NEW ZEALAND – Kitty helped Brooke Smith live through some months of pain and now Kitty is gone.
Kitty and Smith, 30, met two and a half years ago when Smith moved back to Taranaki from Australia to deal with some chronic stomach pains.
She was suffering from an intestinal dysfunction and moved in with her mother in Rahotu, east of New Plymouth. At about the same time found a stray kitten and she named it Kitty.
Kitty was timid and wouldn’t allow anyone except Smith to even touch her. Smith said there were times she would be laying on the floor in pain “and she would put her head in my hand when I was on the floor”.
“It’s quite a nice distraction when you’re not sure when the pain’s going to stop.”
Just A year ago, Smith moved to Auckland to be closer to medical professionals and she began studying medical science at Auckland University.
She was unsure if she would be able to care for Kitty, so she left her at her mother’s place in Taranaki.
Smith worked through her illness and during Easter came home with her partner to pick Kitty up.
“We were down there for Easter and were training her on a leash,” she stated.
Everything seemed to be fine and they began the drive back to Auckland on the March 29.
They made it it to Tongaporutu, about 70km north of New Plymouth, when they stopped for a toilet break and that’s where everything went all wrong.
“She just freaked,” Smith said.
Kitty, who was microchipped, partially slipped out of the harness and as Smith tried to grab her, she completely lost grip on the harness and the cat bolted.
Smith and her partner spent the next four hours searching the entire area, which is surrounded in thick native bush.
They also knocked on doors in the village and left food near the road before carrying on to Auckland.
They returned just last week too and “someone had put more food out for her”, Smith said.
But yet, there was still no sign of her and Smith continued to knock on doors and put up posters asking people to call if they see Kitty.
Smith said they are still hoping she would be found.
“We’re both really upset,” she said. “We feel really, really guilty.”