Editorís note: In response to the discovery of a rabid fox in Apalachicola, Dr. Hobson Fulmer and the Apalachicola Bay Animal clinic held a reduced cost rabies vaccination clinic on Sept. 8. More than 150 animals received vaccinations but, sadly, one mishap occurred. A cat, Mr. Dibbs, escaped and ran across US 98. Thanks to modern technology, almost exactly four months later, Mr. Dibbs is home again. His owners say is he is not much changed by his time in the wild. Here is his story.
On Friday, Jan. 4, we received a call from Dr. Fulmer's office saying that they had our cat, Mr. Dibbs. Said cat went AWOL on Saturday, Sept., 8 when a clasp on his carrying case snapped and he jumped out and ran across Highway 98 during Dr. Fulmer's free rabies shot clinic. Four months have passed and a woman who lives behind the vet office brought our cat in to see if he had a chip embedded. He did and the chip read that his owner was Wolfgang Foust (our son) of San Francisco.
Because of a heavy travel schedule, our son sent us Mr. Dibbs and his brother Fred the dog in October 2011. During his disappearance, my wife searched for him almost on a daily basis for the first month, until she ran into a black bear behind the Pirate Restaurant in Eastpoint.
Thanks to Oyster Radio, the Apalachicola Times and the posters that reporter Lois Swoboda made for us we received a lot of phone calls about Mr. Dibbs sightings. We even received one asking for Mrs. Dibbs. The Pirate Restaurant, Tom at the Truck Link, the lady in the kite store and the Chevron station on Island Drive were especially helpful. The people at Dr. Fulmer's clinic were above and beyond!
To make a long story short, we brought Mr. Dibbs home last Friday after four months and his brother Fred smelled him up and down and then tried to hump him, for which he received a good whack. Then they went to sleep together.
We saved on four months of cat food, but it wasn't worth the wear and tear. Please tell your readers to get a chip. They work.
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and contain a registration number. They use radio waves to provide information about your pet, and are implanted just under the skin usually right between the shoulder blades. If your animal becomes lost or is stolen, a microchip dramatically increases the odds of it returning home.
Microchips are designed to work for 25 years. Animal clinics implant microchips for a small fee. This is done with a large-bore needle and doesn't require anesthesia. You also need to register your pet with the microchip company so complete the paperwork that comes with the chip and send it to the registry.
There is usually an annual fee to maintain your animalís registration. For more information, contact your veterinarian.