The recent years have been quite an uphill battle for James and Faith Peck living near Baltimore, Maryland. For example, they lost a close human family member in October and their beloved cat, Morris “MoMo” Peck, back in March of 2019. But they are a family of fighters. And they know that they must go on despite the difficulties. This may be something running deep within their bloodlines. In addition, it could be ingrained after the inspirational matriarch of the family had battled–and successfully beat–cancer a few years ago! She’s currently struggling with Multiple sclerosis, and they know one thing for sure. Having a cat around as a therapy animal is healthy for everyone (yes, yes…aside from anyone with allergies).
So after sadly losing MoMo, they visited the local shelter and adopted a sweet kitten named Baxter in July. He quickly became one of the family, accompanying them on their daily outings and special excursions.
So when mom Faith Peck was carjacked on October 26th, poor therapy animal Baxter was in the car!
It happened on Saturday night around 6:00 PM. Mrs. Peck was picking up her daughter at work near Mount Vernon. Six-month-old Baxter was just relaxing in his carrier in the passenger seat. As with the best safety practices, and even being in the car, Baxter was wearing his harness just in case he got loose.
According to Baltimore Police, the 52-year-old woman was approached by two men in the Maryland Historical Society parking lot just before 5 p.m. One of the men tried reaching through the driver side window to remove the keys from the ignition. When he was unsuccessful, both men pulled the woman out of her 2018 silver Nissan Rogue Sport, got in then drove away.
It was actually a rental car that she was driving at the time and had Indiana license plates. I’m wondering if the carjackers thought it’d be easy to steal the car from someone just passing through? What they didn’t expect, was the cat. And that cat’s family was not going to let their cherished member disappear without a fight! Especially when he was training to be a much needed therapy animal.
Rea Lindsey Peck, their daughter and mom to 7 cats of her own, posted their plea to find Baxter on social media. The news was quick to pick up on the story but sadly, there were no leads. Not only had the criminals escaped with Baxter, they made off with Faith’s medications, cane, phone, money, credit cards and glasses! I can’t even imagine losing those items AND most importantly, my kitten.
As of Sunday evening, the vehicle hasn’t been recovered and the suspects have not been identified. Police said the investigation is open and on-going.
The hours slowly ticked by as the Pecks were in a daze waiting for any news on Baxter.
The morning after the assault, there was a hit on one of Faith’s credit cards.
Owner’s credit card was charged at Sunoco yesterday, near Charles Village and golf course. If anyone lives in that area or near it please keep an eye out!
But there was still no word on Baxter. The surrounding shelters had been called with no luck, and Baxter was micro-chipped IF he was picked up. The rental car company did not have any tracking available for their vehicles.
They could do nothing but spread the word and wait.
And when the car was actually discovered on the evening of Monday the 28th, there was no sign of Baxter or his carrier. They were devastated.
So I began researching this story about a “carjacked cat”, with the intent to spread the word and try to help locate Baxter.
And about 10 minutes into my research, I came upon Rea’s Facebook page with a very exciting post made just minutes before! I couldn’t believe the amazing news and reached out to her immediately to congratulate them all.
That is when I learned just how much Baxter really meant to her parents. It’s when I learned about the trials and tribulations their family has overcome. It has admittedly been one of the most stressful, scary and emotional times of their lives. At a time when they were just beginning to find a happy rhythm to a peaceful life, too.
Now, this can be added to their list of conquests–ideally a list that can stop growing now!
Two women from Bolton Hill found him in his carrier in an alley near their homes. One woman, Arden, took him in and Baxter had a whole third floor to run around and a dog to play with. The woman who contacted me this morning, Mara, saw a post shared by a friend of hers, and called me asap. All the money people have donated to Didi’s gofundme will be given to the Maryland SPCA where we got Baxter. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!
This has been an overwhelming, terrifying, anxiety inducing and incredibly stressful situation. It still is but it is a billion times better having Baxter safe and sound.
There is only thing that I can see growing in the near future. And that is the follower count on something else extremely exciting I learned about…
Baxter’s adventures as a therapy cat are on social media already!
Rea had just recently shown her parents how to set up an Instagram account for their kitty companion.
It was only started about three weeks ago. But with a sweet face like his and a soothing demeanor, he’s was certain to have an adventurous life without the carjacking. Hopefully the rest of it is safely alongside his doting human servants. We can all happily now join them from anywhere in the world, so be sure to follow HERE!
Baxter is, and always will be, more than a therapy animal. CONGRATULATIONS to the Peck’s on their reunion and thank you for never giving up on family–regardless of their species. And everyone be sure to send lots of healing purrs and prayers to Mrs. Peck.
All photos courtesy of the Peck Family