Keen-eyed social media users help avert ‘cat-astrophe’

Kim Treasure 12 October 2020 13
Zoe Pedashenko with Cat.

Zoe Pedashenko is reunited with Cat. Photo: Supplied.

Four young Canberrans probably thought they’d pulled off the purr-fect crime last weekend when they catnapped a large, white feline from the NSW South Coast.

Little did they know the lengths Zoe and Andy Pedashenko would go to to find their pampered pet.

The aptly named Cat was having his usual stroll on Malua Bay Beach on Sunday, 5 October, when he disappeared at about 6 pm.

Cat sitting on beach at Malua Bay.

Cat is a familiar sight on Malua Bay Beach. Photo: Supplied.

“We live in Sydney but we have a house in Malua Bay,” says Zoe. “Cat loves going to the beach and lots of people know him as Beach Cat.

“On Sunday evening, we couldn’t find him anywhere and that’s unusual because he’s usually starving.”

A rescue puss, Cat has been with the Pedashenkos for about six years and completely rules the roost. The couple was devastated to have lost him.

After a thorough search, they left the door open and went to bed. When Cat hadn’t returned by the following morning, they redoubled their search efforts, printed out and distributed posters, and appealed for help on Facebook.

Their efforts paid off when a woman rang to say her daughter had spoken to two young women she had seen putting a cat into a box and then loading it into a white dual-cab ute with two young men.

“We put it out there on Facebook and were just hoping they [the thieves] would take him home and some adult would see he was clearly loved and make them take him to a vet,” says Zoe.

That wasn’t the case but, incredibly, a friend-of-a-friend rang saying they believed they knew where Cat was – in Canberra.

Undeterred by a two-and-a-half hour drive, the Pedashenkos jumped in the car and headed off on a wild cat chase to Gungahlin.

“We were a bit worried because we’d been told we might need back-up,” says Zoe.

“After wandering around the neighbourhood, we went to the house and knocked on the door. The bloke who answered said he had no idea about a cat and that a lot of stuff had gone on that weekend.


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“We texted him when we left and told him there was a reward. He texted back and said he didn’t want a reward but that we should come back fast.

“When we got there, he just threw the cat out the door into my husband’s arms. We didn’t even have time to check it was our cat!”

Fortunately, it was, and Cat was reunited with his family just over 24 hours after his disappearance.

His remarkable adventure likely used up one of Cat’s nine lives, but the Pedashenkos are grateful – and amazed – to have him back.

“We looked at each other and said, ‘Did that actually just happen?'” says Zoe.

“It was quite an adventure for him but we will keep closer tabs on him in the future. There will be no unsupervised beach visits.”


What's Your Opinion?


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13 Responses to Keen-eyed social media users help avert ‘cat-astrophe’
Lorraine Coleman Lorraine Coleman 2:43 pm 14 Oct 20

Wonderful

Kerri Cook Kerri Cook 6:43 pm 12 Oct 20

So pleased Cat got home. 🌸

Bentley The Cat Bentley The Cat 8:50 am 11 Oct 20

What a claw-ful experience.

Solvy Leclair Solvy Leclair 2:12 am 11 Oct 20

Disgusting to steal anyone's pet..no consideration for how the animal feels..or what it needs...let alone the humans that love it.

These type of people should never have pets.

Mark Strickland Mark Strickland 11:48 pm 10 Oct 20

Its always the Cats fault 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Katie Ryder Katie Ryder 11:08 pm 10 Oct 20

Chris Ryder read this story

Michele Woods Michele Woods 10:17 pm 10 Oct 20

For all we know some youth saw a cat they thought was lost or dumped because it was at a beach alone, and they stepped in to help it.

Tips for ensuring your cat doesn't get mistaken as lost or dumped: have clearly visible contact information on a tag in the collar. Contain the cat to your private property. Make sure your cat is microchipped and contact details are up to date in case the collar ID goes missing. Don't let your cat go to the beach.

    Jimmy Burnett Jimmy Burnett 11:15 pm 10 Oct 20

    Michele Woods agreed - cat owners should be fined for allowing them to roam. Too many native wildlife killed by this introduced species.

    Rinnie Tennant Rinnie Tennant 11:33 am 11 Oct 20

    Jimmy Burnett completely agree.

    Zoe Pedashenko Zoe Pedashenko 9:01 am 16 Oct 20

    Thanks for your concern and helpful comments guys - just to clarify. Cat had a collar on with both our address and two phone numbers on him. He is also microchipped with all his details up to date. As for the beach - the beach is literally out the front of our house - so he was sitting in our front yard, not just roaming around the beach. And I can tell you that it wasn't youth that thought Cat was lost or dumped - they were on a 3-day bender - not concerned citizens (we had hoped they were and that if that was the case they would have taken him to a vet or called us when they "found" him).

theberra theberra 5:05 pm 10 Oct 20

I wonder how much wildlife the cat kills during its strolls on the beach

ssek ssek 12:14 pm 10 Oct 20

Hardly theft if they are just letting their cat roam around the beach.

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