Cindy Brookhouser, reunited with her cat Kiki after four years, listens to how Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteer Shannon Arnold was able to find Brookhouser by tracking the cat's microchip Sept. 1 in the Visitor Control Center parking lot. Brookhouser drove from Olathe, Kan., to reunite with her cat, whom she had re-homed several years ago, but the person to whom she had re-homed the cat also had to re-home the cat. It is unknown how the cat ended up on Fort Leavenworth. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

On the evening of Aug. 25, my husband, Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteer Lt. Col. James Crabtree, Mission Command Training Program, and I went to the FLSF at 9 p.m. for our nightly check to see if military police had brought in any stray dogs or cats. FLSF volunteer Staff Sgt. Bill Simon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, met us there to check a stray cat his family had found that evening for a microchip. When Simon arrived with a sweet but emaciated and matted kitty, we all
agreed it must have been lost for quite some time.

Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility staff and volunteers — Animal Caretaker Heidi Crabtree, volunteer Shannon Arnold and volunteer Staff Sgt. Bill Simon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks — witness the reunion of Cindy Brookhouser, second from left, with her 11-year-old cat Kiki Sept. 1 in the Visitor Control Center parking lot. Kiki followed Simon’s sons home from a Fort Leavenworth park, and he took her to the FLSF. Arnold was then able to track down Brookhouser through the cat’s microchip. Brookhouser, of Olathe, Kan., hadn’t seen Kiki since 2017 when she had to re-home her due to a bullying older cat in the household. It is unknown how the cat ended up on Fort Leavenworth. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The cat had followed Simon’s 9-yearold son Lucas and 12-year-old son Carter home from a park near Osage Village, and Lucas named the friendly feline Layla.

Cindy Brookhouser, of Olathe, Kan., snuggles her 11-year-old cat, Kiki, whom she hadn’t seen since 2017, after being reunited with the cat Sept. 1 in the Vistor Control Center parking lot. Kiki was found on Fort Leavenworth by the sons of a Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteer, then another FLSF volunteer was able to track down Brookhouser’s contact information thanks to a microchip. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The cat was administered the usual intake care for strays, including providing food and water as well as flea treatment and ear mite drops. Skinny Layla had to be put on a special diet to keep her from gorging, as she was in starvation mode.


A scan discovered that the cat was microchipped, but the microchip ID was tough to track — it was unusual, not a numerical reading like most other chips.


Figuring a foreign company probably had chipped Layla, we assumed it was just another mystery.


A few days later, though, FLSF volunteer Shannon Arnold, determined to find out what that odd microchip was, tracked down the obscure company and eventually Layla’s history.

Cindy Brookhouser, of Olathe, Kan., kisses her 11-year-old cat, Kiki, after being reunited with the cat by Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteers Sept. 1 in the Vistor Control Center parking lot. Brookhouser hadn’t seen Kiki for four years. The cat, thin and matted, followed home the sons of a Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteer, who then brought the cat into the facility, and then another FLSF volunteer was able to track down Brookhouser’s contact information thanks to a microchip. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Layla’s name is actually Kiki, and her original owner lives in Olathe, Kan. Kiki was rehomed by Cindy Brookhouser in 2017, when another cat in the household was bullying Kiki. The person who took Kiki then had to rehome her as well. Brookhouser said she had no idea that Kiki had been rehomed yet again. As I, Simon and Arnold watched,
Kiki was reunited with Brookhouser Sept. 1.

Kiki melted into Brookhouser’s arms, four years after the last time they had seen each other, like it was yesterday.

Happy endings like this one are possible if pet owners have their animals microchipped and keep their contact numbers up to date. The pets of Fort Leavenworth residents are required to be registered with the Veterinary Treatment Facility, be microchipped, and not be outdoors unsupervised or unleashed.

Cindy Brookhouser, of Olathe, Kan., snuggles her 11-year-old cat, Kiki, whom she hadn’t seen since 2017, after being reunited with the cat Sept. 1 in the Vistor Control Center parking lot. Kiki was found on Fort Leavenworth by the sons of a Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility volunteer, then another FLSF volunteer was able to track down Brookhouser’s contact information thanks to a microchip. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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