We travel to Florida once or twice a year, every year. We often bring our three cats with us for the road trip, as leaving them unsupervised could be the greater hazard, and putting them into a kennel might prove the greater health risk. Once, when we stopped for a human bathroom break, our largest cat, Ghosty, started to meow incessantly. So, we leashed up his harness thinking that maybe he just needed to stretch his legs. Then, as we were walking him, a giant truck drove by quickly honking the horn. Ghosty was so startled, he pulled the leash out from my mother’s hand and – lickity split! – he shot into the storm drain.

I was so distraught I couldn’t even think at first. Although Ghosty had on a collar and rabies tag, name plate ID with our address and phone number, he also had on a harness and leash. I knew he could easily get caught up in the brush, become entangled or strangled. My mind’s eye pictured various scenarios of Ghosty getting hit by a car, starving to death or being trapped by animal control. The best image my mind came up with was a friendly person finding him, seeing the long distance address on the tag and just keeping him for themselves. We waited Ghosty out and a Good Samaritan stranger wriggled her way into the brush after him and retrieved him for us.

Nevertheless, for the hours we frantically stood by, I had little hope of being reunited with Ghosty. At this time it was prior to administering a microchip, but I repeatedly kept wishing for one as we stood anxiously by. Now he has a PetLink microchip, I feel much more confident and at ease about taking my cat for walks, to the vet, or any other excursions.

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