Off the Hook

Aug. 23, 2005

The lost cat is lost no more.

The Inspector came meowing at the door at 5:30 Tuesday morning, hungry and worn out from two days on the run.

A collar AND a microchip will be required for any future cat-sitting calls.

Thanks for all of your suggestions and support! And for the record, I did NOT lose the cat on purpose.

Aug. 22, 2005

I was pet-sitting this weekend, watching my girlfriend's mother’s dog and cat. Gia, the dog, is fine. Inspector, the cat, is on the lam.

I only left the door open for a minute. I've never owned a cat, and didn't realize he'd seize the opportunity to escape. I thought he enjoyed my company! I fed him and showed him plenty of attention...but apparently the lure of the outdoors was too strong to resist.

My friends and I walked the neighborhood several times Sunday afternoon and evening, meowing and calling for the Inspector. I was worried he might be lost, trapped, or in the clutches of either another animal, or some deranged kid down the block. I even called the police to see if anyone had found him.

Then, Sunday night, we spotted him. He was hanging out in the backyard, and ran and hid when we got close. Later, around midnight, I saw him again, creeping across the grass. I tried to sneak up on him, but when I was about 20 feet away he took off again, ignoring my offers of food and comfort.

My girlfriend says she's not mad, but she's definitely worried. She thinks the cat will come home eventually, when he gets really hungry or lonely.

I feel terrible about the whole thing, and I hope he's OK.

I'm guessing I won't get the call to cat-sit again anytime soon.

E-mail Rick!

I have shared your story with my entire family...Glad to see that Inspector has returned!

I gotta say this because I'm a HUGE FOX News fan! You did a fabulous job about a week ago when you covered for Shep. How come he only gets to go to Skinnerville? Seems to me you are getting the short end of the stick, my friend! Looking forward to seeing you in Shep's spot EVERY time he takes a day off! Take care!


Hi Rick! I chuckled when I read your cat-sitting story. So glad that Inspector returned home. I am the proud owner of five kitties and they all go into hiding (sometimes for days!) when someone unfamiliar visits. My cat Preslee is the worst--she won't come out to eat or use the litterbox! Hope your g-friend's mother was appreciative of the fact that you went so far as to call the police! You can cat-sit for me anytime! Have a nice day.

Julie in Kentucky

Did kitty ever come home? We are waiting to see if the length of his outing directly affects the amount of trouble you may be in…..

Roswell, GA

My husband, who is not a cat lover, teases our children all the time about our feline friends. While driving down the road to church there may be a dead, mashed up cat by the side of the road and he will say to them, "now, there kidz, is a good cat!" of course, it is a good thing we are on our way to church. once, on one of our first dates 15+ years ago i was sure that instead of swerving to miss a cat in the road, he swerved to hit it. bullseye - he will not admit it though.
E. Davis
Yellville, AR

Hi Rick:

We are so relieved that Inspector has returned. You did a great job covering the war in Iraq. We watched you every night.

Thanks, Robin

I "adopted" you during the Iraq invasion when you were one of the embedded reporters. Each night, I anxiously waited for your dusty, tired face to appear with the experiences and realities. My prayers were with you and Greg and the other heroes. After what you've been through, I am absolutely DELIGHTED to know that your GREATEST worry today is losing some old lady's CAT!!



I am sure the cat will come back home. I have had two cats escape only to find them clinging to the screen door the first time it assured, the cat will become hungry and come home!

Westminster, MD

I have been a cat lover/owner for many decades & your girlfriend is probably right, but it may take some time, so be patient. As long as he's hanging in the yard a bit, he knows where you are if need be.


A suggestion on the lost cat:

If you know the Inspector is in hearing range it might help if you either shake the cat's bag of food (if the Inspector eats dry food), or run the can opener if the Inspector would associate that sound with its canned food being opened. Last resort could be to leave some of its food by the door.
It's worked for us in the past. Good Luck! Also, please notify the humane society do that if someone finds the Inspector, he/she can be returned to you.



Cats can sense when people don't like them. You need to re-adjust your feelings before you attempt to cat sit again. However, in your defense, many cats are one-person animals, and perhaps it's not your fault. At least you tried.

Take my two cats, Sonny & Cher as an example. They only like their Mommy and Daddy. During a visit to their vet, Cher took the opportunity to climb the vet's tie. It's a good thing it wasn't Sonny as he weighs in at 19 pounds, she is a mere 11 pounds.


Rick, I hope by the time you read this, the Inspector will have returned home. I know how you must feel. The cat may just be out investigating and inspecting and enjoying his freedom for the minute. I just know he will find his way home before your girlfriend's mother gets home! Does Inspector have a microchip and/or a collar in case he is found? I am praying for the little guy, and for you! Take care, Julie