John Barron realized on Saturday morning that his cat Fred had been missing for two days. The cat food on the porch of Barron’s Griffin Road home was uneaten, and Barron hadn’t seen his gray tabby since Thursday morning.
So Barron went straight to the hole in his backyard where the cat regularly takes refuge.
“I wasn’t panicked, but I was worried that he was missing for too long,” he said.
Freddie, as Barron calls him, first came to the house where Barron and his wife, Kathy, live three years ago as a stray. When the couple started feeding him, he decided to stay. Fred never became an indoor cat because the Barrons’ other cats, Gabby and George, would have had trouble adjusting to him.
“He had been longing for a family, and he adopted us,” Barron said.
Fred had been beaten up by other cats before showing up at the Barrons’ home, and he was nervous whenever he appeared in their backyard. He wasn’t familiar with wet food or human affection, and he would dart into a hole in the backyard to hide whenever he heard loud noises.
When Barron peeked into the hole on Saturday, he couldn’t see Fred, but he could hear the feline crying in distress. The cat had maneuvered his way in from another, narrower entrance to the hole. Large rocks and concrete debris around the hole made it difficult to dig through.