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...
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