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Lost Libby Won't Step on the Lever!
August 28 - October 9, 2003 — missing 42 days.
Complete Cover extremely timid Libby escapes through an open door, but all the traps come up empty. Was this because Libby had been trapped in a humane trap a year ago?

Beautiful Maine Coon Libby

There is a lot to be learned from twice escaped Libby's story. . .

Some critter near Lyn and James' house keeps eating a little bit of the food set out in the humane traps, but stops short of stepping on the trap's lever. "I am convinced tho that it is either Libby we are dealing with, or another animal who KNOWS traps. The wild critters just bumble right it and trip it." Well, Libby would know all about traps since she had escaped before and had been recovered in a trap just a year ago. Lyn and James begin luring Libby into their house little by little using the House Trap technique — as well as some of their own very ingenious cat detecting techniques. . .


...we put the food on the deck up on a table so hopefully we would avoid the wild critters. A modest amt was eaten Wednesday night and someone ate more during the daytime yesterday! But last night was the best. Someone left a floury paw print on the flat top edge of the bowl, just like Libby always placed her paw while eating. It was definitely not the print of a possum, raccoon or skunk. It looked like a cat print of a petite paw like Libby's. It was the only print we could discern. The canned food bowl was neatly eaten, almost cleanly, and more dry food was eaten, also in a neat manner.


Pauline - we reach out to you this morning with the very good news that Libby is operating right on her own deck. We set up watch last night and at about 10:40 p.m., just after my husband started his "shift", she shot onto the deck, from the end that she left from 36 dys earlier, in full alert mode. She was an inch from the ground, moving rapidly but frequently stopping at every sound or perceived threat. She moved onto the deck hugging the railing, abt 15', then she shot over to the table where the food has been.


We'd also been experimenting with a mirror arrangement that will allow us to see into the kitchen, through the doorway onto the deck, from a vantage point on the second floor of the house. We're guessing that we'll need this arrangement when the time comes to try closing the door behind Libby, as there's no good place to watch without being so close that we'd scare Libby away. Anyway, we decided to leave the mirror arrangement in place and watch from the second floor. Libby appeared on the deck about 9:15, and surveyed the scene for several minutes, then went through pretty much the same behavior as the night before — ran along the railing to the back of the deck, jumped onto the table, and had dinner, all in her Complete Cover mode. We had binoculars with us, so we were able to get a pretty good look. It is definitely Libby, and she appears to be pretty much in one piece; no obvious injuries at least.


Oh Pauline — joy of joys — we got up this morning and she was sitting in the living room! The table was right at the door and she had just walked in. [NOTE: The table where food was place was originally 10 ft from the door. Over a period of 5 days, Lyn and James moved the table and food closer and closer to the door. All this time the door was left open at night with food inside the door, so it was only when the table was RIGHT AT the door, that Libby entered the door on her own.]

She is in pretty good shape. She weighs 7lb 10 oz, and probably weighed abt 9 lbs 42 days ago. She has at lst one fight wound and her long coat is matted up with these little burr like things. She was covered in ticks.

Based on the wound and the little burrs, I am going to speculate on where she was and I think it is the area that my husband caught a fleeting glance on abt Day 18. Of all the areas that we searched, that was the only area where I too picked up the little burrs. This would have been three houses away, or abt 2/10s of a mile, no resident dogs or cats and very quiet since that neighbor travels alot and except for a periodic cleaning person, had been on the road for the entire 6-wks that we searched. It is also an area that we trapped and had someone eating frm the traps in a manner that suggested the animal knew how traps worked. It is also in the vicinity of where I think I spied her on Day 8, or two houses away from the burr area, probably another 1/10 of a mile or so. what got her back to our neck of the woods, literally, I further speculate was a fight. She may have got run out of someone else's territory. Or, once we started trapping the wild critters, decided the pickings were too thin. If only she could tell us where she's been...........

Right now she is acting like she did aftr the PA 8-day adventure and like many other cats have been described on the web site: Still very fearful, dead tired, hungry, and periodically wanting attention. She will cry these little chirppy cries and want to be held and have her head patted, at which time she purrs lightly. We have not let the pep squad up frm the basement for now since they will not recognize her at first.

I will take her to the vet today and stay home from work so that she is not alone.

Pauline, you were an answer to our prayers and I do not think we would have had her back without you. We will be eternally grateful, especially because you helped us so much on your vacation. I will continue to visit the web site and if I ever get the ezboard figured out, try to respond to others. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Let us know how we can help you now.

Best regards,
Lyn & James

Read Libby's full story here.

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