Incredible Ending to Impossible Three Year Search
As an executive recruiter, I am fierce in helping my clients solve their most difficult recruiting challenges. I’ve spent my 12-year career developing the best strategies to find the most sought-after senior executives for top companies across the nation. While I’ve completed many tough assignments, I never imagined that I would need to use all my searching skills and fortitude to look for something so close and dear to my own heart: Biscuit.
My robust and charming tabby cat, Biscuit, also affectionately known as Mr. Fancy Pants, Mr. Big Britches, Mr. Special, and most often simply by his initial, B., came into my life as a six-week old kitten in 2005. I was one of those kids who, beyond anything else in life, wanted a cat, but my parents steadfastly refused. I had to wait until I was well into my twenties and with a lease on my own apartment before I was able to take on the responsibility of adopting a cat. Biscuit’s adoption was thanks in part to the largesse of Wray Executive Search chairman Dick Wray, who let me keep him at the office for a spell while I was still moving into a place where I could keep a cat.
Biscuit was a soulful black and grey tabby with magnificent, thick fur and four white paws. He was a cuddly, beautiful cat who was beloved and adored by many, most of all me. His talents included lap-sitting, comical nap positions, and chasing foil balls. We went through a lot of moves and changes together.
Biscuit had outdoor access for much of his life, though he preferred to spend most of his time inside close to his people. When he suddenly didn’t come home as usual in December of 2011, I grew increasingly scared and despairing. I was also determined to do everything in my power to find him.
I probably did more to find Biscuit than any other pet owner you’ve ever heard of. I made sure that everyone in Mooresville, NC, knew that Biscuit was missing. I plastered my neighborhood with dozens of florescent posters, featuring his photo and a link to a website I created with information about him (the now defunct findbiscuit.com). I knocked on my neighbors’ doors and put fliers in mailboxes. I searched for many sad miles on foot. I set up a wildlife camera in various spots.
I networked about his disappearance on social media and with every person, school, vet and animal organization in the area. I got the local paper to write a story about my search. I read up on everything I could about lost animal behavior and found-pet-success stories. I went all over town and beyond to chase many leads, and every single one turned out to be false.
As the months went by, I had to concede that I had done everything in my power to find Biscuit, and he was simply gone. Though I terribly missed him and feared the worst, I eventually tried to move on from my fruitless searching. I moved forward, as best I could, and tried to heal from the trauma of the his loss and to focus on finding happiness again.
I adopted a mustached kitten. I took a dream trip to Greece. I moved from the exurbs of Charlotte, NC, where I felt stifled, to Asheville, NC, where I felt energized and at home. I bought a house, which came with its own royal resident cat, so suddenly I had two cats.
I missed and mourned Biscuit. After a while, I just tried hard not to think about him. Deep in my heart, I would have given anything to see his cute whiskered face, rub his ears, and hear his gentle purr again. Over three years went by.
Three years and three months after his disappearance, on March 2, 2015, an unfamiliar number rang on my cell phone. I hesitantly answered. The woman said she was from the Charlotte Humane Society, and she asked if I was Rebecca Patt. “We have your cat Biscuit,” she said.
They were able to identify Biscuit and his contact information because they had scanned his microchip. I had agreed to the microchip during a routine visit at the vet back when he was a kitten. I couldn’t believe it.
The next morning, a bundle of nerves, friends drove me to Charlotte to pick up Biscuit. I am sure he recognized me immediately. An enormous current of love, relief, and gratitude ran between us when I approached him in his cage. Everyone in the room was crying.
The story went viral on Facebook, and I was interviewed by the local TV news and multiple newspapers (watch the epic reunion video here on YouTube). I used the publicity as a way to spread the message about the importance of microchipping pets.
After I had long run out of hope and patience, it was only patience, a microchip, and the help of several caring people who could bring Biscuit back to me — people who cared enough to rescue a stray cat and to find out if that cat could be somebody’s long-lost best friend.
These days, ten-year-old Biscuit naps his days away at home with his younger siblings, mischievous Comet and dignified Princess. He once again brings me love, joy, and smiles everyday I’m around him.
Do you need to recruit a top executive for your restaurant or foodservice company? Contact Rebecca Patt at firstname.lastname@example.org.