Kevin Maginnis and Azul don’t get along very well. But he still cared when the grey and white 2-year-old cat went missing in the wilderness of Oak Park for eight days.
Maginnis has been caring for his former roommate’s two felines since she left the country for Argentina a year ago. Luna and Azul don’t seem to be crazy about Maginnis, but he still felt bad when he realized on Sept. 28, one of the cats was missing.
Azul somehow slipped out the back door of Maginnis’s second-floor condo on Washington Boulevard the night before. So the next day, he started putting up fliers around town asking for help finding the cat.
Leads started trickling in, from his building’s landscaper and other people who had noticed the signs.
By Oct. 3, six nights after she disappeared, Maginnis was starting to lose hope, especially with the cold, rainy weather and busy street right in front of his building.
“I’m thinking by now, she’s dead,” he said. “She’s been flattened like a pancake.”
On Sunday, he got a call from a neighbor who spotted Azul in a backyard across the street. But when Maginnis approached her and said it was time to go home, the cat bolted and hid under a nearby gazebo.
He tried creating a makeshift trap, with a box, a bowl of food and a towel. But every time the cat crept into the box, she would bolt when Maginnis approached.
He finally called Oak Park’s village hall for help. Police sent Officer Sean Allred to try and assist. The officer tried squeezing between the gazebo and a fence to flush Azul out, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Maginnis tried something similar and tore a big hole in his coat.
Later Maginnis was able to borrow a real trap from the village’s health department, and set it up near the gazebo. The cat stepped in it at one point, but was too light to trigger the automatic trap door.
Around midnight on Oct. 5, Maginnis got a ring from police that a neighbor had trapped Azul in the gazebo after the cat followed her there.
Maginnis, a 57-year-old artist, is thinking about writing a children’s book about it.
“It’s a miracle she got back alive, it really is,” he said, later adding, “But while they’re good company and they’re sweet, I’m really not going to miss them when they leave.”