Tuscan the cat back home after being trapped, released outside Barrie last month – BarrieToday

More than a month after being trapped by a neighbour and released at a location somewhere west of the city, Tuscan the cat is back at his Barrie home this morning. 

Owner Devon Miller says the frisky feline was back in her arms late Sunday night, after a couple found him walking along the side of the road near County Road 90 and George Johnston Road. Tuscan was taken to Street Cats Rescue in Barrie where he was soon reunited with his family. 

"I just hope that there is some sort of soul searching that she can do," Miller says. "Because as much as she feels like she took action the way she thought she should take action for her – the way she went about doing it was despicable."

"I rushed out after 11 p.m. last night and there he was," Miller told BarrieToday this morning. "We couldn't be more happy."

The woman said the cat she trapped was a frequent visitor in her backyard and she was tired of it. "I grew up on a farm, so I had the cages," she explained. "Since I have them here Ill just use it to drive the cat a couple miles away."

She said it was a feeling of "shock" that he was found after several weeks of fending for himself in the wild. 

"Well if they loved their cat so much maybe they could have kept the cat in their own house," the woman told CTV News. "I could have a hundred traps in my backyard, and I would never catch anybodys cat if they werent roaming around."

"I feel like I can get back to normal and our family is whole again," Miller added. "There's not a piece missing."

"Our saving grace was that footage from that neighbour," Miller says. "Thats how he was found, I believe. Without that footage, this would have just been another missing cat, another missing poster."

Miller said Tuscan lost some weight, but wasn't dehydrated and seems to be no worse for the wear given his ordeal. 

She said she took the cat to Bradford Greenhouses and released it. "Cats are a nuisance. Theyre a nuisance. I didnt know how else to get rid of it," she said. "Does that make me a monster?"

"He's kind of settling back in and I'm able to see all of this little, familiar habits again in the house," she said. "He's really happy.

"He's actually behaving as if he's raccoon," Miller added with a laugh during a phone interview. "He's jumping on the table and he's scrounging for food, like he's in survival mode, but I think that will all take some time (to dissipate) and he'll be able to realize that he's home and he's safe."

On Tuesday, July 24, Tuscan got out of his Violet Street home in the city’s south end. The family was informed he was being held in a cage in the backyard at another neighbourhood home.

But Miller says the entire situation could have been avoided with a simple conversation. "Hey, your cats in my yard. Please come pick him up and never let it happen again."

On July 26, city police announced that a 54-year-old Barrie woman had been issued notices under city bylaws for using a live trap to capture a cat and failure to ensure a cat is provided with food/water/shelter while captured.

In an interview with BarrieToday that day in July, the woman admitted she'd trapped Tuscan and dropped him off along Highway 90 near County Road 27, because neighbourhood cats were killing the birds she feeds in her backyard.

The woman said she dropped him off near Bradford Greenhouses, but Miller says she doesn't buy it. Because there'd been no Tuscan sightings in that area, Miller said she believes Tuscan was let go somewhere else. 

“It’s incredible. We are all just so overjoyed,” she said. “This could have never happened without so much attention on social media and all the people praying for his return.”

"It had been 34 days and not one sighting," Miller said. "He didn't have a collar, and it wasn't a breakaway collar, because he wasn't really an outdoor cat. … I know this woman didn't want him coming home and just put us on a wild goose chase.

“We woke my eldest up, and she was so happy to see him she was snuggling him. And my youngest saw him this morning and she was telling his brothers, ‘Tuscan’s home now.’”

"I have a good idea (where he was dropped off), and then he was just trucking it everyday to get home. He made it to George Johnston and Highway 90 in 30 days, which was in the same direction as home," she added. "If we didn't find him last night, it probably would have been another 30 days, maybe longer, to get home. I think he was coming in the right direction, but he wouldn't have stayed in the Bradford Greenhouse area for 30 days with no one seeing him for 34 days."

A couple took him to Street Cats Rescue in Barrie, where the director immediately recognized him thanks to all the publicity surrounding Tuscan’s disappearance July 24.

"We all spoke to him on a daily basis, praying for him at night and I slept with a picture under my pillow," she said. "I would send love and light to him every single night."

“I am so happy that he is in our home again. There was always this small doubt that we may never see him again, but my heart felt otherwise,” Devon Miller said.

The family searched for him in the area they were told he was every day before breaking supper and then going out again in the evening. 

"We spent hours and hours each and every day," she said. "Not one day went by that we didn't go searching for him. So it's been very tiresome, exhausting and draining, but I felt like he was still there, because I had such a strong connection with him.

“I can’t thank them enough. The community saved his life. He was in everyone’s thoughts. I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.”

"I knew he was a survivor," Miller added. "I can't even describe to you the feelings I'm feeling right now. I just feel like my insides and my heart, it's not heavy anymore. It's been lifted and I feel light again."

A Barrie family is “overjoyed” to have their beloved cat back after it was trapped by a neighbour and released several kilometres from home last month.

She said her husband, Brian Chard, noticed immediately how it changed her demeanour, bringing a smile back to her face. 

Miller said Tuscan’s capture, caging and release by a neighbour, who was ticketed under a Barrie bylaw, serves as a warning to all pet owners.

Their youngest child, who's two and a half years old, didn't find out the news until this morning.

"We didn't wake her up late last night, but my seven-year-old, she knew last night and was so excited," Miller said. "She was petting him and loving him. She couldn't believe it.

"My two-and-a-half-year-old came downstairs in my husband's arms and she did that little shy smile, because Tuscan was sitting on the chair," Miller added.

"It's just been the most amazing miracle," she said. "Honestly, we couldn't have done this with all of the social media that was involved and everyone that was behind us and rooting for us, praying for him and searching for him. I just can't believe it, I'm in disbelief."

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