Miss V is back. Miss V, proper name Miss Violet, is my mother’s adopted cat of a year, and just days before Memorial Weekend she, an indoor cat, escaped the house and until two weeks ago, was missing. Before getting herself lost in Kalispell, Miss V had only ventured outside once, when a backdoor wasn’t latched properly, but she didn’t stray far and my mom was able to retrieve her from the yard. This time, she was gone for the night, the next day, the day after that, and soon the weeks became months.
The night she disappeared my husband made signs on the computer, and my mom and I walked the neighborhood streets and alleys, calling her name and hanging signs. My mom posted a missing cat announcement on social media, called the local animal shelters, and her veterinarian. I sent messages to friends who I knew lived in my mom’s neighborhood and hoped Miss V would be spotted. The weekend came and went, and there was no Miss V. The following week my mom got a message that someone spotted her, or what looked like Miss V, near Flathead High School. We searched the alleys, combed through the lilac bushes, but no cat.
We kept the signs up, and hoped. We had started to give up hope, this being two months after Miss V’s disappearance. Then two weeks ago my mom called me, crying. At first, I thought something had happened to my son, who was at her house that afternoon. My mom sobbed, “Someone has Miss V. I just got a call! They texted me a photo, but I’m not sure it’s really her,” she said.
I raced to my mom’s house, looked at the photo and wondered. It certainly looked like her cat, but the eyes were different. I was afraid to believe that Miss V had finally been found, afraid to hope. That afternoon I drove my mom to the woman’s house near Foy’s Lake where Miss V had been taken in two weeks after her initial disappearance. On the phone, the woman told us that her son, who lived near my mom, found the cat, about two weeks after Miss V had escaped. He gave the weak cat to his mom, who adopts and rescues cats at her home in Australia. She was in Kalispell for the summer and agreed to nurse the cat back to health and search for her owners.
When we arrived at the home, we were greeted by many happy dogs and a woman holding a cat. It was Miss V. It sure was. She had been lovingly cared for, fed, and loved for two months. That morning, the son who first rescued Miss V went for a jog in the neighborhood and noticed a missing cat sign. He called his mom, who then called my mom. We could tell that Miss V appreciated her rescuers, and was well taken care of. However, when she saw my mom, she curled in her lap. My mom couldn’t stop crying. We couldn’t stop thanking this woman and her son for caring for Miss V, and reaching out to us.
Miss V is back, and we hope she doesn’t try another escape. And to her rescuers, thank you.
Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.