Finding Sugar


This was the last time I saw her. It was March 21st.

My cats are indoor-outdoor cats. Farm cats. I kept them inside for several days after we moved in then started letting them out again. Spice disappeared for a couple of days, until I heard her crying and pulled her out of a tangle of brush in a ravine. Diego was gone for about ten days. He showed up on the back porch one day as if he had no idea anyone was worried about him. I’ve kept him inside, snacking on cinnamon toast, since then. It’s not easy keeping ten cats inside the house. I’ll start letting them out again. Eventually. When I get over the trauma of losing them like that and am convinced they are fully settled in our new home. At one point, the three of them–Spice, Diego, and Sugar–were gone all at the same time. This was my Sackcloth and Sobbing Period. Then Spice and Diego came back. But Sugar…..

I thought I’d never see Sugar again. Then two days ago, my boys–who drive across the river ford every day to head to high school–said they saw Sugar across the river in a meadow. How she got across the river is a mystery, but they were convinced it was Sugar. Princess went up and down the road across the river giving out our phone number at every house and asking about Sugar. She found one man who said he’d seen her.

Yesterday, he called me.

“Your cat’s here right now.” He told me he couldn’t get near her. She’d run.

I jumped in the car and chased right over there. I pulled over on the side of the road in front of his house and jumped out. There was Sugar, running across his meadow. I called to her and tried to not run, afraid I’d scare her off. But she was already scared. She ran across the road and up a hill. I clambered (don’t you love the word clambered?) up the hill after her. I sat down, shook the can of Pounce I’d brought with me, and called her and called her. But by then I couldn’t even see her anymore.

Then the man yelled up at me that she’d come back down off the hill and run up the road.

I clambered back down and took off after her before I realized she was too far ahead of me and still running. I went back to my car and drove after her. About a half mile down the road, I spotted her again. I pulled over, grabbed the Pounce (and my camera, of course!) and called her.

She stopped on the hill and looked at me. I got out of the car and sat down on the side of the road in the dirt. I shook the Pounce can and talked to her and called her. And talked to her some more. I knew there was no use going after her. She’d run. I’d have to convince her to come to me.

But she seemed terrified, almost as if she’d gone wild, and she didn’t seem to recognize me. I raised her from the day she was born in the corner of my bathroom at the old farmhouse.

I didn’t care if I had to sit there for hours on the side of the road in the dirt. I was within sight of my Sugar. I wasn’t going home without her.

I kept talking to her, pleading with her, and then she started crying. And crying. And that’s when I knew it was going to be okay. She was crying. She recognized me. She was telling me how bad and awful and horrible it had been and how much she’d missed me. She started coming down the hill. And she kept coming till I put away the camera because Sugar was more important than pictures and I tossed bits of Pounce closer and closer. She ate up the pieces and came closer and cried and cried and I waited, waited, waited, till she had almost climbed into my lap then I picked her up and ran to the car.

She didn’t really like the part about the car ride.

Home, she stuck her head in the cat bowl and didn’t bring it out for quite some time. She’s soooo thin, poor baby.

Then she looked around, as if reacquainting herself with her surroundings.

And I think she said something like, “Don’t ever let me do that again, it was terrible.”

Then she gave herself some serious down time.

My Sugar is home.


  1. Patricia Herman says:

    I am so glad you found Sugar and have her home safely now. Bet she’s going to be a house cat now!!!!

    :cattail: :cattail:

  2. Country Girl says:

    😮 Oh that poor little kitty! And poor you! I am so happy :purr: this story has a happy ending, I started reading with trepidation, and then once you posted pictures of her I was saying “whew!” All’s well that ends well. Congrats on getting her back.
    PS my mom swears that rubbing butter on kittys paws after moving to a new place is the trick that will let them to find their way back home the first time they leave the house. I guess they smell the butter kitty prints right back to your door. Might be worth a try?

  3. Amelia says:

    My three furry friends (Touche. Tramp and Stormy) and I are so glad your Sugar is back home again. Oh, how we do love cats of ours.

