When Denise Cilley was planning her daughter’s 10th birthday party seven years ago, their cherished cat escaped.
They looked in every direction for Ashes. They worried that the worst had happened because they lived in a remote part of Maine where there were plenty of predators.
Finally, after weeks of searching, the Cilley family grieved… then February 2022 rolled around seven years later.
During those seven years, Ashes had somehow made her way from her home in Maine to Longwood, Florida – that’s a 1,500 mile distance!
“I had a voicemail from a shelter in Florida that said they found my cat, and I was like, that’s weird,” Denise said. “And I was gonna call them and say, ‘Oh, you have the wrong number,’ but they called and said, ‘We found your cat.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I live in Maine and I’m not missing a cat.’”
Flabbergasted, Denise eventually found out that one of the locations that showed up on the microchip was the same shelter she adopts her kittens. It was in that moment that she realized who had finally been found.
I then questioned, “Is that a gray tabby?” “Yeah, a female gray tabby,” they respond. “And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh,” Denise recounted. Ashes must be the culprit. Six and a half years have passed since I last saw her.
A local couple who had been looking after the sad cat for some time brought Ashes to the Florida shelter. They fed her whenever she visited their home, which she did regularly.
But after a time, when it appeared that her health was deteriorating quickly, they took her to the doctor to have her microchip checked. Thankfully, it had been updated, and the shelter was able to get in touch with Denise almost away!
At first, Denise wasn’t sure when or how they’d get their beloved pet home. Between her medical expenses and the cost to get her on a flight, it seemed like it would take a while.
Luckily, their friend in Florida, Janet Williams, was more than happy to help out. In addition to temporarily keeping Ashes at her own home, she also created a GoFundMe to raise money for the expenses.
Before they knew it, just enough money was raised, and Ashes was approved to come home!
Denise said that microchips were miraculous. It’s secure. Since there is no GPS and you or your pet are not being tracked, it doesn’t hurt the cat. It’s a fairly simple process, and it makes reunion feasible, you know.
Denise wonders whether Ashes managed to find her way aboard a moving vehicle since she never would have imagined that she would have traveled all the way to Florida. But it appears that this will never be fully understood.
Janet added, “I have questioned her [Ashes] fairly sternly, and she is not talking.