Willow the Cat’s Cross-Country Journey Explained, But Questions Remain

Well, of course questions remain, but Willow the cat is hardly forthcoming with the answers.

To anyone who has ever lost a pet, the scenario is one for which they may often long. A pet disappears, and the worst comes to mind- your pet hurt, alone, frightened, taken or otherwise in harm’s way. But all that time, he or she was being loved and cared for, waiting to return to home.

Willow the Cat’s family back in Colorado received that welcome surprise on Wednesday, five years after their beloved feline had gone missing. But the fact that Willow had turned up in New York City was baffling- how had the cat made it all the way from there to here with just a bell around her neck and a love for playing with yarn?

The New York Times sheds some light on how Willow’s journey began:

Willow, Gothamist reported Friday morning, was befriended and adopted by a New Yorker on a Colorado ski vacation and was flown across the country to a new home in Brooklyn… A woman who says she cat-sat for Willow’s East Coast owner told Gothamist that the the owner took steps to make sure he was not stealing someone’s cat before bringing Willow east. “She was vetted prior to flying, and none of her history came up,” the woman wrote.


When Willow was turned into a NYC shelter, her microchip traced her back to the Squires family in Colorado, and Jamie Squires amusingly weighs in:

“Part of me feels bad, if someone has been taking care of her and considers her their pet,” said Squires, who is planning her family’s reunion with Willow. “But, no, it’s really our pet. Sorry.”

Willow the cat is awaiting health clearance to re-enter Colorado, and her family is traveling to New York for a reunion. Her interim carer- the woman who presumably brought her back to New York only to surrender Willow to a shelter- has not come forward.