When Caitlyn Wertenberger moved into the apartment that her grandmother used to call home, it came with something new to her family. The home had a canine resident who had access to the fenced yard via a doggy door. Caitlyn, her pet bird and her tuxedo cat of 5 years, Piper, happily settled in and welcomed their newest member into the fold. However, the 19-pound indoor cat Piper decided that having access to the yard was something she may want to explore. And over the next year, the curious feline learned just how to gain access to the yard. Sadly we know what can sometimes happen to curious cats! But what NO ONE expected her to explore was the neighbors chimney.
Because after getting out and going missing for a month, she was found wedged in the chimney at the home next door!
Piper was adopted out from the local human society as a kitten by Caitlyn. And for 5 years, she was happy to stay inside enjoying the pleasures of being a housecat. Perhaps a bit much at 19 pounds, but loved all the same.
So when she went missing at the end of February, her family was devastated and did all they could to find her. Caitlyn’s mother posted on numerous lost and found sites and they plastered signs all around town. Since she is microchipped, they reached out to rescues and animal control in search of her, but were unsuccessful.
PIPER IS LARGE 19lbs. Her belly sways when she walks. She has short hair. She has almost no white on her nose, but some on cheek & chin. ALL four paws have white on them more on the back than front.
We have walked and driven the streets of UG [Union Gap, WA] calling for her. Put up signs, handed out fliers; LOTS of shares, but so far no sign of her. Hard not to get discouraged.
Numerous tips and found tuxedo cats yielded no results and their spirits dropped.
We are driving the streets, walking the streets, calling for you. There are several black & white kitties that look similar…. but not you.
The days turned into weeks as they waited for a call that someone had spotted or found their beloved Piper.
And then something amazing happened. The call they had been anxiously awaiting came through.
During their canvassing efforts, the search teams had spoken to work crews and the new homeowners at a neighboring home. They would all keep an eye out for the feline and let them know if she was spotted.
But when the new owners finally moved in, they thought heard mysterious meowing coming from somewhere in the house. Searching diligently, they eventually discovered the pathetic plea echoing from a precarious position.
Not sure when the new neighbors moved in, but they said they have heard meowing for at least 5 days, but couldn’t tell where from. He figured it out at about 3am this morning and told my Mom early this morning. She woke Caitlyn (her cat) and Caitlyn went over and THEN the meowing REALLY happened!!! Caitlyn was able to get some water up to her while they waited.
They called a chimney guy who was going to come and remove some bricks, but my Hubby beat them to it!! He ran to Lowes and bought a ladder and a dog tie out with a special clip. Caitlyn was able to get her in the bag from the bottom and he dropped the clip down, clipped it on the bag and up she came. She was HAPPY to be home!!! We are THRILLED she is home.
Was she in the chimney that ENTIRE time!?!?!
Piper’s “Santa Clause chimney re-enactment” gone wrong will forever make me look at chimney’s differently.
After rushing her to the veterinarian to evaluate the extent of her exploration, they can now exhale a sigh of relief. Because there is a silver lining to Piper’s story as well. While she was dehydrated, she has not shown any lasting effects of her starvation period. And Piper has now slimmed down to a svelte 12 pounds!
“She had no access to food or water more than likely that whole time, it rained like once,” Wertenberger said in reports.
Congratulations to Piper and the Wertenberger family on their lucky reunion! It’s not every time that a missing animal is found after an adventure like this. Now is the time to invest in the microchip pet flap doors for the pup only. That way Piper can keep her remaining 8 lives full of all the indoor creature comforts life has to offer. Hopefully seated comfortably in FRONT of the chimney!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP, MICROCHIP YOUR PETS & SPAY AND NEUTER!