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Purr-fect ending: South Side Easton finds missing cat Mustache from Maine

Brian Myszkowski
Mustache the cat was missing for more than a month before residents of South Side Easton located the furry friend.

EASTON, Pa. — After a harrowing month of searching, animal aficionados of the city’s South Side have located Mustache, a missing cat from Maine.

When Hannah Parks and her family made a stop in Easton on their route back to Maine, their beloved feline friend Mustache — and yes, he does, in fact, have an absolutely stunning mustache, though his name is pronounced “Moo-stosh” – managed to escape.

  • Mustache, a white and black cat who went missing during a stop in Easton during his family's trip back to Maine, has been located more than a month after he disappeared
  • South Side residents and Elaine Bender of FURR helped locate and trap Mustache, who is now safe with Bender
  • Mustache's family is looking into how they can have him brought back to his home up north

Thanks to the tireless efforts of South Side Eastonians and Elaine Bender of FURR — Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab — the adventurous little outdoorsman was located, trapped and brought back to safety.

“The reason why we got this cat and the other cats is because people in the community up in South Side. They're the people who found this cat, not me, I trapped the cat, but South Side found that cat."
Elaine Bender, Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab

Mustache takes off in Easton

It all started when Hannah Parks and her family went on a spur-of-the-moment vacation to visit her brother in Virginia. Mustache, a true member of the family, was permitted to sit with his mom and dad on the way there, and when they arrived, he even had some time to himself.

At the campsite, he would go out and explore before returning back to the picnic table each night.

On the trip back home though, Mustache had a bit of an accident, spurring his parents to pull over at the next exit off Interstate 78, which just so happened to be Easton.

“I had opened up the passenger side door and almost immediately Mustache just jumped out and went up into the trees,” Parks said. “And there's like a fence right there, where we had parked, we parked along the fence, and he started off.”

It was early in the morning of May 13, and difficult to see anything in the area. Parks and her spouse spent hours searching for their feline friend, asking nearby homeowners to search their yards. Parks became concerned when they witnessed a family of four foxes in the area, fearing Mustache was in danger.

“We were just starting to get less and less hopeful, you know, as the day went forward,” Parks said.

Parks went on to quickly print out a few fliers featuring Mustache’s mug, handing them out and distributing them throughout the area.

That night, the family camped in their van in the Sky King Fireworks parking lot, hoping Mustache would return to the vehicle. Alas, he did not show up, and the family was asked to leave the lot.

Dejected, the family decided it was time to return to Maine.

South Side searches for Mustache

Parks posted about Mustache on the Easton Post PA Facebook page, hoping someone might notice his distinct mustache.

“I got a lot of feedback. A lot of people told me about cat trappers in the area and how there's actually a lot of stray cats in the area and people have a lot of feeding stations. So that's when I was realizing ‘Wow, there's actually a good possibility that you know, he could be found,’” Parks said.

As it happened, people were more than happy to help — especially Bender, Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab’s resident trap-neuter-release expert, though she does stress that the residents of South Side were the ones who invested the effort to find Mustache.

“The reason why we got this cat and the other cats is because people in the community up in South Side. They're the people who found this cat, not me, I trapped the cat, but South Side found that cat,” Bender said.

“We had multiple sightings, [but] we had a small problem here with the fact that there were at least four other white cats in the area up there. And so every sighting you get, you have to go up and you have to look at it,” Bender said.

Part of the strategy to locate Mustache relied upon spreading awareness — not just online, but in reality, too. Bender made multiple copies of missing posters featuring a large shot of Mustache, and put them on large, neon poster boards, hanging them all over the area.

On Wednesday, June 21, Bender received a phone call from a person excitedly announcing they had located Mustache, noting his faux facial hair in particular.

There was no question. It was him.

A feeding station and camera was set up in the area, and Bender planted a trap. Unable to sleep, and fearing she wouldn’t make it to get him in time if he showed up, she went to the encampment and waited.

“I had alerts for if a cat came in,” Bender said. “Somewhere around 1:15 a.m., 1:30 a.m., he showed up again. And the feeling of the excitement of seeing that cat come and then go on to the trap is… It was just… It's why you do it. You know what I mean? Because you got them, you got that cat for that person and their pet is back. Not every lost cat has a good outcome, but this particular one had a fantastic outcome.”

A homecoming

Bender got in touch with Parks, who had been struggling, missing her Mustache.

“I flipped out this morning,” Parks said. “I woke up with a tired funk and, you know, I'm in my morning daze, and I see her message with the photos and I screamed, I’m like, freaking out. I ran outside with my spouse and we just embraced, and freakin’ I'm bawling through tears of happiness.”

For now, Mustache is safe with Bender as she and Parks plan for the next move — reuniting Mustache with his mom. It is a tricky endeavor, as Parks is currently unable to travel back to Easton, but there is hope in some organizations which offer to transport pets through a series of brief driving stints by various people.

Parks says she is researching such services but welcomes anyone to offer up advice via her Facebook page.

When questioned as to where he was over the past month, Mustache remained silent, though he did gratefully accept some scratches on the chin.

Parks said she could not emphasize enough how much she appreciates the dedicated individuals who helped locate and trap her precious boy, and that it is because of those people Mustache was found safe and sound.

“I'm just really happy to have people like Elaine out there. And like I said, I mean, I really think that we lost him in the best place to lose him, you know?” Parks said.

Mustache set out on the long voyage home at 3:30 a.m. Monday, June 26, reaching his parents just before noon. While he didn’t appear particularly happy about having to ride in a carrier, it was for the best in order to prevent another escape. Thankfully, he was sated by a bunch of treats during the ride.

Parks said her family was thrilled to see the little rascal return where he belongs, and that the plan was for everyone to spend the day relaxing in bed.

Mustache, of course, seemed overjoyed to see his mom, immediately reaching out for a kiss in a video clip Parks shared. When he arrived home, Mustache checked out all his favorite old spots, and enjoyed a well-deserved can of tuna.

As of Monday afternoon, Mustache is lookin' fine and feline good.