SWAT Cat returned to Boston Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team base on Warren Street in Roxbury on Thursday. The cat had been missing since late November. SWAT Cat is the beloved, unofficial mascot of the BPD SWAT team.
Some officers regard their feline friend as a good-luck charm. ABC News reports that officers are “happy that she was safe all this time.”
— Owen Boss (@OVVenBoss) January 15, 2016
“Everybody was shocked. They were really surprised,” Officer Evon Burroughs said to The Boston Globe. Many feared SWAT Cat was dead or lost forever.
Suesan Williams, who does tailoring work for many department officers, said that SWAT Cat returned Thursday morning looking hungry and emaciated. She said she suspects the cat may have been trapped somewhere without access to food. Nonetheless, she was happy to see the cat come back home.
It’s a great day. They love that cat, and take care of her, and she takes care of them. She takes care of the rat and mice population at the base. The minute she got out, for some reason, she went to where she knows her home is.
SWAT Cat fans showed their delight for the mascot’s safe return.
MEOW!!! Missing Beloved 'SWAT Cat' Returns to Boston Police Department – NBC News – https://t.co/fq4adP9Zx0
— john n c (@morrisseyfan2u) January 15, 2016
— Murrli Katzenberger (@FreeMurrli) January 15, 2016
The BPD issued a statement on Thursday via the BPD News website, thanking the community for SWAT Cats’s return.
“The SWAT Team wants to thank the community for keeping an eye out for the feline and for all the calls and emails of support.”
SWAT Cat captured the hearts of even the toughest officers back in 2013. It was at that time that the once stray female with white, black and light orange fur first started prowling around the SWAT team’s base; looking for belly rubs and free meals. After perching on motorcycle seats, lounging on the hoods of armed vehicles, and rubbing against officers during mealtime, SWAT officers began to consider her the unit’s unofficial mascot.
SWAT team members helped get her spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped at the Animal Rescue League of Boston clinic. The clinic provides health care for homeless animals, including feral cats. Officers also built her a home at their base and bought her a kennel with a special heating pad and a bowl for food.
With bill of good health, SWAT Cat became a furry fixture for those on duty each day at the base. Welcoming all by rolling on her side with a purr, awaiting the occasional head scratch or ear rub.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 15, 2016
In late November SWAT Cat vanished. After being missing for three weeks the Boston PD became concerned with the cat’s disappearance and asked the public for help in mid December.
“A couple of days turn into a week, to two weeks and now three. We miss the cat,” Officer Burroughs told WDHD on December 14th.
“You pull into the driveway and hope she will come running across the parking lot,” said Burroughs. “She had become part of the family. But it’s sad, she’s not there. It’s like going to work and not seeing a well-liked coworker.”
Even Boston Police Commissioner Williams Evans made a comment on the adopted cat’s disappearance.
“Those guys, as tough as they are, and the tragedy and the stuff they deal with…let’s hope they find the SWAT Cat.”
Police officers hung fliers and posted notices online in search of the calico that often lounged and slept atop the officers’ Bearcat (a large armored vehicle) parked at the station.
SWAT Cat returned to the unit on her own, unharmed, and happy to be around those who care deeply for her.
Welcome home, SWAT Cat.
[Photo by Boston Police Department/AP Images]