WEST SEATTLE PETS: Cheech the Lowman Beach cat is headed home

This is not your average lost/found pet story. In the photo is a cat called Cheech, known and loved in the Lowman Beach area. One of his fans, Barbara, sent us the photo last week with a note explaining that Cheech – and his house, accessories, and food/water bowls, set out at the Murray Wet Weather Facility across from the beach – had suddenly vanished. Over the ensuing days, Cheech’s person, Amber, who lives neqrby and has cared for him for 13 years, explained on social media that Cheech always came home to snuggle at night, even though otherwise he had kind of become the neighborhood cat in recent months. She theorized that maybe someone had catnapped him thinking he was abandoned, which he most certainly was not. Cheech’s fans started leaving (chalked) messages of support:

And now, a happy ending: Today, Barbara tells us, there’s word that Cheech turned up at the Seattle Animal Shelter; Amber was headed there to pick him up and bring him back to the beach. So you just might see him on your next visit to Lowman.

45 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE PETS: Cheech the Lowman Beach cat is headed home"

  • gladcheechisok July 20, 2022 (11:47 am)

    I’m glad Cheech is OK.  He and I (and my leashed dog) have greeted each other warmly on the steps above Lowman many times.No one is going to like this post, but outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Cats have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the wild and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species. Birds pollinate plants, spread seeds, control insects and protect environments from the effects of climate change; they are the glue that binds healthy ecosystems together. Outdoor cats are the leading human-influenced cause of dead birds.It sounds like Cheech was always an outside cat who was loved by those nearby, but I would like to invite future cat owners to consider keeping their cats indoors or, as I have seen folks do in Lincoln Park, take your cat out on a leash. Maybe that’s a little weird for some, but climate change may require us all to get a little weird in order to survive. Every little bit helps. Thank you for listening.

    • ST July 20, 2022 (12:39 pm)

      Birds fighting climate change, LOL. That’s a new one! I’ve heard it all now. 

    • Hope July 20, 2022 (12:56 pm)

      What a crazy adventure for Cheech! I would echo the previous poster, and I would also suggest  giving Cheech (and other outdoor cats) a breakaway collar with a bell. Breakaway collars are designed to unlatch automatically under pressure, so if the cat gets the collar caught on something they can easily get away and are not stuck. The bell will act as a warning alarm to birds and other wildlife, which could reduce the chances of the cat killing them. This also has the bonus effect of making it very clear that the cat has a home!

    • Agreed July 20, 2022 (1:33 pm)

      Well said!!

    • 935 July 20, 2022 (1:40 pm)

      Thank you for this. My thoughts exactly. I would like to add that cat urine and feces is a threat to the environment as well. Not only to surprised gardeners. Cat feces is known to have toxoplasmosis, amongst other things. Cat urine is highly acidic and full of nitrogen.

      Outdoor cats need to stop being a “thing”. At least decent dog owners pick up after their poop machines.

    • Kram July 20, 2022 (2:19 pm)

      Wow. I thought “there’s no way that’s true with all the high rise buildings in the world”. BILLIONS of birds are killed every year by birds. The number one killer by a large margin. That is insane to me….

    • Raye July 20, 2022 (2:34 pm)

      Thank you! I appreciate your post, and I agree 100%. In addition to dangers to wildlife, including songbirds, it’s dangerous to the kitty.  “Allowing cats outdoors increases their risk of being injured and exposed to infectious diseases such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV),” Plus, the poor cat could be killed or injured by a careless driver. Nothing wrong with keeping kitty on a leash. Actually, I think it’s cute! And it shows that their humans care about them. 

    • The King July 20, 2022 (5:06 pm)

      Extinctions have been a natural part of our planet’s evolutionary history. More than 99% of the four billion species that have evolved on Earth are now gone. At least 900 species have gone extinct in the last five centuriesNothing is forever 

      • You come at the king… July 20, 2022 (11:16 pm)

        The currently level of extinctions we are seeing is absolutely not ”natural”. We are currently going through a mass extinction event, of which previously there have only been 5 in the past billions of years. An event that only occurs 5 times over billions of years is not normal any way you slice it. This current one is 100% human-driven and is being called the Anthropocene era. 

