For five years, Elizabeth Antev and her family had given up hope of ever seeing their beloved cat again.
While living in Edmonton, their Siamese cat Kiki got out and never came home.
“She’s always been such a great cat. She just wants you to pet her, anyone who’s met her knows that you don’t want to lose this cat,” Antev said.
For months, after the eight-year-old cat escaped, Antev said she and her and her family worked hard to try and find her.
They put up signs, door-knocked, and handed out posters in their neighbourhood with zero success.
“We put out food for her, we put out a trap, but we never caught anything — not her or anything else.”
Almost a year after Kiki went missing, Antev and her family moved to Ontario.
“We kind of almost gave up hope that we would find her at that point. We also had a lot of coyotes that lived in the neighbourhood and we were really scared about that.”
After the move, Antev said her husband tried to get her to change her phone number to an Ontario area code.
Since it was the number listed on Kiki’s microchip, she refused — holding out hope that one day Kiki would be found.
Meanwhile, the missing cat had made her way to Hana Kadri’s home in Rapperswill — a new neighbourhood in the Castledowns area of northwest Edmonton, that’s less than a 10-minute drive away from where she went missing.
After she saw the small cat on her backyard cameras, Kadri started leaving out food.
“I was home so I would see her come eat, and she would come three times a day for food, so I posted on a local Facebook page to see if she belonged to anyone,” Kadri said.
With the help of a neighbour, Kadri trapped Kiki and she was taken to the vet — where her microchip was scanned, and Antev was called.
“Five years later I got a call from the vet saying, ‘We have Kiki,’” she said.
“I just started sobbing. I was in shock.”
For being lost in Edmonton’s harsh northern climate, Kiki had faired pretty well.
She had a couple of mats in her fur, was slightly underweight, and lost an ear to frostbite — but otherwise, the now 13-year-old cat was healthy.
A family friend then drove her from the vet to the Edmonton International Airport, and she was put on a flight to Ontario to be reunited with her owners.
As a cat lover herself, Kadri said she was happy she could be part of the long-awaited reunion.
Kiki now lives Ontario, and is spoiled with treats and extra love.
“She’s going to be spoiled rotten.
“She doesn’t seem to be too interested in the door anymore — I don’t think she’s going anywhere.”
Antev said she credits Kiki’s microchip to her being returned, and suggested all pet owners ensure their animals have one.