Faithful feline found by family
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Written by By JAN LARSON Sentinel County Editor
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 09:37
PEMBERVILLE - Don't tell Wavey the cat that her role in life is to be a finicky feline, not a loyal lapdog.
We've all heard heart-warming stories of dogs that overcome huge odds and traverse tough terrain to get back to their humans. But how about a cat that lingers at the scene of an accident until her owners return?
This tale began last week when Pemberville native Jena Lohrbach and her husband, Roger Whittaker, were on their way back to Ohio for the holidays from their home in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada.
As they were driving through the wide open spaces of Wyoming, they slowed upon seeing an emergency vehicle ahead. Their vehicle hit ice, turned 180 degrees, slid off the road, down an embankment, and rolled at least twice. The couple was taken to a hospital in Rawlins - with Jena having a badly sprained ankle and Roger having a bruise on his shoulder from the seatbelt.
Though relieved that their injuries were minor, the couple worried about their 6-month-old calico kitten, Wavey, who had been sleeping in the back of their van when it crashed. They saw no sign of her as they were taken from the scene of the accident.
The couple was released from the emergency room around midnight, and was taken by hospital staff to a hotel across the street. The next day, they tried to get a rental car, but were unable to secure one until sunset - too late to search for Wavey the cat.
"It drove us absolutely crazy, the day of waiting," Lohrbach.
They took off the next morning to the scene of the accident, frantic to find their feline who had been alone on the cold prairie for 40 hours.
"She was sitting there about five feet from the road, just sitting by the road," Lohrbach said. "She was actually sitting right where our skid marks were. She's brilliant."
That, and she was probably hungry.
The tow truck crew told the couple that as they cleaned up the accident scene, the found a bag of cat food thrown from the van. They figured a cat must have accompanied the food.
"And they saw a paw print," from the lost kitten, who up until then had been strictly a house cat.
So they sprinkled some food around the scene, since it was a very remote prairie area.
The food - or faithful love for her humans - held the feline fast to the last place she had seen them. Wavey, though cold and hungry, was otherwise fine.
"She was very, very cold," Lohrbach said, noting that the temperatures had dipped down to 20 below zero. "She settled right down in my lap on the way back to the hotel."
Before leaving the scene again, the couple showed Wavey to the tow truck crew, which was parked on a nearby service road. "They thought that was fantastic," Lohrbach said.
The couple returned to Rawlins and took their cat to a veterinarian.
"The vet said, 'she's amazing - just a little cut on the lip,'" Lohrbach said.
Her owners have, however, noticed that Wavey has developed some abandonment issues.
"She doesn't like to be alone," Lohrbach said.
But other than that, she seems to have suffered no ill effects.
"She's pretty back to being herself," Lohrbach said, as the cat kept playfully jumping on her legs during this interview.
Stranded without a vehicle in the middle of Wyoming, Jena's parents, Carl and Cindy Lohrbach of Pemberville, drove west last week to pick up the couple and their cat. It was the first trip home for the holidays in two years for Jena, a freelance editor, and Roger, a safety manager for a resource road building company.
A trip that Wavey the cat almost didn't make.
"It's pretty amazing isn't it," Carl Lohrbach said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 December 2009 11:05