A cat who disappeared from her California home nine years ago has been found, but no one has a clue what she's been doing for nearly a decade, nor how she ended up wandering the streets of a small Idaho city more than 1,000 miles away. The Washington Post reports on the shocking discovery in Hayden, where a Good Samaritan found the brown tabby, who's now about 12 years old, and brought her into a local shelter. Workers there scanned the cat's microchip and discovered the cat's name was Harriet, and that her owner, Susan Moore, lived in an area near Clovis, Calif. When a staffer called Moore last month to let her know her cat had been found, so many years after Harriet had gone missing, Moore was confused. "My cat?" she asked, puzzled.
When it finally dawned on her that it was her long-lost feline, she asked what part of California Hayden was in—and was doubly stunned to find out the city was in Idaho. Moore says that when Harriet disappeared, she was devastated, calling local animal shelters and registering with a service for lost pets. Eventually, she gave up hope that Harriet would ever return, especially after her husband suggested that a coyote may have gotten to her. Now, she's trying to figure out how Harriet ended up making the journey she did, and what she's been doing all this time. "I wish she could talk because I'd like to know how the heck that cat got all the way to Idaho," Moore says.
One theory she has: that when Harriet wandered off, someone in California took her in, then subsequently moved to Idaho—only for Harriet to go missing there. In a final act of love, Moore, who'd originally planned to travel to Idaho to retrieve Harriet, decided it might be too much stress for her now-older cat to be transported on another long journey. She gave the shelter the OK to adopt her out, and Harriet is now in her (hopefully) forever home with a shelter volunteer who fosters older cats and dogs—and who's given Harriet the new name Isis. "Goes to show you ... get your cats chipped," a KREM reporter advises during the station's report on Harriet's adventures. A staffer at the shelter where Harriet was brought said she was healthy when found. USA Today has a photo gallery featuring pics of Harriet before she went missing and today. (Read more uplifting news stories.)