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My Beloved Cat Is Missing


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During the Labor Day weekend (Sunday night) my baby boy Dustin went missing. He is an indoor/outdoor cat and we have lived here in this house for 5 months now, so he was familiar with his surroundings. I would let him out in the morning, he’d come in for his day 'handsome' sleep, and then go out in the early evening again. And I would always go check on him because he was getting older (17 years old) and just cause I loved to be with him. But, that night when I opened the back door to get him inside for bedtime, I heard a quick rustle in back (either in the grass or tree leaves). At the time, I didn’t think much of it and went around my yard to call him. I did this a couple more times until 2am and woke up at 6am to walk my neighborhood to call him (& shake a bag of 'crunchies'); when there was no sign of him, I knew something was terribly wrong. That’s one of the worst feelings to go through.

After a few days of searching the neighborhood, putting up signs, and talking to neighbors, I was feeling lost and not knowing what to do. Then my sister suggested getting a pet detective and sent me a link with some names. Since I didn’t know if Dustin was even at the next house or 20 miles away, and maybe needed medical attention, I felt desperate. I called a couple of them and liked the one from LA. She couldn’t come out to AZ for a few days; but, she gave me a list of additional things I could do until she got here. So, a week after my boy went missing, we (the pet detective, her 2 scent dogs (a bloodhound & a terrier) and I) went searching for him. His scent is only in his territory and there was no scent trail leading out or no evidence of decomposition (or no kill site). That means whatever happened to him, happened in his territory (which is only my house, the 2 adjacent yards and the house in back of me). This would be either that someone took him, or the more probable situation is that a coyote (which I’ve heard them howling early in the morning hours off in the distance hills) or an owl took him. And after several people told me about coyotes and owls getting/attacking their pets, I’m thinking that is what the rustling in the tree/grass was that I had heard. I wish I had known that this threat was very real; I used to walk him on a leash at my college apartment because traffic was so close and I maybe could have done that here. I know I’m not supposed to think about the ‘should have’s’, but it’s a huge pill to swallow. But at the same time, I absolutely know he was happy to have a big yard to go explore at his leisure (and he would have gone crazy if I tried to make him an indoor cat). I do feel guilty for what has happened to him, because whatever happened to him, happened because I decided to move here and because of my ignorance of not knowing the threats here.

I know there is still a little hope he is alive and will come home; but the fact is that he is NOT here with me. Sometimes, I just can’t believe it. Sometimes I can't see the future without him. And then sometimes I’m ok, taking it moment by moment and try to keep busy so I don’t think about it all the time. But there is that big void in the back of my mind & heaviness on my heart. I was depended on him for his unconditional love and companionship, and that is the hardest part (and not knowing exactly what has happened). I only hope that if he is gone, that he didn’t suffer and his spirit is free (which he will always be with me no matter what). I miss him so!


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Hello Van,

I am so sorry your beloved Dustin is missing. I know how very heart wrenching it is to not know where your fur baby is, and if they are hurt or need help. I know it hurts when a pet dies, but at least then you know for sure where they are. When they don't come home, you are just left wondering.

I found this site last October when my kitty, Mia, did not come home. The house was so lonely without her. I still take second looks when I see a cat that looks like her, just to make sure that is not her. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her. So I know first hand how much you must be hurting now.

You have found a good site here. The people were very comforting to me last year when my cat was missing.

I hope you get some level of comfort in knowing that Dustin knew that you loved him. Like Dustin, Mia would have gone crazy if I tried to keep her inside (I actually did for a while, but eventually she won.).

I wish you peace and healing in the days and months ahead.


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