Windy was lost in LAWRENCE KANSAS on Monday, 2/8

Windy was lost in LAWRENCE KANSAS on Monday, 2/8


Last seen at Econolodge in Lawrence, KS, off exit 202 on I-70 (KS Turnpike) on MONDAY 2/8.

Windy is a black & white tuxedo short haired cat. She is six years old, not wearing a collar, but is microchipped. She has a really high pitched squeaky meow, loves men, is extremely sweet (but shy). We do not know if she is INSIDE the Econolodge or OUTSIDE. We have all the hotel staff helping us look! The local shelter and vets have been notified.


We do not live in Kansas. We were moving from Atlanta, GA to Portland, OR, when we stopped here after a day full of driving. Windy must have slipped out the door as we went to the soda machine or to get something out of the car after we had finished unpacking. We did NOT see her leave. But she is definitely not in the hotel room! This is very unlike Windy. She does not like the outdoors and she is not very adventurous.

Wherever Windy is, she is probably very scared and hiding, hoping someone comes along to find her! Being raised in Atlanta, she has never seen snow and we are afraid she will not last long outdoors.

But please, do not stop looking. There is a $500 CASH REWARD for anyone who finds her, no matter HOW far in the future. She has been through so much with us and this is like losing our own child.

We have extended our stay here until 2/10 to search. However, afterwards we have to leave. We do not want to leave without her but we have deadlines and cannot afford to live in a hotel… 😦 With that being said, please do NOT stop looking! We will be arranging with a vet to board her until we can fly back to get her if she is found after we leave. The Econolodge hotel also has her cat carrier for safe transport! DO NOT WORRY. There will be very little burden on you if you do find her! Everything is arranged.

Please spread the word.

Please pray that Windy is okay.

Update 2/09 11:35pm: We still have not found Windy. We have spent the day handing out fliers and searching outside. We do not think she would go very far, but she can always surprise! We have not lost hope!! Please spread http://www.findwindy.com/ on Twitter and Facebook! We are counting on this being VIRAL since we do not know anyone in Kansas! Thank you. -xoxo Windy’s loving parents.

Update 02/12 6:53pm: Windy may have been spotted running under a car at the Stone Creek Restaurant at 6th and Monteray!! Call 404-218-5008 or text with any updates!! Further update: 3 people have contacted me regarding sightings in the same area! Please read comments for exact details. We will be heading that way tomorrow but it is a nine hour drive so we need help looking all day and night! The reward is still good, and if you prefer we can donate it to a charity of your choice. Frank, in the comments, is organizing
a morning search party if anyone is free. Get in touch. Thank you everyone!!!!

Update 02/13 2:06pm: Windy was just spotted at the Canyon Court apartments at 700 Comet Lane! She was seen running into the storm drain between Stone Creek and Canyon Court! Looking for someone to get and set a live trap with tuna. You will be reimbursed plus recieve an extra gift for your efforts! I think this is our best bet on getting her since she is living in the storm drain. One can probably be purchased at a feed and farm supply store. We are on our way back and should arrive around midnight tonight. We are excited to be so close! Please contact at 404-218-5008 if you can place the trap!

Update Noon 2/14: We have set a trap with tuna at the sewer grates. Please do not lay out food in the area! Thank you #windythecat http://www.findwindy.com
Further update: 8:22pm. We think we saw her! She seems to only come out after dark. She went into the trap but did not spring it. When I called her name she stopped and looked at me, but got spooked by a passing car. This response may be a good sign this is Windy living here! We have been watching the trap for 8 hours now and will probably stay as long as we can muster since we have to leave in the morning. If we do not find her tonight, I am interested in hiring one or several people to stake out the trap after nightfall (maybe a good job for a college student?) I do not think we can leave the trap unattended due to the large amount of feral cats in the area. We already trapped one wrong cat and it nearly had a heart attack. Luckily we were right here and got it out before it did any self harm. Wish us luck tonight!! Email or comment if you know anyone who might be interested in the stake out job (night vision goggles a plus…! J/k) ellywinstead@gmail.com

Update 12/15 1:48am: We watched the trap for 13 hours. It then got far too cold for any of the cats to come out anymore, and the tuna would just immediately freeze. Also, we got to thinking about what Windy looked like. Windy has one feature that stands her out from the other tuxedo colored cats: her white hind legs. We are around 85-90% sure that the cat we were hoping was Windy, is in fact not. The legs were too dark. We are very saddened by this, as we thought we were so close! Of course if anyone is in the area and spots a black a white cat, please take note of the hind legs. It’s always possible there is more than one in the area and we just did not see her today.

