After Being Missing For 536 Days, A Cat Jumps Into His Mother’s Arms

Cat was a timid dog when Mindy Criner and her husband Luke got him from the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter in Virginia. Criner had a hunch he only needed a family to help bring out his confidence, so he sat off to the side while the other kittens played.

Criner told The Dodo, “You could tell in his eyes that he just needed affection.”

It took some effort, but Cat was soon established in his new home and smitten with every member of his new family. When his parents had a child, he adored him right once, and there was never any doubt in his mind that the couple had made the correct decision in adopting that shy little cat.

Cat grew in confidence after joining his family, and he enjoyed wandering about his yard and doing some exploring. Criner tried to call Cat inside after another round of exploring one day, but he wasn’t there.

Criner was so distraught that she immediately contacted the woman who manages the Lost & Found Pets – Hampton Roads, VA, Facebook page to ask for her assistance in spreading the news, and she and her husband did all they could to find Cat and return her home. They placed a litter box and food outdoors in the hopes of luring him home with familiar scents. They put up little housing stations across the area and had friends check them whenever they got the opportunity. They erected a slew of posters. They strolled around the area every night, shouting his name, but they soon gave up hope.

“Weeks stretched into a year, then a bit more, and every day that break in my damaged heart grew a little wider,” Criner explained.

Criner remarked, “I assumed that had to be a mistake.” “A message from animal control instructed me to contact Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter in order to locate him. “I drove as fast as the law would allow to that shelter and entered through the door already fighting back tears.”

When Criner arrived to the shelter, she learned that a man had been feeding Cat, whom he mistook for a stray, for over a year. The man notified animal control after Cat was hit by a car and survived. Animal control searched for a microchip and learned who Cat actually was.

“I sat on the stairs and let him come up to me in case he was terrified,” Criner explained. “He climbed right in my lap and purred.” “I started heading towards the car where my husband, Luke (who has a really unique voice), was chatting to the person who had been feeding him, and Cat purred louder than I could have imagined and gave me that first super long head boop.” It’s as if he pushed that small piece of my shattered heart back into place.”

Cat knew he was finally heading home as soon as he spotted his family, and he couldn’t have been happier.

When they returned home, Cat quickly fit in, welcoming his furry siblings and claiming all of his old haunts as if he’d never left. He and his parents have been hugging and reacquainting themselves as much as possible, and the entire family is overjoyed to have Cat back where he belongs.