Lost cat brings owner to tears

Jul. 03, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

Seventeen-year-old Griffin Winn was already in physical agony from a bone disorder, but when his cat ran away, the emotional pain was worse.

“I’ve been crying for the last couple of days,” he said. “He curled up next to me every night.”
The 4-year-old long-haired cat, known as Stewart or Pickles, ran out of Sandy Boone’s RV on June 18 while it was parked at Duke Primary Care at 3024 Pickett Road. She ran after Stewart and returned him to the RV, but he got out again. This time, he was gone.
Boone spent the next four hours combing the woods around Colony Hill Townhomes, but Stewart was nowhere to be found.
Her son, Griffin, who can’t walk, had to watch helplessly as his best friend and a furry ball of therapy escaped.
“We’ve been camping out in our RV looking for him,” Boone said.
She said Stewart apparently thought he was home, because the Colony Hill townhomes and lake look like her home in Person County.
Stewart is more than an ordinary feline. He’s therapy for Griffin, whose knee shattered spontaneously when he was 14 and never returned to normal.
Griffin suffers from a rare disorder called complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that affects limbs. Only four hospitals in the nation treat it, including one in Boston, where he’d been seen.
But the family now hopes to begin treatment at Duke Children’s Hospital.
In the meantime, Griffin spends most of his days lying in the RV. He can’t afford a wheelchair, and occasionally uses a cane or crutches. He can stand for only 50 seconds at a time, because his heart rate (177) will reach stroke proportions.
That’s where the cat comes in.
“He’s my son’s company,” Boone said. “He lies with him during the day when he can’t get up. He calls him his little brother.”
“He loves milk and can hear it being poured from 100 feet away,” she said. “If you’re eating a bowl of cereal, he’ll come running!”
Boone said Colony Hill residents have been great, helping her search and get the word out about Stewart, who wears a purple heart tag with his name on it. 
She’s also registered Stewart with the Durham County Animal Shelter as a lost cat, so anyone who finds him can call her or bring Stewart to the shelter.
Meanwhile, the search goes on.
“Please help us bring him home,” Boone said. “We miss him.”

Call Sandy Boone at 336-301-6685 or email her at Sea.boone@gmail.com