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A year later, Dover Township woman still searches for beloved cat
Ginny Dunlap's classified ad in the lost-and-found section of The York Dispatch recently turned a year old, but the Dover Township woman doesn't have the heart to cancel it. At least not yet.
"I can't imagine I'll ever stop hoping," she said. "I just haven't been able to bring myself to stop looking."
Dunlap and husband are looking for Monk, their much-loved 7-year-old Siamese cat.
He disappeared from their 24-acre property along Crone Road on Oct. 2, 2014, and she started running the "lost" ad the next day. The ad has run every day since.
"Sometimes I get emotional about it," she said. "I would do absolutely anything to have him back."
She ran ads in various newspapers, kept checking with local animals shelters, hung fliers in a 2-square-mile area and even hired a tracking dog and its handler to search the area.
"We looked and looked and looked," she said, and she cried for a long time. "I don't think there was anything humanly possibly we could have done that we didn't do."
Monk was special: The Dunlaps adopted Monk as a stray kitten from a friend's farm. He quickly burrowed his way into their hearts and finessed his way into their bed every night.
"He was the friendliest cat I ever met — more like a dog than a cat," Dunlap said. "He wanted to be with us as much as we wanted to be with him. He was like a special kid."
Monk wasn't a purebred Siamese, although you wouldn't know it by looking at him, she said. He loved going outside in good weather and often cried during the summer until he was let out, she said.
"When he was outside during the day, he never really left our yard area. He was usually within view of the house, taking a nap in a basket ... or on our patio furniture," Dunlap, 46, said. "I would always bring him in before dark."
But the evening of Oct. 2, 2014, Monk didn't come home.
"I knew something was wrong right away," she said. "If he was able to come home on his own, he would've come home for sure. I think either something or someone got him.
"I think there's very little chance I'm ever going to see Monk again," she said, and acknowledged there's a good chance a predator attacked him.
Compelled to try: But Dunlap said she's compelled to keep hoping, to keep running the ad. Just in case.
"I thought, 'If I don't do it, I will always wonder what would have happened if I did,'" she said. "I still get phone calls to this day from people who have spotted a Siamese-type cat. There have been many, many leads over the last year, but none of them has turned out to be Monk."
The Dunlaps have other animals, including cats, dogs, goats and sheep. Dunlap said all of them are precious to her, but they can't replace Monk.
For now, she's not making any decisions about the future of the year-old lost-and-found ad, which offers a reward for Monk's return.
"We're thinking about moving, so maybe once we do that I'll stop (the ad)," she said.
Then again, Dunlap acknowledged, she might never stop looking.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.