Thanksgiving. It is a time to reflect on our lives and all that we are thankful for. This year, the Meant 2B Loved team, along with a woman named Kenzie Taylor did not have any trouble finding a reason to give thanks – all because of a series of very unlikely events.

On September 19, Meant 2B Loved volunteer Kathryn Shepherdson, part of the rescue’s TNR (trap, neuter, release) program caught what she thought was a feral cat but after spending some time with him, she felt he was a little too tame to be truly feral.

After taking him to the vet and confirming he had already been neutered, a foster (who wishes to remain anonymous and who also happens to be part of M2BL’s TNR team) decided to work with him to see if she could bring him back to being a housecat. After a week, however, the cat still had too much ‘spice’ to him, and it was decided a barn home would be best. He was due to go to the barn home on October 4th.

On October 3, Kenzie, who lives in Lethbridge, happened to be scrolling through Facebook and saw a post about a woman who was looking for her missing cat. Kenzie could relate to the pet-owner’s anguish so commented on the post, “Same thing happened to me in Moyie.”

Back in August of 2021, Kenzie had taken a road trip to BC to introduce her newborn son to family. They were staying for 2 weeks so wanted to bring Lenny, their cat, along. On their way home, they stopped at the Moyie General Store for a quick break and when Kenzie opened the car door, Lenny unexpectedly jumped out, ran under the car, and disappeared.

After a desperate search, and with a newborn baby to consider, Kenzie was forced to leave Lenny behind.

“It was devastating having to leave him. I was so worried about him and wished I could have stayed forever to search for him. It felt so different and lonely without him.”

Kenzie and Lenny had been together for eight years prior to his disappearance.

“Lenny is such a loving companion,” she said. “A friend of mine’s cat had a litter of kittens, and when I went to pick one out, he chose me instantly and had never left my side until that day. He isn’t fond of many people but has had a special bond with me since the beginning. He used to ride on my shoulders, jump into my arms to be carried and hugged, and sleep snuggled up next to me every night. We have moved and traveled between 3 provinces together and had many adventures along the way.”

 

Photo sent from Kathryn to Kenzie

 

Kenzie was not the only one to be watching the post about the missing cat. Kathryn Shepherdson also saw it, and Kenzie’s comment. She responded to Kenzie, asking if she had ever found her cat, because she had recently trapped a cat in Moyie that had been fending for himself for a couple of years. After a brief discussion, Kathryn sent Kenzie a photo of the cat she had captured. Kenzie quickly responded, “THAT’S HIM!!” She told Kathryn her cat had a tattoo on his ear – and sure enough – it was Lenny.

“I hoped so badly he would be found safe. I made posts to a few different Facebook groups in the area and searched the SPCA website and lost pet pages every day for months, and every once in a while up until the day he was found,” Kenzie said. “When Kathryn shared the photo, I knew instantly it was my Lenny. It was unbelievable, my heart sank to my stomach and happy tears wouldn’t stop flowing. It was too good to be true. What are the chances?”

On Friday, October 6, Kenzie intended to travel to the Cranbrook area to be reunited with Lenny. However, 15 minutes outside of Lethbridge, her car broke down. She was heartbroken again.

“It was so disappointing because all I had been looking forward to was seeing my cat again.”

Not willing to keep Kenzie from her beloved Lenny any longer, however, our anonymous volunteer drove Lenny to Lethbridge so the reunion could take place. And what a reunion it was.

“I was in tears as soon as I heard his meow in the back of the car. I couldn’t believe it was really him, I never thought I would see him again. When we got inside and let him out of the kennel, he let me pick him up and hug him right away. That moment filled my heart back up with love and relief,” Kenzie added. “He remembered me and his home right away. He seemed to calm down and his meow got quieter as soon as he heard my voice and he let me pet and hold him which he doesn’t usually let strangers do. When we got in the house, he knew exactly where to go.”

Image shows woman hugging a cat

After returning home, the volunteer sent a message to other M2BL team members which said:

“I had the wonderful experience of returning a cat to its owner after two years because of this TNR program. Words can not express the emotions of watching the reunion. This is why we all do what we do. I am blessed to have been able to experience this very special occasion.”

An hour after their reunion, Kenzie texted our volunteer to say,” He has been rubbing his face on everything and purring like crazy. He is happy.”

“This is one for the books,” said Ruth Billmann, M2BL president and co-founder. “Finding the owner in Alberta without a microchip is sure not happening every day.”

Kathryn agrees. “This is a good example of being at the right place at the right time.  It really is a miracle.  I’m so proud of being part of this rescue and fostering for M2BL and hopefully getting more involved with TNRs.  I’m also wanting those people who have lost their cats or dogs to never ever give up hope! 

After a Thanksgiving weekend to remember, Kenzie is filled with gratitude. “I just want to thank everyone involved from the bottom of my heart for the safe return of Lenny,” Kenzi added. “I am blown away with everyone’s kindness and compassion. And so grateful for the power of social media for helping bring my boy back home. I am truly so lucky, and Lenny is so happy to be home with his family.”

With a reunion story as unlikely as this, we have to believe it was Meant 2B.

 

We are, of course, hoping the owners of the other kitty have a similar happy ending. If you see a beautiful grey kitty with a white patch on his chest in the Yahk area, please reach out. We’d love to have another amazing reunion.

 

Image shows grey cat with white patch on chest sitting on a cat toy

Stevie – Still missing