A rural Oliver woman is still thanking her lucky stars that her cat miraculously found his way home after nine months away.
After moving from Vancouver and buying a house in Willowbrook, Jamie Higgins not only got a home, but a cat to go with it.
“When I bought the house April 20, 2020, I was going through everything with the Realtor and the past owner and she asked if I wanted the barn cat that lived there already,” explains Higgins.
“At the time, I already had a cat named Calvin and he was 21, so I really didn’t want another cat, but I have a soft spot for animals, and he was a really cute orange and white barn cat, so I agreed,” says Higgins.
The day of the move, Higgins and her new friend made a fast connection.
“When I first got the house, I was on the front deck and Brewster came right up and welcomed us and I immediately fell in love. When I was told about him though, I thought his name was Brewster. It turns out it was Bruiser but he seemed to like Brewster, so we stuck with it,” Higgins says.
Although being a barn cat and spending his time outdoors, Brewster was always welcome to come in for cuddles, slowly transitioning to being a house cat but still enjoying exploring.
“Although he liked being inside, he still wanted to adventure during the day. He would come in and out throughout the day to say hi and always came home at night. On April 26, 2021, he went out for the day but he didn’t come home,” says Higgins.
Higgins searched high and low for Brewster.
“I put out posters all over Oliver and posted about him all over Facebook,” says Higgins.
“On the 26th we had a construction bin picked up so I thought maybe he had gotten stuck in the bin. I contacted the company and spoke to the people who picked it up, and dropped it off at the landfill and asked people who worked there, but no one had seen him either."
Although it seemed bleak at times, Higgins never gave up hope for finding Brewster, despite making the difficult decision to move on by adopting a new cat, and then a kitten.
“There were a couple sightings from all over the area, but I was never sure it was him. I would call for him every day, and every time I went to the landfill I would look for him and cry,” says Higgins.
Then, amazing news came.
“On December 9th, we got a call from a wonderful man named Grant McKinnon, who is the viticulturist for Sebastian Farms. He said ‘I have your cat, Brewster,’” says Higgins.
“I was in shock! It had been almost 9 months. He had been hanging out by their vineyard by the landfill for a few months, so they started feeding him to try to get a closer look of him. When they got him to come close, his brother checked on Facebook for missing cats and found out it was Brewster who was still missing."
Although excited, Higgins worked hard to not get her hopes up.
“I had seen other cats that people had thought were him, so I was trying not to get ahead of myself, but I had always wondered if he was in the bin. We drove straight there and when Grant opened the door, holding Brewster I was so happy. I grabbed him and I cried. I couldn’t believe it was him!” says Higgins.
After making it home, Brewster quickly made himself at home again in his cat bed, and although it took a bit to settle in, he now loves his new siblings and they are new best friends.