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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A cougar encounter near the flagpole above Pulpit Rock has closed off a section of the popular trail. File photo
Part of Pulpit Rock trail closed by cougar sighting

Pulpit Rock to the flagpole will be blocked to the public for the next two weeks

Nav Canada will not be closing the tower at West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada tower to remain open at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization was considering closing the tower

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson’s REDress Project exhibit vandalized

The REDress Project brings attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women

Dr. Katherine Oldfield is a naturopathic physician, mother, and active member of the Nelson-West Kootenay chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Photo: Submitted
COLUMN: Restore our Earth, restore our health

Katherine Oldfield marks Earth Day by writing about the priorities we need to have

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read