We thought we'd found the perfect home for him when Harlequin was adopted out on April 12, 2007 to a couple from Pleasanton. They seemed very nice and it seemed like a perfect match, which makes the rest of the story so much more tragic and hard to understand.
On Friday, January 11, 2008 we received a call from the Washoe County Regional Animal Services in Reno, Nevada. They had gotten in a black and white cat on January 8th as a stray surrender that had a microchip they were able to trace back to us as Harlequin. He was very sick and they wanted to track down his owner so they could stop him from being PTS when his stray hold was up on January 14, 2008. While we called his "owners" and left messages on their voicemail and email, with no response, we pulled him immediately with the help of some gracious volunteers who lived in the Reno Area. They described his condition as deplorable. He had a nasty Upper Respiratory Infection, severe gingivitis and looked, "starved, beat up, scared and desperately in need of a bath." We can only guess how long he had been living on the frozen winter streets of Reno, but we hope it was not long. A week after being contacted by the Reno shelter, our volunteers had helped us to transport Harlequin home and back into foster care with his original foster family for rehabilitation.
While we wish we could find out what happened to him and discover how an indoor only cat from Pleasanton ended up homeless, walking the streets of Reno, we've come to terms with the fact that we'll never know. We're just so happy to have him home and safe.
We have high hopes that Harlequin will return to the wonderful, affectionate boy that we knew before he left us in April. We are not anxious to place him again, but would love for him to find a loving home where he will be safe and cared for as he so desperately deserves. We're pleased to hear his inquisitive chirps and see him running to us for lap time and petting. We're hoping that one day soon he'll allow us to pick him up again without fear.
Written by: LH