What's the toughest part about losing a 16-year-old family pet—fearing for its safety in the wild, or having to explain its disappearance to your 5- and 7-year-old daughters?
That's the position Johanna Clark was in until she was reunited with her lost cat, Jaspar, at the Camden County Animal Shelter on Tuesday.
Clark said on a Facebook group that she had been packing for a weekend camping trip last Friday—a lot of in and out while loading up the car—and probably didn't notice while the black-and-white tuxedo cat slipped out.
When they discovered him missing, the Clarks fliered their neighborhood on Monday, took to Facebook groups to ask for leads, and posted a notice on Collingswood Patch.
Unbeknownst to them, Jaspar had already been found by neighbors on nearby Park Avenue, who notified the Almost Home animal shelter in Pennsauken, which picked Jaspar up and transported him to the Camden County Animal Shelter in Blackwood. Those same neighbors caught word of Jaspar's disappearance and notified the Clarks Tuesday.
On a Facebook post notifying searchers of Jaspar's safe return, Clark described the experience of seeing her lost pet in the shelter in very emotional terms.
At the refuge, he wasn't letting anyone go near him; "very scared," it said on his crate. He was in one of the last crates in the room and he let me pet him and take him out right away and hold him in the way that I usually hold him. It was a tearful reunion. I have had him and his sister for 16 years, so we have a history.
"My girls are very happy too," she wrote. "Thanks for all the support!"
Lost your pet? Found a pet? Patch can help. Check out our story on posting Lost Pet announcements to the site.