by Susan Thomas
Akasha, a bob-tail 10 1/2 year old calico cat was recently reunited with her happy owner, Mike Leahy, at the Mobile SPCA office following a journey that took her from Biloxi, to Hattiesburg, and finally to Mobile.
Leahy decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina in his Biloxi Back Bay home with his eight cats. His house flooded, but was spared major damage. Following the storm he went to his mother’s nearby home to make repairs. When he returned to his own home, he found the doors open. He initially feared the house had been looted.
On closer inspection he found that Humane Society volunteers had searched the house, thinking that no one was staying there, and had found one of the eight cats, Akasha. They had left a note explaining that the cat was being taken to a staging center for rescued pets in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Leahy is not sure why the volunteers only took Akasha, but he thinks that the other seven cats probably ran and hid from the strangers, leaving only Akasha out in full view. Leahy traveled to Hattiesburg, hoping to retrieve his cat, only to find that she had already been relocated to Mobile. Akasha was one of several cats coming into the Mobile SPCA from the Mississippi area in the initial weeks after the storm.
On October 11th, after almost a month of separation, Leahy arrived in Mobile to claim his cat, after making several telephone calls and describing her to volunteers. A unique black spot on the side of Akasha’s mouth helped him to identify her. Leahy was pleased with the treatment Akasha had received from the SPCA. “She looks fantastic; I think she actually gained some weight,” he said, as Akasha explored the SPCA office. He and Akasha then left to return home to their seven housemates.