KELOWNA — A tough Kelowna cat that went missing in October was found this week after roughing out the winter in a barn in West Kelowna.
The feline named Jack was found on Tuesday, much to owners Lindsay and Evan Eidse’s surprise.
“I was stoked. My kids were sleeping, I ran into the room and said wake up guys, Jack’s alive… When he was gone, it was like we were missing a member of our family,” says Lindsay Eidse.
“He was a big fatso, so that probably kept him alive through the winter.”
A woman who works at the racehorse barn found the cat and turned the animal in to a local veterinary hospital. But it was Jack’s distinct tattoos that allowed Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Moshe Oz to track down its owners.
“Without the tattoo, there was no way we could try to locate the family. This is why any form of identification is important. People usually do a tattoo or microchip.”
Oz says Jack was in bad shape; he was beaten up and matted and full of ticks and worms. Oz says the cat was also dehydrated and had a large laceration on its face. He’s shocked Jack survived, despite the odds.
“It’s usually in the neighbourhood, after a few weeks or a month or so. But not a completely different neighbourhood and part of the city. And after the whole winter. It’s a miracle,” says Oz.
Evan Eidse says while the family was worried and losing hope of finding their beloved family member, they had a feeling the resourceful cat would find a way to survive.
“He’s been pretty good at catching mice since a kitten, and that’s probably what gave him the skills to survive out there,” says Evan.
Oz saved the financial day for the owners with reduced bills.
“I do it from my heart. I just wanted to help the cat. I wanted to help the family. They have small kids and I just wanted to do something good for Easter,” says Dr. Moshe Oz at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital.
The Eidses had a suspicion Jack was towed away in their boat to storage for winter.
“So, I went to the boat storage lot and left food and a blanket in the boat. I searched the area, but he probably decided not to come out. Probably too scared,” says Evan Eidse.
The barn where Jack was found isn’t too far away from the boat storage lot. It’s believed he wandered from the lot to the barn, where he stayed for five months.
“I think he’s very grateful to be home.”
~ With files from Travis Prasad