Way back in 2005, a man known only as “Charles” decided that it was time to add some warmth and companionship to his life in the form of a kitten. The 2 month old kitten was an adorable, brown striped tabby who he christened “Brandy”. For the first few months, they enjoyed each others company. That is, until Brandy strayed from home. According to Charles, he placed Brandy in the back yard to enjoy the afternoon sun. When evening rolled around, he went outside to retrieve her, but she was nowhere to be found,
A Distraught Owner Searches in Vain
After her disappearance, a distraught Charles did what every responsible pet owner does: He contacted local animal shelters, asked around, and put up flyers. The results weren’t positive. and he never say his little Brandy again–that is, until now. The situation didn’t sit well with Charles, a computer technician in Los Angeles. “I was very sad,” he said. “I wanted her back because when I adopted her I made a moral obligation to take care of her for her life.” As time moved on, he continued to think about Brandy, often fearing the worst, such as death by coyote or perhaps ending up a ragged corpse on the freeway. After a while, Charles moved to new residence and adopted two other cats.
Cat That Vanished 15 Years Ago is Reunited with Owner
However, if Charles thought that would be the end of it, he would be proven wrong. For you see, just this week he received a call from the Los Angeles County animal shelter located in Palmdale. He also received a call from another company, the one who made the microchip, inserted into Brandy upon her adoption. After 15 years, Charles was slightly hopeful, but heavy on the doubt. After all, we’re talking 15 years. 15 years! The length of time alone made it seem almost impossible that it could be the same cat he adopted in 2005. Yet, here he was, talking on his cell about Brandy.
Then, the day arrived when he was finally reunited with his lost and beloved Brandy. The situation being as it was, he just couldn’t believe it, “It’s amazing. I think it’s unbelievable.” he stated. He then related how he reached down to pick her up, and she began to purr. Charles found the entire scene an emotional one, as he tenderly held her in his arms, stroking her weak, emaciated body.
In truth, Brandy herself turned out to be pretty worse for wear. As how or where she spent her past 15 years, we can only guess. By the time she made it to the Palmdale animal shelter, she was seen as quite thin and malnourished, a mere 6 pound shadow of the lively and spry kitten Charles came to know and love in 2005. Whatever her life story, Brandy must have been without human care or contact for a while, as they noticed her neglected nails had curved, growing deep into the pads of her feet.
When Brandy was found, she was approximately 40 miles from Charles’ current residence in the San Fernando Valley. This does beg the question of the possibility of a homing instinct bringing her closer to Charles. After all, she was found approximately 40 miles from where Charles currently resides. Where had she been? Had she sensed the presence of her old owner and was in the process of making her way home? Considering her sad condition when found, was she traveling, searching for Charles?
While this may seem incredible to some, it really isn’t. Science has been well aware of the mysterious homing instinct in cats, just like Brandy for quite some time What makes the cats homing instinct unique, is that science can’t explain it. They can explain how birds and other migratory animals use cues, scent or magnetic fields to navigate their way home, but there remains absolutely no evidence that cats do the same. In fact, There have been factual accounts of cats becoming lost and finding their way to their owners new home, even if they’ve never been there, or traveled the route before.
Homing instinct and Cats
The long standing tale of the wayward cat that found its way home is decades old. These tales are not fanciful stories born of the romantic mind. They actually happened and still do. Scientists still don’t quite understand how cats do this. After all, they aren’t known as migratory animals. Still, it is agreed upon that cats do have what’s called a “homing instinct”. A homing instinct is defined as a method where the animal can sense direction that doesn’t seem to depend on any of their 5 senses as other animals do. In 1922 Frances Herrick published a study, entitled the “Homing Powers of the Cat.” Here, Herrick performed a series of experiments testing the ability of a mother cat to find her way back to her kittens after being separated for distances of up to 4 miles. While research on the homing instinct in cats is sparse, some researchers have posted theories such as Bell’s Theorem or reliance on their somatosensory system as a means to make sense of the phenomenon. But just exactly how they do it, still remains a mystery.
Famous Cats and Their Long Journey’s Home
Over the years, there have been quite a few cats made famous by their mysterious homing instinct. In fact, petmedsonline has compiled a list of ten cats who’ve made these long distance treks. Pooh, for instance, traveled around 200 miles from Long Island to Georgia. Another cat named Sugar traveled over 14 months from Anderson, California to Gage, Oklahoma. Here is where the mystery thickens, as Sugar arrived to their owners new home in Gage, having never even been there before. How Sugar could travel over 100 miles per month to reach a location they’ve never been to often leads many to believe that cats use telepathic abilities.
As you can see by the miraculous story of Brandy and Charles, cats are mysterious creatures. Thankfully, Charles had Brandy microchipped as a kitten, which increased the chance she’d be found. However, whatever brought Brandy together again with Charles may remain a mystery for decades to come. The fact remains that when held by her former owner, she was described as being relaxed, at peace and purring. Based on that evidence alone, one could make the assumption that she was happy to be home again. As Charles currently has two younger cats, it was decided that Brandy live out her remaining days with his sister, where she’s said to be quite happy and content.