I guess now we start over at step one: clues. We’ll be heading over to the Econolodge area tomorrow morning before we start our drive back to Oregon. We would love to stay longer but we have 3 more wonderful cats and 2 great dogs in our care, plus Michael’s work has extended his start date as long as they could already. We’ll talk to the businesses around the Econolodge and see if there are any clues. They already have our phone number, but it’s worth a shot while we’re here! I’d also like to try to set the trap out at a certain spot near the Econolodge, but I’d need someone to do this for us and check it, since we have to leave. Our new friend Frank (in the comments) has kindly agreed to house the trap until something is arranged. Also, kudos to Frank as he has been a wonderful help and very kind!

On another note, is anyone aware of a missing long haired Siamese? We spotted one at the sewer grates a few times and she definitely did not look like a feral stray. She was slightly plump, very playful, and less skiddish than the other cats in the area. Pass on the word! I’ll also call the humane society tomorrow to see if anyone has reported her missing.

We haven’t lost hope. Just because she has not been found yet, doesn’t mean she won’t be. Thank you everyone 🙂 Let’s keep spreading the word and saying prayers, for Windy!

Update 2/15 9:45am: We just got a call from the Econolodge, they say they just found Windy!! We are headed back right now, we only have about 30miles to backtrack. I will update on how she is! We are SOOOO happy!!!!!


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  1. mallorymurray Says:

    This is so sad! I wish I lived in Lawrence so I could help you. I pray that you guys find her quickly and all is well.

    Suggestion – tag your post with University of Kansas, which is in Lawrence.

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you very much for the advice! I did do that, as well as tweet to all University of Kansas groups and Facebook post to them. Hopefully word will get out.

    • Ashley Lindsey Says:

      I spotted her on 7th and Monteray Way for 2 days now, I’m calling the shelter today, I work across the street and tried to get her but she is living in the gutter and comes out periodically, I will drop off food for her tonight

      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Oh thank god she’s still out there!!! You have no idea how happy I am to hear this. The Econolodge has her cat carrier and her bed, with some of my clothing items that smell like me. If you want to take it out there I will gladly call them and tell them you’ll be picking it up. If you can manage to get her the reward is yours. I’ll also have a vet she can be taken to for boarding. I’m soooo happy you’ve seen her! If you don’t have the time to try to get her, or the shelter wont come out, let me know so I can try to make other arrangements. My phone number is 404-218-5008 and you can text or call ANYTIME.

        Thank you!!!

      • Katherine7of9 Says:

        I live close to 7th and Monterey Way so I will also keep an eye out.
        This is so sad; I sure hope Windy is home with you soon.

      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Oh thank you! Bradley Animal Hospital has offered to board her when she is found. They are located at 23rd st. All that needs to be done is drop her off there while they are open! If you find her and we get a positive ID, I’ll just mail you a check, or paypal, the reward. ❤ I'm so excited!

      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Ashley, I contacted animal control in Lawrence to see if they would dispatch, but they wouldn’t without more specific location details. Let me know more when you can.
        Also, Bradley Animal Hosp on 23rd has agreed to board her, she just needs to be dropped off. Also, if you find her the reward is still good!

      • Bailey Says:

        I went by and tried to get her about an hour ago but she hid out of sight. I left some cheese and treats and might try again tomorrow.
        Specifically, she is located on 7th street between Monterrey and Comet Lane. There is an entrance into the Stone Creek parking lot (on the north side of street) and the gutter I saw her in was just to the left (west) of the entrance.

        Hope this helps!


      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Oh thank you!!! She loves cheese and chicken! Her favourite food ever is chicken. Thank you so much. Even if you try in the area and don’t find her, I will reward you for your help. Please, she is our baby…thank you much. Spread the word. Everyone who tries will at least get an award we can afford ❤

      • Frank Says:

        It looks like there’s pretty good synergy with Twitter here. I’m using hashtag #windythecat – was hoping we could do a search party, maybe one at 11:30am and another at 5:30pm on Saturday. My number is 314.799.9405 and I’m on twitter at fsiler. 🙂

        Also, if you find her, please let me know- I’ve offered to drive Windy to western KS, maybe Hays, so that there isn’t so far for ellyvstheworld to go. I’m not in this for money at all- I’d just as soon they keep the reward or donate to the humane society.

