A sneaky cat led a double life for 10 years by living with two separate families, who lay claim to the well-loved feline. The Siamese cat had successfully lived a good life with two separate families to no one’s knowledge, according to New Zeland’s National.
It all began with the Alexander family in Karori, who named the cat Ming. Alice Alexander purchased Ming in 2000, named for his habit of “mingling.” He once took a nap in a moving truck that took him to other suburbs before he was found.
“Everyone knew Ming and I would often get calls saying he was in someone’s house,” Alice Alexander says.
Five years later, the family moved to Strathmore, where Ming would go wander off then return home without his collar, which had the Alexanders’ name and number on it. He was fed wherever he ventured since he never appeared hungry when he came back home.
The cat that secretly lived with two families went missing in 2010. Alexander hung missing cat posters around the neighborhood, but no one saw the cat.
This May, however, Ming “just appeared out of nowhere” after four years. Alexander says she was sitting on the deck when she noticed Ming on the glasshouse roof, meowing.
“I picked it up and realised it was Ming. I was running scenarios through my head, wondering where he had been,” Alexander shares.
Even after she got Ming microchipped and had another collar put on him, he disappeared again. He returned home this time with a shaved leg and had clearly been taken to the vet.
Alice Alexander says:
“I knew then that someone had him, so I put up more missing cat posters and one week later, a lady got in touch to let me know Ming was living with them.”
The pieces started to fall together as they learned that Ming had been “adopted” by a second family and known to the Smiths as “Cleo.” The Smiths lived next door and down the hill from the Alexanders. That was how Ming came back home, actually. The Smiths moved from Karori with Cleo to Auckland for five years then returned to Strathmore earlier this year. During the time Ming was missing from the Alexanders,’ he resided with the Smiths.
The Smiths had moved to Karori, but when they shifted to Auckland, they took Ming, who had been Cleo for five years. They moved back to their Strathmore home earlier this year.
Glenda Smith reveals that she saw the missing cat posters, but didn’t link Cleo to having a “secret life.” Cleo was her husband’s cat before they got married. He thought he was taking care of a stray cat, she says.
“Cleo is part of the family and been with us for nine years, we can’t just push him away now. It’s emotional for us too; he loves us and always come back.”
As the report says, “the fate of Ming/Cleo has yet to be decided but both women say that they just want the cat to be happy.”
Alexander goes on to say:
“It’s so difficult, we love him so much and want him to be happy but worried the family will move. Ming is 15 years old now and deserves to retire. He shouldn’t have to try and reclaim territory.”
In 2010 on Life With Cats, a story about a cat returning home after 13 years to its family in Australia made headlines.
Fortunately, the cat that’s led a double life has two families willing to be civilized in the scheme of things. Maybe Ming/Cleo will just continue having two different homes and both families will remain living near each other.
[Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail]