Viktor Usov’s cat Sasha went missing from Portland five years ago. He assumed the worst had happened, but always wondered what had become of his beloved pet. He never expected to get a phone call years later saying that his pet had been found over 1000 miles away. This heart warming tale was first reported by CNN and it captured the hearts of cat lovers everywhere. Victor received a call from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter to say that they found a cat that was registered to him. At first he believed that there must have been some mistake. He could not believe that Sasha had been alive all this time and that he had managed to travel that far. He told the shelter that it must have been a malfunction with the cat’s chip but the shelter decided to do a bit more digging.
They sent Victor some photos of the cat that they had with them and he had to admit that the cat in the photos did look like Sasha. He sent back some photos he had of him when he was a kitten and they agreed that there was a strong resemblance. The personality traits that the shelter described also sounded just like Sasha. He loved belly rubs and also got along well with other animals. At the time he had Sasha, Victor also had a dog and the two animals always got on famously. When he took the dog out for a walk it was not unusual for Sasha to follow along as well.
Sasha was found when he was picked up from the streets by the shelter. He was not wearing a collar but the shelter carried out a routine check to see if he had a chip. The information that they got from the chip showed that Sasha belonged to Victor. Even though five years had passed, the contact details were still the same and so the shelter was able to get in touch with Victor in order to reunite him and Sasha.
One thing that this story does highlight is the importance of getting a microchip for your cat. Without Sasha’s chip it is very unlikely that he would have been able to be reunited with his owner who lived so far away. PetMD states that identifying a cat that has been found is the main benefit of microchipping a cat. As long as you keep your information up to date, you will be contacted as soon as the microchip has been scanned. Microchips cannot come loose or be pulled off in the same way as a collar can, and this makes them more reliable. The chips are no bigger than a grain of rice and it does not cause a cat any pain when they are inserted under the skin.
Even though it soon became apparent that the cat at the shelter in Santa Fe was Sasha, Victor was still not sure that the two would become reunited. He is a medical student and was worried that he would not have the time to fly to New Mexico in order to collect Sasha. However, the staff as the Santa Fe Animal Shelter were determined to see Victor and Sasha back together again. The public relations officer for the shelter, Murad Kirdar, decided to fly to Portland with Sasha so that he could go home to Victor. However, he was not the only one that wanted to provide some help.
When American Airlines heard the story of Sasha and his incredible journey, they wanted to do what they could to help. They offered to fly Murad and Sasha from Santa Fe to Portland so that he was able to finally go home after all those years. The airline released a statement to say they were so moved by the story that Sasha had been found after so long that they wanted to do all that they could to offer some assistance in getting him back home to Victor.
It was an emotional reunion for Victor when he finally came face to face with Sasha again. He spent a lot of time looking for him when he first went missing but eventually came to accept that he would never see him again. He explained that Sasha loved to be outside and would often spend the night outside the home. However, one night he just did not return and Victor couldn’t find him in the all the places he would normally be. He thought he would never find out what really happened to him but the story now has the happy ending that he never expected.
Cats are known to go missing more often than dogs because they spend a lot more time out of the house unsupervised. Home Again suggests that one reason why cats end up in a different state is to do with the fact that they are so curious. They may hop into an open delivery van and get shut in. When the door is opened again at the destination, then they often run away so quickly that the driver is unable to catch them.
This could have happened in Sasha’s case for at least part of the journey. For him to have traveled so far, it seems very unlikely that he would have been able to make the whole journey by foot. He obviously also found some way of continuing to eat for all the time he was away, but this is something that cats are known to be good at. No one but Sasha knows exactly what adventures he got up to on his five-year road trip. Even the most direct route from Portland to Santa Fe would have seen him travel through several states. Even though Victor can only imagine what his cat has seen over the last five years, he never would have believed that he would see him again. Now that he has Sasha back, he is going to keep a close eye on the things that he gets up to when he is out of the house.