Lost Kitty: After 10 months, pet psychics, ads and posters, Mary Ann Pawlik hasn’t given up her search

Kitts Kitts

Kitts Kitts

$5,000 REWARD Ritz Carlton Tiburon staff and Tiburon residents. Pet intuitives/communicators say she is, and has been living with someone, possibly a 25 yr. old female Asian college student whose work is laundry/housekeeping, wears her black hair in a loose ponytail and lives 10+ miles from the hotel. Female brown/black Tabby Maine Coon w/white chest, belly & paws. Green eyes. Front declawed. Indoor cat - frightened of people. Age 13. 15 lbs. Missing from Suite 61 - Ritz Carlton Tiburon on 10/11/2010. Microchip ID #453D5F192A. (239) 594-3902.

Kitts Kitts disappeared on a Saturday in October. Vanished without a trace.

Her owner, Mary Ann Pawlik, has not stopped looking for her since.

The North Naples resident placed ads in local newspapers and registered the missing Maine Coon cat mix with online services that circulate lost pet information. Her ad has even been translated into Spanish for local Hispanic media, and Pawlik has become something of a local legend for her tenacity, dutifully running her ads each week.

She has worked with pet intuitives — four in all — to determine Kitts Kitts’ whereabouts. And she’s run down countless tips from helpful callers about possible Kitts Kitts sightings, wrangling with feral felines in the process.

To many, Kitts Kitts wouldn’t seem so special, just a 13-year-old cat with cutely curling whiskers. She’s not a purebred, can’t leap through rings of fire and has never made a viral video that garnered millions of YouTube views.

But Pawlik has another attitude.

“Animals are just important to me,” says Pawlik, who also has a cat named Daisy. “You make a commitment. You stick with it as long as you can.”

Pawlik rescued Kitts Kitts from Humane Society Naples in May 2004. She was 6 years old then, surrendered by a man whose new girlfriend didn’t like her.

Just a few months later, Hurricane Charley roared through the area, and Pawlik decided to evacuate her home and stay at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort because she felt she would be safer. She took her cats with her, and everyone came through the hotel stay without raising a hackle.

So, last fall, Pawlik was moving and needed a place to stay short-term. With her cats, she again returned to the Ritz for a week. One day, she took Daisy outside for a bit — Daisy is very social and walks right by her side, Pawlik says. They left Kitts Kitts in the room, under the bed, because Kitts Kitts, unlike Daisy, is shy and spends most of her time tucked away in dark spaces.

When she returned, Pawlik recalls, Kitts Kitts was gone. Pawlik turned the room inside out looking for her and contacted hotel staff for help. She searched the grounds, calling the cat’s name.

Through it all, Pawlik says she has not faltered in her belief that they will be reunited. Which isn’t to say the search hasn’t frustrated her at times; it has. After all her efforts, she keeps wondering what she hasn’t tried and if she’s failed to do something important.

Still, no Kitts Kitts.

That was only the beginning of the hunt. Pawlik has since moved to her new home, where Daisy and her toys are a beloved presence. But she continued to comb the area. Her next step was to hang fliers around town and contact the local shelters, looking to see if Kitts Kitts had turned up there. She reached out to area cat assistance organizations, such as Friends of Gummi and For the Love of Cats.

All were helpful, Pawlik says. But no one had seen Kitts Kitts.

“We made the rounds,” she recalls. “We tried as best we could. We wouldn’t let go.”

Pawlik placed ads in local publications with a photo and information about Kitts Kitts. And she turned to the Internet, registering with sites such as lostmykitty.com and tabbytracker.com. For a fee, these sites provide users with a custom-made poster and contact vets and area residents with a pre-recorded message about the missing pet.

Along the way, there were some hot leads, callers who thought they had spotted Pawlik’s four-legged friend or simply had advice to offer.

Pawlik ran down every tip. And if she caught the suggested cat, she took it the vet to be scanned for an identification chip, even if she knew it wasn’t Kitts Kitts.

Maybe this was someone else’s lost cat, she says. Maybe she could do for someone else what she still hopes will happen for her.

“I thought, if someone would get Kitts, I hope they would do that for her,” Pawlik says.

She began to brainstorm ways to reach new people who might have seen — or who might be in possession of — Kitts Kitts. Eventually, she even expanded her search to include the help of pet intuitives, people who try to communicate directly with animals.

Pawlik had reason to believe in the abilities of pet intuitives, those people known more colorfully on TV as pet psychics. The first pet intuitive Pawlik turned to, a local resident, was one she had worked with before when Kitts Kitts seemed to be in pain. At that time, the intuitive shared that Kitts Kitts was experiencing mouth discomfort — and a vet’s diagnosis later confirmed it.

Pawlik eventually worked with three more pet intuitives, including one from Southwest Florida and two from the West Coast of the United States.

From their efforts, a picture formed of who might be caring for Kitts Kitts: A 25-year-old female Asian college student whose work is laundry/housekeeping, wears her black hair in a loose ponytail and lives 10-plus miles from the hotel.

Pawlik doesn’t speculate about how this person might have ended up with Kitts Kitts, and adds that she is grateful that this person appears to be caring for the cat. She’s not angry, she says, not at all.

She only wants Kitts Kitts back and is now offering a $5,000 reward for the cat’s safe return, especially because Kitts Kitts needs a special food for her kidney condition.

“It’s time for her to come home,” Pawlik says. While other retirees take cruises and traveling, Pawlik, a very private person who goes by her maiden name, is spending her retirement money in a substantially public search to find her cat.

Through it all, Pawlik says she has not faltered in her belief that they will be reunited. Which isn’t to say the search hasn’t frustrated her at times; it has. After all her efforts, she keeps wondering what she hasn’t tried and if she’s failed to do something important.

But she isn’t giving up. And for anyone who would tell her to do so, she waves the idea away. The movers could have lost everything in her house and she wouldn’t have worried.

Pets are different.

“Things come and go,” Pawlik says. “Life does not.”

Or, in this case, nine lives.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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