Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Saga of Leo a.k.a. Garage Cat

I thought I'd put into words what I remember of Leo's little adventure with my wife and I.

Thursday, June 18, 2015: We noticed some paw prints on the bonnet of our car. We figured it was either a cat or a giant rat.

Please don't be a giant rat.

Saturday, June 20, 2015: I'm driving home at night and on the back of our building, I see a cat crossing the street. I thought it might be the cat that's been dirtying up our car. It was headed for some big rubbish bins behind one of the restaurants on our street so maybe it was hungry. We started to leave some food for it in our garage and whenever we've gone back to check, the food bowl is always empty so we kept leaving some food for the cat every day (sometimes more than once a day).

Saturday, June 27, 2015: Our first photo and actual sighting of Leo! We didn't know his name at the time so we started referring to him as Garage Cat. We came home that afternoon and we saw him on the garage behind us. We tried to get him to come out but he seemed content just resting on those high boxes so we just left some food for him and went up to our apartment.

Thursday, July 2, 2015: We get home from work and look who's there to greet us! He was very friendly to us although still a bit cautious. We spent a bit of time with it before going up in case he hasn't had any human companionship in a while. It seemed to like our company and spend a lot of time rubbing himself against my car and the various items in the garage. We also went for a bit of a walk, trying to chase some birds and just general exploring around the garage area of our building.

The building manager was around so I told him about Garage Cat. He said that he's been seeing him in the security footage. He had some cat food which he gave to us to give to Garage Cat.

It seemed to like my MX5 a lot (maybe because of the soft top) so I started parking it in our garage instead of our other car.

Friday, July 3, 2015: Garage Cat is there to greet us once again as we came home from work. That means more quality time with his new human friends! Or maybe it just wanted more quality time with my car. Yeah, probably that.

Whenever we'd start to leave, he'd follow us and start meowing loudly once we're out of sight. It was a mix of cute and a bit heartbreaking so we've been distracting him with food and escaping while he ate.

Oooh nice.
Can I have it?
Yep, this is mine now.
Definitely mine now.
No, you can't have it back!
Mine! Mine! Mine!

Saturday, July 4, 2015: We're heading out to grab some lunch but it seems like someone doesn't want us to leave. We promised him we'll be back shortly and he eventually let us use his car.

After lunch, we come home and Garage Cat is hanging around so more quality time! He seemed to like rolling around in the sun.

Here he is mid-roll.
Is he saying hello?

Sunday, July 5, 2015: More fun with Garage Cat.

He scratched my face shortly after this photo was taken (see next photo). But I think he was just trying to get close. He's cute so he gets a free face scratch.

We did a bit of research and figured Garage Cat might be a Bengal cat so we got in touch with Alison over at bengalrescue.com.au. She told us that he is indeed a Bengal and advised us to take her to the vet so they can check if she has an owner.

Monday, July 6, 2015: I bought a cat carry case during my lunch break but Garage Cat wasn't around when we got home so we went up and had dinner first then went back down at around 8pm but he still wasn't there. So we looked around the area for a bit and eventually saw him coming towards us. He seemed happy to see us, even rolling around on the ground for us even though it must've been cold. We tricked him into going inside the carry case with some food. We waited a little so he could eat since we figured it must be hungry. Eventually we closed the case and headed off to Struggletown Vet in Randwick. He did his crying meow a lot but luckily we weren't too far from the vet.

Once we arrived at the vet, one of the staff members scanned him to see if he has a chip and yes, he does have one! That was when we found out that his name is Leo! Appaently he's been reported as missing and the owner lives in Surry Hills which isn't that far from Kingsford by car but seems like it'd be pretty far for a cat. I wonder how long it took Leo to end up at our place.

Leo at the vet.
Our first and last selfie!
The nurse said she'll get in touch with the owner and Leo can stay there in the meantime so we left him at Struggletown thinking that we may never see him again. It was a pleasure having him stay with us and being able to take care of him for a short time.


Well... not quite.

After my wife and I left the vet, we just sat in the car trying to process the events of the past couple of weeks and got emotional. After about 20 minutes we went back and asked if we could say a proper goodbye to Leo and the nurse was happy for us to do that so we were able to see him again!

I'm gonna miss this cutie pie so much!

The nurse told us that she's called Leo's owner and that she was over the moon when she told her that Leo has been found and that she's on her way to pick Leo up so we hung around until she arrived. The nurse told us that Leo is 3 years old and he's been missing for 6 weeks. The owner eventually arrived and she was very happy to see Leo and Leo seemed happy to see her too! I hope he enjoys being back home! Stay warm, Leo!

When we got home, we made sure to spend lots of quality time with our own cat Indy who's been very understanding with us devoting part of our time to another cat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015: I woke up feeling a little empty and missing Leo a lot and hoping that he's doing well back at his home with his family. We only really spent a week with him but it felt a lot longer. I dreaded going down to the garage and not having Leo there to greet me. I'll be honest, I had a bit of a cry. He was a good friend.

Here's the little bed thingie we made for him. He seemed to like sleeping there.
This place feels so empty all of a sudden.

When I got to work, I got a message from my brother about Leo. It turns out that he belongs to a friend of a friend.

And my wife has since found Leo's owner on Twitter.

Closure! And everyone's happy! Woo hoo!

Epilogue: I've never felt the need to name any of the cars I've owned but I've decided to name my MX5 'Leo' in honour of our good friend. And also to remind me who the car really belongs to.


  1. aaw you guys are awesome for looking out for Leo. I have a bengal and I'd be devastated if he went missing.
    Thank you for being such lovely human beings!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! We're so happy to have reunited him with his owner.

  2. yep you are good guys why don't you adopt a Bengal it appears there are many that need new homes and it sounds like you need to fill that space again and have someone keep your car warm.

    1. Thanks! We just got our cat not too long ago (also adopted) so we're still getting the hang of things but yeah, maybe some day we'll adopt a Bengal.