Losing a pet can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences that a person could go through. The people who treat animals as their companions know that they aren’t just simply pets – they are family.
In this story, a senior cat had been missing for two and a half years, but an amazing twist of fate led him to be reunited his owners.
Jimmy, the adorable tabby, went missing in 2015 when a family member had gone to visit friends in nearby High Crest, New Jersey. The cat loved to sleep in the family’s parked cars, and they speculate that the cat hitched a ride to High Crest, where he left the car and eventually got lost.
Two and a half years after Jimmy disappeared, a volunteer found him wandering the streets. So she brought him to the West Milford Animal Shelter in hopes of finding him a home.
“Jimmy was picked up not far from West Milford Animal Shelter and brought in as a stray after the blizzard,” RC of The Real Cats at West Milford Animal Shelter told Love Meow.
The shelter wrote a Facebook post about Jimmy and had it boosted – paid so that the post is shown to local people with an interest in animals. In the end, “the post received 26,636 views and 581 shares.”
Four days after Jimmy was rescued, the shelter received a message from Susan Zelitsky of Wanaque, New Jersey. She told the staff that the stray they posted about recently looked a lot like her old cat Jimmy, but her cat had been missing for two and a half years already.
Hoping that it was indeed their Jimmy, the family was hoping this the reunion they have been waiting for, so they arranged a visit to the shelter and brought with them a few of Jimmy’s old items – a pillowcase and a toy – just to see if the stray cat would recognize the smell.
When the time came for the Zelitskies to meet the tabby, his reaction made all their hearts melt.
“When they opened the crate, I said, ‘Jimmy is that you, bud?’ and he walked over and head-butted me and smooshed his nose into the toy,” Zelitsky told North Jersey. “I immediately started to sob.”
“He started to rub up against us, and when I was rubbing his belly he nipped me, which he always did. He put his head in Dayna’s hands and he started to purr loudly.”
Susan’s husband and Jimmy’s best friend, Bob, approached the cat, and the room began to fill with emotion.
“Her husband immediately said ‘that’s my boy’ and of course everyone was crying very happy tears,” the rescue recalled.
“Jimmy knew his family,” they said. “He got up and gave them head bonks and rolled on his back. Especially as soon as he saw his dad.”
After a long separation, Jimmy the cat went home with his family that very night.
Susan said, “After 2.5 years, our boy Jimmy has been found. A little frail, a little tired, a little lighter coat, but he’s home and we are over the moon.”
The reunion touched everyone’s hearts! Even though Jimmy wandered the streets for almost three years, he survived – and most importantly – he became reunited with his family even after years have passed! This story is truly incredible and proves that when we love our pets and care for them like family, they never forget us.
Watch the video below from NorthJersey.com to know more about this amazing homecoming story
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Photo credits: West Milford Animal Shelter