I don’t know about you, but if I ever lost my cat, I would damn near lose my mind. My cat is like my firstborn child — that furry ball of adorableness takes up about 99 percent of my camera roll and 100 percent of my love. If I ever discovered he was missing, I’d probably sob uncontrollably in the fetal position, and then plaster the neighborhood with signs and start screaming his name in the streets like a crazy person. I would not, however, be as clever as Katie Alsop, a cat owner from Northampton, England, who recently lost her 6-year-old tabby cat Peanut and got super crafty in her recovery methods: She put him on Tinder.
“The morning Peanut went missing he went out at 3 AM when the dog went out for the loo,” Alsop tells Babble. “When I woke up at 7 AM I was shocked he hadn’t come home yet and knew something was wrong. By lunch time I started looking for him in the local area but couldn’t find him anywhere.”
To make matters worse, a local news story had put much of her area on edge for months. An unknown assailant known as the “UK animal killer” had harmed several cats in nearby towns, including in her own neighborhood.
“I kept my cats indoors because I was so worried!” Alsop explains. ” [But] after a month had passed with no victims, I guessed the killer had moved on and started to let the cats in the garden again for around one hour a day during my lunch break.”
Sadly, it wasn’t too long after that Peanut made his escape.
At first, Alsop did what any responsible pet owner would do: She called local vets, and even alerted the app PetLog that he was missing. She also posted on Facebook, called local businesses, and knocked on doors all over the local area. But a few days passed by. Then a week. And still no Peanut.
“I was frustrated my efforts weren’t reaching enough people so wanted to try something different,” she says. “I wanted to reach as many people as possible, locally, and grab their attention. So [I] just realized Tinder would be great.”
Peanut’s profile didn’t feature the usual Tinder must-haves for guys (like a shirtless bathroom pic, or the obligatory gym selfie). But it did get the job done.
Alsop says she added a photo of herself with Peanut so strangers wouldn’t think she was catfishing them, and proceeded to swipe right on every single person that came through her feed (both men and women of all ages). She also put money behind promoting the profile to more users in the area, just to up her chances of reaching nearby men who may have spotted her cat.
I’m just gonna come right out and say it: That was a straight-up genius move right there. So genius, in fact, that just 30 minutes after Alsop had posted Peanut’s profile, she’d already racked up 400 Tinder matches, and received her first lead. It was from a man named Charlie, who just so happened to be perusing Tinder when he saw Peanut’s profile, glanced out his window, and spotted a very similar-looking tabby cat right in the middle of his garden.
“When Charlie called and said he found the cat, I was scared it was a joke or a mistake,” Alsop says. “But then he described Peanut’s glitter and blue collar! I can’t describe the anxiety and happiness combination.”
Alsop says she ran to Charlie’s house, which was just a few blocks away, but Peanut sadly wasn’t there.
“He had ran away,” she says. But she wasn’t giving up. “I decided to return at 10 PM. Charlie called me at 9 PM as he found the cat again in a Tesco car park. After an hour I managed to grab Peanut, but he ran further away, towards a road. So of course we stopped looking. Charlie was amazing and was literally scaling 8-ft walls like in an action film.” (Sidenote: I think I’m in love with Charlie.)
Alsop says she laid trails of food home from the grocery store parking lot for a week, until finally, little Peanut made his way home and the two were reunited.
But just in case you thought this already heartwarming story was going to end with Katie and Charlie dating, I’m afraid I have some bad news on that front: Katie actually has a boyfriend, and isn’t usually on Tinder — she just fired up the app as a means to find Peanut.
Oh well, it’s still a good story. And at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure Charlie is happy he swiped right.
h/t The Dodo