In September 2008, I took my cat Preto to vaccinate during the vaccination campaign in my neighborhood. The vaccine was being given outdoors, in front of a shop. I went by car and the Preto was in the transport box. It was the first time I took a cat to vaccinate outside.
Preto is very quiet, so I thought there would be no problem to get him out of the box to take the vaccine, but I was wrong. Once out of the box, Preto struggled to get out my arms, and jumped on the sidewalk, running like crazy, and came in somewhere in that street. It was so fast that I didn’t see where he went.
The residents of the place even tried to help me looking for him in garages and backyards, but we didn’t get to find him. I returned home with a empty transport box and tears in my eyes. When I came home and told what had happened, everybody left to try to find my cat, but they didn’t get too. That day I went from 1 pm until almost 11 pm looking for Preto.
Next morning, I made a poster, took copies and glued on poles in the street where the cat had disappeared, walked and talked a lot with people. A neighbor has offered to make copies of all posters with a picture of Preto. I kept talking with people who were on the street. I didn’t simply ask if they had seen the cat. I told stories about him, about his likes and dislikes. In the end, people felt as if they knew the cat too. I did talk a lot with the kids and they were organized in effort to help me find Preto. But it was another day and I didn’t get to find Preto.
If he had left the house with his own legs, maybe I had more hope to see him back home. But I took him in the car away from home and was there that he did scape. In a completely strange place, he had not the slightest chance to get back on his own.
N ext day, I was sad when I saw that almost all the posters weren’t out there anymore. So, I made more copies and glued the posters again. I tried to map the region. With Google Earth open, tried to imagine the likely path that my cat might have gone. I returned to the place, walked several blocks until to get another neighborhood, always talking to all the people around. I was even becoming known in that place, but people had given up to help me look for my cat.
On the fourth night, raining a lot, I kept me walking with an umbrella in my hands, all wet, but I began to doubt whether all that effort made sense. My legs were hurting so much that seemed I had been dancing the 4 nights of carnival. Yet, a person called saying that he had seen the cat, but it was hoax. I tried to meet this person, but no sign of the person or the cat.
On the fifth day, I was scheduled to do a routine blood test early in the morning. I left home at 6 o'clock in the morning but when I arrived at Brazil Avenue, the tire of my car got flat. For those who do not know, the Brazil Avenue is the main route of entry to Rio de Janeiro, the largest and most intense traffic. My spare tire was also flat and all stores were still closed. There was nobody to help. I flagged the car and got out walking looking for a gas station. When I found a gas station, away from the car, the tire gauge was not working ... I continued walking ...
That was when I received a call on my cell: someone had found my cat! A voice of a woman said that my cat was ill, was debating in the street, trying to get up and she was trying to keep the dogs away.
I was stressed. I asked her for God to take care of him until I get there. She doubted that the cat in question was mine, but I said 'That's him! Yes, it is him! " And I was still walking on Brazil Avenue, and the car with the flat tire far away from me. I was willing to leave the car there and take a van, but I thought it would take more time. I had to fix that tire fast! I tried to call neighbors and relatives to see if someone else could get my cat, but nobody answered the phone that time of morning.
I was completely dizzy in fasting because of the blood test and walking very fast. Back to the car, the store in front and was opening. The tire was repaired quickly and I went out literally flying to the place where my cat was found.
When I got there, my cat seemed a dirty cloth at street. He was all dirty dry sludge. I didn’t know if he was hurt or if he had any broken bones. He had just one side of the mouth open, tongue out, had involuntary movements, spasms, which made me think about some problem in the brain or poisoning. I was afraid to get him and worsen his condition. Unfortunately we have no ambulance or paramedics who can help a cat. If we had it, I didn’t know. I was afraid to leave him there to find a service like this and he dies. So I got him, I put in the car and ran to the veterinarian.
Fortunately, my cat Preto had no bruise or broken bone. It was just thirsty and hungry. He was dying of thirst. He was hospitalized during 3 days in serum and then returned home, he was so thin, but regained the weight later.
And this is the story of the scape and the return of my cat Preto.
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This obra by Leila Franca is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribuição-Uso Não-Comercial-Vedada a Criação de Obras Derivadas 2.5 Brasil License.