Missing Cat Reunited With Mom After 3 Long Years

Travis Greenwood

People with a chip on their shoulder aren’t always fun to deal with. Fortunately, the same cannot be said of animals!

That’s the story this week in Skokie, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago, where pet owner Samantha Krieger shared a tender reunion with her wayward cat — more than three years after the furry feline went missing. Even more puzzling was the setting: Theodore, a gray shorthair, surfaced more than 300 miles away from Krieger’s home in Caseyville, Illinois!

cat-missing-for-3-years-reunited-with-human-momCredit: Chicago Tribune

Saying simply that it was “too far to walk," officials with the Skokie Animal Control (SAC) were at a loss to explain to how a 10” tall housecat might have covered so great a distance (roughly equal to the drive between Boston and Philadelphia) but were happy to note that Theodore was found in good health and with a flea collar, which suggests someone had been caring for him.

cat-missing-for-3-years-reunited-with-human-momCredit: Chicago Tribune

The agency was first alerted to the cat’s presence after a resident found Theodore lingering in their backyard (lol, sounds like every outdoor cat ever). When veterinarians at the Animal Medical Center of Skokie subsequently scanned the whiskered interloper for a microchip they traced him back to an Illinois resident living downstate.

cat-missing-for-3-years-reunited-with-human-momCredit: Chicago Tribune

Enter Ms. Krieger, his human mom and self-professed “animal lover," who jumped in a rented auto and made the 5-hour drive north after the Skokie team rang her with the unexpected news. According to The Chicago Tribune, she had largely given up hope for her gray ghost: “Truthfully, I thought he was deceased [and] I didn't think this would ever happen.”

cat-missing-for-3-years-reunited-with-human-momCredit: Chicago Tribune

Upon arrival, Krieger, who was reluctant to tell the paper just how many cats she had (no judgement here; Cuteness is a safe space) and Theodore were ushered into a small room for their heartwarming moment. Released from his carrier, the cuddly cat promptly curled up against her for the first time in three years (*reaches for example of the I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying meme*).

cat-missing-for-3-years-reunited-with-human-momCredit: Chicago Tribune

While the mystery surrounding Theodore’s travels may never be solved, one thing about this episode is abundantly clear: "This [is] an excellent opportunity to encourage pet owners to have their pets microchipped," Skokie Director of Health Dr. Catherine Counard told the Chicago Tribune.