Cat Missing During Cold NH Winter is Found and Reunited with Her Family

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Camie, fuond after spending 2 1/2 months on her own during a cold winter

A cat missing since she escaped her carrier during a move in January was barely alive when she was found earlier this month. Her owner was located thanks to her microchip and she is doing well at her family’s new home.

Camie was lost on January 31, when her owner was loading up for a move from Swanzey, New Hampshire, in the southwestern part of the state,  to Saco, Maine, on the Atlantic coast.  Camie escaped her carrier and was missing during a particularly long, cold and snowy New Hampshire winter. Petmom April Grotton  had to leave Swanzey and go to Saco but she was fortunate to have friends looking for Cami and trying to catch her in a trap.

The good Samaritan who finally found Camie after she was on her own for 2 1/2 months took her to Cheshire Animal Hospital, in nearby Keene, where she was given emergency treatment to save her life.  The hospital scanned the cat and was able to reunite her with her petmom thanks to her microchip.


Cheshire Animal Hospital wrote about the rescue at Facebook on April 14, saying:

“We have a great story to share. Last week we received a call from a Good Samaritan saying she had found a dead cat underneath a truck. She wanted to bring it in for cremation. When our doctors examined the cat, they realized that it was unconscious, not deceased. It had an extremely low body temperature, low blood sugar, depressed respiration, etc. We started treatment immediately. Best discovery? It had a microchip! We were able to contact the family who live in Saco, Maine, and had been missing their pet since 2011! They traveled to Keene the day after we contacted them and picked up their precious kitty We got a call from them this morning saying that “Camie” is doing great and playing with toys Wahoo! How wonderful is that? Let’s hear it for microchips!”

“CORRECTION!!!!! We just got a call from “Camie’s” owner with a correction: The owner let the microchip company know that Camie was missing back in 2011. Well, Camie was found a day later. When we called the company last week, they assumed she was still missing from the 2011 report. Nope. She has been missing for only three months this time. Whew. Still a great reunion, but we wanted to be accurate! Sorry for the confusion. And thanks for the call, April. Glad she is so happy in Maine.”

April kept in touch with the animal hospital and people following the story online after Camie was settled in at her new home in Maine, letting everyone know that Camie was doing great.  “She is getting better by the day & we are over the moon with happiness that she is home,” April wrote at Facebook. She emailed the hospital, saying: “I just wanted to show you all some updated pictures of Cami….thanks again for saving her life ♥♥”

April gave a phone interview to the Keene Sentinel for a story published on April 16, where she filled in the details on Camie’s misadventure.

Camie and the family dog, Sparky, were in their crates in the back of the car at 8:30 pm on January 31st as April loaded up her belongings for the move. A moving truck had already arrived in Saco with most of the family’s things. April opened the rear hatch to her car and Camie jumped out and disappeared, after somehow escaping her crate.

“I don’t know how she got out of her crate, but I opened the hatch and she got out,” April told the Sentinel.

“I was a wreck,” she said. “But I had to go, I couldn’t stay. With friends and neighbors and everyone saying, ‘It’s OK, we’ll get her,’ I had no doubt they’d find her, but every day it got colder and colder.”

Haveaheart traps were set, and a friend checked out the former home in Swanzey every day, but there was no sign of the missing cat.

“I’d kind of given up hope,” April said. “I’d hoped that she’d gone to someone else’s home. The other thought was that coyotes had eaten her, and I didn’t want to think about her suffering, I just wanted to think about her being happy, even thought I couldn’t have her.”

Camie was found about two weeks ago when Swanzey resident Travis Muzzey saw a seemingly lifeless cat under his truck and brought the animal to Cheshire Animal Hospital, where staff checked her vital signs and set to work reviving her with IV fluids and a heating pad.

Hospital owner Dr. Lee A. Pearson told the Sentinel that along with an extremely low heart rate, “She was skin and bones, and hadn’t eaten anything in a long time. And she was hypothermic. The cat really looked like it was on its way out. If we hadn’t done anything, I think the cat would’ve been dead within the hour.”

At first it was uncertain whether Camie would pull through. After she got the call from the hospital saying her cat had been found but was in rough shape, April blamed herself for not staying around to find her when she went missing.

Camie began to respond to treatment and got her appetite back over the course of her first day at the hospital, and by the next morning it looked like she would recover. April drove to Keene, and Camie was able to leave the hospital that day.

“By time she [April] got her, she’d improved so much more, we were able to send her home,” Dr. Pearson said. “We didn’t perform any miraculous surgery on this cat, we just treated her with heat and food and some medication. We’re just lucky to have gotten her when we did.”

Camie was happy to see her petmom, who said: “She started purring and kneading my sweater, and she sat with me the entire way home. She wanted to be held.”

“She follows me everywhere now,” April said. “If I’m taking a shower, she’s in the bathroom. If I’m in the kitchen, she’s in the kitchen. She won’t let me out of her sight, and I don’t want her out of my sight, either. We’re feeding her a few more times than normal. When she’s hungry, she meows at me, and she was never a meowing cat at all before. I think she likes being spoiled, and I don’t mind doing it for her.”


Camie and Sparky at home in Saco, Maine
Photo via Cheshire Animal Hospital at Facebook


Read the full story from the Keene Sentinel HERE.

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