scary and awful for you, and Im so glad it turned out well. That is very fortunate. You would think with all the unwanted cats around no one has to take one! Glad you have her back safe.

  6. I would have been hysterical!! So so glad she is home. I can only imagine the fear and anger you have experienced. I wouldn't trust that woman at all! It is so scary that people would pickup a cat from a porch!!! Bless all of you and sweet Sierra the most...what a nightmare for her also.

  7. Ooh have goose bumps just reading this.
    I can understand someone losing a cat and thinking it was theirs but surely would it not be polite to knock o the door, and ask the homeowners ?
    I'm so happy you Sierra is home where she belongs, now what, a porch cage maybe ?
    A scratchy- scratch behind the ear from me,,,, for Sierra not retired guy :)

  8. How terrible. So glad she made it home.

  9. How foolish could someone be?

    I'm glad she's home.

  10. My heart is genuinely thumping as I read this post, I can't think of anything worse than losing any cat. So, so pleased that you have her back and I'm sure she won't be sitting on the porch from now on.
    Lots of hugs to you and Sierra

  11. I am so glad your story has a happy ending! So sorry for all the anguish you and your family suffered.

  12. I'm sure Sierra has quite a tale to tell. Bless her heart. I can only imagine what she felt. I thought about her all last night and told Cassie before we drifted off to sleep (her purring and me snoring) to think about Sierra and hope she was home in the morning. YeeHaw! Hugs to all of you. <3

  13. I am sure you were upset. What nerve. I don't believe her story at all. Surprised the police did. So many cats look alike......why yours sitting on your porch 4 months later. Nope not believing her at ll. So glad she is back home. That I think is a miracle that she was returned. The lady was afraid of getting in trouble.

  14. My daughter's dog went missing and I totally understand the anguish. I wouldn't trust that women either. People who are upfront and honest would have knocked on your door and asked about the cat if they thought it belonged to them. I am so glad she is back home safe and sound. Dianne

  15. Agreed - she got caught stealing a cat and fabricated a story to cover it up.

    So, so scary! Very glad she's home safe now!

  16. Oh, Deb, what a horrible experience!!!
    How anyone could walk right up on your porch and take a cat without ringing the bell and explaining the situation is beyond belief. Poor Sierra! It must have been so traumatic for her too.
    I am so glad you have her back with you!

  17. How fortunate you are to have Sierra back! Wow, I cannot imagine how I would have reacted, but it may have involved physical violence on that woman!

  18. I think the woman was lying. She knew the heat was on her and needed to get things quieted down so she brought Sierra home...
    There are too many similarities. Probably using a different car because the police were wise to her old one. An honest person would have spoken with you before taking your cat.

  19. I want to smack that women. Taking Sierra from someone's property. Seriously...what was she thinking.
    You handled it so well.
    So sorry you had to go through that nightmare.
    Sierra looks like she is settling in now....what a sweet photo.

  20. Oh dear, that has my eyes filling and spilling. I am so glad you got Sierra back. I love that photo of her with The Retired Guy, priceless.


  21. I was so worried about Sierra and YOU GUYS! So happy that the little doll is home. I'm surprised you or Gary didn't take that woman out! I might have smashed her to smithereens but in the end, you got your kitty home. I am so relieved.

  22. What a terrible experience. I'm so happy you got your baby back--what is wrong with people??? Years ago, my beloved kitty disappeared for 3 days. I spent each night in the front yard crying and calling her name. On the 4th morning, my mom found her huddled under our car. Where she was we never found out, but after that I never had an outdoor kitty again. I know cats love the outdoors, but I just knew I couldn't risk it. I'm very, very happy for you and Sierra that she came home safely!!--Nora M

  23. I am so happy that you got her back.
    What an awful woman. Who would do that???

  24. It is a miracle you got her back. Glad she is now safe and sound.
    People can be so stupid.

  25. I feel sick and I'm crying.
    Thank God that Sierra is home.
    Jane x

  26. Oh my goodness, Deb! I know how you feel about your cats as I do mine. They are family, pure and simple. One thing is at least this woman had the integrity to return Sierra. She could have done something worse. Maybe it's time for a catio?

  27. Unbelievable, truly. I am just so incredibly relieved that this had a happy ending. It's amazing how you can spread the word on the internet though, isn't it?

    Any normal person would have rung your bell and asked about the cat, instead of just snatching it. It's just crazy. I am just so, so happy Sierra is home.

  28. Holy crap I just about had heart failure reading this! Thank goodness Sierra is HOME. The whole thing sounds VERY hinky to me...I'm just thankful that she's back.

  29. What a strange and horrifying episode. It is difficult to believe that woman's story. I'm so glad Sierra is home where she belongs. It will take time for you to settle down after such a fright. I would have had a very difficult time being polite to the woman, although I suppose one should say "Thank You" [?]

  30. Oh, my gosh, I am so glad this has a happy ending and Sierra is home!! I can imagine the fear that you must have gone through. I am so sorry this happened. I wouldn't trust that woman either.

