Santa and pet snapshot turns into ‘cat’astrophe


The four Fiordland girls did not get what they wanted most for Christmas, but they are hoping that somehow their wish will come true in the new year.

They are hoping for the return of Max, their beloved cat, who disappeared Dec. 6 shortly after having his photo taken with Santa at Rick’s Saddle Shop on Route 539.

Max is a neutered, long-haired black male cat with a white patch on his shoulder the size of a coin, according to township resident Suzie Fiordland, the girls’ mother. The cat was wearing a blue collar with a bell on it at the time of his disappearance.

Max is the pet of Fiordland’s 10-year-old daughter Chloe, who is disabled. Chloe got the cat while her parents were going through a divorce, and he means a lot to her, Chloe’s mother said.

The 2-year-old cat was adopted from a 4-H Fair, Fiordland said.

Rick’s employee Lucy Lupich, Plumsted, recalled the day Max escaped. She said the store was very busy because many people had brought their pets in for photographs with Kriss Kringle. She said the Fiordlands also brought their dog along for a picture. After Max had his photo session with Santa, the family placed him in their car to wait for the dog’s turn with Santa, she said.

When the family got its second snapshot, they took their pooch back to the car, and Max ran out. Lupich said the cat ran along the outside wall of the building. She helped the Fiordland family look for him.

“He was so scared,” Suzie Fiordland said. “He just ran.”

She saw Max bolt out of the car and run toward the back of the building.

“No one has seen him since,” Fiordland said.

The family has put posters up in the area and distributed fliers, but there has been no response, Fiordland said.

“He’s extremely friendly,” she said. “If someone has him, please call.”

She emphasized how much Max is loved and cared for by her daughters, ages 6-14.

Anyone who has any information on Max is urged to call 609-259-4225.