  4. Christine says:

    Yay! Everything is sweeter with Sugar. So glad you found her. It’s amazing how fast they become thin. I had one escape for a week and she seem rather gaunt looking by the time we found her.

  5. Kim A. says:

    Oh, boy! I’m glad she’s home safe and sound and I hope she stays indoors for quite some time to come.

    If I had land, I still wouldn’t let my cats roam freely, but I *would* build (have built) a cat enclosure large enough to give them lots of space to be outside, safely. There are a number of companies that sell cat fencing and cat enclosures, but they’re pretty pricey. My townhouse back space is fenced (wooden) and last fall Dad and I used privacy lattice and made struts so we could attach it to the fence at a 60-degree angle. Apparently that angle throws off a cat’s depth perception and they can’t get over it.

    When I was growing up in Quebec, no one thought twice about letting cats roam — that was natural. But now — I couldn’t do it now. I’m too attached to my fur babies and there are too many dangers.

    May all your fur kids stay safe and healthy, Suzanne!


  6. Sarah in Sanford says:

    Geez, make a PMSing woman sob early in the morning why don’t ya! So glad your story had a happy ending. Glad Sugar is back where she belongs. :catmeow:

  7. Becky says:

    Poor kitty! I am glad she’s back and everyone is happy!

  8. Lora says:

    Very glad you have your kitty back. We moved recently and that was a real fear of mine. I would be heart broken if I lost my two babies.
    I’m sure she missed her momma (she probably told you so) and is happy to be home safe after her adventure.
    Now she has a tale to tell the others!

  9. Betty says:

    I’m so glad Sugar found her way back. And thank God for good neighbors.

    I’ve been away from my baby for almost a week. We go home today and I can’t wait to have her yell at me for leaving.

  10. jan says:

    It seems that they all find their way back some somewhow. We have a dog that keeps getting out. But we go out and find her bring her back and do it all again the next day. Our 6 year old hasn’t figured out how to go out the door without letting the dog out. MAybe one day we won’t go looking for her…..

  11. Rita says:

    So happy you have Sugar back. It is good to read about the love you have for her. I thought I was the only one who would walk miles and sit for hours to get my animal back. They are such a part of my life. Sugar looks like she is finally home and never cares to leave again.

  12. Melissa says:

    Oh! Look at her poor little nose. I love it when cats, ‘talk’. :catmeow:

  13. becki says:

    Our feral cat was missing for three days. On the second day, my husband was calling every hour to see if he had come home. On the thrd day, husband had a workshop he had to attend and was due to be out of the office most of the day. Well, about 9:00 that morning, the cat came home. Cold, hungry, tired. I called his assistant to tell husband the cat was home if he checked in. The assistant paused. “I’d better go over there and tell him. We’ve had to deal with missing cat stories for days.”

    My husband was home within half an hour. By then, our cat was sound asleep on his side of the bed, having gone through a very large bowl of food. Husband picked up the sleeping furball and just held him close for a minute. Then he looked at me and said softly “I was so afraid I’d find him on the side of the road.”

    He put the cat back on the bed (Doc never even woke up) and went back to his workshop. Cat was still asleep when he came back.

  14. jean says:

    I bet all of you slept better last night now that she is home. How great that you found her and had the patience to sit and wait for her. She knows and trusts you! Congratulations to the both of you.

  15. Treasia says:

    :purr: So happy you found her safe and sound. Bless her little kitty heart I bet she was really scared. I had that happen to me once years ago and it was weeks before I found my “Patches”.

  16. trish says:

    Suzanne, how horrible. I’m so glad you got Sugar home! :catmeow: I’d be frantic if one of my cats was lost!

  17. Shimmy Mom says:

    :heart: Oh I’m soooo glad you found her. Poor little Sugar. We only have one cat named Cocoa, but he is my world. When we moved a month ago I wouldn’t let him out for 2 weeks. He was so mad at me, but I was so worried something like that might happen.

  18. IowaCowgirl says:

    POOR KITTY!!! Glad she is home and apparently passed out.

