INTRO: this a long running saga which began with a boy in Vancouver stealing a cat from a porch while a colleague on a bike waits in the background. There was a lot discussion on why it had happened and what happened to the cat whose name is Jack. The boy was apprehended and interviewed by the police who said he had released Jack near his home. I speculated that something sinister might be happening. It was reported widely on news media. This is a final happy update. Below is the security camera video of the abduction/theft.
This is the happy ending update on Jack the Cat, who was taken by two boys from his own home in Vancouver, Washington on June 5. I ‘Paw’d It Forward‘ has the complete story on their Facebook page. Since they tell it best, I’m doing a copy and paste on it and only spacing out the paragraphs for easier reading. The story is long, so settle in for the news we’ve all hoped for.
The update we have all been waiting for regarding Jack, the amazing survivor Cat.
*Found almost a mile from home*
We received a message from a very brave woman who had inquired about whether Jack was still missing several days back. We reached back out to her and told her, yes, he was. It was a little bit before we heard back from her again. We have received hundreds of these same texts in to our PAWD number, so we didn’t think much of it. We know folks are looking for answers and hoping for the best possible outcome, and results in the prosecution.
Then, it happened. The next message came, and it said, “So, I don’t want to get your hopes up or anything, but I feed a cat every night that looks just like Jack.” At first read, I thought it’s probably another person, like myself, that wants to see Jacks face too. We have had so many contacts from folks all over Clark County that were sure that they had seen Jack on their porch, in their yard, walking down the street, on their surveillance cameras, etc. We followed up on every lead. We asked for photos, locations, times of day they were seeing him, etc.
I asked her simply, “Where?” Her response was “in the field where I was camped.” She had been feeding this cat since at least the 1st of July, but she didn’t believe it was Jack. She had received a flyer, as did many of the transient folks that live down in that area and knew what to look for way back when the flyers were distributed.
She also knew who Joel was. She and her boyfriend had seen him in the field. Her and her boyfriend stopped Joel and his friends from lighting the field on fire during the week of the 4th. They allegedly chased them out and he allegedly made the comment to them that “I guess we should go since the police are looking for me.” Her boyfriend asked him why the heck the police would be looking for him and according to them, he replied, “because I touched some cat.” It was at that point that she started to think it could be Jack.
She did not contact us earlier because she was camping there and was afraid that she would lose her safe space and she didn’t want to get in trouble for being there. She is a single mom of 5 kiddos, desperately trying to get her daughter back. She has a lot to lose, if she loses her safe space.
It took a few days to coordinate searching the location because she had been asked to leave the field by VPD for camping not long after reaching out to us. She went back every night to feed this kitty. On Monday, I had asked her to try to get a photo when she went to feed him, and she sent me the photo you see here, Tuesday night.
The photo was taken back at the beginning of July (although I had thought it was taken Monday night as she didn’t clarify that until we were in person). I blew up the photo, compared every single facial mark and could not find anything that did not match Reid and Nora’s photos of Jack. They were a perfect match.
Most of you know, I am not a fan of reaching out to devastated owners without being certain I have the right information. I spent a good while comparing. Hoping I was not seeing what I wanted to see, but that it really was, Jack.
If you look at the photo we received, you will see a Safeway bag in front of Jack. If you know the Syverson’s, you will know why that is a “significant sign” that it was time for him to come home. On Wednesday, July 24 and 1:55pm I reached out to Nora and I told her, I did not want to get her hopes up, but that I must send this over for her and that I would not send it if I wasn’t 99.9% sure she needed to see it. I sent the photo, and she choked up, and we knew.
We planned on meeting our new friend who has been feeding Jack after Reid got off work. Reid, being the incredible human being that he is, got off work immediately to begin the search. I met with the amazing woman that was caring for a cat with her own money so it wouldn’t starve to death in the blackberry brambles not too long after that and as we were walking back to where she was feeding him daily,
Reid was ALREADY in the field! He was anxious to get out there and get eyes on this cat. We all walked the fields, it is masses and masses of blackberries. It would have been impossible to see him in there if he wasn’t coming out to be fed. We walked as much of the area as we could, then went to the surrounding businesses to talk about putting traps out on their properties and camera footage.
They were all very open and helpful to helping us get Jack home. We thank them IMMENSELY for their kindness and generosity. As we walked back down across 4th Plain and checked all of the open properties that we could, we walked back to the area that our friend had been staying where she was waiting for us and her mother, who was there with her, had just seen a cat matching Jacks description pop out of the brambles and run around the outside up the brambles than back up the fence line into the brambles.
We commenced the search for the mystery kitty. I went to grab a trap to set and thought well, Ill just grab the cameras right now and see if we can at least get eyes on him first. As I was coming in with the cameras, Reid was frozen in the brambles and our friend said, “he is here, he is right here.”
Reid had eyes on him. It WAS JACK! Jack was too scared to come near and had visibly lost quite a bit of weight. I told him not to move, I am going back to get my trap, and we will trap him now. We set the trap up and he wanted to go in but waited. He started moving back into the brambles, so we moved the trap opening to near where he was hunkered and all backed away out of his line of sight. He was starving. Within minutes, he walked right into the trap mesmerized by the smell of the food.
Reid, dropped and took a giant breath while me and our new friend started sobbing. I went directly to the trap and stuck my fingers through the holes (DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME) knowing that Jack knew he was ok. He rubbed his head on my fingers and let me scratch his head. He was so relieved to be caught.
Reid was in shock, I took terrible photos through tears and video. Then we packed up and left. I sent Nora a message with a photo of Jack, caught, and we met back at Nora and Reid’s to deliver Jack. We brought Jack in, made sure all of the doors and windows were closed, let him out of the trap and — I have never seen anything like it. He turned on his Meow like he had found it after all this time. Started checking every room with the loudest meow I have heard in quite some time.
He went right to Reid on the stairs, full on Meow, let me pet him, and then it happened….. The automated food bowl went off. He made a beeline to the bowl like it was his long-lost BFF. Ate the kibble and the soft food I left next to the dish. His brother kitty came running and realized jack was back and it was just like “home.” It is something you must witness to believe.
As far as Jack’s thief goes, the Juvenile DA has referred his charges to the Juvenile Diversion Program. Reid and Nora were filling out their witness statements for impact yesterday when this all came about. We will continue to keep you posted on the outcome of the charges as they are defined further.
Jack is one very special cat. Nora and Reid are two of the kindest, most generous and caring individuals you could ever meet. Thank you to everyone in the community for coming together to bring jack home. He is loved. He was missed. He is now getting all the snuggles he can handle.
Most of all, thank you to the brave woman (who is also a transient)that risked losing her place to sleep, on the off chance it could be Reid and Nora’s beloved Jack. She did not want the reward, but we are forcing it upon her. She deserves it.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has also been set up to further thank the woman (who is a transient) who cared for Jack.
It’s very rare to have a happy ending when so much pointed to Jack being gone forever. Please share this article with friends. I know a lot of you have been keeping up with this story.
Photos and update courtesy I Paw’d It Forward.
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