September 27, 2022

Missing emotional support animal found after three months

An emotional support animal that was missing for the entirety of fall semester was found just before winter break, and is now safe at home with her mom.

If you were on campus last semester, you probably remember the numerous “missing cat” posters that sprinkled campus. The owner of Victoria, the formerly missing kitty, is sophomore political science major Macin Rigg, who says the kitty will not be allowed outside again after being missing for over four months.

Rigg holding her cat, Victoria, after months of trying to find her.

Victoria, a two-year-old tortoiseshell cat, went missing the day after fall move-in for returning students. Rigg moved into a room in Cotterman at the beginning of fall semester and planned to bring her kitty the next day to give herself some time to get the room ready.

The next evening, Rigg’s brother brought Victoria to campus in a box. As Rigg struggled with Cotterman’s door, Victoria jumped out of the box and ran off.

“It broke my heart,” Rigg said. “I’m running after her, everyone else is running after her, and nobody catches her.”

Rigg said she immediately went to the library and printed off “200 or 300” missing cat posters, and many people contacted her with sightings through texts and Snapchat messages. Rigg said Victoria is skittish around strangers, so she wouldn’t come up to anyone who saw her.

“I would get texts every day, multiple times a day, from multiple people [saying] ‘hey, I think I see your cat,’ but nobody could catch her,” Rigg said.

Rigg herself spotted Victoria around campus a few times throughout the semester, but even she wasn’t able to catch her.

“One night I saw her outside my window meowing at me, and as I ran out the door of Cotterman to try at get her, I saw her bolt off down into the courtyard,” Rigg said.

About a week before finals, Rigg’s friend saw Victoria jump into the drainpipe near Lohman on Mound Street. After a week of trying to catch Victoria in the trap and multiple failed attempts, they finally caught her.

“We ended up getting Facilities and everyone on it, and we had to lift the storm drain and go down there … and after a week of trying to trap her in the drain, we finally got her into the trap, got her bathed and now she’s perfect,” Rigg said.

Rigg said there were multiple times throughout the semester where she felt like it was time to let Victoria go and get a new cat. Because Victoria is her emotional support animal, it was hard for Rigg to get through the semester without her.

“I said, ‘If I don’t have Victoria back by fall break, I have to get a new cat, [because] I can’t do this alone,’” Rigg said.

But when she went to the shelter to try to take home a new cat, she couldn’t do it.

“I felt like a terrible cat mom for even thinking about giving up,” Rigg said.

Sightings and messages of encouragement continued to pour in throughout the semester, and although no one was able to catch her, Rigg said these messages were one of the only things keeping her going during this time.

“The reports of seeing her never stopped coming in, and I knew if I didn’t wait until I either found a dead body or was able to catch her … I wouldn’t give up; there’s no way,” Rigg said. “I’ve had that cat since she was born. That is my two-year-old child!”

Along with the support she got from students, Rigg said Dr. Suzanne Marilley, who is Rigg’s adviser and a political science professor at the university, helped her throughout the semester in catching Victoria. Marilley was ultimately the person who called Rigg when Victoria finally went into the trap.

“Dr. Marilley showed up at 10 o’clock at night to help me pull up a sewer grate and set the trap and everything … she’s definitely, all over, wholeheartedly a wonderful person,” Rigg said.

Rigg said being reunited with her cat was “the best feeling,” and said Victoria is doing well after being missing for so long.

  • Heather Barr is the current Editor-In-Chief of The Chimes and a senior at Capital University, studying Journalism and Professional Writing.

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