Lester is a super little guy, and from previous experience very brave when in trouble. His most distinctive feature is that he only has half a tail, a result of an RTA 10 months ago. He has a bit of a 'swagger' as well, but it's only noticeable if you pay a lot of attention.
He went out at about 6.45-7am having asked to go for a pee. Seemed okay, which pleased me as he had seemed a little under the weather for the previous couple of days (bit grouchy, bit off his food, sleeping a lot).
It was the first morning where he'd seemed chirpy and bouncy again, and he licked my nose to wake me which he does when he's in a good mood, so I let him out and thought nothing of it. I then re-awoke at about 9am with a feeling of dread. I can't explain it, because it's normal for him to wander in between 8am and 10am, but last time I felt that way he'd been hit by a car and it took 8 hours to drag himself home (despite our searching). So I called him and called him out the front and the back, shaking a treats box; usually he'll respond to this, sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes if he's way off in the fields (and sometimes he brings a dead rodent back with him as a gift). But by midday I knew for certain something was wrong.
He's been a bit grumpy for the last two months because I've been fostering a mumcat and her litter who were rescued from a bad situation, and mumcat was overly protective and a bit aggressive towards Lester, but we separate the house up most of the time, and in the past two weeks things have been a lot better, with them even greeting each other with a nose-touch and none of the hissing and growling of the first couple of days. Lester had even been giving the kittens the odd lick if their paths crossed.
A few days ago he came home with some sort of oil or grease on his paws, bum and tail. We wiped it off best we could, and by the morning he went missing he was looking much better, almost no sign of oil stains (except on my bedsheets!). We thought that he was maybe feeling under the weather those couple of days because of the oil, and talking to our vet they agreed and just said to keep watching him but it should start to improve (which it did seem to).
I went out searching for him, calling and shaking treats and listening, three times yesterday, then put a poster up in my car window outside my house, on the inside door to my building (we're a ground floor flat in a block of 4 flats), and flyered and door-knocked down the road and a bit around the back (whose gardens back onto our garden). Nobody had seen him that day, but would keep an eye out. I emphasised the half-tail so hopefully if people see a half-tail cat it will remind them that he's being looked for. I searched in all the nearby bushes where he hunts, and walked the length of the nearest busy road checking the scrub all along the side, and then checked as much as I could along the train track (high embankment on both sides of the line, guarded by railings), and called Network Rail but they don't keep any record of animal strikes on the tracks.
I called the shelters which open on Saturday, reported his microchip as missing almost immediately (they did seem a bit confused when I said he'd been gone 3 or 4 hours, but I insisted I knew it was a problem and they accepted that). I updated his amputated tail on their system as well. They sent out an alert in the area.
I have left stinky fishy food in a bowl by the window he prefers to jump in, and had the window open since he went missing. I searched again at 10.30pm, 3.30am and 6.30am all round the block and calling across the fields.
Today I postered around the area, and in the local shops open on Sundays.
I even postered up into the next village across the fields just in case. I put him on gumtree, Friday-ad (including the print version), and made a Facebook event and marketplace listing. The event encourages Brighton people to check their gardens/sheds/etc and to pass it on to anybody else in Brighton, especially in the local area.
Tomorrow I plan to do more flyering, to call round the vets and the shelters that were closed at the weekend, to call the council environmental health (for bodies) and animal control, and to check the area for any garages I've missed. My posters and leaflets mention garages and sheds, especially seeing as he came in oily last week and it's possible he got that way in a shed or garage or workshop.
The weather has been dry, but horribly cold. 5-7 degrees and really biting with the ground and air feeling much colder than the stated temperature. I really hope he's inside somewhere warm!
He doesn't wear a collar because he always finds a way to pull them off within minutes (and he's up trees too much to not have a safety collar).
Lester has never been much of a lap cat, unless he's unwell. When he was RTAed, his pelvis was broken on both sides and we thought we would loose him, but he slowly made a recovery. All that time he slept right next to me (I slept in the recovery pen in my hallway with him for the first couple of weeks). When he's fit and healthy he doesn't want to be on a lap, but might lie next to your feet or leg in bed. He likes to be in the same room, so he can see you. He will sit on command for a treat, and walks on a lead and harness if required. When he's outside, if he's in a bush nearby he will meow back to me calling him.
He's been a great hunter since he recovered from the accident (never before hand, weirdly). For the last month or so he's been eating his catches rather than presenting them to me. I'm not sure why. I got some worming meds for him the day before he went missing, but was going to give them to him later that day if he was still looking better.
He is very food focused, and I wouldn't put it past him to ask anybody else for food if it was offered, or to break into bins (he certainly did that in the kitchen when he could!).
He had a rough start in life, and was an unexpected addition to my household, as a friend of my dad's had him thrown over her garden wall in a plastic bag when he was about 12 weeks old. He's always seemed to have known that he landed on his feet with me. He is a very chilled cat, and only ever bites or scratches if he's in a lot of pain.
I love Lester so much. If he is able to get home I know he will be doing everything in his power to do so.
Look out for a small black and white cat with only half his tail.
Would everyone living and working in the vicinity and surrounding areas of
Please send for a ready to print
Spread the Word !