  19. Amy Addison says:

    I’m so glad you found Sugar! How scary to have her missing for so long.


  20. Jyl says:

    So glad to hear you got some Sugar back in your life.

  21. Linda~ says:

    Glad you found her. I’m sure she’ll stay close to home for a while.

    I’m curious about the 10 cats/chicken thing. Will you have “chickens in the road” or will they be in an enclosure where the cats can’t get them?


  22. Janet says:

    :elephant: I’m soooo glad she came home. Is that a boo-boo on her nose? Poor baby!

    On another note, do you have to cool the sugar\water\coffee mixture down before adding the vodka when making Kaluha?

  23. kacey says:

    That is FANTASTIC news! Welcome home Sugar!

  24. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Janet, yes, her face is a little banged up. No telling what she’s been into! Re the kahlua, no, you don’t have to cool it down, though it might be easier to handle if you did But you can just stick the bottle(s) in the fridge after you make it. It doesn’t matter.

    Linda, I certainly don’t want the cats having access to the babies! But they aren’t going to tackle older chickens, I don’t think. The chicken lady at the farm where I got the eggs had several cats (and dogs) running around with her chickens.

  25. catslady says:

    Oh I was so afraid she was gone and I’m so glad she’s home. :snoopy:

    My inside cats were all strays and ferals so I always worry. My one was missing for a week once and darn if he didn’t do it again for 10 days another time. I got sight of him a couple of times but I saw that same wild look in his eyes. I think the only reason I got him back was this huge thunderstorm – he hasn’t wanted to leave since lol.

    I have 3 female ferals that I’ve taken care of for 11-13 yrs. and every once in a while they disappear – I’ve learned that they go for 3 days (always 3 days) – I call it their “trek.” If all are gone I don’t worry too much but when only one disappears I’m constantly looking outside.
    Then there was the time…(too many cats with too many stores lol).

  26. Lucy says:

    Ohhhh..I loved this post. I’m so glad you got her back. Losing a cat is the hardest. I hope she knows where her home is now. Thanks.

  27. Carol says:

    Not allowed to make me cry at work……….for an incredible cat comming home story, read YarnAGoGo blog, about Digit Not Dead! thank you for kitties that come home and humans that wait…….

  28. Laney says:

    Oh my gosh, Suzanne!! I am so happy your post had a happy ending…I wasn’t sure I could handle it if it was bad news. Still, I am crying.

    I love the fact that you use a can of Pounce to lure your cats. Our 18 year old Siamese, Scampi would come running when he heard that sound.

    Venus, our 5 year old Lynx Point, came to us after Scampi moved on to whatever is next this past January. Pounce must be the universal cat caller (next to leering construction men :thumbsup: ) because when we brought Venus home she immediately went upstairs and hid under our bed and I think she would have stayed there for weeks had it not been for our can of Pounce. We would shake that can and then sit and patiently wait for her to peek her head out from under the bed skirt. Never underestimate the power of Pounce cat treats.

    I am so glad Sugar is back home. Give that sweet kitty a big hug for me.

    The things we do for our cats.

  29. Renna says:

    I love a story with a happy ending, and if there happens to be a cat in the plot, even better. :catmeow:

  30. Kim W says:

    Oh, how wonderful! Now you can take your heart out of your throat. I always hated it when any of my pets were missing…I prepare myself to hear that aweful sound of car tires and pet screams. Ooooo…makes my heart beat fast just to think of it.

    OK…I’m going to go hold my dog and shower her w/kisses, now!

    Blessings from Ohio…

  31. debidoodle says:

    I’m so glad she is home and safe! Isn’t Pounce a wonderful thing for getting their attention? :hug:

  32. Tori Lennox says:

    I’m so glad Sugar is back home!!! Poor kitty!

  33. Shelley says:

    :cattail: I am so happy you found your kitty – and so glad to know someone else will go to extraordinary lengths for their pet just like I would in a heartbeat for my kitty! I’m curious since I know once cats get a taste of the “outside” they always want to go out. Is Sugar bugging you to go outside or do you think she’s decided she wants to stay in now?
    All the best,

  34. Jennifer Robin says:

    Poor baby! I can only imagine the range of feelings and emotion you went through when she recognized you. Thank goodness she has you; so many people would have just given up on her.

