I'd like to start off saying....cats just find my family some how. We've had two encounters with stray cats in our neighborhood, one of which was reunited with their owner & the other was our foster and found a forever home, that have both ended happily.
Tonight we were driving home from dropping my grandmother at her house, when we were almost out of the neighborhood we saw a little cat lying practically in the middle of the street. My mom told my dad to immediately pull over and my mom and dad got out to see if the cat was hurt. They thought maybe she had been hit by a car. My brother and I stayed in the car, but I noticed my parents were talking to someone with a dog so I just got out of the car to see what the commotion was about. My parents talked to a couple who said they've seen this cat before - often lying out in the street, mind you - and didn't know if she belonged to anybody. Here we go.
We all went into direct rescue mode. This cat couldn't stay on this busy road where people drive above the speed limit. My dad took the car to go get a cat carrier, while my mom, brother and I stayed with the kitty. She was very small and we thought she might even be under a year old.
While we were sitting with little-kitty-no-name, my mom saw a lady across the street open her door and call a cat. My mom went over to her and knocked on the door. She asked if the cat was hers, since she saw her let a cat into the house. The lady said no it wasn't, but her neighbor two doors down had cats. My mom walked over to the neighbor's house and again repeated the story. The lady came across the street and looked at the kitty and picked her up. Michael and I were petting her and she was purring up a storm. I held her for a few minutes but she didn't seem happy (she obviously needed a claw trim too because she made a hole in my shirt :( grr).
The lady said she thought that this house we were sitting right near has cats. We all went up to the door and rang the bell. The lady came to the door and we asked her if this was her cat. To my utter surprise, she said "yes that's my cat!" I was happy, but slightly annoyed. We told her that this cat was practically lying in the middle of the street and she didn't even seemed perturbed. She said it was so nice in the summer that the cat - named Tyco - wanted to go out. My mom asked her if she had a collar. The lady said no she slips out of it. And at this point Tyco jumped out of her owners hands and went down her back and the lady said ugh she scratched me and seemed annoyed. I thought that was weird because my cats scratch me occasionally and it never bothers me.
We told her she should try a collar, but the lady seemed uninterested. I asked her if she had her microchipped and she just kind of shrugged and nodded no. Okay, so she lets her cat out with no identification, that's not normal - stupid, but it happens. At that point it seemed like there wasn't much we could do so we left and she thanked us.
The moral of this story, or really the urgent message is to put tags and collars on your cats if they're going outside, and have them microchipped. I can't tell you how many cats must get lost and never return home because they were collarless. I saw Tyco and automatically assumed she was a stray that had been dumped, not feral because she was too friendly.
I'm actually planning on driving by her house tomorrow, getting her address and then making a tag and bringing a collar over for her so the cat has a better chance of being returned home. But I swear....I still wouldn't hesitate going over and taking that cat away from the woman because she clearly seemed uninterested to hear that her cat was lying in the middle of the street.
You win some, you lose some. Be safe, Tyco!