A cat lost in Dearborn, Michigan has been found in Florida after two months of searching.
Two months ago, Judy Sanborn lost her cat, a two-and-a-half-year-old tabby named Bandit. He’s an indoor/outdoor cat, so after a few weeks of searching, Sanborn had assumed that he’d run off or otherwise met his end thanks to a pickup truck, as is often the case with outdoor kitties.
Then two months later, she receives a call from BluePearl veterinary hospital in Tampa Bay, Florida. Her cat had been found by a local resident in good health, and she needed to arrange to pick him up.
This completely blue Sanborn’s mind. "He [is] a little traveler," Sanborn told the Detroit Free Press. Since cats typically don’t walk particularly fast, she assumes that Bandit had either been cat-napped or otherwise hitchhiked on the back of a truck.
Bandit doesn’t wear a collar, but he was microchipped as a kitten, so hospital staff was able to get his information from the chip.
Jose Calderon, veterinary technical manager at BluePearl, said that he’d never seen a cat journey so far on foot in his entire 30 years of work. “A block over, a street over, or maybe even [from] Orlando, which is an hour away from us. This is the farthest away I’ve seen,” he said.
Sanborn was overjoyed to hear that Bandit had been found, but shocked to hear that he was in Florida. Getting him home was proving to be a challenge in and of itself, and Sanborn was prepared to start an online fundraiser in order to fly Bandit home. Luckily, a connection with BluePearl staffers has managed to get Bandit a ride with another family on their way from Tampa to Michigan.
Bandit will return to cold Michigan later this week in a warm, pressurized cabin.
Although unsure if Bandit should remain an outdoor cat after his recent escapade, Sanborn has decided to at least get Bandit a collar with his name and phone number on the off chance that he was taken by a family who thought he was a stray.