Cats are quizzical creatures. Just when it seems they can’t surprise their parent, they do just that. A case in point is the marvelous mystery of a feline named Nova, who returned to its owner after being gone for four years! The original story was posted on Facebook, by the Animal Friends group, an organization through which a volunteer named Diane made all the difference. Nova showed up on her doorstep and was fostered by Diane and her husband. Seeing what a friendly, trusting stray Nova was, she brought the kitty to the shelter where she works to be scanned for a microchip. The strange part was that Diane lives in Pittsburg, and Nova was lost in New Jersey! How did a Jersey kitty end up crossing state lines and where had Nova been for the past four years? Curiosity may have lost the cat but who knows what brought it back? Although Nova’s “lost years” are shrouded in mystery, some fascinating details are known.
According to the Hindustan Times, this fascinating pet miracle story began at Christmastime of 2016 when a young cat named Nova got out of her parent’s apartment and decided to go roaming. Nova’s owner, like most pet parents, noticed her absence and the search was on for the cat’s safe return. Flyers were printed, the neighborhood was canvassed, all to no avail. The fact that Nova was microchipped was comforting, but often people who find a lost cat either ignore it or leave food out for it thinking it’s just another feral. Due to the plethora of feral cats, even in upscale neighborhoods, it’s easy to assume a cat is wild unless close contact occurs. Fear of injury or infection keeps many people with good hearts away from getting too close to roaming animals. So it’s a good thing that Nova ended up on the right doorstep. Yes, a microchip was in place and Diane had it scanned, yet the owner had moved out of state in the meantime. As time went by and the cat had not been found or returned, Nova’s owner had to move on with her life and moved to Massachusetts.
Diane and her husband who found Nova were not deterred. They were able to track down the current contact info for Nova’s original family. Imagine the happiness and surprise when the call came that the prodigal kitty had been found! Nova’s pet parent recently traveled from Massachusetts to Pittsburgh to get her and she was later reunited back home with a kitty sibling cat who was no doubt missing the frisky pal. The photos of Nova and Diane that accompany this amazing, feel-good story, published on many sites as well as social media, fascinated pet lovers all over the world. If only all the missing pets in the world could be found by such dedicated volunteers who knew to check for microchips. This was a case of Nova being in the right place at the right time, even if it was four years after leaving home.
If a cat is lucky enough to be taken in by a good Samaritan, it is often with no questions asked. Some feel it is safe to assume, and reasonably so, that the cat is abandoned. Because so many heartless people think of pets, particularly cats, as disposable, they tend to just cut the pet loose instead of looking for a safe, loving rehoming solution. Even cats with collars may not tell the whole story, as many don’t have current licenses or contact information attached. Microchipping is a relatively modern addition to veterinary care; however, it is not expensive and is easy to put in place. The veterinarian implants the tiny chip and the owner is sent home with a registration kit where the name, contact address, and phone numbers are linked with the assigned microchip number. It’s so easy for an active, young cat to slip out of a house or apartment. Even if seen, when a cat takes off sprinting in search of the scent it’s hard to catch up to it. Often cats are frightened off by a sound nearby like a car engine or fireworks. They don’t realize they are running away from the safety of home, they just take off in a panic.
Some cat careers who wish to satisfy their cat’s curiosity will go to amazing lengths to keep tabs on their frisky feline. It’s not unusual in some neighborhoods to see someone walking a cat on a leash. Yes, it is possible to leash train a cat! It does, however, takes practice and patience. Many veterinarians do recommend keeping cats as indoor pets as there are so many hazards outside. Cats can lead a quiet contented life indoors provided they have enough stimulation and affection incorporated into the daily routine. Cat toys do not need to be expensive. Something as simple as a wadded-up ball of paper or an empty cardboard box can provide tons of fun for a feline. Even if the owner comes home from work beat tired, a laser pointer that the cat can chase provided lots of needed exercise for the pet with minimal exertion for the human. Unfortunately, no matter what precautions are taken, cats can still make a great escape from the best of homes.
When a pet goes missing, desperate owners will try everything from consulting with animal whisperer psychics to posting expensive rewards for their return, to no avail. Often they are never seen again, despite the owners looking high and low for their beloved family member. It’s a happy day when a pet missing for so long finds the way home with the help of a stranger. Where was Nova these past few years? Was she living “rough” with other street cats? Apparently, however, or wherever she was living did not affect her sunny, sweet disposition which was a tip-off to Diane who found her that she was once someone’s treasured, pampered pet. Anyone who has ever lost a cat found a cat or loved a cat will find Nova’s miraculous return heartwarming. For more information about microchipping, please contact your veterinarian or local humane society. It can make all the difference for a happy reunion.