Desperately searching for leads on the whereabouts of her two beloved cats, a Calgary mother is warning others to be wary of heading online to find caregivers for their pets.
In June, Caitlin Holland decided to head home to Kingston, Ontario, to be with family during the final months leading up to the birth of her first child.
Before going, Holland enlisted a friend to care for her cats, Lucifer and Leon, as her relatives are allergic. That person backed out last minute.
“I was desperate, so I posted a Kijiji ad,” Holland recalled. “I made it clear I didn’t have a lot of money.”
A complete stranger offered to help and, according to Holland, the two worked out an arrangement that she we would care for the cats until February in exchange for $100 each month.
E-mails provided by Holland, however, suggest the caregiver had become increasingly frustrated with the animals, claiming they had scratched her furniture and urinated frequently indoors.
The woman demanded more money and Holland said she offered what little she could. But, over Thanksgiving weekend, the caregiver sent an email claiming the cats had been given away, along with a kennel and other items. Holland hasn’t heard from her since.
Christy Thompson with the Calgary Humane Society said the organization frequently sees online postings from people seeking pet caregivers.
“Boarding is expensive for a lot of people,” she said. “Our number one thing is to try to find somebody that has been recommended to you.”
Attempts to reach the caregiver through a phone number provided by Holland were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Holland, meanwhile, is enjoying being a new mom but said she’s missing a big part of her family.
“They are like my fur-babies,” she said Tuesday, fighting back tears. “I would at least like to know they have a good home.”
Leon is described as an orange tabby with golden eyes and Lucifer is a black-and-white calico.
Anyone with information about the missing cats can contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will then pass along the information to owner Caitlin Holland.