When stunning calico cat Willow disappeared from her Boulder, Colorado, home five years ago, her owners gave her up for dead. As human keeper Jamie Squires told the Daily News, "We know there is a family of coyotes nearby ... We thought she had been eaten." Ha! That's just what she wanted them to think. Having successfully completed the fake-out, Willow pulled what we're going to call a "reverse Homeward Bound" and somehow traveled 1,600 miles to New York City, where she enjoyed Manhattan's excitement, superior smoked fish, and anonymity — until this week.
Apparently, a kindly but meddling man spotted the "healthy and well-mannered" feline hanging out on East 20th Street and brought her to a shelter, where her big city dream fell victim to the tyranny of technology. An Animal Control scanner detected a microchip under her skin linking her to her old family, who were "stunned" to receive a call on Willow's behalf:
"All our pets are microchipped," Squires said. "If I could microchip my kids, I would."
The children are 17, 10 and 3 years old, so the older two remember Willow, Squires said. As for the 3-year-old, "She saw the photo and said, 'She's a pretty cat.'"
The Squireses also have a yellow Labrador named Roscoe, who knew Willow, and an English mastiff named Zoe.
"We had another dog back then, too, and I remember that Willow would lie with them as they all waited to be fed," Squires said. "She thought she was a dog."
But did she ever appreciate such simple pleasures? Even Squires seems to have doubts. She admitted, "I don't know what kind of life she's had, so I don't know what her personality will be like." (Our guess? A lot pushier, at the very least.) Don't worry, Willow; we know you'll make it back one day.