Bad Godesberg/Lüdenscheid On July 16 of 2020, Findus the cat went missing and his owner Ina Wakup started what turned out to be a very long search. On July 24, 2021, Findus was found safe and sound in Bad Godesberg, far away from his home in Lüdenscheid.
It’s a story that is almost impossible to believe: After more than a year, Findus the cat was returned safe and sound to his owner Ina Wakup. The red fur cat had gone missing from its home in the town of Lüdenscheid on July 16, 2020. Last week, Findus was reunited with his owner. The cat had been staying now and again with a family in Bad Godesberg who lived near the Waldkrankenhaus (Wald Hospital) in Schweinheim. On July 24, they informed Katzenschutz, an animal protection organization in Bornheim about the cat. It is assumed that the cat must have been located in the Schweinheim area for some time before that.
The cat made its way over 100 kilometers
As part of the normal routine, a volunteer from the organization took Findus to a veterinarian in Eitorf. They found that he had been neutered and had a chip. It was the chip that made it possible for the little runaway to be returned to his family in Lüdenscheid. "Findus was in good condition, but he lost just under two kilos over the time (he was away)," reports Susanne Wanninger-Karn, chairwoman of Katzenschutz Bonn/Rhein-Sieg. In earlier times, he was known as "fat Findus", weighing a proud six and a half kilos.
It remains pure speculation as to how the now six-year-old cat came to Bad Godesberg. The straight-line distance from Lüdenscheid to the Waldkrankenhaus is around 70 kilometers, and by car it is between 100 and 125 kilometers. "Maybe someone gave him a ride," Wanninger-Karn speculates. Findus, by the way, felt so at home in Schweinheim because the family he visited several times owns two dogs. At home in Lüdenscheid, Findus also shares his territory with two dogs.
Big search for Findus
Ina Wakup does not believe that her cat ran away. Findus is very trusting, she took him in at an early stage and rescued him from a difficult situation. The bond they developed is very strong. On that day of July 16, 2020, a Thursday, it rained in Lüdenscheid. "I do not believe that Findus simply ran away. It is more likely that he sought shelter, perhaps in a postal service vehicle or in a work van, and this started him off on his journey," she says.
She quickly noticed that he was missing, and with the help of neighbors and farmers, they set out to find the cat. Wakup lives in a more rural part of Lüdenscheid. There was great concern that he was locked in a garage somewhere. But the search was fruitless: there was no trace of Findus. Search notices were distributed and the animal protection organization Tasso was contacted. Tasso is involved in the search for missing animals and keeps a record of them and their chip coding in a centralized list.
In the spring of 2021, the search was stopped
"I kept getting tips that a red fur cat had been found, but mostly they were dead," Wakup said. By spring of this year, she had had enough, needed closure and asked that she not receive any more new tips. Until Saturday, July 24, when her cell phone rang. "I was in the backyard and the display showed a strange number," Wakup said.
She didn't answer the call, she said. "Then a text message came too, which was unusual, as most everyone now uses WhatsApp. And it said that my cat was found," said the owner. She could not believe it, especially that Findus was in Bonn. But the cat settled very quickly back into his old home- as if he had never been away, she said. "You can never give up hope," Wakup said.
Findus may have walked the long distance on his own
It is quite possible that Findus walked from Lüdenscheid to Bad Godesberg all on his own, explained an employee of the Bad Godesberg veterinary practice Dr. Rainer D. Hermann. "Ten kilometers a day is no problem for a cat, so it is quite possible for a cat to cover such a distance within a year," the staff member said.
Based on Findus' story, Susanne Wanninger-Karn from Katzenschutz Bonn/Rhein-Sieg urgently appeals to all cat owners to have their animals tattooed or injected with a chip. The latter does not hurt the animal, she said. "Even cats that normally stay only at home should be chipped, because a cat can easily get out through an open door and cover some distance," says Wanninger-Karn.
Not the first time a cat has been found far away
Findus is not the first runaway cat to cause a sensation at Katzenschutz Bonn/Rhein-Sieg. In 2016, Sissi the cat was found after 13 months in Alfter. Sissi was 15 years old at the time and was reported missing in St. Gallen, Switzerland, by her owners, a family of veterinarians. At that time, the thin, very shaggy cat turned up on the property of a family in Alfter. It is not known how the cat traveled the approximately 600 kilometers, but the story generated a great deal of media interest at the time.
Orig. text. Maximilian Mühlens