House cat survives 36 days lost in backcountry near Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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House cat survives 36 days lost in backcountry near Kamloops

Ruby the cat was found at kilometre 13 on Lac du Bois Road near Kamloops after being missing for 36 days.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ella McCall

A Kamloops house cat was found last week in the backcountry around Lac du Bois Road near the city after being missing for 36 days.

The calico cat called Ruby, was turned into the SPCA shelter weighing only two pounds after its ordeal, but was miraculously unhurt.

Owner Ella McCall lives in Batchelor Heights, a residential area located near the forest service road.

“Ruby is mostly an indoor cat who never wanders far,” McCall said. “She has never been gone for days. She started out as a stray that my mom rescued and then my mom passed away. It was really important to our family to have her back.”

McCall put posters around the neighbourhood and knocked on doors when the cat went missing in early September. Two weeks later she received a call from a hunter who saw Ruby in the Lac du Bois Grasslands area.

“We went to look for her but I thought it was very unrealistic she would be kilometres away up a bush road,” she said. “I believed she had been accidentally locked in a shed somewhere in the neighbourhood.”

Over two more weeks passed and McCall was losing hope.

That's when friendly strangers phoned her to tell her they had seen Ruby. Residents Floriane and Laverne Fleming often go for drives and picnics in outdoor spaces in Kamloops.

“We spotted her 13 kilometres up the Lac du Bois road,” Fleming said. “It took a couple of days and few tries to catch her. She was emaciated and starving.”

The Flemings dropped the cat off at the local SPCA.

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McCall  was full of doubt on the way to the shelter to see if the cat was Ruby.

“There was no way in my mind that Ruby had survived in the bush for that long,” she said. “It was cold out there, she hadn’t eaten, and there were hunters and coyotes around there.”

To McCall’s surprise, and relief, it was Ruby. Dangerously underweight, Ruby had a vet check and was given a dewormer and high-calorie food. McCall said within days the cat was eating and drinking and acting like her old self.

READ MORE: Okanagan search and rescue group recruiting members early to keep up with record number of calls

“I cannot thank the Flemings enough,” McCall said. “They were so good to go back again until they could catch her and they were so sweet on the phone.”

McCall speculates Ruby must have travelled up the forest road on the back of a truck.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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