Categories: lost cat

Man takes home wrong cat from boarding cattery then things deteriorate

A man picked up the wrong cat from the Paws on Parkside boarding cattery in Moteuka, New Zealand. There were two grey tabby random bred cats at the cattery. The markings were similar but noticeably different and they also had different eye colour. Their body shapes were different as well.

Despite the difference, this man took home the wrong cat from the cattery and didn’t realise it. This is surprising. What had happened is that the two cats had swapped places at the cattery. One was in a communal area and the other in a private room. While the rooms were being cleaned they swapped places without the cattery worker noticing.

Sophie. Photo: Ruth Rosamond

When Ruth Rosamond came to pick up her cat the employee presented her with a strange cat. The employee said, “This is your cat” and Rosamond said, “That doesn’t look like Sophie”. The employee then said that the cat had had an eye infection as a way to explain away the difference. Rosamond then checked the cat’s coat and confirmed that she was not her cat.

Then the employee said that the difference was because the cat had put on some weight. She was doing her best to convince Rosamond that she was looking at her cat. When she went to pet the cat she backed away frightened by Rosamond.

“I tried petting her and she just backed off and I thought, that is not like Sophie, that doesn’t feel like Sophie, this cat is a stranger.”

Eventually the employee agreed that the cat was not Sophie and after much research they discovered the name of the man who had taken away Sophie. They contacted him and were told that Sophie had escaped from his home and had not been found.

Sophie was lost and surprisingly the man offered Rosamond one of his cats in compensation.

“I was going, we don’t want your cat, we want our cat – she is family!”

And they are yet to find Sophie. The story was reported on November 30, 2018 on the stuff.co.nz website. Rosamond and family and friends have been searching high and low calling Sophie’s name without success. There have been two sightings of a cat which matched her description but they’ve yet to find her.

Sophie is 15 years of age and has therefore lost her agility. The boarding cattery owners are also doing their best to find Sophie. They put up missing cat posters in the area and have offered a reward.

Amanda Inglis, the owner of Paws on Parkside is gutted and is doing her best. Unfortunately they didn’t know that something was wrong until Rosamond came to pick up Sophie. That meant there was a long period of time before they discovered the mistake which gave Sophie long enough to escape what was a strange home occupied by strange human. It’s no wonder that she escaped and ran away.

The cattery has offered a $400 reward and they say that this sort of mixup has never happened in the 12 years that they’ve been running the place.

“This has upset me so much, I am on the verge of closing this place down.” – Amanda Inglis.

Inglis is hopeful that Sophie will be found close to where she was last seen. I don’t know how far this man’s home is from Rosamond’s home. If it is not too far it may be worthwhile looking around Rosamond’s home because Sophie may have managed to get back to her territory. That’s where I would begin to look.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • The man who took poor Sophie sounds like a right piece of work. What an insensitive oaf.

    I hope Sophie is found & the cattery owner trains her staff to be more observant and thorough.

    Checking microchips on intake and collection could avoid this happening again. As could firing idiot staff.

    • Yes, microchipping is underutilized. Even when a cat has one implanted (as with a cat I've taken in who's lost her way) no one ever registered it in the first place. 17 years it went without a moment's concern for doing the right thing. Now she's in dire need and probably devastated to lose touch with the humans she trusted. All too often I find that animal care taking staff aren't much better and sometime worse regarding record-keeping, even scanning at all. Cats do have a sense of direction and mapping ability, even after a car ride, so there's hope if she does live close to where she used to live. Cant' blame her for escaping to try. But that's a long shot. These helpless animals can't speak to tell us who they are or where they're from, people. How long have we had this technology? Jesse! Oh, and staff should stop being so condescending and thinking pet owners are so stupid... the man was an idiot and an oaf, but when the lady says "That's not my cat.", try to think she might be right.

    • An insensitive oaf indeed Jane. I hope you are okay. Thanks for continuing to comment. You want to come and visit me sometime.

      • Hey, hey!

        Getting there Michael, getting there... thanks 😺

        Looking to be a bit livelier/travelling again in the New Year.

        Hope you and His Stripyness are doing well too.

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