Never give up hope. That’s the lesson one couple learned after their cat, who had been missing for 55 days, returned home.
Mo somehow escaped from Meghan and Andy Bautista’s Chicago apartment on December 22 and, after weeks of putting up posters, investigating potential sightings and undoubtedly doing a lot of wishing, the couple now have him back, WGN 9 reports. The cat was discovered in a crawlspace in their apartment complex on February 16.
The Bautistas adopted the 9-year-old cat in January 2015, taking him from a friend who developed an allergy to the animal. Mo had settled in nicely with their two other cats, and they were ready to celebrate the holidays when Mo disappeared.
“I realized I hadn’t seen Mo in a while,” Meghan told WGN. “I got up and did a preliminary search that evening.”
But Mo could not be found, and the Bautistas intensified their search after realizing that the cat wasn’t just under the bed or in the back of their closets.
They knocked on neighbors’ doors and stayed in touch with local animal shelters. Meghan said that, despite the terrifying odds, they never gave up on Mo — because they knew he wouldn’t give up on trying to get back home. Then, on February 16, the landlord called and said that one of their neighbors had Mo. That was slightly incorrect: The neighbor had seen Mo, but couldn’t grab him. Fortunately, Mo hadn’t run out of the apartment complex again, and was later discovered hiding in the dark crawlspace.
Meghan’s relief was temporarily shelved when it became evident that Mo needed immediate medical care. Although he weighed 10 pounds on the day that he disappeared, he had withered to an emaciated 3 pounds when he was found. His medical treatments have continued; most recently, a feeding tube was inserted. The Bautistas have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover Mo’s veterinary bills, which are estimated to reach $9,000.
“Mo is a miracle, and any pet parent in Chicago likely will feel uplifted by Mo’s story,” Megan’s sister, Amanda Roshan-Rawaan, told the news station.