It sounds like the plot of a children’s movie: A house cat gets lost on the road and tries to make its way back home.
But in this case, it really happened — and right here in the Arrow Lakes.
Trigger, a five-year-old orange tabby, is on his way back home to Smithers, B.C. after getting lost while travelling with his owner this summer.
“It seems she had lost him while she was camping in Fauquier in August,” says Linda Kendall, president of the Protecting Animal Life Society in Nakusp. “It was really hot, so she left the car window open a crack — we’re not sure — and it seems that’s how he got away.”
The Smithers woman — who declined to be interviewed — had to continue her journey without her cat. Trigger, an indoor cat, found itself more than 1,100 kilometres from home in the middle of the B.C. Interior.
The story might have ended there. But on Oct. 11, some people living north of Nakusp saw a strange cat wandering around the neighbourhood. They caught it and contacted PALS.
PALS brought the cat to the Nakusp Veterinary Clinic, where he was checked over and found to be in good health. Vets scanned him for tattoos or microchips and found an implant. The chip holds a record of the cat’s owner and contact information, and the Smithers woman got a call out of the blue.
“We contacted the owner, she was absolutely thrilled he was found,” says Kendall. “She just couldn’t believe it.”
Trigger was fostered at a home in Fauquier while PALS arranged a way for him to get home. He was due to be placed on a flight to Prince George this week, to be reunited with his owner.
“It really speaks to the importance of tattooing or microchipping your animals,” says Kendall. “If it had not been for the microchip he would not have got home. We keep ‘found’ animals for 10 days, and if not claimed, put them up for adoption.”
Kendall also credits the people who found Trigger, for noticing the stray cat hanging around that didn’t seem to belong in the neighbourhood.
But how a house cat survived in the wilderness and made its way 60 kilometres from where it was lost two months earlier, remains a mystery. Perhaps Trigger was trying to make his way north, and back home on his own?
“Maybe he hitched a ride in somebody’s vehicle, we’ll never know,” says Kendall. “Trigger’s not talking.”