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A tale of two lost, found cats

Maureen Martin of Little Rock takes her cat Snow Monstah from Tom DeBlack of Conway. On Tuesday, DeBlack found the cat, who was wearing a collar. It’s a mystery as to how the cat traveled 37 miles from Martin’s home to DeBlack’s home. DeBlack lost a black cat he was fostering, and it also was found by a neighbor on Tuesday — National Black Cat Day. ( Tammy Keith )

Maureen Martin of Little Rock was relieved to get a call that her missing black cat, Snow Monstah, had been found.

What shocked her was that he was 37 miles from home.

“Isn’t this insane?” she said as she arrived at the west Conway home of Tom DeBlack, who found her family pet when he showed up at DeBlack’s house Tuesday, which also happened to be National Black Cat Day.

Martin and Snow Monstah were reunited Wednesday, a week after DeBlack lost a black cat he was fostering that looked almost identical to Snow Monstah.

DeBlack, a member of the Faulkner County Friends of the Animal Shelter Board, said he had been fostering a black cat, which had been neutered and was receiving medication.

I had it in the backyard, and it got away from me,” he said.

Martin called Snow Monstah a free spirit.

In their Hillcrest neighborhood, Martin said, “he’s like everybody’s cat.”

“He’s such a wanderer; he’s so independent,” she said, adding that he likes to sneak into a neighbor’s house. “He comes in every morning for breakfast,” she said, but it’s not unusual for her family not to see Snow Monstah for a day or two.

But when Snow Monstah hadn’t been seen for about three days, she said, the family was concerned. Maureen and her husband, Brian Lane, have a 6-year-old daughter, Riley, who named Snow Monstah. They also have three dogs and another cat. Martin said 4-year-old Snow Monstah is “just the best cat; he’s so chill.”

Martin said she texted her neighbors Tuesday morning to ask if they’d seen Snow Monstah. Then later Tuesday, she got a call from DeBlack who said he’d found her cat.

On Tuesday, his wife, Susan DeBlack, and their daughter, Susannah, were headed to work and school, when they heard a cat meowing at the garage door. They opened it, and in ran Snow Monstah.

Tom DeBlack said that although Snow Monstah looked “just like” DeBlack’s foster cat, he knew it wasn’t because Snow Monstah has a collar. He called the number on the tag.

“I thought they lived in Conway, of course,” DeBlack said of the owners. Martin mentioned Hillcrest, and he recalled asking her, “‘Do you know I’m in Conway?’ She just couldn’t believe it, which is understandable. It’s strange.”

Martin said she thinks Snow Monstah may have hitched a ride by sneaking into someone’s vehicle, then jumped out in Conway.

“Making that drive today, there’s no way he would have made it [walking],” Martin said.

“I’m so happy you’re back,” she said, taking Snow Monstah from DeBlack’s arms.

“You’re the hero,” she told DeBlack. When she found out he was on the Faulkner County Friends of the Animal Shelter Board, she laughed and said, “That’s a perfect role for you.”

Snow Monstah — who almost escaped from Martin’s arms in DeBlack’s front yard — is back home safe and sound after his secret adventure.

Tuesday turned out to be a lucky day for black cats. A neighbor of DeBlack’s found his lost feline that day, too, and called DeBlack.

Martin said Snow Monstah ate wet cat food heartily as a special treat when he got home.

Will her family keep a closer eye on him now?

“I think he’ll keep a closer eye on us,” Martin said with a laugh. “He’s just a wandering cat; he always finds his way home.”


by Tammy Keith - Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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