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.
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.
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.
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.