When the Sutherland family moved from Hawaii to Michigan 19 months ago, their Siamese cat got loose in Honolulu International Airport’s cargo area and, literally, missed his flight.
But thanks to the educated eye of a nearby cat colony “manager,” the family has been reunited with the beloved, furry family member they thought was gone forever, reports KITV4 in Honolulu.
“Weeks went by, months went by and, you know, pretty much we’d given up hope,” Hillary Sutherland said of their cat, Bogie, during a phone interview with the news station.
Enter Bill Antilla, who looks after feral cat colonies around the airport. Noticing Bogie was neutered, he figured the cat was someone’s pet. He told KITV4 it took him several months before he gained the 5-year-old Siamese’s trust enough to pet Bogie; Antilla was finally able to catch him last week.
Antilla took Bogie to CatFriends, an abandoned and feral cat nonprofit on the island of O’ahu. Organization president Jennifer Kishimori found Bogie to not only be in surprisingly good health, but to have a microchip, which proved he had a family out there who most likely wanted him back.
“We told the children and chaos ensued,” Sutherland told KITV4. “The reactions were like, ‘What? Really?’ So, all haste was made to get him back.”
Although reportedly this is the third pet cat with a microchip that Antilla has caught near the airport, not all lost domesticated cats have a happy reunion like Bogie’s.
“They’re not used to being on the street,” Kishimori explained. “They don’t know how to survive. They get attacked by other cats and get injured. But, this cat is one of the lucky ones.”
On Friday, Bogie was reunited with his family and is settling in just fine.
“They’re so excited to have him back,” Kishimori told the Detroit Free Press. “They said now when they brought him home, they have carpeting, and he’s thrilled to roll around on carpeting and not on the street anymore.”