I was going to submit this to the main site but it felt too rambly to me
So, my university has several feral cats that live around its campus. A few of these cats- Mama, Tommy, and Doc- are very well-loved by a portion of our student body because they’re actually pretty friendly despite being adult feral-borne cats. In other words, they sometimes let you pet them if you’ve given them food in the past.
Last year, my friend decided to start a small organization through our school to raise money to get all the cats fixed and vaccinated, and to have a small money reserve in case any of them need emergency vet visits and she was very successful with this. This organization also has an “official” group chat where it’s highly encouraged for people to share any encounters they have with the cats to help my friend keep up with their health at all times.
Anyways, on to the actual story! About two days ago, someone in that group chat asked if anyone had seen Mama lately, which gets a chorus of "nope"s back. A few hours later, my friend drops this bombshell into the chat:
Mama has been located, someone took her. I’m trying to get the person’s information to contact them. Please refrain from negatively speaking about this person.
Today, I managed to catch up with my friend to ask her if she’d heard back about Mama yet. She didn’t get their contact info, but she did find out that the person that took her was in the process of withdrawing from our uni and took Mama back to their home. In Montana. For reference, my uni is in the deep south USA! According to my friend, they’d have to drive about 25 hours one way to go get Mama from where she is.
Now, to my very limited understanding, because my friend was the one to sign off on all those procedures for the cats, she is technically the legal owner of them in the eyes of our local law. My friend and her boyfriend are now debating whether it’s worth it to pursue this legally because, of course, they want to get Mama back, but ~50 hours of driving is insane for a couple of college kids. And, they would also have to hope local law would even take this case seriously, so I think they’re leaning towards letting Mama go.
I’m honestly still half caught up on who thought it was a good idea to try and make an adult feral cat a housepet in the first place! I really can’t imagine Mama’s catnapper had a fun time getting her into any sort of carrier, much less getting her across the country.