What if you lost your cat one day and thought he'd never return? This is what happened to a pair of pet owners in Wanaque, New Jersey two years ago.
Jimmy, an adventurous tabby cat, often went outside to explore. On September 13, 2014, Jimmy was let out of the house and he never came back. Susan Zelitsky and her husband were devastated and put up posters, hoping someone would recognize the beloved family kitty.
Zelitsky explained that Jimmy had never disappeared for any long period of time before. "He would go to the front door like a dog when he had to go to the bathroom, but he would always come back and meow at the door to come in," she said.
Jimmy didn't turn up, but Zelitsky never gave up hope that he would come home on day. When she was out walking the dog, she'd keep an eye open for any cats around and would often call Jimmy's name. But after two and a half years of waiting, Jimmy's family knew he would probably never come home.
One day, Sue was scrolling through Facebook when she noticed a post from the West Milford Animal-Shelter about a lost cat. The shelter, which was only 10 miles from her home, had brought the cat in after he'd been found after a blizzard in March "in the High Crest area of West Milford NJ, lower West Milford - a neutered and declawed senior male tabby cat, no collar and no microchip."
Sue was shocked that the kitty looked a lot like Jimmy, so she contacted the shelter and went to visit the next day with her neighbor and brought a dog toy Jimmy used to play with.
"When they opened the crate door, I said, 'Jimmy is that you, bud?' and he walked over and head-butted me and smooshed his nose into the dog's toy," she said. "I immediately started to sob. He started to rub up against us, and when I was rubbing his belly he nipped me, which he always did."
Sue's husband arrived and Jimmy also greeted him with the signature head butt. They knew it was Jimmy and brought the now 15-year-old cat home, where the dog instantly recognized him. Jimmy took no time at all to readjust to his family, including the two kittens the family had adopted.
"If it wasn't for the wonderful people at WMASS, we would have never had this happy reunion," she said.
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