      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Frank, you are so amazing!! I will definitely let you know any news, I saved your phone. Also, thank you to EVERYONE for your help tonight!!! Do NOT give up! please, she is our baby and we love her so much. This search is not just for us, but because she is an innocent and only deserves the best we have to offer her as a home. As long as she is happy and not scared and alone we will be ok. But all the same, we would love her back in the family she has been in for six years ❤

      • Frank Says:

        I didn’t do anything much- the people who have seen her and followed up on it deserve the credit. We have a search party set up for tomorrow morning, and if we can track her down to the storm sewers again, we’ll see if we can get the city or fire department to open ‘er up so we can fetch her.

      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Please keep me updated on tomorrow mornings search party. As of now we have heard of so many sightings in that area that we will head back tomorrow. It is a nine hour drive so we wont be there in daylight, but as long as we can bring her back to the family and make sure she isn’t suffering then all is worth it! I would do anything for our Windy!

  2. AnnaUndercover Says:

    I am so sorry you lost your kitty cat. I know how much it hurts to miss your baby. I tweeted about it and will keep my eyes open. Hang in there! I’m thinking of you.

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you so much for your help. I do not know a single person in Kansas, so I’m relying on the internet and the local businesses/organizations to help us rescue our poor darling! ❤ ❤

  3. AnnaUndercover Says:

    Elly: I sent a tweet to Ben Smith, Social Media Manager at LJWorld.com, to see if they can use social media to help you find your kitty. Maybe he can help you out. I gave him a link to this site.

    • Elly Winstead Says:

      Oh my, thank you! Windy and I used to have a great friend named Ben Smith (not the same one to my knowledge). ❤

      Time for us parents to go to sleep, but the phone will be on!

  4. Kara H. Says:

    My kitty somehow slipped out last weekend. Same circumstances. We found him after 48 hours scared, cold, & ready to come home. If you need help looking let me know. If she is outside I found that its best to look at night when cats are awake and a flashlight helps you site them since their eyes reflect. I’ve heard it helps to leave an article of clothing or some item that smells like you out in case they come around they know they’re in the right place especially since it isn’t familiar to her. I found my guy tucked up underneath a truck trying to keep out of the cold. I’m sure you’ve heard this but just in case… =) Thinking and praying for you. If you need another person with a flashlight let me know…

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you for the flashlight idea! We tried this out last night but had no luck. We would LOVE some help, actually. We had to check out today. The hotel staff is still looking but they are just focusing indoors. We will be staying at a friends in Colorado so we are within driving distance if she is found.
      If you would like to do a sweep of the surrounding area (mostly parking lot) we would be so grateful!

  5. Matt Says:

    Definitely check under the cars at Econolodge. I know it sounds nuts, but maybe ask as many people to open up their hoods on their cars there. Cats love getting up in there to keep warm.

    Chances are Windy is still nearby or will find her way back.

  6. Donna Says:

    I live here and I will post to all of myspace/FB contacts. Lot of animal lovers in Lawrence.

    Hope we can find her or locate her.

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you so much! We are looking for someone to take tonights shift of sweeping the parking lot with a flashlight if you live nearby.

  7. Amanda Says:

    I posted to my Facebook. Hopefully the Journal World will pick up the story so that the whole city is notified. Good luck!

  8. Trysha Hicks Says:

    I hope you find your kitty! I’m a friend of Amanda’s (above) and saw this on her FB wall. I have forwarded it to some family I have in Kansas and asked them to share as well. Best of luck to you and Windy!! xox

  9. jana Says:

    I’m a KU grad student; I posted this as my facebook status with a link. I hope you find Windy!

  10. melinda Says:

    I found this on craiglist in lawrence. I drive over in that area each day..I’ll keep my eyes open for your kitty. Hope you find her!

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you so much for your help! If you get the chance, take a spin through the parking lot and keep an eye out. She’ll probably be tucked away hiding somewhere.

  11. Jennifer Says:

    I know a cat who managed to wedge himself inside a desk drawer when scared….I know it seems unlikely at this point, but she may still be in the hotel, or possibly in your room. Look in all the places she can’t possible fit, because cats are masters at hiding in small places!

    Good luck!

    I’ve lost a cat, and I know how hard it is. I hope you find her soon.

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Windy loves cabinets and drawers, so those locations were definitely the first places we looked.
      Maybe hotel staff will find her in another set of drawers though. Here is hoping!

