Missing Cat Turns Out To Be Living At Neighbor’s House For Two Years

Does a cat belong to the family who adopted him or the family who thought it saved the cat as a stray?

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Joey is in the middle of a custody battle. Via Pet Key
Anastasia Thrift

In September 2013 a Himalayan cat went missing in Bloomingdale, Indiana. That month, three houses away from the Himalayan’s home, a couple took in a stray cat. A Himalayan, in fact. The very same one who disappeared.

Now, two families are at odds over ownership of this cat, WGN reports. Nichole Milone adopted the cat she calls Joey in March of 2011. Fees reportedly came to $1,100 for him; she has the papers to prove he was microchipped. In her same housing development live Shawnie and Steve Godke. They have taken care of Joey for the last two and half years.

Shawnie claims Joey was matted and neglected, and she and Steve fed the cat, who repeatedly came to their door, out of concern. Eventually they let the cat inside. Meanwhile, Milone filed a police report, contacted her microchip manufacturer PetKey, and plastered the neighborhood, police station and animal shelters with fliers.

“I assumed he was probably taken by a coyote or something,” Milone told WGN.

It wasn’t until late April of this year that she changed her mind. She saw her cat in the Godke’s window as she entered her house through the back yard.

Milone called the police, who managed to scan his microchip and find out it was Joey. The Godkes will not give up the cat. Police won’t press charges.

So the question remains: Who is the cat’s rightful owner?

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