  31. We read about what happened on Cat Tales and came over to say how happy we are that Sierra is safe and back with you. There are some really strange people out there…

    The Chans

  32. Oh my, Deb, my heart stopped when I read your post! The last time I'd heard/read about cat-nappers was in a comic strip about Little Lotta, I think! I can just imagine how you felt and I commend you on pulling out all the stops to get your Sierra back again. The woman admitted that she made a stupid mistake: hoo boy, how stupid can you get. When we left Kenya in 2012 to fly to Tanzania, our oldest cat, Ginger was missing. Although I had left instructions and the travel cage with my neighbor as well as lots of money for fuel and border control back up the mountain to the airport, my heart was so heavy when we left the village with only our other two cats. He arrived two days later, costing us an EXTRA US$500 but we were thrilled to be re-united with the old boy. He's never been out of my sight since! Enjoy your reunion. Jo

  33. So glad you got her back, that would be so horrible to find your cat missing like that! I always wonder why people would let their pets out unsupervised, anyone could take them.

  34. How strange Deb. First of all, you would think they would knock on your door if they took a cat from just outside your house, and then when you had her home, how did they not know she was nothing like their cat? Something smells fishy there.

    We are glad that sweet Sierra is home with you, but we are sorry that you had such an ordeal and that she now can't sit outside, which we know she loves to do

    Luckily for me, I know Miss Pops is scared of strangers, and outside I have never been able to catch her to pick her up, so I know that someone would have a heck of a job to steal her.

    Kisses to sweet Sierra.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  35. Well, Deb....I read this yesterday and thought of this all night! Yes, I know what a terrible experience this was for all of you, including Sierra! Who in the world would just come up to someone's home and steal their beloved pet? How fortunate to have the help of an observant neighbor, the police and social media. Thankfully, Sierra is back at home with her family! The good lord was watching over, so happy for you all!

  36. I find it difficult to believe the two didn't know their own cat well enough to recognize Sierra didn't belong to least, Sierra is back. So good to read a happy ending !!

  37. My heart was in my throat reading this. Three of our kitties lived to be 21 and 22. We have two at this point in time and I cannot imagine your horror at losing your sweet Sierra. So very happy that she is home and safe.

  38. Oh Deb -- how awful. How absolutely terrifying. Good for you, the viral network and all else involved. But when I saw it, my stomach just clutched. I'll tell you, I've seen plenty of cats that looked like Gypsy or Lizzie -- but if mine was lost and I saw one sitting on the porch, I sure wouldn't have snatched and grabbed. I would have rung the bell, asked the neighbor, anything before putting another family through that loss. I'm so grateful she is home.

  39. What the hell! Excuse my language, but I checked your blog as I do every day and saw the one above this. I guess you posted this after I'd checked your blog yesterday. I read "theft of Sierra" and rolled down to read more. Thank God you got her back. I too disbelieve the woman's story about losing her cat. If it's true, then I'm sorry for her but all she did was cause the heartache she must have felt.

    I don't care for computers or the internet but they have their uses and I agree that it was the alert put out by your daughter-in-law that scared this person into returning Sierra.

    What a relief it must have been for you when you got her back. I wouldn't have been able to control my rage at the woman. What a relief.

  40. How awful!!! I am so glad this story had a happy ending. What a horrid woman. Thank COD for the internet!

  41. Oh, Deb, I'm so sorry to hear your story but so glad you got Sierra home again safe and sound. Poor little thing must have been traumatized. I would have had big trouble trusting that woman's story too. I can't even imagine going about that how she did even if she did think it was her cat...Hug Sierra for me..Judy

  42. XO,
    JC and The Purr and Fur Gang

  43. Oh my. I can't believe this really happened. Horrid doesn't even begin to describe the horror. I'm so thankful you got her back. Extra hugs for Sierra. I'm gonna hold each of my cats close today, knowing that these kind of crazy people are in the world. Hope you can find peace now. - purrs.

  44. I'm behind with my visits but kinda glad I'm arriving late dear because at least Sierra is found and home again! What a terrible experience for you all, thank goodness all turned out well. Your neighbor is to be commended for catching those women in the act and remembering the license plate number.

    People can be strange folk! Like you, I would have slugged her too!
    Hugs - Mary

  45. Dear Deb, I wasn't caught up on my blogs so I have just heard about Sierra. I am so sorry and cannot imagine how horrid this was for you. I was ecstatic when Sierra returned home. Imagine someone doing that! Give yourself time to recover as it was traumatic. Sending prayers of thanks that Sierra was returned.

  46. Hi Deb,

    What an ordeal! SO glad you got your darling Sierra back safe and sound, but I can imagine your worry and fright. I cannot believe the nerve of this woman and her daughter, even for trespassing private property, for goodness sake! How relieved you and your family must be for having Sierra back in your arms, and how wonderful that so many people helped in the search for her return.

    Thank you for stopping by Poppy View and your kind words.