Truck Driver Reunited with Cat Lost When Rig Was Stolen
Jay Jones and Maggie the cat practically lived in the big rig trailer truck Jay drove for work, spending most of their time in the home away from home. Maggie was Jay’s beloved pet and traveling companion, and she made life on the road feel like life in a rolling home.
On January 11, Jay was hauling a load and stopped at a store in Florence, KY, south of Cincinnati, to do some grocery shopping. When he came out of the store the truck was gone. It had been stolen. In the space of a moment, Jay lost his work vehicle, his home, his clothing, computer, camera, a substantial amount of cash, and the cat he had loved for four years since she was a little kitten. He was stunned.
The following day, Jay made the 14 hour trip back home to Clanton, Alabama by Greyhound bus, and the trucking company he works for and the authorities took responsibility for the search for the stolen truck. Jay’s feeling was that the truck was quickly disposed of by the thieves. He set himself the task of calling animal shelters and the media, in an effort to get help in the search for Maggie and his belongings.
Unbeknownst to Jay, on Monday morning, the truck, minus the trailer with its load, was found behind the Dearborn VA outreach Clinic in Greendale, Indiana, about 30 miles away from where it was stolen. Staff from the clinic spotted the truck,went over to it, thinking to wake the driver, and saw Maggie sitting inside but no one else. The small vent window was broken, leading the VA clinic staffers to realize the truck was probably a stolen vehicle. They called police, who didn’t see Maggie and decided the staff must have been mistaken about the cat, or that the cat was gone. The police dusted for prints and told the staff the truck would be towed to Florence, Kentucky, where it was stolen. For reasons unknown it was towed to Rushville, Indiana instead.
Jay didn’t know any of this until Wednesday. The trucking company knew the truck had been recovered, but didn’t pass the information along.
The towing company found Maggie and took her to the Rushville Animal Shelter in Rushville, Indiana. Jay gives credit to the shelter for helping to reunite him with Maggie. When no one had called for Maggie in two days, the shelter called the towing company, which in turn called the trucking company. The trucking company then called Jay. Jay rented a van and drove all night, arriving at the shelter at 5am on Thursday. The shelter opened for the day at 7:30 am.
Jay said, ” I heard Maggie begin to meow as soon as the director picked her up from her cage – she meowed even more when she saw me. I took her to the van, where she settled down almost at once. I cleaned out the truck and we drove home.”
The thieves were most interested in getting the trailer with its load, and in doing it quickly. They left most of Jay’s belongings behind and he was able to get them back.
Maggie is happy to be back with her family, and is doing well. Jay said, “Maggie is in good health and spirits; she has always been a chatty kitty, while she only purred softly – yesterday and today she purred loudly as an idling diesel.”
Jay is taking a position training drivers, and pets are not allowed. Maggie will stay with Jay’s family, where she is known and loved, and where she feels at home. Jay’s daughter and two granddaughters and son in law have known Maggie since she was a kitten. Since his divorce, Jay and Maggie stayed with the family when not on the road.
Jay wrote at his Facebook page when the theft occurred, during his search, and when Maggie was known to be found. He has expressed gratitude to his personal friends for their support, and to his new friends who gave their support after seeing news stories on the the truck’s theft and Maggie’s disappearance and return.
In thanking everyone for their support and at the end of the tale, Jay said in closing, “Please support a local animal shelter of these guys who cared for my baby and so many other homeless and abandoned animals – Maggie has a home, so many animals do not.”