  12. Debbie Shelton Says:

    Please check and recheck your hotel room. Cats can fit themselves in the most unlikely places in the world. I would be willing to bet my life that your baby is still either in your room (vents, underneath the mattress springs, etc) or in that hotel some where. Please don’t give up hope. I lost my collie once for 48 hours and he was blind in one eye and needed daily med’s and the more the word gets out there – the better. I did not sleep and was out constantly looking for him and the guys working on the street hauling dirt in truck found him blocks away cross a very busy street and came and told me and I went and found him. We have 2 dogs and 4 cats – I’m praying for you guys. Keep the faith but LOOK MORE IN THE HOTEL ROOM!

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Thank you for your advice. We have torn apart the mattress several times and found no vents in the room. There is literally no place left for her in that room. I am praying she is still somewhere in the building and not outside. Hotel staff are all looking for her as well. It has been 1.5 days but we still have faith!

  13. Kittymom Says:

    just an idea, have someone at your old address keep an eye out for her..I have read about cats traveling hundreds of miles back to there home even if they were lost somewhere they had never been before..There is always a chance she is heading back to Georgia..and God willing she will make it. Miss Gizmerelda (my persian) and Miss Prissy (My Weggie) will be praying for her safe return.. PS Have family in Lawrence, will keep an eye out for her…

  14. cammie Says:

    you probably already have but if not, contact the Lawrence Humane Society in case she was picked up by animal control. Also, check with local vet clinics and groom shops.

  15. Frank Says:

    I live in Deerfield, Lawrence, which is fairly close. I can probably host one person, maybe two, in a pinch if you need a place to stay. I know I would be very distraught if my baby Trixie was lost- and I know Kara’s story above, so please let me know if I can help.

  16. cammie Says:

    What about a live trap — not the bad kind – just the ones that you put food in and when the animal enters, the door comes down? If she is that scared, she will not come to a stranger.

  17. Lee Smith Says:

    Try shaking the cat threats, make sure the bottle is 1/2 empty, and making long “kissing” sounds, I practiced this with her every night for the last couple of months! I was so distraught that I completely forgot this. Please try this and let me know how it works.

    I am so scared for her, she’s my favorite kitty ever, so sweet, so affectionate. Please help.

  18. Kathy Pryor Says:

    I will be coming to the search party at 11:30 a.m. I can also bring other people with me if you think we need more help. I can’t tell from the notes if we have enough people but I also don’t want to scare Windy so much tha none of us get her. Let me know your thoughts. Kathy

  19. Debbi Says:

    We didn’t have any luck finding her or even seeing her at this morning’s search party, but a number of people who live in the apartments at 7th & Monterey reported having seen her in the area. One person said they saw her near a dumpster and another said they saw her heading south. The sightings were all last night.

    We are making flyers this afternoon and Frank is going to plaster the area with them this evening. We’ll make sure the flyer includes the vet information (Bradley is my vet also!) and the reward info, since that might make people more likely to act and try to catch her. I’ll put your phone number on the flyer as well as mine & Frank’s.

    Lots of people have also retweeted the information. Rachel left more food in the gutter this morning.

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Windy was just spotted at the Canyon Court apartments at 700 Comet Lane! She was seen running into the storm drain between Stone Creek and Canyon Court!

      Thank you so much for your efforts! We will be leaving to come back to the area soon. It’s a long drive, though, so unfortunately we won’t be there in time for tonights search party.

      I really like the idea someone else suggested about a live trap with food. Is there a feed and farm supply store around there? That’s probably the best place to find one. And then we could leave some tuna in it in front of the storm drain. We’ll definitely do this when we get there, but if anyone wants to get a head start just let me know how much the trap was and I can reimburse!

  20. Lee Smith Says:

    Try shaking the cat threats that come in the plastic cylinder, make sure the bottle is 1/2 empty, and making long “kissing” sounds, I practiced this with her every night for the last couple of months! I was so distraught that I completely forgot this. Please try this and let me know how it works.

    I am so scared for her, she’s my favorite kitty ever, so sweet, so affectionate. Please help.

  21. Ray Says:

    Posted this to my FB and also to Craigslist. She reminds me of my cat Huey that I lost last year due to a blood clot. Best of luck!

  22. Lee Smith Says:

    Try shaking the cat treats that come in the plastic cylindar, make sure the bottle is 1/2 empty, and making long “kissing” sounds. I practiced this with her every night for the past couple of months! I was so distraught that i completely forgot this

    Please try this and let me know how it works!

    I am so scared for her, she’s my favorite kitty ever, so sweet, so affectionate. Please help

  23. Lee Smith Says:

    Please don’t forget about shaking those cat treats, and making the long “kissing noises.” she’s usually really good at RUNNING to that.

