Finding Ricky

By Fran Gonzalez | Jan 09, 2018
Photo by: Sharon Hibbard Ricky in his easy chair at home in Montville.

Just about two weeks ago, my wife received a call about our missing cat Ricky.

"Yeah, I think I've spotted your kitty. He's been coming around every day about 7 at night. Big, orange and fluffy. I've been feeding him. He sure looks like a lion," said the caller.

That set my wife off into a nervous frenzy. There was a storm predicted by the middle of the week and with the subzero temperatures, how is Ricky supposed to survive?

This was about the fourth sighting that we had received about Ricky in the three months since we had been unwillingly separated in a car accident in October. But this one seemed more promising than others. It was about five houses away from where the accident took place. With each call it was very upsetting to get our hopes up only to have them dashed when it became apparent it wasn't Ricky.

We had been up and down this stretch of road before, putting up flyers, talking with people, trudging through woods, thickets and thorns. But now all was covered in snow and ice.

We placed a have-a-heart trap and installed a game-camera in hopes of confirming it was actually Ricky. First try, he escaped the trap somehow, or perhaps it wasn't Ricky at all. We decided that with the cold temperatures, it probably wasn't a good idea to have anything trapped outside for any length of time. So we put a dog crate with some rigid insulation and blankets on the inside to try and lure him closer to the house, to be able to get a picture of him.

We would go after work to check the camera and talk with the homeowner. We had become friends by now. She told us once she had been shopping in Belfast and ran into a friend and told him she thought this cat was Ricky. The man said The Ricky?

You see by now, Ricky had become a legend of sorts. What with his face on a flyer at all local groceries stores, on several Facebook pages devoted to missing cats, and up and down the general area where it happened.

My wife had gone to check the camera on Wednesday night, the day before the snow storm. She called home to say she thought she had found Ricky! While checking the camera, she heard meowing. Just when she had spotted him at the edge of the driveway, an oil delivery truck had turned into the driveway and spooked him. She was able to get a gallon of milk from the homeowner and was able to lure him over by shaking the jug, until he finally walked over to her and sat on her lap.

When we first saw Ricky, after not seeing him for three months, I thought, "Is this really Ricky?" His fur was matted and seemed so long, he had kitty dreadlocks from not being brushed. But after seeing him with our dog Buckie, we knew that it definitely was Ricky Riccotta, as my son likes to refer to him.

Buck missed Rick quite a bit, it seems, from the way they played. They are both about a year old and had played together as pups but now Buckie stood much taller than Rick, and Ricky moved slowly and deliberately around him.

So now Ricky is taking it easy, lying by the fire and eating like crazy. If there is any lesson to be learned, it is never lose faith and trust your instincts. Thank you to all who have helped in his search; Ricky thanks you, too.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Judith C Feyler | Jan 09, 2018 17:53

As a cat lover, this makes me very happy.  Maybe a micro chip should be in his future.!

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