When their one-year-old rescue cat, Gina, failed to wander into their room as usual one morning, Sunell and Gerrit Moss knew something was wrong.
Gina, the kitten that the couple from Tableview in Cape Town had adopted from a shelter, didn’t appear that day or the next.
“I was heartbroken, I couldn’t sleep,” Sunell (35) tells YOU. “I cried throughout the night – I was so close to her. She was my precious cat.”
“Usually Gina and [their other cat] Cody would come and greet us at our bedroom door in the morning because they know we’re going to give them food.
“But that morning, she wasn’t there. Only Cody came in, which we thought was weird because Gina’s a very housebound cat,” says Sunell, a financial manager.
The concerned couple posted a missing alert in their community groups in hopes that Gina might have been spotted in the area, but to no avail.
“My husband and I walked around the neighbourhood. We live next to a busy road, so we assumed a car had knocked her over, and someone had disposed of her along the road. We assumed the worst,” she says.
After two days of frantic searching, Gerrit (39), a technician, suggested they switch off all the appliances that made a noise in their home and call out for Gina one last time.
“We switched off the TV and we both called out for her.”
To their amazement they heard faint scratching noises coming from the guest bathroom.
“Both of us ran to the bathroom and my husband looked at the tub. He then turned around with wide eyes and said, ‘Oh my word, I can’t believe it, Gina’s underneath the bathtub’,” says Sunell.
Suddenly it all fell into place.
The Mosses had recently called in plumbers to fix a leak beneath the bath in the guest bathroom.
To get to the pipes, the men had had to make a hole in the wall outside the couple’s home.
“They opened up the wall, fixed the pipe and then left the wall open for a day so it could dry out.”
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The plumbers then returned to plaster up the wall. And it was the following morning that Gerrit and Sunell realised their fur baby was missing.
Ecstatic to have found their kitty, Gerrit grabbed a hammer from his garage and knocked through the hole in the wall that had just been plastered closed by the plumbers.
“I peered in with a flashlight and there she was underneath the bathtub just looking at us with frightened eyes.
“I called her and she crawled out. I picked her up, crying with relief,” she says.
Luckily, Gina was unscathed after her misadventure and couldn’t wait to play with her best bud again.
“She was purring, she was fine. She ran off to play with Cody as if they hadn’t seen each other for ages.
“She then ran to the food and water bowl. She’s now lying on our couch as if nothing happened.”
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Sunell suspects, Gina, being a shy cat, sneaked into the hole when she heard the plumbers arrive.
“She’s a shelter cat so I think something must have happened to her when she was really little. She’s very wary of new people,” says Sunell.
Gina is now back in her usual routine and Cody couldn’t be happier to have his mate back.
“When she was gone for two days, poor Cody missed her. He was meowing for her,” Sunell says. “We’ve given Gina so many cat treats. We were so delighted to have found her.”