Newcomer meets neighbours over lost cat

It took all of 40 minutes for the reply she was hoping for.

All Philecia Isaacson Bachynski needed to get to know her new neighbours was a lost cat and Facebook.

Relatively new to town, Philecia Isaacson Bachynski took to social media this week in the hopes that somebody might have spotted her missing cat.

Bachynski’s black kitten had been missing from her Neva Road area home for about 24 hours, she figured, when she posted on a Facebook page called Lake Cowichan Town Gossip.

“He is five months old, never leaves the yard. So this is new, and he could be lost,” she wrote. “If you see him let me know and I’ll load the kids up for a stroll with cat food to call him.”

It took all of 40 minutes for the reply she was hoping for.

“AhA! I think I found your cat, it’s up our tree. My dog chased it up there it’s about that age and crying it’s eyes out,” replied nearby resident Gwen Evans.

It turned out the kitty was just about a block away from home, and indeed sky-high, about 40-feet up in the branches of a tall tree next door to Evans’s house.

Bachynski later learned the distressed cat may have spent two night up in the tree crying. But, with the help of another one of the Facebook page’s group members, Trevor Shand, it wasn’t too long before the animal was back at home, snoozing in the window sill with it’s momma.

“Trevor walked all the way from his house with a ladder,” she explained.

Bachynski said she joined the Facebook group before her young family moved to town. The page connected her with Shand and his girlfriend, also relatively new to town and who also have children.

“I don’t really know a lot of people up here,” she explained. “That was our first time meeting. We had been talking about meeting up so our kids could play so it was good to put a face to the name,” she added with a laugh.

Neither really thought it would be during a cat rescue though.

Shand was a godsend, Bachynski noted, as the other attempts she had made to find help didn’t pan out.

“There were some friendly resources in the community that just weren’t available at the time,” she explained.

But Shand, his ladder, and another man she didn’t get the name of, were able to coax the cat down the tree low enough to complete the rescue.

“I gotta say tho, he was hanging on for dear life, lol scared stuff and all!” Shand wrote on the Facebook page.

With the cat 10 feet higher than the ladder could reach, it took a little doing to get it down. Eventually the kitten found itself clinging to the edge of a branch, holding on with only its front paws — but still out of the reach of its would-be rescuers.

“He was hanging there screaming and getting tired and we were all telling him to just let go,” Bachynski said. “We held out a coat and he landed right there on the jacket. I’m so glad we got him down.”

A few days later, the kitten appears to be no worse for wear.

“He was a little bit sore from being up there in the cold and rain and wind but he had a good nap. He’s running around really good now,” Bachynski said.

Not surprisingly, the kitten has stayed pretty close underfoot since it’s ordeal.

As for the animal’s name, that’s up for debate.

“My husband likes to call him Darth Vader but I just call him Black Kitty. We’re not very good at naming cats,” Bachynski said with a giggle.