If cats could talk, then Twilight would have a hair-raising tale to tell of being catnapped from her Cache Creek home, left in the wilderness 20 miles away, and ending up at the SPCA in Port Coquitlam after being rescued by Good Samaritans.
The eight-year-old pure black cat was last seen outside her Cache Creek home on Sept. 21. Angela Taylor, Twilight’s owner, says that a week earlier a neighbour she takes care of reported that a man had pulled up in a car and picked up Twilight, then dropped the cat and sped off when he saw the neighbour watching.
“On Sept. 21 we didn’t see Twilight anymore,” says Taylor. “There were bears in the neighbourhood at the time, and people told us ‘She’s bear food.’” However, Taylor couldn’t help thinking that someone had come back and stolen Twilight, their beautiful house panther who would go with the family for walks around the neighbourhood.
The family had rescued her in 2015, when she was 18 months old. “We had moved here from the coast in 2015, and I had promised my daughter Kendra we could have a cat. I saw an ad for Twilight and her kittens, and I phoned up and asked about Twilight. The woman said that most people wanted the kittens, but I said we wanted Twilight.”
Taylor picked up Twilight from Kamloops, then picked up Kendra, who was five at the time. “She knew she was going to get a rabbit or a cat, but she didn’t know when. All my animals just happen when they happen.
“She heard a meow, and was so excited. ‘Is that real? Is it for me?’ I turned the crate with Twilight in it around so she could put her fingers in, and Twilight started rubbing up against them. It was love at first sight. She picked Kendra. She’s her human.”
After Twilight vanished, Kendra was inconsolable, crying every day about her missing meow meow. “Kendra does her homework with Twilight, and the cat sleeps on her bed.
“Every day she would ask if I’d heard anything. I didn’t want to give her false hopes, but I told her that there were stories about cats coming back two months later. I literally said ‘Two months.’”
Taylor never stopped hoping that Twilight would be found, and put numerous posts online on a missing pets site. In the meantime, the family adopted another cat, Cheese, to go with the family’s remaining pets: Harold the cat and Bella, a chocolate lab.
Then, on Nov. 13, Taylor got a phone call out of the blue.
“A woman said ‘Um, Angela Taylor? It’s the Port Coquitlam SPCA, and we think we have Twilight here.’ I was just a blubbering idiot when I heard that.”
When Taylor got Twilight in 2015, she had a microchip put in the cat’s neck so that they wouldn’t lose her. She is now extremely grateful she made that decision: “If it wasn’t for that she would just have been a stray cat brought in to the Port Coquitlam SPCA, and she would have gone to whoever adopted her.”
The story of how Twilight got from Cache Creek to Port Coquitlam was an amazing one.
“A couple found her at the Red Hills rest stop on Highway 1, about 15 miles south of Cache Creek. They pulled in and she was meowing and crying, and walked right up to them. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and she was obviously a domesticated cat, and they thought ‘This isn’t right.’ So they picked her up and took her home with them to Port Coquitlam and took her to the SPCA there.”
When Taylor got off the phone with the SPCA she called Kendra. “I said ‘Guess what, they’ve found Twilight!’ and she gave a happy cry. There were tears pouring down my face.”
However, the family was not able to get Twilight back home right away.
“I went down to the coast on Nov. 14, but got stopped by the washout at Tank Hill on Highway 1. I went back to Spences Bridge and took Highway 8 to Merritt, where I had to get a battery. They told me they couldn’t put it in, but I roughhoused the guy into putting it in. I was driving around hell’s half-acre, and the weather was stopping me, but I didn’t care. I was trying to do everything I could to get down and rescue my cat.”
By then, however, flooding had closed all the routes to the coast, and Taylor was forced to head back to Cache Creek on the only open highway. “I left the house a 8 a.m. and got home at 9:30 p.m.”
Thankfully, her older daughter Natalia was on the coast and able to pick up Twilight. “She was an evacuee with the cat for a week, and they were finally able to make it up late on Nov. 21.”
It was an emotional reunion for everyone.
“Twilight was really excited to get home. She was saying hi to Kendra, butting heads with her. It was amazing. We had a group hug with the cat in the middle, and Harold popped his head in. Then all of a sudden Cheese popped his head in, and gave a big hiss, and Twilight gave a meow and hissed at Cheese.”
In all the excitement they had forgotten Cheese, who was new to Twilight. Taylor says that the animals have all come to an understanding, now that Twilight has been back for a few days.
The SPCA said that someone had been feeding Twilight, as the cat was not malnourished. “I told her that she had been chubby. She’s skinny now.”
Taylor thinks that Twilight got mad and clawed whoever had taken her, so they threw her out of the car, leaving her to be found by the Good Samaritans who pulled in to the rest stop. She adds that it isn’t the first time Twilight has proven that she’s a survivor.
“We almost lost her twice during the 2017 wildfires. We were evacuating from Cache Creek, and I was getting Kendra and me ready. In the confusion Twilight got loose, and she was so scared she ran under the deck. By the time we realized what was going on we were surrounded by fire, but my niece managed to grab her by the tail and pull her out.
“Then, while we were waiting at the ESS centre in Kamloops, she got off her leash and jumped in the river. My nephew had to jump in and get her.
“Twilight is such a lucky cat. She has more than nine lives.”
Taylor has no idea how long Twilight was out in the wild, but is convinced she is trying to tell them about her adventures.
“She’s a very vocal cat, and we swear she’s trying to tell us stories about what happened between here and where she was found. It’s amazing to have her back; I’m grinning from ear to ear. We’re so happy and so blessed.”