TARCOG staff rescues, rehomes lost cat
Meet Rem. He was a lost gray cat with yellow eyes and fangs who now has a new home thanks to TARCOG coworkers Leslie Wright and Max Woods.
Leslie, an economic development specialist, was leaving the TARCOG office one evening when she saw a dark-colored animal out of the corner of her eye.
“I was startled because I thought it was a big possum at first,” she said. “But then I saw it was a cat instead.”
Leslie, who has an orange tabby named Chairman Meow that only answers to “Kitty,” walked over and started talking to it. The cat responded positively, she said. “It was meowing and not running away so I was trying to get it to come to me.”
About that time, another coworker, Max Woods, a Medicaid Waiver case manager, came outside. Max remembers seeing a couple of coworkers standing in the middle of the parking lot and Leslie crouched down by her car.
“Then I saw the cat,” Max said. “I subconsciously knew that if I went and petted it, I would probably end up taking it home.”
The cat was skittish of any small movement at first, but trust came quick.
“It was very clear this was someone’s pet who got out,” Max said. “I realized I had a collapsible crate in my car that I use for groceries so once he trusted me enough, I picked him up and slowly started walking to my car. He got startled by something and leaped out of my arms, running towards the office building,” Max said. “But after a few minutes I was able to pick him again and walk to the car.”
Leslie helped open the car and they put the cat in the crate.
“Then I realized there was no top for the crate, but I had a blanket in the car, so we wrapped it over the top and tucked it under the crate to make sure he stayed in while I was driving home,” Max recalled.
By the loud meowing, it was obvious the cat wasn’t too happy about being in the crate. But Max said surprisingly the cat settled down and they got home without any incidents. After food and water, Max introduced the cat to their mother and slowly to his other cats, Andy and Luna. Then Max started posting online “everywhere” about finding the cat. The next day, Max’s mom took the cat to the vet to find out he was 1-2 years old, not chipped nor neutered.
“We added that to the online posts, but the description did not match for any of the people who reached out looking for their missing cat,” Max said.
On the fourth night, Max fell asleep with the window open. The new cat scratched a hole in the screen and disappeared.
“We went around the neighborhood, posted ads online, and went to the shelter to no avail,” Max said. He read online that if you leave the point of exit open a cat will return. It worked. Max woke up to see “Rem was laying there like nothing ever happened.”
Max then ordered tracking tags for all three cats and has kept the window shut. By the end of two weeks, Max figured no one would come to claim the cat so he chose a new name. Because of the bright yellow eyes and fangs, Max landed on Rem, a character from an animation show with similar looks.
“The character is honestly pretty creepy looking, but she has yellow eyes and fangs just like his, and the name just fit him so well.”
The addition of Rem to Max’s other cats Andy and Luna helped mitigate the dynamic between the other two cats.
“Anytime Rem leaves my bedroom, Andy follows directly behind him and acts like an older brother being made to babysit his younger brother. They fight sometimes, but then right after they will be bumping noses and laying a foot away from each other,” Max said. “Luna has been doing very well since Rem got here, actually she’s better than before because Andy used to chase her so she would hide a lot. Now that Andy’s focused on Rem, Luna is now comfortable sitting wherever she pleases.”
Every day, the TARCOG staff helps people in various ways — whether it’s aging related, strengthening the economy or community planning. This time, the caring nature of the team extended to a lost cat finding a happy ending with Max as his new owner.
“Every time I pet him, Rem looks up at me and smiles so that his little fangs show,” Max said. “It’s the cutest thing in the world!”