“And there was a bit of a community tracking of him, but he just kept running when people spotted him,” Matamata Animal Trust manager Annaliese England said.
However, they had success on Monday after he was spotted three kilometres away from where he was previously seen.
“He crossed a main road, ran down a driveway and was spotted in a garden,” England said.
“They called me, and we barricaded off the garden with crates. We also had a net and a pole with a rope on it.
“He was sitting up against some trellis, so we couldn’t physically manage to grab him. But I got the rope around his neck.”
The owners of the property were away, so it was unlikely he would have been seen again.
“It was our last chance – behind him were crop fields, so he would have just gone.”
England said the plastic jar was over his head and past his ears.
“I took him to the vet, and they had to sedate him to get it off. He was pretty skinny. He had been two weeks without food or water and would have had only a tiny bit of air getting in.”
The vets said Peanut was an older cat and thought he’d probably been a stray for a while, given his coat and condition.
England does wonder how many of his nine lives he has used up.
“For the past two weeks, people have seen him around and over about a week [have been] trying to find ways of setting up traps, which was hard because he couldn’t smell with the jar on his head.”
And because the cat had been seen in different areas, England was starting to lose a bit of hope of catching him.
But she is confident Peanut will have no problem finding a new home as plenty of people are interested in adopting him.
England said Peanut is doing well and would go to a foster home, and be desexed before he is rehomed.
“It will be nice that he will get to see what a family is like,” she said.