[Vision2020] Caturday (February 18, 2023)
thansen at moscow.com
Sat Feb 18 07:23:54 PST 2023
"It was enough that they brought my cat back to me, at no charge, all the way across the United States, but to offer me a Christmas gift too...I was so overwhelmed." Welcome to Caturday.
Courtesy of People Magazine at:
How One Woman Returned a Lost Cat to Her Owner — From 600 Miles Away
After Jamie McCall's cat Tucker escaped from a hotel during her cross-country move, she thought she'd never see him again. But a kind stranger found Tucker and reunited them in time for Christmas
Last November, Jamie McCall was on a cross-country drive as she prepared to move from Florida to Michigan. She stopped at a hotel for the night in Cleveland, Tenn., and while she was getting herself a bite to eat, her beloved cat Tucker escaped from her room.
"My cat's an escape artist," explains McCall. "He sits hunched at the door and waits for someone to open it, then he runs out."
It somehow happened during McCall's quick errand, and she was devastated to return and find Tucker missing. "I could not find him. I looked everywhere, for hours."
When Tucker still hadn't turned up, McCall had no choice but to continue on her journey to Michigan, though it broke her heart to drive on without Tucker. A friend told her to post Tucker to the Cleveland, Tenn., lost pets page on Facebook, which she did.
Two days later, Holly Lillard was at work at a CBD dispensary near McCall's hotel. She went outside to sweep and saw a cat jump out from underneath someone's car. She called the cat over, and he came, which made Lillard sure that he belonged to someone who was missing him.
She asked around and when no one claimed him, she posted a photo of Tucker to her area's "Lost and Found Pets" Facebook group. (She was a regular there, not just because she's an animal lover whose own dogs are also escape artists, but because her aunt and cousin are the page administrators.)
"Before the day was even over, I'd found Jamie and her post," Lillard tells PEOPLE.
"She sent pictures and I knew immediately it was Tucker," says McCall.
There was just one problem: by the time they connected, McCall was already in Michigan.
"I was trying to make arrangements to get him back to me, but I just couldn't afford it," says McCall. "I was not financially able to have him shipped back to me or anything like that."
Lillard, however, had an unexpected solution. Her grandparents, who lived near her in Tenn., happened to have a home in Michigan, too, and they'd be coming up in December. Tucker could catch a ride with them and Lillard's grandfather would drop him off at McCall's new place. "What are the odds!?" McCall asks, laughing.
She of course accepted, and during the month-long wait for their reunion, McCall says Lillard would call her with updates, like how Tucker liked to cuddle with Lillard's 10-year-old dog.
"I would actually talk on the phone to my cat!" McCall says. "Holly and I more or less became family during that time, because she was taking such good care of him. Even though he was away from me, I felt so comfortable that he was with her." McCall sent Lillard money to help take care of Tucker, but Lillard returned that to her, too.
When Lillard's grandfather (a former record label exec who now drives tour buses for bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd) completed the 600-plus-mile journey, with Tucker in hand, McCall says her joy was indescribable.
Lillard was happy to be someone's kindness hero. "I've spent my whole life trying to help people," she says. "I mean, I would want someone to do it for me! It felt so great helping her. It was really good for my soul."
Photo . . .
Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”
- Roy E. Stolworthy
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