Family reunited with rare cat lost while vacationing in La Jolla

By Pat Sherman

A Chicago family that lost their rare cat while vacationing in La Jolla — on the same street where a coyote attacked and killed another cat July 25 — is relieved to be reunited with their beloved pet, which was discovered roaming around on its own three miles from where it went missing.

“It’s like having my child back,” the cat’s owner, 22-year-old Mike Fosco, told the La Jolla Light. “I don’t plan on having kids for a while, so for now this is my child, and I couldn’t be any more relieved. … He travels with me pretty much everywhere I go.”

Fosco said a family in the hills of north La Jolla found his cat and returned it, for an undisclosed amount. The cat was found three miles from the house where it slipped out the night of July 17, near the intersection of Fay Avenue and Pearl Street.

“He made quite a trek,” said Fosco, noting that his cat, “Ivy,” had lost three pounds by the time it was returned to him.

Ivy is a rare Savannah cat, a cross between an African serval wildcat and a domestic cat. A first-generation Savannah can cost upwards of $20,000. Though Ivy is second-generation, he is nevertheless a pricey puss.

The Fosco family posted 500 fliers throughout the La Jolla area after it went missing, offering $5,000 for the feline’s safe return, and even hired a team of bloodhounds to help sniff out the missing pet.

However, Fosco said it was the La Jolla community that assisted most in the cat’s safe recovery.

“La Jolla’s a pretty awesome community when it comes to pets,” Fosco said. “Everyone was really helpful and really friendly through the whole process.

“My family didn’t get a chance to enjoy La Jolla at all,” he added. “I’d like to go back there for a real trip, because it is a great little town.”

Fosco now has a GPS collar on the cat, so that he can track its whereabouts on his computer and smartphone.

“This shouldn’t happen again,” he said.

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