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How does a cat find its way home after being lost for a year?

By Gary Bogue
Friday, April 27th, 2007 at 8:58 am in Cats.

George the cat finds his way home
Where does a family cat go when it suddenly disappears? How does the cat find its way back home a year later?

Check out this amazing story:

Dear Gary:
George the cat was born in March, 2005. He was deeply loved by our two dogs and one other cat, as well as by all the humans at home. George was an indoor/outdoor cat and always came inside for dinner. He never missed a meal.

Then one day in July, 2006, George disappeared.

We were very distraught and tried to find him. Time passed and we lost hope.

On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, at 11:30 a.m., I received a call on my cell phone when I was at work. Mary Ann of the Feral Cat Program at the San Francisco SPCA asked if I had a cat named George. I couldn’t believe what I heard!

“San Francisco? I live in Concord. How did he get to S.F.? Where has he been for the last year?”

She said George had been living down by the docks on S.F. Bay, and the workers there had been feeding him. Then one man said that he thought George was a great cat to give to his friend so he brought George to the SPCA to be checked out. He thought George was female because all the workers called him “Lucy,” and “Lucy” appeared to be pregnant.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Lucy was a George and also had a microchip. The microchip information said George had owners who lived in Concord. So they gave me a call.

At the SPCA, George didn’t remember me, but I was able to coax him to come with me and we drove back to Concord to see his veterinarian .

I bent everyone’s ears with the story of our lost George, and their response was one of disbelief.

“What an incredible story!”

“Too bad George couldn’t talk and tell us everything.”

Later on that day, I called and thanked the gentleman who brought George in to the SPCA. His name is Glenn Phillips of San Francisco. Glenn said that he has taken care of feral cats for the last five years down at Pier 70 in S.F. Pier 70 is a little south of the Giant’s “new” stadium.

He said George was “hanging out” with a colony of eight cats, who all seemed to get along. He reported that George appeared on the scene about nine months ago, then disappeared at some point for two months, then reappeared.

I am so grateful that Glenn turned George over to the SPCA. I am also grateful for all the people, such as Glenn, who take their love, time and money to care for lost feline souls. I am also grateful for the microchip implant system.

I am happy to report that George seems to have acclimated to all of us at home, and our two dogs and one cat have reclaimed and accepted him. We will keep him indoors from now on.

I hope you enjoy our amazing story about George as so many other people have. (Amber Steward-Davis, Concord)

It’s interesting that George the cat has been hanging around Pier 70 in San Francisco for the last year. Knowing cats, maybe he was trying to jump a tramp steamer and see the world. /Gary

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4 Responses to “How does a cat find its way home after being lost for a year?”

  1. pat in antioch Says:

    What a great story!! I’m so glad George is home…my thoughts ran along the same line of yours Gary….he wanted to see the world! :-)

    Pat in Antioch

  2. sandy Says:

    I loved George’s story. As a volunteer at the Martinez shelter, I can use George’s story as an example of how lost cats can find their way back home (with a little assistance!!). Thanks for sharing your story and glad George is home.

  3. Natalie Says:

    How lucky for George! I can understand why he will be an indoor cat from now on – good choice!
    I operate a small, private cat rescue/shelter form our home….we never adopt a cat to anyone who even considers allowing the cat to go outside unattended. Too many dangers are on the horizon, too numerous to mention – people have a misconception that cats must be allowed to go outside. The best solution to that is building them cat enclosures, even small porch-like structures set into windows. There are so many options available, ready made ones, kits for easy assembly, plans to build from scratch!
    I learned years ago, when it was almost unheard of to keep cats strictly indoors, when one of 4 kttens was found dead by the side of the road in front of our house. Now I wonder, how in the world we ever thought that it was safe outside for kittens?

  4. Eva Elliott Says:

    I am going through something similar right now. My Cat Tinkerbell disappeared 3 years ago after I got her and her kittens spayed and neutered. Someone found her collar about 2 miles away but no cat. This cat never left the yard so I think someone took her.

    This week, 3 years later, Tinkerbell was on my porch! She has been here every day since. She has a scar on her neck that was from a embedded collar that her first owner never treated her for, that the hair has never grown back on. I knew instantly it was her!!

    We are shocked and delighted to have her back! She seems happy to be home too! I have kept her name tag off her collar by my desk all this time and Im glad to finally take it off the wall and put it back on her.

    Cats are AMAZING!

    :o )

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