For any cat owner, the thought of our cat going missing is our worst fear realized. And for a cat that lives primarily indoors becoming lost, this is an even scarier thought. For Crystal, her cat, Cal, is her closest companion. The two of them “do everything together” she says. And by everything, she means everything—paddle boarding, camping, and even road trips! You could say that Cal (short for California, although he was born in Kansas) is an adventure cat so to speak.
But this time, Cal’s adventure ended up with him lost in the wilderness for weeks…alone!
In early December 2019, Crystal’s heart was broken when her beloved feline friend accidentally went missing. Crystal describes it as a tireless search and the most heart-wrenching 14 days of her life. She, her family, and friends asked neighbors, put up signs, posted on the Nextdoor App, and checked local shelters and their vet hoping for a miracle.
Then, on Wednesday, December 18th at 3:45 PM, her prayers were answered. A woman named Karen called after seeing what she believed was Cal based off of a photo she’d seen posted at Loving Family Vet Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Karen claimed that she’d seen an orange cat hanging out in the open land behind her house. But it was from a distance and she was only able to see the feline from a distance with the help of binoculars.
Immediately, Crystal got in her vehicle and made her way over to Karen’s location without a single second of hesitation.
“Without really paying attention to where she lived, I started to drive. I was desperate & wasn’t thinking logically & good thing because she lived 9 miles SE of me!! By the time I got there Cal was no longer hanging there so we walked around the neighborhood. I started calling his name & he came out from underneath a house running & crying to me!! I literally fell to my knees the second I heard his voice & knew it was him!!! It was definitely like a scene straight from a movie.”
Immediately Crystal could tell that Cal was in bad shape. His legs and paws were cut and scratched, and he’d lost nearly a third of his body weight. And they could only imagine when the last time was he’d eaten or where he’d taken refuge.
But despite his condition, the lost boy jumped right into Crystal’s car.
Cal knew it was time to go home to the person that loved and missed him dearly.
“How Cal survived, only God knows.” — Crystal Zerr
Colorado is well-known for its beautiful wildlife which roams freely throughout the state, including lost pets.
Clearly Cal used his super cat smarts to avoid becoming a coyote’s (or any other larger Colorado predators’) lunch. Coincidentally enough, the very next day after he arrived home, Crystal claims she saw an abnormally large coyote that was injured traveling nearby her condo.
In regards to Cal’s incredible bravery and skills, Crystal says, “He survived starvation, dehydration, 13 degree weather, and even traveled well over 9 miles with coyotes everywhere.”
But along with Cal’s amazing story of survival, Crystal learned more ameowzing news. Because shortly afterwards, she discovered something about the helpful woman who had phoned her about her cat. Karen, was actually a friend’s mother-in-law! So, although Denver is a large city, it seems like a small world to her when it comes to her cat’s joyous reunion.
Thankfully, Cal is doing just fine now. And Crystal has helped him to gain back half the weight that he lost during his terrify adventure in the wilderness. I do wish cats had the ability to talk. Because I sure would love to hear Cal’s story of survival.
Crystal says that she “can’t wait for more adventures with him!“
All Images Courtesy of Crystal Zerr