Newsday Tuesday – Cats That Find Their Way Home

We hear about a missing cat resurfacing after being gone for weeks, months, even years. We read about cats traveling great distances to return home. And we wonder what happened to that cat in the interim. Great movies like Homeward Bound give us a peek into life on the lamb for cats and dogs, but for the most part what happens between point A—when a cat goes missing and point B—when she shows up—is a mystery. A fascinating mystery.

In some of my Klepto Cat Mysteries Rags, the main cat character, escapes and goes out on his own. In one story I followed him and his cat friend on their brief adventure by viewing recordings from various surveillance cameras that happened to be set up at homes and businesses throughout the community. Only in some cases is fact even more fascinating than fiction and in most cases we’re left to our imagine when it comes to what the cat did, how he survived, what danger she faced and so forth while out on her own.

Recently a cat named Patches returned to her family after three years. She was thought  to be lost in a horrific mudslide along with her owner and other cats in Santa Barbara. However, someone found her three years later and she was taken to a shelter. Thankfully, she had a chip and they discovered who she is and where she came from. Patches is currently sharing a cozy home with survivors of the family that was lost three years ago.

I experienced a true story of a returning cat myself. Tina Marie came into my life many years ago. She was a stray and I took her in. What a pretty thing—probably at least part shaded silver Persian. She gifted me with a litter of kittens shortly after she arrived. I had her spayed. A few years later, Tina Marie disappeared. Yes, at that time my cats were inside-outside cats. Life is different when you have small children. You have to pick your battles and your priorities. Most of you reading this probably grew up with barn cats, cats that went outside during the day, cats that you couldn’t keep in because of children opening and closing doors.

Tina was gone for at least a year when one day a cat exactly like Tina Marie showed up on our doorstep with a newborn kitten. WHAT??? She looked exactly like Tina Marie. I had never seen another cat quite like her and to this day still have not. This cat took up where Tina had left off. I knew it had to be her. She was perfectly comfortable inside our house. She immediately curled up on the same chair she always slept on and had some of the same habits. It was Tina Marie. But where did she get the kitten? She had been spayed. She had no milk, so could not nurse the kitten. She had no signs of having had kittens. The kitten died that day, and Tina Marie stayed with us. The question as to where she’d been, where the kitten came from, why she came back, and so forth were never answered. Yes, cats are good secret-keepers.


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