Most would see his fuzzy orange face on the poster and see him as nothing more than a small ball of fur, a missing cat in a city with an abundance of them.
But to the three people who brought him into their home and raised him from a kitten, Cracker is as much a member of the family as any person could be. His disappearance hurt and left a hole that cannot be filled by just another other cat.
I know the hurt: he’s my cat and the people who brought him in are my wife and host daughter who picked him out of a litter of kittens driving home after Thanksgiving dinner in Kitimat.
If this were Vancouver or Toronto or some other major centre, most would probably not give the missing poster another look. But this isn’t a big city, overrun with people who are too busy worrying about their own life to worry about others. No, this is Prince Rupert, and if the last two weeks have taught me anything, it’s that people here care about one another.
When the poster hit the street, well-wishes, tips and possible sightings came pouring in. A group of workers at PJ’s Midway were keeping an eye on a seemingly abandoned cat near the store, even catching it with a city trap. It wasn’t Cracker, but the cat was taken to the Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter for care and hopefully to be given a home. Businesses also stepped forward to allow our host daughter to hang posters in hopes of finding him.
When the newspaper came out with the missing ad in the classifieds, we received more calls and tips. Even people we don’t know whose job it is to cover every nook and corner of the city, including postal workers and taxi drivers, told us they’d keep an eye out for him.
That type of support and response really is indicative of the people who live in Prince Rupert and the true sense of community that keeps people here for decades on end.
Between posters, our ad in the paper, his ear tattoo and caring members of the community, Cracker was returned on Sunday. Knowing strangers were giving of their time to help locate him truly warms the heart.