My name is Cloud and I would like to tell you a bit about my Fur-Buddy, Mr.Pickles. We have been together since 2003. In that time, Pickles and I, have traveled all over the lower 48, USA. Originally in Arizona, then all the way out to upstate NY, we moved to Michigan, and then out to a beautiful property in the Colorado Rockies.
Back in September (Sep 6th, 2016), Pickles and I drove out to Oregon for a friend’s wedding in Grants Pass. It was a fun, but long road trip. Pickles was in good travel spirits as he has traveled with me extensively by small airplane for a job I once had. He was used to tent camping at the various airports. However, after the wedding party had faded down and we all went to bed, I crawled into the tent and Pickles snuck pass me. It was dark. Around 12-1am. It was hopeless to find him. For the next several days I looked day and night, heartbroken, along each house in the area and even along the wilderness area adjacent to Rogue River. All I could spot by flashlight and eye-glow was feral cats and weasel/fox like critters. (I wasn’t sure)
Eventually I had to head back home, heartbroken… that was a very long and solemn 1300+ mile drive back to Colorado. 🙁
Months went by and the Southern Oregon PetFinder group searched and kept up with his story. Sadly nothing but the occasional text to my phone that someone thought they saw him.
On Monday December 12th, I received a text from a gentleman (within a half mile of where he went missing) that he was certain he found him. The photos looked very close. Although his nose was no longer white, which threw me off. The next day he brought Pickles to the Josephine County Shelter in Grants Pass and I received a call from both them and the Microchip company that there was a match!
I began to think of means to bring him back to Colorado. However, I did not have the money to fly him back and it wasn’t sure whether he could survive the trip anyhow. (I doubt he would have) So, on Wednesday, around 6pm I decided that regardless of me only having the funds enough to make it one-way to Oregon, I was single-mindedly determined to go rescue my beloved cat. It turned out to be an interesting drive that consisted of snow covered freeways and blizzards pretty much right out the gate. I had my ford Ranger in 4×4 most of the way and drove 10mph up and down steep gradients and winding roads. Hours just ticked by one after the other.
Eventually I arrived on that Friday morning. After getting cleaned up and composed somewhat I went over to the shelter. When they brought him out…. I was in shock. He was just bones and organs. There wasn’t much left to him at all. I was fearful to pick him up for hurting him. I brought him out to the truck and sat him in my lap and wept. While I didn’t cause his harm, I felt responsible for his condition.
In the months of his disappearance many kept up with his story on the Southern Oregon Petfinder posting. One of the guys that had helped to search for him and placed flyers met up with me at a coffee shop in grants pass. I wanted to thank him and allow him to meet Pickles. Him and his Girlfriend allowed me to spend a couple nights at their home so the cat could rest, get his bearings, and go to the vet the next day.
With the help of another amazing Petfinder friend, Pickles got help to go to the vet where he had a checkup, a blood screening, deworming, and subcutaneous fluids. He was is bad shape. Very anemic. Originally he weighed 14.5lbs but on that day he was 5lbs 14oz…. We could not afford to place him in the hospital to receive a blood transfusion, so it was decided that he would go on steroids to bolster his cell count and antibiotics.
Our return drive turned out to be just as exciting. More Snow. 60mph gusting winds. A tire blowout in Utah. Pulled over twice for a headlight out. We didn’t make it back home until midnight on the 19/20th. Exhausted, we both slept spooned on the couch together.
He remembered his home and I could tell he was happy to be home. It was an ordeal. 55 hours and 2700 miles total driving.
Now begins the long road ahead of getting back to recovery…
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