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Much-loved ‘inside’ cat gets out, disappears

TOWNSEND — The Reddins love their kitties.

Comet and Midnight are sister and brother. They have lived with their family for four years, ever since they were just weeks old.

Midnight, as his name suggests, is a black cat, good-sized, and looks fit and sleek.

Comet is a small, agile cat. Gray with attractive markings, she is dwarfed by her larger brother.

They are inside cats, well equipped with toys and two boys to hug and play with them.

But last September, just when school began, sorrow struck. Comet got out.

Owner Leigh Reddin was frantic. She papered the town with fliers and people responded.

“I can’t tell you how many calls we got,” she said. “We’ve met so many families around town.”

“People were reaching out,” she said.

When a rumor of a Comet-sighting reached the family, Leigh would go to the site. She shook bags of food, tapped on cans and called for the family’s pet.

The cat was never there.

Kids came up to the boys in school, sharing news and asking about their pet.

The Reddins continued to search. “We had an award,” she said.

Even then, the cat remained on the lam.

The Reddins live on Old City Road amid thick woods that provide many places for an animal to disappear.

Two months went by. Reddin even considered offering the points the family collected to go to Disneyland to the award.

Comet was still missing.

“It was devastating,” she said.

Then, one night while most of the family was sleeping, the dad heard a noise outside the door.

“There was Comet sitting on the porch,” said Joshua Reddin, 10.

“He ran in and got Mommy,” he said.

“I ran out. She just sat there and let me pick her up,” Leigh said.

The always-petite kitty was so underfed she was mostly bones and fur.

Ticks covered her dehydrated body.

It was early in the morning on Oct. 20 when Comet returned. The next day, a cold snap set in. The weather could have meant the demise of the thin and frail animal.

After a trip to the vet, which entailed intravenous liquids and a prescription for antibiotics, Comet was home and safe with her people and littermate.

Ten days later, she once again looked like a pampered housecat.

“She’s been getting spoiled with canned food,” Leigh said.

What remains in the minds of the family is the overwhelming response of the people who replied to their pleas for help.

“Thank you to everyone in Townsend who helped and called,” Leigh said. “I was genuinely touched.”

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.