Lost, found, adopted, scanned for a chip, and finally reunited with his petmom; after a tumultuous year, Dimitri is back home where he belongs.
Lexi Webster shares a special bond with her cat, Dimitri, and she never gave up on him after he disappeared slightly more than a year ago. He turned up at a shelter recently and was adopted by someone else, but now he is back with his petmom again.
“He’s my little baby,” Lexi said of her beloved cat, who was 7 months old when he disappeared.
Dimitri went missing when Lexi had company for a Super Bowl party at her Middletown, Connecticut home early in February of 2014 and he slipped out the door.
“Somebody left the back door open,” she said. “I went to go feed dinner and he was not in the house anywhere.”
Lexi did everything in her effort to find her missing cat. She searched the neighborhood, went door-to-door, posted fliers, contacted animal control and posted at Facebook.
“She kept searching diligently,” Middletown Animal Control Officer Gail Petras said. Gail became involved in the search, posting Dimitri’s photo on Facebook and asking for tips from the community.
None of the leads panned out.
Just about a year after he’d gone missing, Dimitri turned up at the Meriden Humane Society. Unfortunately, he was not scanned for a microchip, and he was quickly adopted by another family. When the new adopters took Dimitri for a vet check he was scanned for a chip and things got complicated when his microchip was found.
The vet who scanned him called the veterinary office where Dimitri was registered, and where Lexi works as a veterinary assistant.
Middletown Animal Control had to intercede before Lexi and Dimitri could be reunited, but last week he was able to go back home. Lexi says it was more than worth the wait.
On Monday afternoon, Gail Petras sent Webster a text message that simply said “I’ve got him.” It was all she needed to say.
Lexi was reunited with Dimitri at Pieper Olson Veterinary Clinic, where she works.
“I cried a little bit,” Lexi said. “I was so excited.”
“It was completely surreal,” she said. “I mean, it still sometimes doesn’t even feel like he’s back.”
“I almost got used to the fact that I might never see him again. Who knows what he’s been through — what kind of adventures he’s been on.”
It took nearly a month of negotiations with the new adopters before Dimitri was able to return home.
It was an “uncomfortable situation,” Gail Petras said, “But we were able to get the cat back, get him back to Lexi. If he hadn’t had a microchip, we wouldn’t have known.”
“We have scanners [at Middletown Animal Control] and scan every animal that comes in,” Gail said. “We are hoping that more rescues do this.”
“You have to make sure it’s registered,” she said. “If you move, change your number, you have to make sure you update that.”
Gail says Dimitri seemed uncomfortable when she picked him up from the new adopters but he brightened up when he saw Lexi again and appeared to become contented.
“He went right to her,” she said.
It is taking Dimitri a little while to readjust to being back at home, and he initially hid under a dresser.
“I could tell that he was very overwhelmed,” she said.
He comes out to sit on Lexi’s lap when things are quiet but still hides when other people are around.
“He’s healthy and happy — and he’s never going outside again,” she said with great emphasis.
Gail praised Lexi’s dedication to her missing cat.
“Every time we’d find a cat [at animal control], she’d call and ask ‘Are you sure it’s not Dimitri?’”
“She kept hoping that we’d find him — it’s amazing that we did.”
“I never thought that he was gone,” lexi said. “I never knew if I was going to see him again. I always knew that he was safe somewhere. I felt like he made it — I just didn’t know if he was going to make it back to me.”
Several of the quoted comments above are via a story on Lexi and Dimitri’s reunion in the Middletown Press.