There wasn't much information in the report. The caller never actually saw a cat. All I knew was that someone heard a cat crying across the street from the entrance to a particular restaurant, and they thought it might be in a tree. The cat was unknown, but CAA told me that, if I find and get the cat, I could bring it to them.
As Rochon was driving into Baton Rouge, she witnessed a hit-and-run accident ahead of her involving other vehicles. She is not one to stand idly by as someone runs away from a responsibility, so she followed the car that caused the accident so she could report them. She followed them into the parking lot of an auto parts store and stopped behind them. The women in the car got out and came to her door to speak. Rochon cracked open her door to talk to them when Cooper, the transport dog, darted out the door. Instantly, Rochon started running behind him and followed him to a self-storage business where he was cornered and caught. With a huge sigh of relief, she walked him back to her car. But her car was gone.
Rochon was stunned. She had Cooper, but now her car was gone. Her car had been stolen with NolaBelle and Barnaby inside. She later learned that her car was stolen by a man and woman in a third car that was already in the parking lot when she arrived. They saw her run after Cooper and took advantage of the opportunity.
Fortunately, some people there had NolaBelle and asked Rochon if he was her dog. The car thieves had dumped NolaBelle out of the car right away, so she recovered NolaBelle quickly. Barnaby, however, was gone -- riding at the whims of a car thief to places unknown.
Rochon was happy that she had both Cooper and NolaBelle, but was worried sick about Barnaby. She imagined all kinds of horrible outcomes for him from being killed, abused, or dumped in some forsaken place where no one ever finds him. It is hard enough to search for a missing cat when you know where it escaped, but where do you begin searching for cat in a car that has been stolen? She was distraught and found it annoying and difficult to focus on filing the police reports for both the stolen car and the hit-and-run accident. That night was long and agonizing, and the next day she made some "Lost Cat" flyers.
Then I called her with the good news.