Lost Five Years, a Colorado Cat Finds Her Way to Manhattan
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 14, 2011
A calico cat named Willow, who disappeared from a home near the Rocky Mountains five years ago, was found on Wednesday on a Manhattan street and will soon be returned to her family, where two of the three children and one of the two dogs may remember her.
How she got to New York, more than 1,800 miles away, and the kind of life she lived in the city are mysteries.
But thanks to a microchip that was implanted when she was a kitten, Willow will be reunited in Boulder, Colo., with her owners, the Squireses, who had long ago given up hope.
“There are tons of coyotes around here, and owls,” Jamie Squires said. “We put out the ‘lost cat’ posters and the Craigslist thing, but we actually thought she’d been eaten by coyotes.”
Ms. Squires said she and her husband, Chris, were shocked when they received a call about Willow on Wednesday from Animal Care and Control, which runs New York City’s animal rescue and shelter system. Ms. Squires said that when they saw a picture of the cat, they knew it was Willow.
Willow was found on East 20th Street by a man who took her to a shelter, and Julie Bank, executive director of Animal Care, said the microchip led to the Squires family.
“All our pets are microchipped,” Ms. Squires said. “If I could microchip my kids, I would.”
The Squires children are 17, 10 and 3, and they have a yellow Labrador named Roscoe, who knew Willow, and an English mastiff named Zoe.
Ms. Squires said Willow escaped in late 2006 or early 2007 when contractors left a door open during a home renovation.
Ms. Bank said Willow was healthy and well-mannered, and probably had not spent her life on the streets of Manhattan.
Animal Care and the Squireses were trying to arrange for transportation back to Colorado. In the interim, Willow may stay with a foster family in New York.
“The kids can’t wait to see her,” Ms. Squires said. “And we still have her little Christmas stocking.”