Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Missing Chilliwack cat Handsome found after five years spent living the wild life

It takes a lot of luck for a domesticated cat to make it five years, but Handsome is a survivor

A cat that’s been missing for five years has been found, and Handsome needs a new home.

The black and white kitty disappeared from the area of Yale Road and Menzies Street in Chilliwack in 2016, and after a few months his owner gave up on the idea that Handsome would find his way home.

The cat was given up for lost.

But in Handsome’s head, he wasn’t lost. He was surviving. He migrated to an area near Young Road and Airport Road, where there is a colony of feral cats living behind the RCMP station.

Handsome started living the wild cat life, and he would have remained completely undetected if not for Christy Moschopedis and the volunteers at FCM Community Cat Trappers. The group works to improve the lives of feral, barn, and stray cats in Chilliwack and surrounding areas. Part of that involves trapping feral cats and getting them neutered or spayed to control the population.

Moschopedis was tracking another cat when she spotted Handsome.

RELATED: Cora the Chilliwack cat reunited with family after four months on the loose

RELATED: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

“I was looking in the area behind Cheam View Veterinary Hospital, just across a ravine, and I saw him,” Moschopedis said. “They have this brand new fully-fenced locked compound and he was in there all by himself. It was nine at night, and I was like, ‘Oh! Smart kitty. You’ve found yourself a super safe place to hang out.”

Moschopedis set up a feed station and a camera to see if he visited the police station side of the ravine, and yes he did.

“So I put out food for four nights, and when I was sure he was coming every night, I set up the trap,” she said. “The girls at the vet clinic kept an eye on it and within two hours we had him.”

Handsome spent the first seven years of his life as an indoor/outdoor cat, with all of his needs provided for. For a domesticated animal to be thrown into the wild and survive five years is amazing. He has a puncture wound under his eye suggesting he’s had a recent scrap with a raccoon, but otherwise he’s in fine shape.

“It’s a lot of luck,” Moschopedis said, explaining how Handsome survived this long.

Handsome had an ear tattoo that was barely legible, and he was going to be released back into his colony. But after a lot of work, Moshopedis was able to connect with his owner.

Sadly, he can’t go back to his original home.

Five years is a long time, and his owner eventually moved on, buying a dog that isn’t cat friendly. Handsome is currently hanging out at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, and Moschopedis said such a lovable fluffball will have no problem finding a new family.

After living in the wild for so long, some cats are never able to re-adjust to domesticated life, but Moschopedis said the 12-year-old is still people friendly.

“When the vet clinic girls first checked the trap to try to sedate him, he was pretty angry, hissing a lot,” she said. “Thankfully, when he woke up he was a little more chill and very happy to rub his nose on my fingers when I put them into the trap.

“As soon as he’s cleaned, and a wound under his eye is healed up, he’ll be ready for adoption and he is absolutely lovely.”

For more info on FCM Community Cat Trappers, visit here.

For more info on Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, visit here.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

Catschilliwack

Just Posted

The SS Sicamous was decked out in poppies on Remembrance Day and lights at Christmas time. The Sicamous won’t be able to open again because of COVID restrictions. (Monique Tamminga - File photo)
The SS Sicamous was decked out in poppies on Remembrance Day and lights at Christmas time. The Sicamous won’t be able to open again because of COVID restrictions. (Monique Tamminga - File photo)
Penticton’s historic paddlewheeler likely won’t open for a second year

The SS Sicamous Society is getting lots of restoration work done during the closure

The new cases reported over the week of May 2 to 8. (BC CDC)
Weekly COVID-19 cases on the decline in the South Okanagan

Summerland saw its daily cases per capita return to normal levels after a spike

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Over 42,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given to South Okanagan residents

That includes more than half of the residents in the Penticton local health area

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

File photo of osprey. Black Press Media
VIDEO: Livestream of osprey birds and their babies in Kelowna

FortisBC sets up a nest with livestream camera in Kelowna for Ospreys

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry could have lessons for other provinces: lawyer

4 reports concluded the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime and the drug trade impacted the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Susan Larsen, who still lives on her own, celebrates her 100th birthday on May 16, 2021. (Contributed)
99-year-old Vernon woman eagerly awaiting second COVID-19 vaccine

Susan Larsen celebrates her 100th birthday May 16

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
B.C. teacher suspended after calling students ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ in online messages

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read