We who have cats know that they think. And that it is not their fault if we are not on their wave length.
But no one can know what Sylvia the cat was thinking when she left the safety of her truck in the New Albany MS Pilot. Her person/driver, Melissa Rojas of Sturgis, Michigan, thinks it was about 2:30 AM when Sylvia hatched her dangerous plan.
Somehow, Sylvia escaped. Either she did not want to heed the calls for her return, because she had not yet made up her mind to comply – all us cat servants have certainly seen this. Or, she was hiding because she was already frightened. Both scenarios are possible.
Though her first job, in Sylvia’s view at least, is “care giver,” Melissa was eventually forced to be about her other job: truck driver. She messaged area rescues with Sylvia’s story and prayed for the best, eventually returning home. Weeks passed, with occasional news from New Albany of possible sightings of Sylvia.
Meanwhile, it is likely that Sylvia had pretty quickly decided that she was, in fact, ready to return to her truck. In many ways, she had not chosen a good spot for her adventure. The Pilot, while nice for humans and trucks, is not well designed for cats. It is a frightening place for anything smaller than an 18 wheeler – busy day and night, ear-splittingly noisy and with the strange smell of petroleum in the air. Not to mention a busy interstate running alongside.
On the other hand, there are places to hide away and get out of the frequent storms. Most importantly, perhaps, there are people who like cats (and dogs) in the vicinity. They were already putting out food and allowing the use of their sheds and buildings for refuge before Sylvia arrived. Which is good, because princess cats with no front claws and a cute bell on their collar are not terribly good at supplying their own meals.
So, all things considered, Sylvia made the wise decision to remain in the area. She decided against striking out on her own, as cats often do. Instead she opted for staying out of view most of the time, yet showing herself often enough to give an assist to those trying to rescue her. Happily, there were a lot of people interested in Sylvia.
Jay Liccardi, a Pilot maintenance worker, told NEMiss.news that many folks at the New Albany Pilot were aware of Sylvia’s plight. Many employees, customers, truck drivers, etc. were pulling for her, and keeping an eye out. Liccardi also thinks another cat, a longer-time resident of the area, may have been a companion and a bit of help to Sylvia, too.
Help did come. On Friday, May 1, a trap was placed near a spot Sylvia was believed to frequent. Soon, after 39 days of largely caring for herself, Sylvia wandered into the trap in search of food. By Saturday morning she was yowling in disgust at her mistake. Before too long, though, she found herself in the middle of a nice lady’s kitchen, amazed to be eating and drinking from what must surely looked like crystal bowls to her. (The nice lady is Angela Brooks, of Tupelo, who was involved for weeks in rescuing Sylvia and who placed the trap when Sylvia’s whereabouts were believed to be known.)
Then, after a few naps in comfy spots and a little more food and petting – a miracle! Sylvia heard a familiar voice, then saw a familiar face. Just as she had hoped (and expected), Melissa, her very own person/driver had come to take her home. She had jumped in her car and headed South soon after learning that Sylvia had been rescued. After a brief time of feigning disinterest, Sylvia judged Melissa to be sufficiently punished for her part in these events, and happily rejoined her family.
The next day, after a stop at the Pilot to thank Jay and others, Sylvia was on the road again, heading home to Michigan.
Melissa, in truth, was sorry for her part in this adventure, and has determined that Sylvia will no longer be traveling the roads with her. From now on, Sylvia will remain safely at home. Melissa knows that few people get even one miracle like this in their one lifetime. She’s not going to take any chances.
Time will tell what Sylvia thinks. After all, being a cat, Sylvia should have at least eight lives left, and some may come with miracles.
New Albany Pilot Truck Stop, Sylvia the cat