    • Flicker July 20, 2022 (6:21 pm)

      This is good information, thanks.

      While we’re on the topic of protecting birds, lets not lose sight of the many other human contributing factors that are seriously impacting birds and resulting in species extinctions.

      Cats have nothing to do with:

      Massive fires wiping out forests

      Climate change and it’s impacts, or massive death events, with birds dying and dropping from the sky durring migrations, or dying on rooftops in urban environments durring extreme weather

      Major habitat losses due to human activities, land development, pollution, etc (deforestation due to our human toilet paper industry is shameful, for one example… buy bamboo tp!)

      Not intending to take away from the message regarding cats roaming free outdoors, just wanted to add these concerns to the discussion!

      In the long term, human-induced climate change may be the most serious threat of all.’


    • Yolokitty July 20, 2022 (8:12 pm)

      Thank you for saying this.  Cats belong indoors 100% of the time unless supervised on a leash and harness.  I love cats but I love birdsong more.

  • admiral admirable July 20, 2022 (11:59 am)

    Sorry to be a downer but domestic cats absolutely should not be allowed to live outdoors. Especially at a sensitive beach location. They are an introduced species which decimates songbird populations. https://www.audubon.org/news/cat-owners-turn-blind-eye-pets-violence

  • mnw July 20, 2022 (12:27 pm)

    Another local outdoor kitty (Neko) who lives near The Kenney has also been missing for the last few weeks. Perhaps people should keep their cats indoors. Not only are they a threat to birds and other wildlife but they are constantly at risk of being hit by cars or killed by coyotes. Glad this cat is okay but not thrilled to hear he will be placed back outside. 

  • David July 20, 2022 (12:51 pm)

    As far as the “capnapped”…why was there confusion.  IF this was/is an owned cat, it would have a collar and name tag (ideally with phone # of owner)…if there was no collar it WOULD be assumed to be stray/abandoned and it’s not capnapping :)

    • Erithan July 20, 2022 (3:38 pm)

      It should never be assumed a cat is a stray just because it has no collar. Collars are made to break off for safety reasons, and even if it’s not break away a lot of cats figure out how to remove them. Its important to always check for a chip, put up signs, and check FB groups etc. The cat could have run outside by accident or any number of things. A lot of people see cats outside (even ones in good condition who are friendly and clearly used to people) and assume they are stray purely because they’re outside which does lead to many catnappings because they feel they don’t have to check for a chip or anything. The whole “you’ve been chosen” thing helps perpetuate the idea it too. ><

  • Neighbor July 20, 2022 (12:55 pm)

    The chalk messages and message of being “catnapped” are a weird way of blaming the person that brought him to the shelter. If he’s not chipped and/or collared people won’t know he’s being cared for. If you have a cat that goes outdoors you should at least collar them so no one thinks they’re a stray and tries to help them. 

    • WS Res July 20, 2022 (1:49 pm)

      Yeah, please put a collar on him at least.  When I lived somewhere with lots of strays, I always used 1″ white elastic to make a quick and cheap collar that would be safe to wriggle out of if needed – I’d write my info on it with Sharpie and “is this your cat? call me!”  If some days passed and the collar was still on, I’d take them to the shelter.  If I got a phone call, I’d say “please put a collar on your cat so I know they have a home!”

  • Scubafrog July 20, 2022 (1:08 pm)

    I’m glad Cheech the Lowman  Beach cat is back, and healthy (y todo esta bien).  He looks laid back;  Cats like Cheech and I bother no one, man.  Regards to Cheech and family.

    • Zach July 21, 2022 (2:55 pm)

      Thanks for the positive and chill message – “haters gotta hate” is definitely alive and well on this blog. Viva Cheech!