    Thank you EVERYONE

  24. Stephanie Says:


    Saw this on another website and so I posted a link on my Facebook page (I live in Lawrence). I also posted a link to your site on the Lawrence Humane Society’s Facebook page. I hope Windy is found soon! =^..^=

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      Wonderful! Thank you for your help.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Michelle Says:

      I am not living in Lawrence currently but I got a message from Sue Novak with the animal shelter that Windy was lost. This makes me very sad although I do think that some back tracking might be good. I went over to the area she was seen in a few minutes ago and didn’t see her. That is a very long way for a cat that is afraid of the out doors to go. I would recommend looking into the bushy/tree area by the econo lodge or possibly in the trail ridge complex. I wish I could keep looking for her but unfortunetly I have to go home tomorrow if anyone finds anything out please post and if I have time before I leave I will try to help looking for her again. Thanks.


      • ellyvstheworld Says:

        Thank you Michelle! We’ve had more sightings just a few minutes ago so we are hopeful we can get our hands on her within the next 24 hours. Things are looking up! We have personally seen her right after we arrived from our long car ride. It’s dark, so it’s not a 100% positive ID, but the markings are definitely right and this cat is the right size, so we’re fairly optimistic.

  25. anthea Says:

    hi all. we did the search earlier this a.m. and also went by about 6:30 p.m. today 2/13. Guy in truck saw us lookin in th e storm drain and said there were some cats ( white and black) living in the drain. Want this to be Wendy … but also wonder if we should back track to the econo lodge in the morning…just cover both options. Best to Wendy’s owners!

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      One sighter said she was fairly certain the cat she saw was Windy from the photo posted. I have also heard there is another black and white cat in the area. But I think some backtracking is a good idea just in case, since we do have a lot of help. I plan on spending a lot of time at the storm grates tomorrow so hopefully, if it’s her, she will come out. It is close enough to the Econolodge that there is still a good chance!

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Ashley Lindsey Says:

        There is another black and white living in that storm drain but it looks feral and is larger than the cat I saw. I also have only seen this particular cat this week. I really hope it’s her, my daughter and I are coming out to the place we saw her. I wish I could fit down there lol

  26. Stephanie Says:


    The Lawrence Humane Society Facebook group leader sent a message to all of the group members about Windy after I alerted her to the situation. That’s 922 members!! Woo-Hoo! Hopefully we’ll find Windy!!!

    • ellyvstheworld Says:

      How great!!! I’m so excited by this 🙂 We’re back in town, but have to leave Sunday night or Monday morning because Mike has to be at work in Portland. We’ve taken off as much time possible. But, if she’s found I can fly back anytime and get her, since I am unemployed currently. But things are looking up, and as long as this cat spotted is her, I’m pretty sure we can get her tomorrow! I’m being optimistic at least 🙂

  27. Cheryl Says:

    I live just a block north of there and my daughter used to live in that apt complex. There are dozens of feral cats that live around the complex, almost all of which are some variation of black. This may not be Windy.
    My guess is that she is still somewhere in the hotel. I lost a cat once during a move and thought she must have gotten out when the movers propped open the door. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find her. My landlord called me two days later, she was under the dishwasher! I had, and still have, no idea how she got under there, but when I removed the faceplate, there she was. There are a gazillion places in the hotel where she might be hiding. Keep the faith that they will find her.
    I just drove over to Comet Lane and looked around, no cats this morning. I’m close by, so if you need anything, warm clothes, food, anything, let me know.

  28. Stephanie Says:

    Any luck this morning?? Keeping my fingers crossed!

  29. Julia Says:

    I am in the area – I live about 2 miles from these sightings. I just got a message about this and would be happy to help if there is anything I can do. I have my own kitty who is my baby and can’t imagine what you’re going through!

    Please shoot me an email if I can do anything to help.

  30. Nan Says:

    How about recording the sound of a can opener on your phone. My cats only eat dry food but still come running every time.

  31. Stephanie Says:

    Have you checked Centennial Park? It’s across the street from the hotel….

    I’m so sorry you haven’t had any luck yet. =^..^=

  32. Julia Says:

    I am so happy to hear that she’s been found!!! You must be so relieved! Please let us know how she’s doing. Must have been quite an ordeal…poor baby.

  33. Katherine7of9 Says:

    Fantastic news! Please let us know how she is doing and where they found her. That news makes for a lovely Monday. K

  34. mallorymurray Says:

    I am so so happy to hear that you found her!!!!

  35. Stephanie Says:

    YAY!!!! Great news!!!!!!

  36. Nan Says:

    I am so proud of you and everything you have been through. So very happy for Windy. Will call you later.

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