Scott Maclay, a volunteer with Feline Urgent Rescue (FUR), recently traveled over 6,000 miles to deliver a Cookie. Cookie the cat was reunited with her owner, thanks to Maclay's efforts.
A few months ago, Deborah Slizewski left Waynesville for Spokane, Washington, to be near family. She drove the distance alone because she was afraid of bringing her aging cat with her.
“I just didn’t think my 11-year old Cookie would survive a cross-country drive and I had to make a very tough choice to leave my cat at the Haywood County Animal Shelter,” said Slizewski. “It was the toughest decision of my life.”
After settling in Spokane, Slizewski knew she’d made the wrong decision.
Meanwhile, Cookie had caught the attention of FUR.
“I had heard about a senior cat that had been surrendered by her owner to the Haywood County Shelter,” said Rachel West, FUR co-founder. “That is nothing unusual, but it is always sad when they are older cats.”
Because older cats often don’t get adopted, on Cookie’s 30th day at the shelter, FUR took her to the sanctuary. Staff and volunteers knew that someone had loved the cat because she was taken care of and well-maintained.
After a few months, West decided to locate Cookie’s previous owner, hoping to get some background information. Fortunately, Slizewski had not changed her cellphone number, and West reached out. Slizewski was emotional and happy.
“I was prepared to do whatever it took to get Cookie back to me, and I told FUR that I would pay for her plane ride to Washington if someone would accompany her back to me” said Slizewski.
Realizing that Cookie had been grieving for her owner, Maclay volunteered to make the trip.
“I gladly accepted the task to transport and ‘escort’ Cookie back to her owner,” said Maclay. “It was a long, grueling trip for me, but Cookie was a champion all the way — no complaints from her. Cookie seemed to know somehow that this was going to end well for her.”
When Maclay arrived at the Spokane airport baggage claim, Slizewski was waiting with a welcome sign. The trip a success, Maclay returned to Waynesville the next day.
“We are thankful that we have people so dedicated to saving and preserving the lives of cats in Haywood County and that we could reunite this wonderful cat with her human,” said Syndey Klocke, FUR president.