Af­ter 13 years, Boo was back in town!

It took Janet’s puss Boo a long time to nav­i­gate her way home – but she made it in the end...

Real People - - CONTENTS - with Jane Com­mon

Look­ing at the framed photo of my tabby cat, Boo, on the side­board, I sighed. It had been 13 years since she’d dis­ap­peared, but even now, in July 2018, I still won­dered where she’d gone…

I’d adopted Boo as a kit­ten from Cats Pro­tec­tion in July 2001.

‘She has such a pretty face,’ I’d cooed.

She had a beau­ti­ful per­son­al­ity, as well – very placid and gen­tle.

In­stead of bring­ing me dead mice, she proudly pre­sented twigs and leaves.

A so­cia­ble girl, she tried to be­friend the other cats on our street, be­com­ing mates with a ginger boy who she of­ten in­vited for tea through the cat flap!

Four years later, though, she didn’t come home.

Dis­traught, I put posters up and knocked on my neigh­bours’ doors. I even put an ad­vert in the lo­cal pa­per.

Strangers rang and said, ‘There’s a tabby in our garden.’

But it was al­ways a false alarm…

Miss­ing Boo, I vol­un­teered for the lo­cal Cats Pro­tec­tion, match­ing pusses with po­ten­tial own­ers.

Then, three years af­ter Boo dis­ap­peared, I adopted three-legged Olly and, in 2014, Tassy, who’d been found trapped in a hedge.

Now, all I had of my first love was a pic­ture.

But a few morn­ings later, as I was read­ing, the phone rang.

‘I’ve got your miss­ing cat,’ a woman an­nounced.

I looked at Olly and Tassy, asleep on the couch.

‘Both my cats are home,’ I said. ‘It’s def­i­nitely your mo­bile num­ber on the mi­crochip,’ she per­sisted, ex­plain­ing that she was a vet nurse in Pock­ling­ton, 40 miles away.

The cat had been dropped at the surgery by a con­cerned lady who’d found it roam­ing.

It couldn’t be…

‘How old is the cat?’ I asked, a shiver run­ning down my spine.

‘She was reg­is­tered in 2001,’ she said. A wave of shock rolled over me. ‘I’m on my way!’ I cried.

Too shocked to get be­hind the wheel, I asked my friend Hazel Longstaff to drive to Pock­ling­ton, ques­tions buzzing in my head. How had Boo trav­elled 40 miles? Where had she been for 13 years? She’d never have sur­vived as a stray all that time!

Walk­ing into the surgery, my legs wob­bled.

What if the vet had made a mistake and it wasn’t Boo?

But when two vet nurses took

us into a con­sult­ing room and I peered in a cage on the ta­ble, I was in no doubt. There was my Boo, an old lady now, but still with the same pretty lit­tle face.

When a vet nurse opened the cage, Boo walked straight over to me, nudg­ing and purring.

‘She re­mem­bers you,’ ev­ery­one cheered. In­cred­i­ble!

Driv­ing home with Boo in a bas­ket, I felt elated, but wor­ried, too. How would Olly and Tassy take to the new­comer?

If only I could ex­plain to them that Boo was their long-lost sis­ter.

And we’d moved home twice since Boo dis­ap­peared so, while she recog­nised me, the house would be strange to her.

Sure enough, when I in­tro­duced Boo to Olly and Tassy they hissed. But Boo, gen­tle as ever, just smiled back, un­flus­tered.

It all felt bit­ter­sweet.

Boo was back, but I’d missed out on all those years with her.

‘She’s an old lady now,’ I sighed to my hus­band, Mark, a builder. ‘She’ll prob­a­bly sleep all day.’

Not a bit of it – if Boo wore a Fit­bit she’d eas­ily have clocked up her 3,000 steps a day.

She fol­lowed me ev­ery­where, stay­ing out of Olly and Tassy’s way, and carved her own ter­ri­tory on a chair in the front room.

‘It’s as if she’d never been away,’ I smiled to Mark as she curled on my lap.

Amaz­ingly for a 17-year-old cat, my vet gave Boo a clean bill of health.

‘She’s had vet treat­ment over the years, though,’ she said. ‘Some of her teeth have been ex­tracted.’

We’ll never know the truth, but my the­ory is that an old lady took Boo in, not think­ing to check for a mi­crochip.

Then she must have moved to Pock­ling­ton and, when she passed away, Boo be­came a stray…

It doesn’t mat­ter – Boo’s back and, six weeks af­ter our re­union, right at home.

Luck­ily, she’s not in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing out­side – that might make me ner­vous – and only goes into the garden to help me hang the wash­ing.

Since her mirac­u­lous re­turn, all my friends have popped round to see her, and she’s fa­mous on Har­ro­cats – Har­ro­gate’s Face­book page for cat-lovers.

When­ever there’s a miss­ing cat post, people re­as­sure the owner, Think of Boo – don’t give up hope.

The one thing I’d say to people is get your cat chipped – if Boo wasn’t, we’d never have been re­united.

Now we’ve got all that lost time to make up for, and I’m giv­ing her 13 years’ worth of fuss and at­ten­tion ev­ery

Janet Adamow­icz, 62, Har­ro­gate, North Yorks

I’m giv­ing her years of fuss

Busy Boo has car­ried on where she left off!

As a kit­ten in 2002, be­fore she went miss­ing

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