AWWW, Willow the Colorado cat who went missing five years ago, only to turn up in New York City last week, was reunited with her family today. Her owners, the Squires family, said the media attention on their cute calico was "surreal," but they welcomed it if it meant people would be encouraged to microchip their pets. Matt Lauer couldn't resist a pun, noting, "It's a story that's making big tabby-loid headlines here in New York."
Willow had run out of the Squires family' house during a renovation project. The family looked for her, but, after no luck, assumed she was eaten by coyotes. Cut to last week, when someone brought in the kitty to a shelter, saying she was found on East 20th Street. Animal Care & Control found a microchip and contacted the Squireses—and the media, launching many theories about how a cat could have traveled the 1,800 miles. A Gothamist reader shed some light on that.
The reader, who said she once watched Willow for three months, claimed that a Brooklyn resident skiing in Colorado saw Willow, thought she was a stray (a trip to a local vet did not show any microchip information, which is definitely possible due to differing microchip technologies) and brought her back to New York. Our reader added, "She was brought to the shelter by someone who loved her very much, but was unable to give her all the time and attention she deserves." If an owner attempts to surrender a cat at NYC ACC, it is a more involved process than someone saying a stray was found on the street.
The Squires family, who are considering starting a foundation to educate people about microchipping pets as well as a children's book, discussed how Willow could have possibly ended up in New York. Jamie Squires said on the Today Show, "We talked about it, even to [three-year-old daughter] Lola, and I don’t think anyone is really ever going to know the actual truth of what actually happened to her. It’s better just for us to think she’s been off on some great adventure. We travel a lot as a family. It’s good to think (Willow) was doing the same thing."
Here's video of the Today Show's segment, which includes a screenshot of Gothamist and a Law & Order "Chung Chung" noise:
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