      Birds Aren’t Real

  • sw July 20, 2022 (2:46 pm)

    Come on, people.  An on-site house, accessories and food/water bowls would seem to indicate that Cheech (or a cat in general) has a home and is cared for.  Why would someone take all of these things by “accident?”  A lot of shade is being thrown at the owner and neighbors when it appears that something foul may have been afoot.  Let’s put some positive vibes in these comment sections for a change.  Glad he’s headed back home!

  • cjboffoli July 20, 2022 (3:04 pm)

    I think most vets will tell you that your cat will live a much longer, healthier life indoors. As a lifelong cat lover I agree with the comments above about how this artificially introduced species can cause havoc when allowed to roam free in the local landscape. And anyone who has ever had to clean someone else’s cat sh*t out of their garden beds, due to a wandering neighborhood cat, knows there are a range of reasons why your pet should remain on your own property.

  • Boinsted July 20, 2022 (4:48 pm)

    Keep your cat in your home if it truly is a loved pet. Letting it wander around killing small animals and birds is incredibly reckless. I have a hard time understanding why cats can roam the streets when my sweet dog, who wouldn’t hurt a soul, would be locked up in a moment should it leave my yard (which is fenced to avoid such a situation)

  • Gatewood resident July 20, 2022 (4:57 pm)

    Much ado about nothing

  • Mj July 20, 2022 (5:04 pm)

    Kitty kitty

  • adoptdontshop July 20, 2022 (6:05 pm)

    Hope the owner(s/neighbors) will consider making a nice donation to the Seattle Animal Shelter for taking care of Cheech and facilitating the reunion.

    • BG July 22, 2022 (7:09 pm)

      I don’t think so in this situation. Cheech is an obviously well taken care of kitty. Not only did animal control take Cheech, they took his cat house with blanket, food dish, n water dish. Glad to see he’s coming back home. 

  • Barbara Spector July 20, 2022 (6:18 pm)

    The number one species causing all the problems is in the mirror.

    • KBear July 20, 2022 (7:39 pm)

      True, Barbara. And one of the destructive things they do is let their uncollared cats run around and kill birds. (And poop in their neighbors’ yards)

  • Chris July 20, 2022 (7:07 pm)

    Erithan:   Thank you for your comment to not assume every cat is a stray.   We know many cats do have homes & do not pick them up unless they are injured.   However, if we see a dog we will pick it up as it is pretty much assumed it is lost.   This has always been a concern for us regarding cats.

  • Vanessa July 20, 2022 (8:49 pm)

    Glad I’m not a cat owned by many of these commenters. Being stuck inside is like jail. I love all animals. The cycle of life is harsh. But keeping animals closed up is no life for them at all. It’s a punishment. Don’t think you’re a do-good-er by keeping them in and leashing them up. It’s cruel and controlling. Honestly, I don’t particularly love cats but adopted an elderly gal last year cuz my husband and daughter do. If we kept her inside all the time we’d all be insane. She rarely goes out and doesn’t hunt birds. Bugs are her thing. Mostly indoor spiders. My husband is frightened of her getting hit by a car but again, what’s worse? Years stuck inside a few rooms of a house or a shortened but more free life?If you’re passionate about cats staying indoors, start a movement to make house cats extinct. Otherwise, you’re just being cruel to these animals. Like whales in aquariums, folks. Think outside the box! Animals need to roam free…

    • KBear July 20, 2022 (9:43 pm)

      Sorry, Vanessa, your HOUSE cat is not a wild animal that needs to run free. Coyotes, on the other hand …

    • Ly July 21, 2022 (1:58 am)

      A neighbor of mine let her cat out to wander. One day found her cat dead, it was half eaten by a wild animal. But, your call to let it wander outside I guess.

    • waikikigirl July 21, 2022 (6:50 am)

      Vanessa how do you know an indoor only cat is miserable, our cat which we got at 8 weeks old and is now 18  is perfectly content and happy bossing us around everyday, laying in the sunshine coming thru the windows in the Spring and Summer and laying on the heat registers in the Winter, being fed whenever he asks for it, drinking clean water out of his fountain and the bathroom sink so if he’s miserable we could never tell!