  35. Shari says:

    Welcome home, Sugar! :catmeow:

  36. Brandy says:

    Glad you found Sugar! She looks tired, poor baby. I hope you get a nap too! *G*

  37. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Shelley, no, she’s not asking to go outside today. She’s mostly just being really clingy to me and following me around and wanting a lot of attention–which I’m glad to give her!

  38. Susan says:

    Suzanne, give Sugar a hug for me. :hug: I’m so relieved you found her. You truly had me thinking the worst at the beginning. Not nice! :no:

  39. Marissa says:

    Welcome home Sugar! I’m so glad she is back….they become our children don’t they! We have two cats and one busy Jack Russell puppy.
    Get some rest Sugar!

  40. Estella says:

    So glad the Sugar adventure has a happy ending!

  41. TSanniebb says:

    A happy ending…so WONDERFUL! :catmeow:

    Our Tally-WHO-who went for a walk 3 years ago now and I’m still hoping he comes home – he was/is the best cat EVER. 😥

  42. Lisa in Californi says:

    I’m so glad to hear she’s okay. She must have gotten a bit lost during her wilderness adventures. That’s the worst feeling in the world…not knowing where one of your kitties has gone off to. I’m so glad she’s back and safe. Give her an extra hug from me.

  43. robin says:

    :cattail: i am so glad she is home;moving is hard to understand sometimes!

  44. Paula Bogdan says:

    I am so glad that she’s home and safe. Give her hugs from me!

  45. SuzieQ says:

    So glad of the happy ending..was crying while reading…still blowing nose and happy for you..My dogs are my babies with fur..the others are grown now.

  46. Maria says:

    This was traumatic to even read about!! Poor Sugar! Poor Suzanne! I’m so very happy she is home safe and sound!

  47. Robbyn says:

    So glad you found her!!!

  48. Twinville2 says:

    😮 I started reading this post and I feared the worst!

    I was so thrilled when you found her and how she came back to you. :purr:
    Reminded me of a similar experience I had with my own cat years ago when I had a friend pet sit for me. But he allowed my cat to get out and my kitty wasn’t happy there anyway.
    We feared that he got out and into the street, since my friend lived in the city. We walked for blocks and blocks putting up signs.
    But then while calling out to him we realized my kitty was in the drain outlet right in front of my friend’s apartment. He, toowas afraid to come to me at first, and then I was overwelmed with emotion, like you were, when he jumped into my arms covered in filth and mud.
    It was a beautiful moment.

    I’m so glad you ahd Sugar had your own beautiful moment and that she is back home safe and sound. :cattail:

  49. Yaffa & Sebastian says:

    Awww, Sugar is adorable. I’m glad she’s home now!

  50. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    We’re so glad Sugar made it home. She was probably cold, scared, and hungry out there.

  51. Krista says:

    I’m so glad you found sugar! It does a heart good. I’m glad I’m not the only one who had a cat that suffered amnesia. My indoor “baby” slipped out a few Thanksgiving’s ago and was missing for a week. Turned out she was just a few houses away, hunkered in their backyard. She acted like she was terrified of me tried to bolt. A cat who has slept next to me every night for 14 years and follows me constantly. I’ve had to question the size of the feline brain.

  52. Donna says:

    Ohhh, I am sooo glad Sugar is home! Your baby is home. They truly are our babies, aren’t they!!! I love my little Parakeet and he turned 7 yesterday. What a sweet sweet kitty. I am so glad she’s home safe and sound! :mrgreen: :snoopy: :catmeow: :cattail: :purr: :bananadance:

  53. Sue says:

    Oh wow! I just followed the link from your 26th Dec. review of the year….oh sob, sob, sniffle…what a weepie story! I am so glad you found her! 😎

  54. Barry says:

    This is a wonderful story. 🙂

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