We have had Zoey since he was very young and he has always been an indoor cat. He only likes humans that feed him and cats that will play or cuddle with him, so he tends to avoid Kita as much as possible. Two years ago, late at night, we didn't realize he was by our back door, and when Kita ran in the room to go outside, he scared Zoey, causing him to run outside. Zoey ran fast and disappeared into the dark. He didn't have a collar (he takes it off immediately when we try to put it on him), wasn't microchipped and is declawed, so I was very worried.
We left the windows open that night to listen for him and Seph stayed up all night watching for him. It was October and very cold, but we did this for a few nights. I created a flier with his picture and put it up in local businesses and handed it out to the neighbors in our vicinity, posted that he was missing on petFBI, and started visiting the local shelters. There are A LOT of shelters in Columbus and some don't give cats much time to get adopted. I was shocked and scared to find out that cats essentially do not have any rights in the state, and don't even have a time period that shelters cannot euthanize (by contrast, dogs get 48 hours).
I gave Zoey's flier to all of the shelters and made sure that their staff were aware that my cat was missing. I visited the high-kill shelters most often, which was very depressing, as there was quick turnover and I knew that most of the beautiful, friendly cats I saw while looking for Zoey had since been put to sleep. I wished that I could have saved some of them so much, but had to focus on finding my little scaredy-cat before anything happened to him...(to be continued)