  • Lisa July 20, 2022 (9:45 pm)

    Leave it to West Seattle to take a good news story and bring it down with all the comments. I rarely read the blog anymore because it’s such a bummer to see all the negative comments (I know, I don’t have to read them but sometimes there is useful additional info in them). I thought I was safe with this one. Meow 

    • Zach July 21, 2022 (3:01 pm)

      Right! It’s Summer people! You have 8 other months to be as Debbie Downer as you want, let’s be as positive as possible. The world may be going to s–t, but Cheech deserves some more sunsets. 

  • J. Lancer July 20, 2022 (11:39 pm)

    I am 78 years old and reading the responses made me laugh .  I actually woke up my cat  laughing.   Thank you. 

  • Mike July 21, 2022 (8:11 am)

    Glad Cheech is back home.  Just FYI, I believe it was Cheech who was laying on my front walk way many days ago.  I hadn’t seen that cat prior, but a lot of neighbors animals find our yard enjoyable for some reason and I typically just let them be.   We live by Schmitz Elementary if that gives an idea of the area Cheech might have traveled.

  • pagefive July 21, 2022 (1:20 pm)

    I’m with Lisa. Y’all are a bunch of Karens. Get off your soap boxes. I’m glad Cheech is happy and well.

  • 935 July 21, 2022 (2:28 pm)

    OK – all you “outdoor cat” enthusiasts – I will expect you to kindly mind your own business for the next “off leash dog” commentary. 

    • flimflam July 21, 2022 (5:08 pm)

      Lol, just a wee bit different. Leash laws are, uh, laws – someone letting their cat out isn’t breaking the law.

      • Mike July 23, 2022 (8:44 am)

        Actually it is and cat owners are liable for everything their cat does.  If a cat has disease and infects another feline through a screen window or door, potential for rabies (also why rabies vaccine are mandatory for pets), if a cat scratches a child, if a person is allergic to cats and a cat sets off an allergic reaction, cats killing birds (domestic and wild), etc.  I personally like my neighbors cats and let them hang out in my yard.  However, I also don’t cry for my neighbor when the raccoons beat them up

  • Amber Bennett July 22, 2022 (1:15 am)

    Cheech is back.  This senile, old, loving kitty cat has been loved by the community.  And I thank those for his support and love.  It’s upsetting when folks don’t get the true story, and post things that have nothing to do with what actually happened.  SO- I don’t even know what to say.  ❤️ Cheech is back, haters can continue their narrative, and those that have benefited from his love and affection, will see him again.  He is now CHIPPED, hooray!  So if you have the time to try and commit a cat from hanging out, say, 1 block from his home… well now you don’t need to take him to an Animal Shelter.  Oh, and to the commenter demanding we donate for their services… trust me.  I paid dearly for it.  Straight to em’.  It would have been cheaper to ADOPT him, than to CLAIM him.  Think about that.  Also- to those “reminding me” to put a breakaway collar on him… Ha Ha!  After purchasing over 6 of them (glad they worked, I guess?), I kinda let it go.  The only treats my Cheech gave me were mice.  Birds have been safe with this guy.  But- maybe we have some rodent activists out there!  Please reach out.  I want to hear your thoughts.Regardless- I want to thank everyone in the neighborhood for the love they give this cat… the Cheech.  And for those that don’t agree… well, he ain’t hurting no one, and he has lived an amazing life…and he brings a special somthin’ to someone.  

  • waikikigirl July 22, 2022 (7:08 am)

    Amber, There will always be a debate on whether a cat should be an  indoors only or outdoor pet and we’ll never get away from that. My cats are/have been both but for the past few, no a lot of years they have been indoor and that’s my choice as it is yours to have Cheech be an outdoor. Whenever you or in this case your neighbor posts a story as this on a public website you’ll get ridiculed and called a bad pet owner, ignore and be glad he is home.What I’m confused on though, is Cheech your cat or is Cheech a stray  and belongs to the whole neighborhood with him having a “house”, toys, food and water bowls outside were those things located on your property or on public property? Glad the old man kitty is home…give him lots of pets!

Sorry, comment time is over.