‘I knew he was alive’ — lost cat found months later

2009-04-26 00:00

“I knew he was alive … as a pet owner, you just don’t give up hope,” said a Hilton resident who found her cat after three-and-a-half months of tireless searching, during which she even consulted with an “animal communicator”.

Nancy Aucock was on holiday in the Eastern Cape late last December when she received a phone call from her friend informing her that her beloved Brown Oriental cat, Wiccan, had gone missing.

The cat was in the care of their housesitters at the time of his disappearance, and had been injured in a fight a week after the Aucocks left for their holiday. “The very day she took him home [from the vet] he managed to escape,” she said.

Aucock and her husband, Henry, decided to cut short their holiday. “We packed up and returned home,” said Aucock. “On arrival, I immediately went down to Montrose to the simplex where [my friend] lives.

“We walked the length and breadth of the complex, searching and calling for ‘Wickies’. No answering ‘meow’ responded to our calls.”

A friend and fellow cat lover put together a “cat missing” poster and they spent the next few days distributing these in the vicinity, putting leaflets in postboxes and pinning posters on trees and shopping-centre notice boards.

“[My friend] Iris had notified all the residents of the simplex and we had spread the word around the neighbourhood,” she said. “Gardeners were asked to keep their eyes open, and a notice was inserted in the Lost & Found column of The Witness, offering a R500 reward.

“I would lie awake at night wondering where Wiccan was, and how he would survive the fury of the elements without … shelter and food,” said Aucock.

“Pets become like your children. You just don’t give up. You don’t want to believe that they’ve died or that something bad has happened to them.”

Aucock’s sister, who now lives in the U.S., referred her to a “very well-known ‘animal communicator’ in South Carolina”.

“I made the phone call to Debbie in the States at a given time at which point she ‘communicated’ with Wiccan,” she said. “She informed me that he was still ‘in his body’, and, along with other information volunteered, said that she kept seeing a house with a green roof.”

Months went by before Aucock received an excited phonecall from her friend telling her that one of the residents of their simplex had been putting out food for a cat that had started coming to his house.

“As I drove down to Montrose I offered a prayer to St Francis. As we got to the window [at the neighbour’s home] a cat appeared at the bottom of the stairs,” she said.

They backed away from the window and waited until the cat reappeared. When he did, Aucock “knew that this was indeed my beloved Wiccan”. “I started talking to him, encouraging him to come up — then he lay down, meowing softly … I picked him up and I felt his thin little body just relax against me.”

Aucock told The Witness she was “over the moon” to be reunited with her very special cat.

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