Thanks to microchip, South Minneapolis cat home safe after more than 15 months living on his own

Imagine you’ve just gotten off work. It’s two degrees outside and the ground is covered in snow. As you drive to your home in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, you spot a cat just sitting by the side of the road watching the cars go by. What would you do?

Char and Carolyn set up humane trap to capture freezing cat (photo: Char Gruber)
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That’s a decision Char Gruber had to make back on January 5 as she was driving on Interstate 35W near Black Dog Road in Burnsville. Char posted on her Facebook page after spotting the skinny black cat begging for someone to take him home.

“No where to go, river to the north, freeway to the west, a huge wetland to the east. He lifted one cold paw, then the other. I went up to him and he dove into a 25′ long drainage pipe and was living under the off ramp.”

Unfortunately, the cold little kitty didn’t trust his Good Samaritan and dove into a 25-foot drainage pipe located under the off ramp where he’d been living. Char called her friend Carolyn Kirstine, who is quite skilled at humane trap cat catching. It didn’t take long after she and Carolyn set the live traps at the bottom of a steep embankment before the grateful kitty was captured and safe in the hands of their mutual friend, Anne Cieko.

It was fortunate for everyone involved that “Freddie” was microchipped and the information had been kept up to date by his owner. Justin Frey of South Minneapolis was contacted, where he explained Freddie had slipped out of the house (as many cats do) on September 20, 2015. Freddie had been alone and on his own for one year, three months and 17 days.

Justin Frey and Freddie (photo Justin Frey)

Justin took Freddie for a checkup, where he was deemed healthy. Freddie still had a healthy coat, so either he had managed to survive on his own or had found food somewhere along the way. He was found 16 miles from home and three cities away from where he started his journey.

There are several lessons to be learned here (other than to keep your eyes on the front door when you have a sneaky cat). It takes teamwork to trap a cat who doesn’t want to be caught. Don’t be afraid to call upon a friend if you need help. Have your pets microchipped and PLEASE have the microchip checked at every vet visit, as they can shift over time. And last but not least, don’t turn your back on an animal in need. Many people post photos on social media of animals freezing to death, yet don’t take the time to actually attempt a rescue.

Freddie has already made himself at home again (Justin Frey)

Thank you, ladies, for saving this sweet little kitty. Thank you, Justin, for having the foresight to microchip your cat. All of you made the difference in Freddie being returned and contributed to this happy ending. As for Freddie, he’s already made himself at home in Justin’s bed as though nothing happened.


1 thought on “Thanks to microchip, South Minneapolis cat home safe after more than 15 months living on his own”

  1. I’m so glad someone bothered to stop and help Freddie. My worst nightmare if one of my cats goes missing is they won’t find their way home and worse that they’ll wander farther and farther like this. He was so lucky and resourceful to have survived all that time on his own. Wow.


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