Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Missing Chilliwack cat Handsome found after five years spent living the wild life

It takes a lot of luck for a domesticated cat to make it five years, but Handsome is a survivor

A cat that’s been missing for five years has been found, and Handsome needs a new home.

The black and white kitty disappeared from the area of Yale Road and Menzies Street in Chilliwack in 2016, and after a few months his owner gave up on the idea that Handsome would find his way home.

The cat was given up for lost.

But in Handsome’s head, he wasn’t lost. He was surviving. He migrated to an area near Young Road and Airport Road, where there is a colony of feral cats living behind the RCMP station.

Handsome started living the wild cat life, and he would have remained completely undetected if not for Christy Moschopedis and the volunteers at FCM Community Cat Trappers. The group works to improve the lives of feral, barn, and stray cats in Chilliwack and surrounding areas. Part of that involves trapping feral cats and getting them neutered or spayed to control the population.

Moschopedis was tracking another cat when she spotted Handsome.

RELATED: Cora the Chilliwack cat reunited with family after four months on the loose

RELATED: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

“I was looking in the area behind Cheam View Veterinary Hospital, just across a ravine, and I saw him,” Moschopedis said. “They have this brand new fully-fenced locked compound and he was in there all by himself. It was nine at night, and I was like, ‘Oh! Smart kitty. You’ve found yourself a super safe place to hang out.”

Moschopedis set up a feed station and a camera to see if he visited the police station side of the ravine, and yes he did.

“So I put out food for four nights, and when I was sure he was coming every night, I set up the trap,” she said. “The girls at the vet clinic kept an eye on it and within two hours we had him.”

Handsome spent the first seven years of his life as an indoor/outdoor cat, with all of his needs provided for. For a domesticated animal to be thrown into the wild and survive five years is amazing. He has a puncture wound under his eye suggesting he’s had a recent scrap with a raccoon, but otherwise he’s in fine shape.

“It’s a lot of luck,” Moschopedis said, explaining how Handsome survived this long.

Handsome had an ear tattoo that was barely legible, and he was going to be released back into his colony. But after a lot of work, Moshopedis was able to connect with his owner.

Sadly, he can’t go back to his original home.

Five years is a long time, and his owner eventually moved on, buying a dog that isn’t cat friendly. Handsome is currently hanging out at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, and Moschopedis said such a lovable fluffball will have no problem finding a new family.

After living in the wild for so long, some cats are never able to re-adjust to domesticated life, but Moschopedis said the 12-year-old is still people friendly.

“When the vet clinic girls first checked the trap to try to sedate him, he was pretty angry, hissing a lot,” she said. “Thankfully, when he woke up he was a little more chill and very happy to rub his nose on my fingers when I put them into the trap.

“As soon as he’s cleaned, and a wound under his eye is healed up, he’ll be ready for adoption and he is absolutely lovely.”

For more info on FCM Community Cat Trappers, visit here.

For more info on Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, visit here.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

Catschilliwack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

t
Q&A with the Castlegar council candidates

Four candidates are running for one council seat

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Kootenay Lake ferry terminals will receive a number of upgrades this year. File photo
Kootenay Lake ferry terminals to receive upgrades

The transportation ministry announced the $5.5-million project Thursday

Red dresses hang in the trees outside Nelson City Hall to remind us about missing and murdered Indigenous women. The REDress Project, created by the Winnipeg Métis artist Jaime Black, also exists as an exhibit in the Touchstones gallery, running until May 29. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Vogue highlights red dress installation in Nelson

The project by artist Jamie Black was featured in the fashion magazine

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read