Missing cat found after 5 years makes 2,000-km journey home

A missing Russian Blue cat was found after 5 years in Arkansas and had to be transported over 2000 kilometres back to his rightful owners. Pawsitively Cats/Facebook

Five years after it ran out the door, a lost cat was returned to a couple in Nevada after it was found thousands of kilometres away. The couple are praising the cat’s microchip for helping reunite them.

Cindy and Jeff Hall rescued their Russian Blue cat Luke 12 years ago when he was just a kitten from a shelter called Pawsitively Cats. At the time, they were living in Arizona.

“We had him for seven years and then one day he got out,” Cindy told local broadcaster KARK News.

The couple searched for Luke and put up flyers around their neighbourhood, but no leads ever came and Luke stayed missing for years. In the meantime, the couple moved a state over, to Nevada.

But after five years with no signs of their cat, the couple got a phone call out of the blue that Luke had been found — and his name was now Sam.

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Pawsitively Cats, the shelter that Luke was originally adopted from, received a message on March 22 that a cat from their care had been found all the way in Arkansas, more than 2,000 kilometres away from the Tucson-area shelter.

Luke, or rather, Sam, had been found at a gas station in Brinkley, Ark., by two volunteers who were transporting dogs that day. They scooped up the Russian Blue and brought him to the Jacksonville Animal Hospital in Little Rock, where his microchip was scanned.

Sam the missing Russian Blue cat sitting in a crate in a car while being driven from Arkansas back to Arizona. Pawsitively Cats/Facebook

Pawsitively Cats were alerted, as they were the ones who gave Sam his microchip, and they in turn reached out to Cindy and Jeff Hall, his rightful owners, who were “thrilled to know he was alive,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook update.

During the five years he was gone, Sam had been picked up by another family who “failed to look for his home,” Pawsitively Cats said. It’s unclear how the cat then ended up at the gas station.

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The volunteers who found Sam work for Alone 2 Home pet transport, a collection of volunteers who drive animals to shelters, foster homes or their future forever homes. Not only did they rescue Sam from life as a stray, but they also helped transport him back home.

“It is a miracle that he walked up to these two women that were in rescue,” Cindy told KARK News.

Sam hitched a ride with Alone 2 Home from Little Rock to El Paso, where he was picked up by another volunteer who completed the journey all the way back to Tucson — about a 19-hour drive in total, according to Google Maps.

Cats aren’t known to be particularly fond of road trips, but “Sam traveled very nicely for everyone, just a little singing every now and then,” Pawsitively Cats wrote.

“If only Sam could tell us how he wound up so far from home we’re sure it would be a fabulous story,” the shelter added.

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Sam made it back to the Pawsitively Cats shelter safe and sound, and hung out there for a few days while Cindy and Jeff made the drive down from Nevada.

Finally, on April 13, Sam was reunited with his family.

Cindy and Jeff Hall with their Russian Blue cat who went missing five years ago. Pawsitively Cats/Facebook

“It’s such a beautiful story,” Cindy told KARK. “This story just can’t underestimate the power of a microchip. We are so grateful for everyone that was involved.”

“When we got him it was surreal,” Cindy said. “Having him home makes our family feel complete.”

Sam may be quite a bit older now, and a little more street-smart, but Cindy says he’s adapting back to life with them like nothing ever changed.

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