Early on the morning of the 25th of March 2022 a friend of mine (Terri), was driving to work towards Yarwun. As she past the Gladstone Power Station she was driving behind a utility and noticed a white cat fall from underneath the car, onto the road and off to the side into the darkness.
Upset, and thinking that it was likely the cat would not have survived, she followed the utility to the Rio Tinto Yarwun car park. As the driver exited the vehicle Terri asked him if he owned a white cat. He replied,” Yes, why?”. Terri explained to him what she had witnessed and left feeling sad.
The next day Terri told me the sad story as she was aware that I work in the Security team nearby at the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET). Six weeks later, I was working a normal dayshift on Saturday the 7th of May when my work colleague (James) notice a suspicious vehicle driving slowly towards the entrance to site. He approached the vehicle and asked the lady driver what she was doing? The lady driver (Rachel), advised James that she was looking for her missing cat (Piper). She had been informed by someone through Facebook that a white cat had been spotted on the WICET site near the railway line the night before.
Rachel left her phone number with James in the hope that someone in Security at WICET may spot Piper while conducting a patrol.
James returned to the Security office and told me what Rachel had said. Under the assumption that her cat had only been missing a short time, I decided to call her and gather more details.
I phoned Rachel and introduced myself. When I asked her how long Piper had been missing, I couldn’t believe it! She told me Piper had fallen out of her husband’s utility on his way to work roughly six weeks ago. Realising this was potentially the same cat my friend Terri had spoken about, I explained that coincidently, a friend had mentioned a white cat that had gone missing some time ago. I told Rachael the WICET Security team would keep an eye out for the adventurous kitty.
On shift handover that afternoon, James and I alerted the oncoming Security guards (Mick and Di) of the missing cat and to maintain vigilance through the night.
I arrived to work the following day, and to my surprise Mick advised me that when he was conducting his patrol down at the rail line (approximately 2klms from where Piper originally went missing) a white cat matching Piper’s description ran out in front of his vehicle and into a drain pipe on the other side of the road. Mick attempted to coax the suspect cat out from the pipe to which he almost succeeded until it got nervous and went further up the pipe. Mick contacted Rachel and advised her of the sighting. Rachel then came out to the public road near site and set a cat trap with some cat food in the hope Piper would find it. Rachael let Mick know she had set the trap and Mick said he would see what else we could do to assist. The next morning (Monday) Mick advised of the events of the night.
That morning I contacted Rachel and advised we would attempt to get permission from WICET management to see if we could move the trap to site, closer to where Piper had been spotted. I then contacted the WICET HSE manager (Trent) who was more than happy to assist.
We then moved the trap to site near the water drain in the hope Piper would still be in the area and fall for the bait. Trent prepared a notification to be sent out to site for everyone to be on the look for the missing cat.
Monday afternoon on handover the team were optimistic that if Piper was going to be found that this would be the night. The team was prepped to perform multiple patrols of the area through the night.
I finished my shift wishing the guys luck, I was also thinking if we don’t find her soon she may get scared and move on.
That night I was sitting at the dinner table with my family telling them the story about missing kitty and that we hope we may reunite her to her family. As finished saying the words ‘to be continued’ my phone rang. It was Mick ringing to tell me that Di was conducting her patrol and has located Piper in the trap safe and well. Mick waited for Di to return to the Security office where he made the call to Rachel to give her the good news. Mick and Di said Rachel was very excited and was driving to site to be reunited with Piper.
It just goes to show what some community minded people and a dedicated team can achieve when working together.
Well done to everyone involved.