Trish Watson has joyful reunion with long-lost cat

by: VERN UYETAKE - Trish Watson and Jack the cat cuddle in a corner while the curious Remington treads lightly on a window VERN UYETAKE - Trish Watson is now making up for a lost year in the life of her cat, Jack.Trish Watson loved Jack the cat.

She had originally wanted a dog when she went pet hunting at an animal shelter, but then she saw a cat whose looks she really liked. He looked like he had started out all white but then had walked under some dripping gray paint.

“I said, ‘I really want this cat,’” Watson said. “He jumped right up to me.” She named him Jack.

Life was a bowl of cherries when Jack the cat moved into Watson’s home on 22nd and Division in Southeast Portland. They shared the house with her roommate and her two puppies, Lola and Chue. The cat and dogs were the very best of friends. It was stunning to see them together.

“Jack thought he was a dog,” Watson said. “He started eating dog food. Jack was comfortably spoiled and he loved the dogs.”

Unfortunately, this idyllic situation ended after only a couple of months when Jack went missing. Watson does not know why this happened, but she guesses that something scared Jack and he jumped the fence. Watson took the loss of her beloved cat hard and started putting up lost cat posters all over her neighborhood.

“My son was missing,” Watson said. “Jack was a really neat cat and I really missed him. My grandchildren (all seven of them) loved him.”

After several months of searching, Watson realized she would have to face life without Jack. She moved on, made a new home in Lake Oswego around Christmas time, and set her sights on getting a job at New Seasons Market (she got the job). Jack had been missing for a year. Chapter closed. Or so she thought.

During the last week of July, Watson got a phone call from Laura Williams at New Seasons’ corporate office and was asked, “Do you own a cat named Jack?”

Watson exploded, “I do! Wow, I can’t believe it!”

Fate had brought Watson and Jack back together. Fate and smart thinking. Watson had the presence of mind to have Jack chipped by a veterinarian a couple weeks before his abrupt disappearance. When Williams took Jack to a vet for an examination, the chip was found.

Overjoyed, Watson quickly drove to New Seasons corporate headquarters in Portland, getting lost along the way but eventually finding the place. Once she arrived she was met by a dozen New Seasons employees waiting to congratulate her for reuniting with Jack. Then Williams led her into a storage area.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Now that Jack is no longer roaming around Portland, he will have his very own refrigerator in Lake Oswego.

“Jack was in a bathroom. He was curled up on a shirt,” Watson said. “I didn’t want to scare him. I quietly said, ‘Jack? Jack?’ I just snatched him up. He curled up behind my neck and chin, and I petted him, loved him and cried. I wish he could talk.”

There were few clues on what had happened to Jack over the past year, although Watson observed that he was much smaller than before and had an indention around his neck made by a too-tight collar. Somehow he ended up at the New Seasons corporate office on July 29. He was discovered trying to get inside by rubbing his nose on the glass door.

As soon as Jack was in Watson’s arms, the celebration was on. New Seasons employees took a reunion video of Watson and her cat, she was interviewed by a Portland TV station and her friends deluged her with happy emails. by: VERN UYETAKE - After reuniting with Trish Watson, Jack can relax and reflect philosophically about all the changes he experienced over the past year.

Things are now approaching normal at Watson’s Lake Oswego residence. People come in and stare at Jack like they can’t believe he is really there. He has already picked out his favorite chair, has a new animal friend (a cat named Remington) and will soon be having a reunion with Watson’s grandchildren.

Jack does seem a little nervous about his new celebrity, but Watson said, “He’s always been a really cool cat.”

Now, Watson knows how the father of the Prodigal Son felt. Once Jack was lost, but now he is found.

“His roaming days are over,” Watson said.

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